Tuesday, 05 July 2016 07:06

Dyslipidaemia Summary

Jordan, our recent work experience student compiled this informative summary about dyslipidaemia and exercise.


Dyslipidaemia is the elevation of plasma cholesterol, triglycerides (TGs), or a low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level. It is possible that the cause may be genetic. Diagnosis is by measuring plasma levels of total cholesterol, TGs, and individual lipoproteins. Treatment involves dietary changes, exercise and lipid-lowering drugs.


What are Triglycerides?

They are a common type of fat which accounts for about 95% of all dietary fats. Meats and vegetables fats contain triglycerides. They are circulated through the bloodstream so they can be used as energy by the body. If there are leftover triglycerides they are stored as body fat to fuel the body in-between the replenishment of food.

Many people have high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridaemia) and this is caused when you eat more kilojoules than your body can burn. This will lead to obesity and higher levels of triglycerides travelling through the body which causes increased risk of health conditions such as heart dyslipidaemia.


What is Cholesterol?

Very similar to triglycerides, cholesterol is a fatty substance which travels around the body. Cholesterol is used for various metabolic processes including making some hormones and the building of cells. There are two variations of cholesterol, one is high density lipoprotein (HDL) and the other is low density lipoprotein (LDL). When LDL is raised it causes fatty plaques to form on the blood vessels and this restricts blood flow. To an extreme, complete blockage of a blood vessel it can cause life threatening conditions.


How to avoid the two?fat_in_blood.jpg

In many instances eating too much causes high triglycerides but on some occasion there are other triggers such as:

  • Poorly managed diabetes
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Some types of liver or kidney diseases
  • Some genetic disorders

Majority of the time they can be managed by simply adjusting some lifestyle habits. It is advised that you:

  • Eat less foods which contain high amounts of fat
  • Avoid high sugar foods (choose Low GI foods)
  • Cut back on alcohol consumption
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day
  • Don’t smoke.

For some people healthy eating and regular exercise doesn’t help. If this is the case you should see your doctor and they may prescribe you with the required medication.


What causes dyslipidaemia?

Dyslipidaemia may be caused by either primary or secondary causes. Primary causes include single or multiple gene mutations which result in either the over production or the defective clearance of Triglycerides and LDL, or underproduction or excessive clearance of HDL. Secondary causes include:

  • Alcohol overuse
  • A lifestyle with excessive processed food consumption
  • Drugs such as estrogen and progestin’s
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Anabolic steroids

(Adapted from Better Health Channel 2016)