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Had multiple triglysride tests, results vary. Reason?

I got Triglysride test done for my wife for 3 times within approx. 7 to 10 days time. However the results were drastically different. First reading was 431, then I went to different lab, which showed me result of 213 (after 5 days of first test, without any medicines taken after first test), and third test was done around four days after second test
Asked On : Fri, 8 Jun 2012
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
A triglyceride is a specific type of lipid, or fat, composed of a glycerol molecule and three fatty acids. Knowing your triglyceride level is important, but fluctuations among tests drawn at different times or by different laboratories can be confusing.

high fasting triglyceride level is a strong risk factor for coronary heart disease. High triglycerides are also linked to diabetes and metabolic syndrome, both of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease
 your triglyceride level normally varies up to 30 percent from one day to the next. Any change in your diet during the two weeks prior to your test can increase this "background" fluctuation. If your blood test is performed after a fast, some of this day-to-day variability is eliminated. Therefore, you should adhere to your usual diet for at least two weeks prior to your test, and you should fast for 12 hours before your blood draw.

Weight loss, particularly if it is sudden and dramatic, can cause marked changes in your serum triglyceride level. Your weight should be stable for at least two weeks prior to having your triglycerides checked.

Because muscular activity consumes energy molecules -- including fatty acids -- exercise tends to lower your triglyceride levels. Although regular exercise is one way to lower your triglyceride levels, if exercise is not part of your routine, you should avoid it for 24 hours prior to your test. Alcohol consumption, a high-carbohydrate diet and poorly controlled diabetes can all increase your triglyceride level. Pharmaceutical agents, such as blood pressure medications, diuretics and bile acid binding resins can raise or lower your triglycerides, depending on the agent involved.
The normal daily variation in triglycerides can be nullified to some extent by having your blood drawn in a "steady state" -- no recent changes in activity, diet, weight, alcohol consumption or medications -- following a 12-hour fast. 
Answered: Fri, 8 Jun 2012
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