(Dyslipidemia; High Triglycerides; Triglycerides, High)
Hyperlipidemia is a high level of fats in the blood. These fats, called lipids, include cholesterol and triglycerides. There are five types of hyperlipidemia. The type depends on which lipid in the blood is high.
Causes may include:
- A family history of hyperlipidemia
- A diet high in total fat, saturated fat, or cholesterol
- Certain conditions, including:
- Certain drugs, such as:
These factors increase your chance of developing this condition. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
Hyperlipidemia usually does not cause symptoms. Very high levels of lipids or triglycerides can cause:
- Fat deposits in the skin or tendons ( xanthomas]]> )
- Pain, enlargement, or swelling of organs such as the liver, spleen, or pancreas ( ]]>pancreatitis]]> )
- Obstruction of blood vessels in heart and brain
If not treated, high lipids can cause:
Blood Vessel with Atherosclerosis
This condition is diagnosed with blood tests. These tests measure the levels of lipids in the blood. The National Cholesterol Education Program advises that you have your lipids checked at least once every five years, starting at age 20. Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends lipid screening for children at risk (eg, a family history of hyperlipidemia). *¹]]>
Testing may consist of a fasting blood test for:
- Total cholesterol
- LDL (bad cholesterol)
- HDL (good cholesterol)
Your doctor may recommend more frequent or earlier testing if you have:
- Family history of hyperlipidemia
- Risk factor or disease that may cause hyperlipidemia
- Complication that may result from hyperlipidemia
Diet, lifestyle changes, and medication can help treat hyperlipidemia.
- Eat a diet low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol]]> .
- Reduce or eliminate the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Eat more high-fiber foods.
There are a number of drugs available, such as ]]>statins]]> , to treat this condition. Talk to your doctor.
To help reduce your chance of getting hyperlipidemia, take the following steps:
- Starting at age 20, get cholesterol tests.
- Eat a diet low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
- If you smoke, quit.
- Drink alcohol in moderation (two drinks per day for men, one drink per day for women).
- If you are overweight, lose weight.
- Exercise regularly. Talk with your doctor first.
- If you have diabetes]]> , control your blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about medications you are taking. They may have side effects that cause hyperlipidemia.
American Heart Association
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Berkow R. The Merck Manual of Medical Information . 17th ed. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, Inc; 2000.
Hyperlipidemia. Vascular Web website. Available at: http://www.vascularweb.org/patients/NorthPoint/Hyperlipidemia.html . Updated March 2007. Accessed July 8, 2008.
Kasper DL, Harrison TR. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine . 16th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 2005.
US Department of Health and Human Services. Side effects of anit-HIV medications. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/SideEffectAnitHIVMeds_cbrochure_en.pdf . Published October 2005. Accessed July 8, 2008.
*¹7/22/2008 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamicmedical.com/what.php : Daniels SR, Greer FR; Committee on Nutrition. Lipid screening and cardiovascular health in childhood. Pediatrics. 2008;122:198-208.
Last reviewed November 2008 by ]]>Igor Puzanov, MD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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