Triglycerides Test

Other names: TG; TRIG

The triglyceride test is part of the lipid profile; these tests are used to assess an individual’s risk of developing heart disease. Triglycerides are the stored form of fat; they are found mostly in adipose tissue but some triglycerides travel in the blood to provide fuel for muscle contraction. The concentration of triglycerides in the blood is higher after a meal.

Why is the test used?

The test is used to measure the levels of triglycerides in the blood; it is usually carried out as part of the lipid profile, which is used to assess an individual’s risk of developing heart disease. The triglyceride is particularly important for patients with diabetes, as triglyceride levels can soar if blood sugar levels are not properly controlled.

The lipid profile tests are usually recommended as a routine screening test to see if an individual is at high risk of developing heart disease; the test may be recommended for people who have risk factors for heart problems, including obesity, smoking, drinking, diabetes, poor diet, high blood pressure and family history of heart disease.

How is the test done?

The test is carried out by taking a sample of blood from a vein in the arm; a needle is inserted into the vein and the blood is drawn out and collected in a syringe. Once the sample has been collected, the blood will be bottled, labelled and sent off for testing.

The test is usually carried out in the morning after the patient has fasted overnight; this is because the levels of triglycerides increase after eating.

What do the test results show?

If the test results show that a patient has high fasting triglyceride levels, the doctor will usually ask them about their diet and lifestyle; in most cases, people with high triglyceride levels will also have high cholesterol levels, which will indicate a high risk of heart disease. If triglyceride levels are normal and other lipid profile tests are also normal, this does not indicate a high risk of heart disease.

High triglyceride levels may be caused by excessive drinking and a diet that is high in salt and fat.

Specific Blood Tests

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