Triglycerides and Genetic Disorders

Excess blood triglyceride is one of the harmful effects which can be brought on by a number of disorders and diseases such as diabetes, obesity, disorderly food habits, hypothyroidism, liver disease, kidney failure etc. However, on rare occasions, genetic disorders are sometimes found to be responsible for abnormal levels of high blood triglycerides as well. People with familial hypertriglyceridemia suffer from the ill effects of elevated triglycerides all their life unless they are medically diagnosed and treated. Most causes of triglycerides are related to the diet of the person involved and being able to control one’s diet appropriately and accordingly is a large part of any program designed towards reducing triglyceride levels. Unfortunately, familial hypertriglyceridemia is no exception but its effects regarding rapid lipid multiplication may not always depend on one’s dietary intake.

When the genetic disorder familial hypertriglyceridemia reaches a more severe stage, it is termed as familial chylomicronemia. The root of the disorder is the body’s inability to manufacture a particular type of enzyme known as lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which is responsible for the processing of triglyceride molecules in human beings. This enzyme deficiency is scientifically termed as apo C-II deficiency. Patients suffering from this advanced stage of familial chylomicronemia are also found to be suffering from repeated instances of acute pancreatitis due to extremely high levels of triglycerides in one’s entire system. People, who suffer from this genetic disorder, are extremely prone to all diseases that can be brought on by high triglycerides because familial chylomicronemia can take one’s triglyceride level even higher than 2000 mg/dL and keep it that high. Therefore, someone who is suffering from the disorder is susceptible to kidney failures, liver disease, heart disease, pancreatitis, obesity and diabetes to name a few. In addition to being the reason behind a number of diseases and disorders, chylomicronemia has a typical symptom, known as eruptive xanthomas. The xanthomas are visible fatty deposits just under the skin and though in most cases they are not harmful, they are known to become malignant on rare occasions.

Although familial hypertriglyceridemia is genetic, the techniques used to keep it in control remains quite identical to the ones used when there’s a more common cause behind it like diabetes or an inconsistent lifestyle. As the disorder stems from the fact that the body cannot break down the triglyceride molecules, the first thing to keep in mind is that the person must restrict or totally stop the intake of foods high in triglycerides. Sweets, soft drinks, fruit juices, oily and fried food, red meat and especially alcohol, come under the category of foods to avoid. Including more vegetables to one’s diet, especially the dark green and leafy ones like arugula and lettuce can be beneficial though. Even fruits like apples can be beneficial as the fibers in them help with the processing of triglyceride molecules, but even fruits should not be over consumed because they too, contain a kind of sugar known as fructose. Unfortunately, even after these restrictions, people with familial hypertriglyceridemia must take medicines and remain under constant supervision to remain healthy and functioning.