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Triglyceride Testing

A person needs to have triglyceride testing to find out if he has any risk factors for heart disease. Some of the risk factors can be determined by just examining lifestyle elements, for example, obesity, age, genetics, race, gender, and diet factors. The exam will determine if there are risk factors of high cholesterol. Some of these a person can change; others are unchangeable. For example, no one can change his age or gender. But starting on a diet to lower triglycerides is one way to change the prospect of heart disease in the future. Some of the risk factors to consider are if the patient is male and over 45 or female and over 55. Newspaper headlines often give stories about people who have died suddenly and without warning of heart attacks at this age. Changeable aspects of lowering chances of becoming ill are losing weight, lowering cholesterol levels, reducing high blood pressure, controlling diabetes, and quitting smoking. If a patient has more than one of these risk factors, then he is in much greater danger of having a heart attack or stroke. If a person has 3 of them, he faces almost 6 times more chances than someone with no risk factors.
About 20 percent of Americans have high cholesterol, so that’s why it’s so important to undergo triglyceride testing. Coronary disease is the number one problem in the United States, so this is a problem to consider very carefully. High cholesterol happens when there is too much LDL or low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol. What happens when someone has too much bad cholesterol is that plaque forms in the artery walls. Eventually, this plaque build up gets so thick that it won’t allow the blood to flow freely along the arteries. The heart has to pump harder. And finally, the plaque occludes the arteries and the blood cannot flow, causing starvation of blood to the most dynamic organ in our bodies. Cholesterol is a fatty substance also called lipids. It travels in the bloodstream inside a protein called a lipoprotein. The two types of lipoproteins are LDL, which is low-density lipoprotein, and HDL, which is high-density lipoprotein. LDL is the bad cholesterol. HDL is the good cholesterol. A triglyceride is a third type of fatty substance that turns eventually into the LDL. Blood levels of these substances are measured in milligrams per decimeter of blood or mg/dL. As you can see, it doesn’t take much of these bad substances to cause problems in the body. But the good news is that with a few alterations in lifestyle, a person can reverse the problem and go on to better health. One of these solutions is a diet to lower triglycerides.

Some of the health issues to control are cigarette smoking, hypertension or high blood pressure, diabetes, and levels of cholesterol. But what a person eats on a daily basis is essential to living better and longer. The foods that are dangerous to a person who has high levels are managed through a low-saturated fat food regimen. Foods high in saturated fat are fatty meats, egg yolks, shellfish, and whole-milk dairy products. If a person is diagnosed with high cholesterol, a physician or other medical professional will help build a plan for eating that will lower the levels. Often, having high levels will not have any overt symptoms, so blood levels need to be check regularly. One of the main triglyceride testing involves taking blood when the patient has been fasting to obtain a fasting lipid profile. The normal recommended level for these profiles is 130 mg/dL, and for some people as low as 100 mg/dL. A patient should write down these numbers when in the doctor’s office so that he can track his progress. In fact, some medical professionals will recommend a cholesterol tracking program to help the patient stick with his diet to lower triglycerides.

The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) has established the levels for mg/dL in the blood. The organization is part of the National Institutes of Health. The different fatty substances are put into different categories, showing how much LDL and HDL are safe for an individual. But because every body is different, these levels can change accordingly, so a health professional must evaluate each triglyceride testing. Generally, the lower the number, the better. For some, the disease may have progressed to the point that symptoms are evident. The most worrisome is chest pain or angina. Some of the other symptoms of coronary disease are shortness of breath when doing light work or even while at rest, persistent coughing and wheezing, loss of appetite or unusual weight loss, puffiness in the legs or other parts of the body, fainting, unusual tiredness, and palpitations or a rapid heartbeat. These symptoms can indicate coronary disease and need to be checked out right away. Sometimes the symptoms can come, go, and then return. So just because the symptoms are not evident at the moment is not reassurance that all is well. Another very important lifestyle change to go along with a diet to lower triglycerides is to plan an exercise program. This should be an aerobic level exercise regimen to strengthen the coronary system.

Many have understood their danger but avoided a diet to lower triglycerides and an exercise program to strengthen diseased muscles and arteries. This can lead to a high price, even death. But a simple plan to limit those foods that are causing the problem and workouts to build health can reverse the downward trend of ill health. And most importantly, the wise person will make sure he has his triglyceride testing to make sure that all is well. “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22).

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