How to Lower Triglycerides
Some people may want to know how to lower triglycerides. To do this, it's usually best to start with dietary changes (such as limiting the amount of fat you eat). Losing weight and reducing (or stopping) alcohol consumption are other lifestyle changes that may help to lower your levels. If elevated triglyceride levels are the result of another condition that is not being treated (such as diabetes), then it's important to get such health issues under control. Medications used for reducing triglycerides include nicotinic acid, statins, and fibrates.
When test results come back indicating high triglycerides, the healthcare provider will first make sure that the person fasted prior to the test, because triglycerides increase following a meal. The healthcare provider may also recommend the person be retested. If the second fasting test also comes back high, the healthcare provider will consider several factors before recommending treatment. In addition to the triglyceride level, these factors may include a person's:
- HDL level
- Weight (if the person is overweight or obese)
- Type of diet
- Daily alcohol usage
- Other medical conditions
- Current medications.
The primary goal of high triglycerides treatment is to lower triglyceride levels enough to reduce the risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. For people with high triglycerides and low HDL, treatment will be more aggressive because both of these factors significantly increase a person's chance for heart disease.
Depending on a person's particular situation, steps to lower triglycerides can include:
- Switching medications that are known to cause high triglycerides
- Getting medical conditions under control.
Lifestyle changes may also be recommended, such as:
- Losing weight
- Changing your diet
- Reducing or stopping consumption of alcohol.
People with high triglycerides may also respond well to a fish or fish oil diet. For most people, these steps will lower triglycerides to a normal level. If you are unable to sufficiently lower your triglycerides using these methods, your healthcare provider may recommend medications.