What are triglycerides?

Triglycerides are fats found in your blood. They are a major source of energy.  They come from the foods we eat. High triglyceride levels are a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and pancreatitis. Triglyceride test results must be interpreted in the light of other test results, the reference range of the lab where the testing is done, your age, gender, symptoms, and health conditions.

It is more dangerous for women than for men to have high triglycerides. This test can be ordered as a package or individually with other tests to form your own package.  Testing is simple and easy.

Why test triglycerides?
Unless this is ordered as a retest or for a specific reason, we recommend ordering this as part of a health test.

Health check
Discover your risk factors for lifestyle diseases in time to do something about them.

Health history
You have an increased risk of heart problems or diabetes due to a family and personal history of high triglycerides, heart disease, or diabetes.

Lifestyle factors
You eat a poor diet, smoke, drink excess alcohol or take drugs.

Monitor changes to your blood values as you make lifestyle changes, supplement or undergo treatments.

What do the results mean?
Results have to be interpreted with consideration to other test results. Different labs have different reference ranges.

What causes low triglycerides?
Lower triglyceride levels tend to be associated with better health outcomes. Very low triglycerides can be associated with liver/biliary dysfunction, thyroid hyperfunction, autoimmune processes, and adrenal hyperfunction.

What causes high triglycerides?
A high triglyceride level is associated with poor dietary habits, excess alcohol consumption, genetics, and other diseases. High triglycerides are associated, among other things, with atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, poor metabolism and utilization of fats, early-stage diabetes, primary hypothyroidism, fatty liver, and metabolic syndrome.  

Extremely high triglycerides will need treatment, for which you will need to visit your doctor. We also recommend visiting a nutritional therapist, who can continue to work with you to make lifestyle and dietary changes.

More information
Diabetics with uncontrolled blood sugar may have very high triglycerides. Meals can dramatically change triglycerides, increasing 5 to 10 times compared with fasting levels just a few hours after eating. Levels vary daily and this is normal. Medications like corticosteroids, protease inhibitors for HIV, beta-blockers, and estrogens can increase blood triglyceride levels.  Non-fasting levels might provide a more representative figure.  However, as the interpretation of such results is not yet clear, fasting is still recommended prior to tests for lipid levels.


The day before
Do not eat or drink anything except water for at least 10 (preferably 12) hours before taking this test.

On the day
This test is ideally done in the early morning after an overnight fast. Do not forget to take your ID with you.

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