Can Hypertriglyceridemia Lead to Pancreatitis?
Hypertriglyceridemia is a hereditary genetic defect. If one parent has the condition, the child will have it too. These people have an elevated level of triglycerides. When you eat more calories than you need, the body first stores them as triglycerides that circulate in your blood. Triglycerides are sent to the fat cells to be stored in case they are needed. Elevated triglycerides put people at higher risk for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and therefore at higher risk for heart attacks and strokes. Hypertriglyceridemia also increases the risk of developing pancreatitis which is inflammation of the pancreas. Hypertriglyceridemia is a sign that other possible conditions need to be monitored, such as stroke, heart disease, obesity, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and metabolic syndrome.
While hypertriglyceridemia is hereditary, there are steps you can take to reduce triglycerides. An overall healthy lifestyle is the best pancreatitis diet plan. Triglycerides foods to avoid include refined and sugary foods, dietary cholesterol, alcohol which raises triglycerides even when taken in small amounts, and trans-fats. Choose mono-saturated plant fats like olive, canola or peanut oils. Remember that plant products have no cholesterol but animal products have cholesterol and no fiber. You can also reduce hypertriglyceridemia by losing weight if you are overweight or obese and by getting more exercise on a regular basis. If you reduce calories, you will reduce your triglycerides. You should get 30 minutes of exercise almost every day. You don’t have to do all the exercise at one time. You could do 10 minutes three times a day! When you are watching television, why not stand up and march in place during the commercials? It’s a painless way to get those important exercise minutes done. If you have hypertriglyceridemia it is extremely important to monitor other high risk conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Your doctor might also prescribe statins to help manage this condition.