Q. Can you please tell me…what are triglycerides, and how do they affect my health?

A. Triglycerides are a form of fat found in your blood. Calories from the food you eat that aren’t used right away convert into triglycerides which are then stored in your fat cells. If you eat more calories than you burn, you may have a high triglyceride level. A simple fasting blood test can measure your level.

High triglyceride levels are known to promote atherosclerosis and can worsen existing coronary artery disease. Physical activity and weight reduction are keys to keeping your triglycerides under control. If you have high triglycerides, it is especially important to control other coronary artery disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking. See your physician to check your triglyceride level and for other specific guidelines on how to lower your triglyceride level if it’s too high.

Andrew H. Fowler, M.D.

The Chattanooga Heart Institute

2051 Hamill Road

Suite 2000

Hixson, TN 37343