How effective are lifestyle changes in the management of hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels)?

Updated: Dec 19, 2019
  • Author: Mary Ellen T Sweeney, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Although the rare inherited disorders of severe hypertriglyceridemia require heroic restrictions in dietary fat, most elevated triglycerides can be controlled, at least partially, by a program of diet, exercise, and weight loss. Lifestyle modification can be more effective than a triglyceride-lowering medication if the habits are in need of intervention and the patient is willing and able to make significant changes. Therefore, prevention entails pursuing an active lifestyle with regular aerobic and toning exercise; adhering to a diet low in simple carbohydrates and alcohol and, if the triglycerides are well above 1000 mg/dL, low in fat; and maintaining a lean body habitus. These habits have the added benefit of reducing the probability of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension.


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