Hypertriglyceridemia | Causes & Treatment | MedStar Health

High level of fat in the blood that can increase your risk for heart disease

Triglycerides are a type of fat, or lipid, in your blood that stores the energy from food you eat. Hypertriglyceridemia occurs if you have a higher-than-normal amount of triglycerides in your blood. Eating foods that contain extra fat, carbohydrates, or simple sugars can increase your triglyceride level.

If left untreated, hypertriglyceridemia can cause pancreatitis. It also can cause stiffness of your arteries, which can increase your risk for stroke, heart attack  or heart disease.

What causes hypertriglyceridemia?

The types of food you consume affect your triglyceride level, and it will be higher after a meal. A high triglyceride level can be the result of:

  • Consuming extra calories and saturated fats

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Lack of exercise

  • Side effect of medication

  • Sugary and refined foods

Hypertriglyceridemia can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as:


Your doctor most likely will diagnose or monitor your hypertriglyceridemia with a blood test.


Treatment of hypertriglyceridemia will likely include lifestyle changes, dietary limits and, if necessary, medication.

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