Talk to my about my triglycerides

(I have no idea where to post this, so I’m shooting here. Maybe more MPSIMP)…

Talk to me about triglycerides. I don’t know what they are or why mine are so dumb-high.

I’ve been really working on my health since March. My father is dying of late-stage heart failure and I’m inheriting most of his bad genes, including fuck-off high blood pressure and cholesterol. In fact, I have some inherited hyper-cholesterol-ism that my doc says I will never diet away or outrun.

I did a blood workup in March, then a weight and BP check in back in April. Yesterday (June 8th) was my 2 month follow up/blood panel.

I’m down 16 lbs from April, and my cholesterol is down 54 points from March. My liver enzymes are normal (down from March) and in general, every aspect of my health improved dramatically since March. Even my sodium and other mineral levels fell back into the ideal range.

…but two things went up: My glucose was slightly higher, but my triglycerides jumped from like the 100-somethings to the 200 somethings (I can’t access my chart for exact numbers right now).

The doc called and said she was super happy with all my numbers and progress, and just suggested I cut out refined sugars, carbs and gluten from my diet to try to improve my triglycerides.

Here’s the problem: I’ve made all this progress and lost all this weight from eating low-carb. I don’t eat any pasta, grains, bread, sugars, not much fruit, very few nuts (for now)–I can’t for the life of me figure out what I have less to reduce to fix my triglycerides.

Do any of you have any advice or explanations? How much does alcohol factor in? What about SUGAR alcohols? Xylitol? Aspartame?

ETA: How narrow is the window to blast up or down your triglycerides? If I had very little sugar for weeks, then ate a chocolate the night before the test, would that blow up the reading?

I don’t know the how or why of it, but my triglyceride numbers turned around almost immediately after I cut gluten from my diet and started taking 4000 mgs of fish oil every day (two 2000 mg capsules 1125 EPA/875 DHA). My sugar levels rose a bit after going gluten free because all of the substitutes I experimented with were loaded with sugar. They dropped as soon as I started avoiding those gluten free products and just made a clean break from most baked goods.

How did you determine it was the gluten and not the fish oil?
I ask because after a very high triglyceride number blood work, probably caused by not fasting before it, my endocrinologist prescribed . . . fish oil.

Honestly, I don’t know what caused what. Less carbs in general and the fish oil are the two dietary changes I made that got me from red to green on my triglyceride numbers.

I also have triglyceride issues, and I have to take prescription Omega-3-acid ethyl esters. My doctor warned me that OTC fish oil capsules are very unreliable. My triglycerides are still higher than they should be, but not nearly what they were before taking Omega-3.

There isn’t much gluten in my diet, if that matters.

High triglycerides are sometimes seen as part of familial hypercholesterolemia syndromes. Dietary changes do not always help, sometimes the liver just produces too much. You might talk to your doctor about niacin, which is cheap and effective but has transient side effects similar to hot flashes which many dislike.

mrAru was on niacin for around 8 years, then he had to stop taking it because nothing would stop the hot flashes, even taking ‘vacations’ a few doses and bam, back to hot flashes.

He has the familial issue. Me? I drove my cardiologist nuts - I popped an amazingly high BP when I went in for a hysterectomy a decade ago, and it took the rest of the summer to tweak dosages of 4 different meds to get it down. My echo and stress test were fine - no occlusion, no thickening of the heart walls, nada - no indication of why it was happening [I still maintain it was neuro related, it happened the morning after the worst migrain of my life, if I had a gun on me I might have considered blowing my brains out it was that bad. ] I gave him a copy of my diet log when I told him I wasn’t on statins and he about flipped his gourd. I told him my primary said my numbers were good, and he told me “he had much higher standards” so I had him do bloodwork and I never heard about statins again. I eat [well portion controlled] red meat, whole milk, butter, full fat cheeses … everything that is absolutely wrong for one Being diabetic, I have been doing portion control since 1980, I can pretty much do portion control in my sleep.

The body is funky, I would say literally do something like a cardio version of a BRAT diet allergy test, figure out a bare bones basic menu plan that would be baseline, then start adding back foods until you discover what makes your numbers worsten, then avoid them. Do strict portion control, I know people who literally have measuring cups out when they portion, and if a portion of rice is 1/3 cup, that is how much goes on their plate. [I just had a can of pea soup that was theoretically 3 150 calorie servings. Only way those would have been a decent part of a meal is if it contained bread and salad … it was about a 2/3 cup serving. mrAru and I split it, with a nice salad and no bread for me, I opted for chips instead.]

Yeah I am interested in this discussion since I have stubborn high triglycerides, but my former doc did not recommend the fish oil. Maybe I will give it another go.

Alcohol apparently causes triglycerides to be high, but I don’t know in what quantity or frequency.

Just remember that most fish oil (like that sold at Costco) is crap. Most of it is the kind of oil that isn’t used by your body at all. Make sure it is 100% EPA and DHA.

That’s why my doctor insists that I take prescription Omega-3. I also eat a lot of salmon, which helps.

Well, as interesting as this thread has become, I don’t feel like I have any answers to my questions.

To be clear, I’m concerned because my weight went down (I’m down again today another 3 lbs–my first weigh in since the fully clothed dr office weigh-in) and my cholesterol went down but my triglycerides shot WAY UP. The lab put a note on my number that “this is indicative of pre-diabetes and should require a follow up test to confirm diagnosis.”

My doc’s PA called me to discuss the results and only mentioned them as being “slightly elevated,” but PRE DIABETES?! That’s scary.

It’s extra scary because I don’t eat refined sugar, fruit, or carbs. I can’t really cut much else out.

If xylitol affects it, then holy cow, I get it–I might eat a whole pack of sugar free gum at night to curb my sweet-tooth.

The lab’s note and the way my doctor is couching those numbers don’t jibe. Makes me nervous.

Yeah, the 200s are definitely only mildly elevated. Most of the time, very high triglycerides are genetic. although uncontrolled blood sugar and poor diet can have an effect on them. You really don’t run the risk of problems (usually pancreatitis) until you are in the 500 range. The highest I ever saw was 8000. The guy literally had pimple-like bumps all over his body that were composed of fat. They melted away completely when he was treated.