Familial Hypertriglyceridemia: Definition, Symptoms, Diagnosis

High triglycerides can have many causes, including weight, diet, and other factors. It can also be caused by genetics. When it’s an inherited condition, it’s known as familial hypertriglyceridemia.

Triglycerides are a type of waxy fat that’s found in your blood. Your body makes triglycerides and you also get it from the food you eat. When you eat, any extra calories and sugar that you don’t need at the time is converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells. Later on, when you need energy, hormones will release the stored triglycerides.

You need a certain amount of triglycerides for energy, but having a level that’s too high can put you at risk for a variety of health issues.

In this article, we’ll look at high triglycerides caused by genetic factors, how this condition is diagnosed and treated, and how to lower your risk of complications.

Hypertriglyceridemia (or high triglycerides) results from overproduction of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), which causes more triglycerides in the blood.

There are many potential causes of high triglycerides. Familial hypertriglyceridemia is specifically caused by genetics and is passed down in families. But other factors can influence the severity of your high triglycerides, such as your:

There are two types of hypertriglyceridemia:

  • one type involves your liver making too much VLDL
  • the other type involves your liver making a normal amount of VLDL which your body can’t break down

Familial hypertriglyceridemia is estimated to affect approximately 1 in every 500 people in the United States.

Familial hypertriglyceridemia usually doesn’t cause symptoms unless it’s severe enough to lead to another health condition.

Because it usually doesn’t cause symptoms, it’s especially important to know your family history.

Your family history

To understand your risk factor for familial hypertriglyceridemia, it’s important to know if one or more people in

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