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Elevated triglycerides levels, medication needed?

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Cardiologist, Interventional
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 192 Questions
MY TRIGLYCERIDES ARE 230 , ALL OTHER READINGS ON THE LIPID PROFILE TEST AND LIVER FUNCTION TEST ARE NORMAL. 20 days back they were 270, with dieting they are now 230. Do i need medication ?
Posted Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Cholesterol
Answered by Dr. Raja Sekhar Varma 11 hours later

Thank you for your query.

As I understand it, only the triglyceride levels are elevated. All other tests are nornal. You are asymptomatic and currently you are not on any medicines for any disease. There is no Diabetes, Thyroid problem, Hypertension, etc.

It would have been nice if you had given the actual values of all the lipid profile parameters.

I would like to know if a treadmill test has been done as part of your check-up? I would also like to know if anybody else in your family (on your father's or mother's side and your brothers/sisters) has any similar problems with their lipid profile and if there is anybody with heart disease or stroke.

Since there appears to be some reduction in the level after 20 days of diet, I think you can continue with the same diet and exercise. In general, you need to avoid fried food, reduce the amount of oil taken, avoid red meat, avoid mutton pork and beef, avoid butter ghee cheese cream and curds, avoid most 'bakery' items. You can take chicken (as curry, with limited oil) and fish (again as curry, not fried). You can take upto 200 ml / day of skimmed milk. You can use buttermilk. A dietician can give you a tailor-made diet taking into account your likes and dislikes.

You also need to have a daily exercise regimen. Walking is the best form of exercise for your heart. You need to walk at least half an hour daily. Lifting weights and similar gym work is needed only if you want to develop your muscles. Aerobic exercises, jogging, swimming and similar dynamic exercises are useful.

You need not check your lipid profile every 15 days. You need to do a repeat test after 3 months. If the triglycerides value is less than 200 mg/dl, you can continue with diet and exercise. In that scenario, you should be doing the test once in three months to ensure that you are maintaining your lipid goals. If the values are higher, you will need to take some medicines.

You will also need medicines if your TMT is positive, if you are a Diabetic, or if you have associated conditions like Hypothyroidism, kidney disorders, Hypertension or if you have a strong family history of heart disease or stroke.

I hope this answers your query. Feel free to get back to me for any further clarifications.

With regards,
Dr RS Varma, MD, DM (Cardiology)
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