HEART HEALTH: Triglyderices and your heart - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

HEART HEALTH: Triglyderices and your heart


A cholesterol test measures a lot things. From the level of good, and bad, cholesterol, to triglycerides.

Matt Breen asks, "Just what are triglycerides?" Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology says, "As we have discussed it earlier, the cholesterol is the building block of the lining of all the cells in the body. We therefore need a mechanism take the cholesterol to and from the cells. Triglycerides are the basic form of the fatty acids in the blood before it becomes cholesterol. So if you have high triglyceride you may also have high cholesterol. It is not healthy to have high triglyceride levels. But the main goals of treatment of high cholesterol is primarily to reduce the bad cholesterol known as LDL."

Matt Breen, Reporting, "What is the best way to lower them?" Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology says, "Triglycerides are very responsive to diet and exercise. There are certain elements in the diet that increases the triglycerides and that includes ice-cream, butter, bread and nuts. So one easy way to get it down is to cut down or stop eating those items. They also respond to exercise and to can exercise yourself to better numbers. Usually by doing the diet and exercise you can normalize the numbers. One simple thing that also impacts the levels is fish oil. It is rare that I place my patients on any particular medication to lower the triglyceride. As mentioned the primary goal of using medication such as statins is to lower LDL the bad cholesterol not the triglyceride."

Matt Breen asks, "How does extreme cold affect the heart?" Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology says, "The cold does not affect the heart directly, but makes the heart beat faster and harder. If one has coronary artery disease with blocked arteries one may start to get chest pain because of that."

Matt Breen asks, "Should people with heart condition shovel snow?" Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology says, "People should do what they feel comfortable with. So if they are feeling well with physical activity, I don't see why shouldn't. The people who should avoid that kind of activity are bad coronary artery disease with multiple blocked vessels that are not opened, or bad heart failure. But outside it should be good for everyone else. The most important thing is to stop and go inside if you are experiencing chest pain or pressure. If the discomfort persists you should seek medical attention."

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