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Triglycerides are a specific kind of fat which is found in human blood. This forms a measure of heart health and can lead to an elevated risk of heart disease.

What are triglycerides?

Triglycerides are a type of lipid or fat found in blood. Depending on the amount we eat, unused calories get converted to triglycerides. Stored in fat cells, triglycerides are released by hormones as energy for the body, between meals. If a person doesn’t burn enough calories, calories from high carb foods end up as triglycerides.

Why is a triglycerides test suggested?

Since high triglyceride levels may lead to hardening of arteries and increase the risk of stroke, it is essential to get checked. High triglyceride levels could also indicate:

  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Thyroid problem.

How is the triglyceride test performed?

The triglyceride test is performed by taking a blood sample. As part of the test, a lipid profile is done to test levels of

  • Cholesterol
  • LDL/HDL.
  • Triglycerides

For those who are already getting treated for high triglycerides, doctors order this to check on the effectiveness of the treatment regimen.

What are the parameters measured in triglycerides?

Normal triglyceride levels should be below 150 mg per deciliter. Borderline levels are below 200 mg/dL. Anything higher than 200 mg/dL is cause for concern.

Preparation before performing the triglyceride test

Patients are asked to fast anywhere between 9 to 14 hours before the test. They can drink only water. Patients are also advised not to drink alcohol during this time.

Post-care after triglyceride testing

Doctors recommend the following to reduce triglyceride levels after testing:

  • Cutting out sugar.
  • Eating more brown rice and whole wheat products.
  • Limiting fatty and processed foods.

Sample types in triglyceride tests

There is just one test for triglyceride levels – a blood test, which checks for lipid and other elements.

Side effects/risks of triglycerides

Risks of high triglyceride levels include

  • Heart disease and stroke.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

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