St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Triglyceride level

    Triacylglycerol test

    The triglyceride level is a laboratory test to measure the amount of triglycerides in your blood. Triglycerides are a type of fat.

    Your body makes some triglycerides. Triglycerides also come from the food you eat. Leftover calories are turned into triglycerides and stored in fat cells for later use. If you eat more calories than your body needs, your triglyceride level may be high.

    How the Test is Performed

    A blood sample is needed.

    How to Prepare for the Test

    You should not eat for 8 to 12 hours before the test.

    Alcohol and certain drugs may affect test results. Make sure your doctor knows what medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking certain medicines for a little while. Never stop taking any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

    Drugs that can increase triglyceride measurements include beta blockers, cholestyramine, colestipol, estrogens, protease inhibitors, retinoids, thiazide diuretics, certain antipsychotics, and birth control pills.

    Drugs that can decrease triglyceride measurements include ascorbic acid, asparaginase, clofibrate,fish oil, and statin medications.

    How the Test Will Feel

    When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.

    Why the Test is Performed

    The most important use of this test is to help estimate your LDL cholesterol. This test is also done to help determine your risk of developing heart disease. A high triglyceride level may lead to atherosclerosis, which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. A high triglyceride level may also cause inflammation of your pancreas.

    Persons with a high triglyceride level often have other conditions such as diabetes and obesity that also increase the chances of developing heart disease.

    The triglyceride level is usually included in a lipid panel or coronary risk profile.

    Normal Results

    • Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL
    • Borderline High: 150 - 199 mg/dL
    • High: 200 - 499 mg/dL
    • Very High: 500 mg/dL or above

    Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

    The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.

    What Abnormal Results Mean

    High triglyceride levels may be due to:

    • Cirrhosis or liver damage
    • Diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates
    • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
    • Nephrotic syndrome (a kidney disorder)
    • Poorly controlled diabetes

    Low triglyceride levels may be due to:

    • Low fat diet
    • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
    • Malabsorption syndrome (conditions in which the small intestine does not absorb fats well)
    • Malnutrition

    Risks

    Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another, and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others. Other risks may include:

    • Excessive bleeding
    • Fainting or feeling light-headed
    • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
    • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

    Considerations

    Pregnancy can interfere with test results.

    References

    Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults. Executive summary of the third report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) expert panel on detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). JAMA. 2001;285(19):2486-2497.

    Implications of recent clinical trials for the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines. Circulation. 2004 Jul 13; 110(2):227-39.

    Semenkovich CF. Disorders of lipid metabolism. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 213.

    BACK TO TOP

    • Cholesterol and triglyce...

      Animation

    • Blood test

      illustration

    • Cholesterol and triglyce...

      Animation

    • Blood test

      illustration

    A Closer Look

      Talking to your MD

        Self Care

          Tests for Triglyceride level

          Review Date: 6/3/2012

          Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
          adam.com

          A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


          Back  |  Top
          About Us
          Contact Us
          History
          Mission
          Locations & Directions
          Quality Reports
          Annual Reports
          Honors & Awards
          Community Health Needs
          Assessment

          Newsroom
          Services
          Brain & Spine
          Cancer
          Heart
          Maternity
          Orthopedics
          Pulmonary
          Sleep Medicine
          Urgent Care
          Women's Services
          All Services
          Patients & Visitors
          Locations & Directions
          Find a Physician
          Tour St. Luke's
          Patient & Visitor Information
          Contact Us
          Payment Options
          Financial Assistance
          Send a Card
          Mammogram Appointments
          Health Tools
          My Personal Health
          mystlukes
          Spirit of Women
          Health Information & Tools
          Clinical Trials
          Health Risk Assessments
          Employer Programs -
          Passport to Wellness

          Classes & Events
          Classes & Events
          Spirit of Women
          Donate & Volunteer
          Giving Opportunities
          Volunteer
          Physicians & Employees
          For Physicians
          Remote Access
          Medical Residency Information
          Pharmacy Residency Information
          Physician CPOE Training
          Careers
          Careers
          St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
          Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile