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  • High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

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    Old 07-13-2006, 02:59 PM   #1
    lalab
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    High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    Wow, I just went for a physical and my PA said my tri's were off the chart - 969! They were not able to screen for the 'bad' cholesterol since the tri's were so high. His immediate thought was medication but he is giving me 6 weeks to do something about it - diet and exercise wise. He also put me on Omega 3. Any thoughts on this? One year ago my tri's were 340... I take birth control and lexapro but I don't think they would effect me that bad... No my diet is not good and I barely exercise but this has scared me enough into walking for 30 minutes everyday and cutting out as much sugar, fat and carbs that I can. I also quit smoking. Cold turkey. Only my third day but this is life changing for me...

     
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    Old 07-13-2006, 04:47 PM   #2
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    Adult beverages a big no no when it comes to high tri's.

     
    Old 07-13-2006, 05:26 PM   #3
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    Adult beverages are not really a concern for me. If I drink, it's a glass of white merlot and maybe once a week...

     
    Old 07-14-2006, 03:30 AM   #4
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    When you say you are on Omega-3's, do you mean over-the-counter fish oil, or the prescription stuff, Omacor? Fish oil made a difference in my numbers, but I still need a fibrate (Tricor) to get my and keep my trig's down. I have read that Omacor can be much more effective then OTC fish oil. With your triglycerides, I'm surprised your doctor didn't at least have you go on a 30-day round of gemfibrozil just to at least get the trig's down quickly (triglycerides that high have a real risk of inducing pancreatitis).

    Stopping smoking will help, as will the exercise. Actually, more reports every year support the claim that the single most effective thing you can do to control lipid problems and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke is to exercise regularly.

     
    Old 07-14-2006, 05:58 AM   #5
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    From what I've read, birth control pills can raise triglycerides.
    Check your pill formulation for side effects online.

    But your trigs are very high. I think it would behoove you to switch to another form of birth control while you are trying to get those numbers down.

    Good luck.

     
    Old 07-14-2006, 06:34 AM   #6
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    Re: High triglycerides for a 27 year old?

    I am taking over the counter fish oils; 2 pills a day and walking, walking, walking. From what you all have posted I am going to focus on that. I need to lose at least 30 lbs. anyway. I just want to make sure I am not in a dangerous position for something terrible to happen to me with them being so high...

     
    Old 07-14-2006, 06:45 AM   #7
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    lalab - did your doctor recommend just 2 fish oil pills per day? The Amer. Heart Assoc.'s guideline for people with diagnosed hypertriglyceridemia is to take however much/many fish oil capsules to get a total combined EPA+DHA dose of 2 to 4 grams per day. Check the label of the brand you bought to see how much EPA and DHA is in each capsule (eg. my brand of 1200mg fish oil gelcaps has 360mg of EPA+DHA per capsule, so I take 6 of them - 3 with breakfast and 3 with dinner).

     
    Old 07-14-2006, 08:43 AM   #8
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    My PA recommended Cooper's Vitamins brand of Fish Oil... I went ahead to GNC and got their double strength version. I believe it is the same as yours - 360 EPA + DHA. I will have to check on this. Is there a danger in possibly taking too much or simply take as much as I can?
    I am glad I found this board. I am starting to feel a little concerned about the consultation I received from my PA. No specific amount to take was mentioned to me. The only thing I am satisfied with is being given the chance to bring the levels down on my own without going onto meds. I tell ya, I have read other individuals tri levels and I am still overly concerned with mine. Just keep walking and watching what I eat for now. I am hoping to move it up to an hour a day of walking next week. Wish me well...

    Thanks

     
    Old 07-14-2006, 09:15 AM   #9
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    I've been taking the 6 gelcaps per day now for about 10 months with no apparent side effects. I know one person who takes twice that (has for at least a couple of years), so I think the recommended 2-4 grams of EPA+DHA is safe (that's the AHA's recommendation for diagnosed very high trigs, for others they recommend less).

    The only issue I've heard from friends is a couple of them had a lot of gas and the notorious "fish-breath" burps, so didn't like taking fish oil. Although, I've also been told that often that will go away with a different brand.

    Also you can check out your brand's specs either online, or they likely have a 1-800 info line. You want to be taking a brand that uses distilled oils to remove any toxins from the fish. Fish are great bioaccumulators of toxins like lead, mercury and dioxan. Quality producers will distill their fish oil to remove these.

     
    Old 07-14-2006, 09:49 AM   #10
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    Thank you Fathersson.

     
    Old 07-15-2006, 06:06 AM   #11
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    lalab,

    Beware of using oils in large quantity to combat triglycerides.
    Here's my thinking.
    Triglycerides are the unit of nearly all biological fat. They are transported in one form or another from the gut to the liver, from the liver to the cells for burning, or into fat cells for storage. They can even be made from proteins and carbohydrates when they are in excess but are most readily available in a high fat diet. This circulating fat is proven to be damaging in most of its forms and the damage is proportional to the amount.

    When you go to a doctor's office to have your triglycerides measured, they are taken after a 14 hour fast, a totally artificial situtation for those outside Saharan Africa and Bangladesh. Your body doesn't much care that IF you fast you can have such and such a level if indeed you never fast except to see the doctor.
    What is more important regarding triglyceride levels is what is floating around at this very moment, an hour from now and an hour after that...before and after dinner, snacks etc.
    Thus every bit of fat that is put into your gut has to migrate as triglycerides in one form or another and to one place or another. So less is better.
    If you choose to take several tespoons of Omega-3 rich oils, do so but be aware of their impact on tryglycerides soon affter you eat them.

    Measuring triglycerides like they do seems among the silliest concepts I've encountered. Perhaps it's a natural seeming progression from testing fasting glucose level?
    In any case, AVERAGE CIRCULATING levels of tryglyceride day in and day out are certainly more important to cardiac health (and illness) than the clearance of triglycerides as measured by a rare fasting sample.

    Remember that someone of normal or low weight who eats a low-calorie balanced diet (what he needs and no excess) with little fat CANNOT mobilize triglycerides from ANYTHING; not depot fat (there is very little), not from the gut (there was very little fat eaten,) and not from excess food...there is no excess on a lowish cal diet.

    Last edited by Lenin; 07-15-2006 at 06:52 AM.

     
    Old 07-15-2006, 06:49 AM   #12
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    Lenin,

    Some times you make a lot of sense. LOL!


    Lalab,

    I, too, think it would be a good idea to consider a different form of birth control.

     
    Old 07-15-2006, 07:57 AM   #13
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    Lenin, I'd counter by saying that in the absense of fasting, taking triglyceride levels would be pointless, unless you took them hourly, for many days (or some other extreme repeated sampling scheme).

    The only way we can evaluate potential problematic levels is to compare them to large sample averages. Triglycerides are extremely labile, as you say - probably more so then any other metabolite we know of. In fact, mere postural changes can cause serum trig levels to fluctuate by as much as 15%. Even blood drawn, at the same time, from different locations in one person can differ by as much as 10%. Add in diet (and variable trig. clearance times for different foods), hydration level, vitamin levels (especially C), medications, and anyone's trig level at any given time will be a wholly unique measure with no way to compare to anything.

    So, the only way to compare levels is to try and damper the variability as much as possible, The 12-14 hour fasting sample is merely an attempt to provide samples which can be meanfully compared, both for an individual over time (eg. annually), and for an individual relative to like-fasting samples from a larger population.

    Non-fasting trig levels would be a waste of time, money and blood unless each patient was willing to put up with a frequent time course study over a long period of time.

     
    Old 07-15-2006, 09:40 AM   #14
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    Fatherson,

    I agree completely about the extraordinary difficulty of getting meaningful triglyceride in normal life situtations...standardization is indeed impossible.

    But it all reminds me of the unfunny but really telling old joke:
    He: I lost my watch in the bathroom.
    She: Then WHY are you looking for it in the living room?
    He: Because the light is better in here
    .

    Measurement at fasting levels is, I guess, the best we can do but we should always remember that postrandial super-highs can occur from a high fat meal as the fat is extracted from the food. And if triglycerides are harmful, as I believe they are, these unmeasured spikes MUST have coonsequences far more dire than the lowest possible achievable numbers after a long fast.

    Just as a ballpark: Consider a meal with 50 grams of fat...a slab of well marbelled steak or a half stick of butter qualifies easily. So that's 50,000 mg. of fat. Say the human body has 5 liters of blood or 50 deciliters. That's 1,000 mg/dL that the body has to appropriate through the blood stream in addition to the fasting level. Of course, it doesn't all hit at once but I'm sure that the healthy level of <100 mg./dL. triglycerides becomes a laughable impossibility for many hours... just in time for the next meal. Add excess carbohydrates in the form of a yummy dessert and you compound the problem forcing the liver to make even more triglycerides for shuttling off to the depot fat.

    Some "nutritional guru" once said that he observed blood after a heavy fatty meal to be thick and somewhat pinkly-cream colored...yeccch! That may be overstating the case, but it is "food" for thought.

    Maybe the comparison with glucose levels might shed some light:
    Somebody with suspected diabetes, hypoglycemia, insulin irregularities, etc. is given a glucose-tolerance test which involves a glucose "insult" and then monitoring every hour to see how the body deals with the large dose of sugar. Also the fasting glucose is watched.
    It would seem logical that those with wild tryglyceride irregularities or suspected irregularities...or even heart disease should be given the same kind of "fat tolerance test" rather than relying solely on fasting levels. Something like a stick of butter and then progressive blood draws...or would the Chateaubriand be a better choice?

    Last edited by Lenin; 07-15-2006 at 09:53 AM.

     
    Old 08-17-2006, 03:11 PM   #15
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    Re: High triglcerides for a 27 year old?

    Just an update. I am going back in Tuesday for more blood work to see if I ahve made any improvement in the last 6 weeks. Wish me well. I have stuck very hard to the fish oil pills and also - no fried foods. I did great in the beginning as far as walking but with this Texas heat and it being 95 degrees at 9 PM it has been hard for me to walk lately. Anyway - just an update. I will post my new numbers next week!

     
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