What is hypertriglyceridemia?

As a hypertriglyceridemia (in technical language sensitive; otherwise also hypertriglyceridemia) is called a lipid metabolism disorder with increase triacylglycerides in the blood about the physiological value of 2 mmol / l (180 mg / dl) addition.

This increase can be genetic, so by deficiency of the enzyme lipoprotein lipase, apolipoprotein C2 or by decreased LDL-receptor density.

But also external causes are possible and take quite some time to importance. This may relate to: obesity (obesity), alcohol abuse, diabetes mellitus, gout, kidney disorders, glycogen storage diseases, Cushing's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus and in pregnancy.

Even when taking certain medications, including hormonal contraceptives, diuretics, and in the treatment with cortisol, beta-blockers, certain antivirals and isotretinoin (used to treat acne) can hypertriglyceridemia occur.


Hypertriglyceridemia is usually not associated with clinical symptoms, but leads to disease, namely, a slight acceleration of vascular aging (arteriosclerosis) and thus to an increased risk of cardiovascular sequelae. Here, however, the following factors are far more important: tobacco smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes mellitus and hypercholesterolemia.

In extreme increase a life-threatening acute pancreatitis may or may set in motion, only more cosmetically disturbing, in the skin lead to eruptive xanthomas.


Basically, the underlying causes need to be eliminated or treated. Frequently hypertriglyceridemia occurs in overweight and obesity in chronic alcohol abuse and diabetes mellitus. In these cases it may be useful as a weight loss in combination with physical activity or a waiver of alcohol. To reduce body weight a reduced-energy, lipid-lowering diet is recommended. Sugar and sugary foods such as sweets, candies and pastries should be avoided or at least severely limited, mainly because increased mono- and disaccharides hepatic VLDL-triglyceride synthesis. As an alternative to sugar sweeteners such as aspartame or saccharin may be used. Sugar substitutes on the other hand are not a viable option, as they raise them Triglyceridbildung again.

Also care should be taken on an adequate dietary fiber intake, because they in turn influence the VLDL-triglycerides positive. A high intake of white bread is thereby ideally replaced with fiber-rich whole grains. In addition, singly or multiply unsaturated fatty acids to be preferred over the saturated. If the hypertriglyceridemia is not successfully treated by these measures, a supportive drug treatment with nicotinic acid or fibrates may be required.

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