What is hypertriglyceridemia?

Hypertriglyceridemia is an increase in blood triglycerides above normal levels.


Why are high blood triglyceride levels dangerous?

When blood triglyceride levels are too high there is increased risk of acute pancreatitis, which is an acute inflammation of the pancreas that can lead to the destruction of part of the organ and therefore its function. Acute pancreatitis can be life-treatening.


What are the causes of hypertriglyceridemia?

The causes of hypertriglyceridemia may be environmental or genetic:


What are the symptoms of hypertriglyceridemia?

High levels of triglycerides in the blood do not usually give symptoms. In the inherited forms, however, there are some pathognomonic signs, such as xanthomas.


How is hypertriglyceridemia diagnosed?

The diagnosis of hypertriglyceridemia requires history, physical examination and is made by measuring triglyceride blood levels. For familial forms, genetic testing is also required.


What are the complications of hypertriglyceridemia?

  • Pancreatitis
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Fatty liver disease

 How is hypertriglyceridemia treated?

The treatment of hypertriglyceridemia consists of:

  • Treatment of the primary disease that causes it
  • Lifestyle modifications with
  • Exercise
  • Healthy Diet
  • Avoiding foods/drinks with too much sugar

Depending on triglyceride levels, risk factors, co-morbidities and the outcome of lifestyle modifications, the endocrinologist may decide the onset of medical treatment, which consists of:

  • Fibrates
  • Statins
  • Omega-3