What is the Triglycerides test?
A triglycerides test is a type of blood test that determines the level of triglycerides in your blood. Excessively high triglyceride levels may increase the heart attack or stroke risk. A triglyceride test can help decide whether or not you need to reduce your risk.
Triglycerides provide energy to your body. If you take more calories than you require, your body converts the surplus calories into triglycerides and then stores them in your fat cells for later use. As your body needs energy, your cells release triglycerides into your bloodstream to energize your muscles.
You might have high triglyceride levels in your blood if you consume more calories than you burn off, particularly calories from carbs, including sugary meals and fats. A high blood triglyceride level usually does not create any symptoms, but it can damage the arteries and raise your risk of heart disease over time. Triglyceride levels that are incredibly high increase the risk of acute pancreatitis in children and adults.
What is the use of the Triglycerides test?
A triglyceride test determines your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other artery-related illnesses such as peripheral arterial disease. The test is also used to evaluate cardiac problems and therapies for heart disease prevention.
A triglyceride test is typically performed as part of a series of tests known as a lipid profile. Fat is another synonym for lipid. A lipid profile assesses the amount of fat in your blood, such as triglycerides and cholesterol. You may be more likely to have a heart attack or stroke if you have high levels of triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
What is the need for a triglyceride test?
As part of a routine examination, your doctor may request a lipid profile, which includes a triglycerides test. If you are in ongoing treatment for high cholesterol and triglycerides, this test may be required to determine how effectively your therapy works.
Triglycerides test is usually recommended in the following situations:
What happens during a triglycerides test?
During the test, a healthcare expert will draw a sample of blood from a vein in your arm using a small needle. A little amount of blood will be then collected into a test tube or vial. You might feel a little sting when the
needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
How to prepare for the test?
You might need to fast for 8 to 12 hours before taking blood. Your provider will let you know if you need to fast and if there are any special instructions to follow.
What are the risks of the test?
There is no risk of this test. You might have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was inserted, but mostly it goes away quickly.
Understanding the results
Triglycerides are typically measured in milligrams (mg) per deciliter (dL) of blood. Triglyceride guidelines for normal and high levels are used to determine whether therapy is required. Adults typically utilize the following guidelines:
Triglyceride levels in adults
- Normal (desirable) - less than 150 mg/dL
- Borderline high - 150 to 199 mg/dL
- High - 200 to 499 mg/dL
- Very high - 500 mg/dL and higher
Children's and adolescents' guidelines differ from those of adults. Inquire with your child's provider about the significance of his or her test results.
Higher-than-normal triglyceride levels may indicate an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other artery-related illnesses. To lower your blood triglycerides, your doctor may initially propose lifestyle modifications such as:
- Eating heart-healthy foods while less added sugar and saturated fat.
- Performing regular physical exercise
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Quitting smoking
- Trying to maintain a healthy weight
- Obtaining sufficient sleep
- Stress management
In certain circumstances, medications may be required to assist in reducing your triglyceride levels. Before changing your diet or exercise program, consult with your provider about the best therapy for you.
Triglyceride levels that are too low are extremely rare.
Important information to know about triglyceride tests?
Several regularly used medications might raise blood triglyceride levels, so check with your doctor to see if any of your medications could alter your test findings. Some medical diseases can also cause a rise in blood triglycerides, such as:
If one of these disorders is raising your triglycerides, it is critical to treat it in order to decrease your blood triglycerides and your risk of heart disease and stroke.