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Do High Triglyceride Levels Cause Dizziness?

By Lori Newell ; Updated August 14, 2017

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the bloodstream. When your levels get too high, you may be at a greater risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack or stroke. If you are concerned about your triglyceride level or are experiencing dizziness, speak with your physician, who can test your level and review any symptoms you have to make a proper diagnosis.

Triglycerides

Most of the fat in your body and in the foods you eat is in the form of triglycerides. Extra calories that you eat that are not used right away for energy are converted into triglycerides and taken to fat cells to be stored. A high triglyceride level is called hypertriglyceridemia, which can occur on its own or be due to another medical condition such as diabetes. When your level of triglycerides gets too high, you are at an increased risk of coronary artery disease, a symptom of which is dizziness. A general goal is to keep your triglyceride level at 150 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter of blood) or less, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Your physician can perform a simple blood test, which is the best way to know what your triglyceride level is. This blood test is often part of a routine exam that will test your cholesterol levels as well. Once your triglyceride level reaches 200 mg/dL or more, it is considered high. High triglyceride levels alone do not produce symptoms until they become exceedingly high; when that happens, it can result in the formation of nodules on the elbows or knees or the appearance of multiple, pimple-sized, yellowish skin eruptions, reports Johns Hopkins University.

Coronary Artery Disease

When the triglyceride level is excessive, plaque can build up along the blood vessel walls, causing a condition called coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease causes the blood vessels to become hard and narrow, and this can restrict blood flow to the heart and brain. Coronary artery disease can exist without causing any symptoms, or it can cause chest pain, trouble breathing and an irregular heartbeat.

If you are having difficulty breathing or your heart is not beating normally, you could experience dizzy spells. In some cases a heart attack is the only warning sign of coronary artery disease; the symptoms of a heart attack include chest, neck, back or shoulder pain; trouble breathing; dizziness; nausea; fatigue and sweating, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Treatment

Having regular checkups and triglyceride level checks are the best ways to prevent complications. Regular testing can catch a high triglyceride level in the early stages when lifestyle changes such as diet, weight loss and physical activity can bring your level down, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you have an underlying condition such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or kidney disease, it is important to control those conditions as well. In some cases medication to bring your triglyceride level down may be necessary to prevent serious illness.

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