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What causes lipemic serum?

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Quick Answer

Lipemic serum, which is a surplus of fats in the blood, is caused by a rise in chylomicrons after a meal high in fat, according to Capital Health. Chylomicrons are small globules that transport fat from the intestine to the liver and then to fat tissue, states MedicineNet.

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Full Answer

Lipemia can make the blood look milky after a high-fat meal due to a concentration of chylomicrons. Doctors order a blood test called a lipid profile to be taken after the patient has fasted for 9 to 12 hours, which eliminates the effects of a recent meal on blood lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides. Chronically high fat levels in the blood can raise the risk of heart disease or be a sign of metabolic syndrome, according to WebMD. High blood levels of triglycerides can be caused by obesity, poorly-managed diabetes, under-active thyroid, kidney disease, eating more calories than the body can burn or over-consumption of alcohol. Some medications can raise serum lipid levels, including tamoxifen, beta blockers, steroids, diuretics, estrogen and birth control pills. High triglycerides can be controlled by making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, limiting dietary fats and sugars, becoming more active, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake, states WebMD.

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