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"What does it mean to have high lipids?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat does it mean to have high lipids?


My doctor took some blood during a routine check-up and said my lipids are a little high, but then just moved on. I'm 26 years old and male. Is it okay to have high lipids in my blood? What does this mean?


Having high lipid levels means that you have a high amount of cholesterol and triglycerides circulating in your blood. Like cholesterol, triglycerides are a separate type of fat (lipid). If you regularly eat more calories than you can burn, your body convert those unused calories into triglycerides that are stored in fat cells, resulting in high triglycerides. Although having a high level of lipids does not cause you to feel bad at the moment, these fat substances can significantly increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease and a stroke. The process is like this. When there is a high level of lipids in your blood, a build-up of plaques on the walls of your arteries can make it harder for your blood to flow properly. This hardening of the arteries can eventually trigger a heart attack to strike. The American Heart Association recommends a healthy person to maintain an optimal triglyceride level of 100 mg/dL or lower and a cholesterol level of below 200 mg/dL. The best way to reduce your threat of high lipid levels is to limit the amount of foods that are high in lipids such as refined and processed foods. You can also lose weight through a healthy diet and exercise. You should work with your primary care doctor to get your lipid profile under control; he or she may ultimately prescribe medications to lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

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