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Hyperlipidemia

Hyperlipidemia Basic

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How Do I Know If I Have Hyperlipidemia?

Jonina Balabis
3
June 2, 2021

When you go to the doctor to have blood work done, hyperlipidemia can be diagnosed. But what exactly is hyperlipidemia? We will help you make sense of it all here. 

Hyperlipidemia is where there is a high concentration of fat in the blood. These fats are important for various functions in the body. However, abnormal values can lead to health problems.

Lab values you see when determining hyperlipidemia are “Total Cholesterol,” “Triglycerides,” “High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)” and “Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL)”. Besides looking at the numbers, there are typically no common signs or symptoms of hyperlipidemia. 

The following lab abnormalities may be indicators for hyperlipidemia:

  • Elevated total cholesterol
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • Elevated LDL 
  • Low HDL 

These are the  range of values, provided by medlineplus.gov, that are normal for blood triglyceride levels:

For Men 20 Years or Older

For Women 20 Years or Older

Secondary causes like diabetes, obesity, kidney complications, obstructive liver disease, and hypothyroidism can cause hyperlipidemia. This can also increase the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. If blood triglycerides are exceptionally high, the risk of acute pancreatitis, inflammation in the pancreas, increases.

This may all sound scary, but don’t be too alarmed. Simple adjustments such as eating healthier, exercise, and reducing smoking and alcohol consumption can improve hyperlipidemia in a matter of months! Please talk to the dietitian in your care team to learn more about lifestyle changes.

For more details on what you can do to reduce your risks, check out this blog article.