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What Are My Options for Treating High Triglycerides?

Having high triglycerides puts you at risk for developing heart disease. The treatment that is best for you depends on what caused your triglycerides to be high and how high your level is. For anyone who has a triglyceride level higher than 150 mg/dL, the first step is usually to take action to make sure your LDL - the bad cholesterol - is in the desired range. These are the other actions your doctor may take.

If your level is borderline high, that means that it is between 150 and 199 mg/dL. Your doctor is likely to talk with you about losing weight and exercising more.

If your level is high, that means that it is 200 mg/dL or higher. You have increased risk for heart disease. Your doctor will most likely talk with you about losing weight and exercising more. Depending on your risk factors, your doctor may also recommend that you take medicine to lower your cholesterol levels if needed.

If your level is very high, that means it is 500 mg/dL or higher. In these cases, your doctor needs to take action to prevent pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pancreas. You will need to follow a low-fat diet, with 25% of your calories coming from fat. You will also need to lose weight and exercise more. Most likely, you will also need to take a medicine to help lower your triglycerides. Your doctor will test your levels repeatedly until they are less than 500 mg/dL, and even then, you will need to continue taking action to keep your triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in a healthy range.