Medical Conditions and Triglycerides

How to Prevent or Reverse a Potentially Deadly Beast

 

By Elana Wagner – award-winning writer, advertiser and internationally published author

Obesity and triglycerides

The most common reason for high triglycerides is overconsumption of fatty food items like fried, oily or sugary treats. An imbalanced diet itself can upset the functioning of the human system, and if that imbalance is brought on in the form of fatty food, then that person will certainly become overweight pretty quickly. Triglycerides are created as backup energy by the liver and are stored as a kind of fat for later use; therefore the more unhealthy weight you gain, the more the saturated triglyceride levels will increase. This has danger written all over it.

Alcohol and triglycerides

Along with having a detrimental effect on one’s liver, excessive alcohol consumption can also raise the triglyceride and cholesterol count in one’s blood. Not only does alcohol bring down the production of the liver enzymes which process triglyceride molecules, it also increases triglyceride production. Alcohol is a source of excess calories which are being turned into fat (usually, triglycerides), so the fat levels in your blood go up. Researchers have found that apart from adding calories to the diet, alcohol can also prevent the burning of fat by as much as 30 percent.

  • Hypertriglyceridemia (high blood triglyceride levels), pancreatitis, liver disease, diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, depression and congestive heart failure (CHF), or heart failure, are diseases that are worsened by alcohol.

However, if you insist on drinking red wine you need to check on how the grapes are grown, all conditions of planting, treatment, and how it is made.  The wine should be made with organic grapes – free of toxic agricultural chemicals, synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.

So if you are going to have a small amount of red wine, which wines should you consume to reap the most benefits? The highest concentrations of flavonoids have been found in Cabernet Sauvignon, followed closely by Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir.

White wine had significantly smaller amounts than the red wine varieties. The bottom line is the sweeter the wine, the fewer the flavonoids.

Diabetes and triglycerides

Patients suffering from type 2 diabetes are more likely to have high blood triglyceride levels because of altered glucose metabolism. High triglycerides don’t cause diabetes. Instead, their levels indicate that your system for turning food into energy isn’t working properly.

Normally, your body makes insulin which “accompanies” glucose —the type of sugar in your blood which is inside your cells. There, your body turns glucose into energy. Insulin also allows your body to use triglycerides for energy. So if you are showing signs or have insulin resistance, your cells won’t let insulin or its companion “glucose,” inside your cells. As a result, both glucose and triglycerides build up in your blood.

Your doctor can do a blood test to see if you have insulin resistance. If you have any sort of insulin resistance, the insulin level in your blood is too high and you could very well be on your way to pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.

If you also are overweight, eat a lot of sugary and/or starchy foods, or don’t exercise, your insulin resistance can be worse. In order to reverse this, you need to add exercise to your daily routine, use meal planning guides and possibly take medications to lower your triglycerides. Once your triglycerides are lowered, you can continue with a healthy, anti-inflammatory and low-glycemic index diet and continue exercising to help control or reverse Type 2 diabetes.

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Kidneys and triglycerides

Kidney diseases can be responsible for raising one’s triglycerides because an affected kidney can no longer maintain the balance between the waste products, the electrolytes and bodily fluids. In fact, it has also been noticed that someone with a very high level of blood triglyceride is more susceptible to kidney failure as it raises blood creatinine levels.

What is creatinine and how does it affect your kidneys? Creatinine is a chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism. Creatinine is produced from creatine, a molecule of major importance for energy production in muscles. If you are not having a problem with your kidneys or with your triglyceride level, then your kidneys are probably filtering out most of the creatinine and disposing of it in urine. However, since approximately 2% of the body’s creatine is converted to creatinine every day and then transported through the blood stream to the kidneys, your creatine is not being converted to creatinine then more than likely your kidneys are not functioning well. One way to check is to have a test run. Because the muscle mass in the body is relatively constant from day to day, the creatinine production normally remains essentially unchanged on a daily basis so changes in the creatinine can be a warning sign of trouble.

Liver and triglycerides

The liver is responsible for both making and breaking down triglycerides and therefore, if anything affects the liver, it is almost certain to affect the blood triglyceride count. This is the reason why liver diseases like fatty liver can take the triglyceride count way too high. From alcohol abuse to kidney disease, anything and everything that raises triglycerides affects the liver directly or indirectly. Since the liver plays an important role in many bodily functions from protein production and blood clotting to cholesterol, glucose and iron metabolism, it is important to protect your liver.

Some symptoms of liver disease include weakness and fatigue, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and yellow discoloration of the skin (jaundice). Obesity can also be a sign of liver disease. The treatment of a particular liver disease depends on its specific cause.

Medications and triglycerides

IMPORTANT! While it is unknown to many, there are also medicinal drugs that can raise the triglyceride count in our body. The most common types of medications that are often responsible for high triglycerides include steroids, birth control pills, beta-blockers, estrogen, tamoxifen and diuretics. To determine which ones are affecting your triglyceride levels, consult your physician and if needed follow up with a specialist.

Here is a small list of known medications that can raise triglycerides eta blockers, such as propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL), atenolol (Tenormin) and metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL). These meds can slightly increase triglycerides and decrease high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol. Typically this occurs in people who have multiple conditions, includeing:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Excess weight around the abdomen
  • Abnormal cholesterol and triglycerides

If you’re worried that medications that you are taking may be increasing triglyceride levels, talk to your doctor about making changes to your diet and exercise routine.  You should always try and exercise at least 30 minutes a day, even if this is a brisk walk. Don’t stop taking any prescribed medications without first talking to your doctor. Also, it is important to always keep your doctor informed of any natural treatments or lifestyle changes.

It can not be said enough: Although exercise and organic eating are great choices, if you include natural therapies to reduce blood pressure, high blood sugar or supplements to try and reduce your weight, your doctor needs to be apprised to make certain that there are no contraindications to the medications that have been prescribed.

Genetic disorders and triglycerides

Although it is rare, there are certain genetic disorders which might be responsible for raising triglyceride levels. Patients suffering from these diseases must undergo treatment to keep triglyceride levels down. An example of such a disorder includes familial combined hyperlipidemia. It may also increase the level of LDL cholesterols in blood.

Hypothyroidism and triglycerides

Raised triglyceride levels can be a sign of abnormal thyroid hormone activity. A clear link between low secretion of T3/T4 thyroid hormones and raised triglyceride levels has been established and thus it can be concluded that an underactive thyroid contributes to raising blood triglycerides.

Overall, in order to help prevent health issues such as all of the medical conditions listed that affect your triglycerides, it is important to exercise, maintain a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle and you can probably, in most cases, keep your triglyceride count in check. The few of us who have no control over increasing triglyceride count, should be under regular medical supervision and must practice extra caution so as not to neglect any danger signs.

Avoid taking your thyroid hormone at the same time as:

  • Soybean flour
  • Walnuts
  • Cottonseed meal
  • Iron supplements or multivitamins containing iron
  • Calcium supplements
  • Antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium
  • Some ulcer medications, such as sucralfate
  • Some cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as those containing cholestyramine (Questran) and colestipol (Colestid)

To avoid potential interactions, eat these foods or use these products several hours before or after you take your thyroid medication.


 

 

About the author: Elana B. is an award-winning writer, speaker, and internationally published author. As a writer and ghostwriter she has written hundreds of stories from books to shorts to screenplays. As a healthcare enthusiast she has studied nutrition, health and wellness, emphasizing on eating right to live a better life.

 

A gifted storyteller, Elana B.’s new children’s series, Too Terribly Busy and the “Too Terribly” Series of books, teach in a fun, creative way some of the most important lessons in life. Through this entertaining series of books, children will learn morals, manners, how important it is to achieve goals, as well as conflict resolution. Sneak peek of the first story in the new series: TooTerriblyBusy-SP1.

 

More by Elana B. and other helpful articles:
Overwhelmed – 7 Things You Can Do to Calm Down
Signs of Depression and How to Feel Good Again
8 Benefits of Regular Exercise
Heart Disease…The Ticking Time Bomb
30 Minutes of Physical Activity
Medical Conditions and Triglycerides
5 Tips to Help Improve Relationships
Natural Ways to Reduce High Blood Pressure

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