Cholesterol Home > High Triglyceride Symptoms

There are no high triglyceride symptoms; most people discover they have high triglycerides through a blood test. While there are no noticeable signs and symptoms, an excess of triglycerides in the blood increases the risk for developing heart disease or having a heart attack. High triglyceride levels can lead to conditions such as pancreatitis, fatty liver, and fat deposits under the skin.

High Triglyceride Signs and Symptoms: An Overview

High triglycerides do not cause symptoms, so many people are unaware that their triglyceride level is too high. Most people find out they have high triglycerides though a blood test, such as a lipid panel.

Impact of High Triglycerides

High triglycerides can increase your risk for developing certain medical conditions, including heart disease and heart attack. When triglycerides in the blood are high, they can build up on your artery walls (as can cholesterol and other debris). This buildup is called plaque. Over time, plaque can narrow the blood vessels; sometimes, this buildup may even block your blood vessels completely. Plaque buildup on your blood vessel walls is called atherosclerosis.
Nobody knows why this buildup happens, but a narrowed or blocked blood vessel can prevent blood from getting to where it needs to go. Without blood, tissues will die. For example, if the blocked vessel is in your brain, it can cause a stroke. Blockages can also occur in the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart muscle, called coronary arteries. This blockage process is called coronary heart disease, and it can lead to a heart attack.
Atherosclerosis can affect all of your organ systems; however, the organ most seriously affected by both high triglycerides and atherosclerosis is the heart.
For people with high triglycerides, the process of atherosclerosis occurs more quickly when HDL ("good" cholesterol) levels are low.
For people with very high levels of triglycerides in the blood (over 1,000 mg/dL), high triglycerides can also cause other conditions, including:
  • Xanthomas (fat deposits under the skin)
  • Fatty liver
  • Pancreatitis (an inflammation of the pancreas).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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