What are the signs and symptoms of dyslipidemia?


Quick Answer

Merck Manuals reports that dyslipidemia, which is an elevation in cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels, usually causes no symptoms, but it may lead to symptomatic artery problems such as coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease and stroke. High levels of triglycerides sometimes lead to pancreatitis. Some patients with high levels of LDL cholesterol experience yellow or orange bumps called xanthomas, which are build-ups of fat under the skin, states MedlinePlus.

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Full Answer

Dyslipidemia is diagnosed through a blood test. As of 2014, MedlinePlus states that general cholesterol targets include a total cholesterol of less than 200 mg/dL, LDL cholesterol between 70 and 130 mg/dL, HDL cholesterol of greater than 50 mg/dL, and triglycerides between 10 to 150 mg/dL. Lifestyle factors such as eating a high-fat diet and being overweight and physically inactive can contribute to high cholesterol levels. Health conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, pregnancy and thyroid problems can also lead to dyslipidemia. In addition, certain birth control medications, water pills, beta blockers and antidepressants can raise cholesterol levels.

MedlinePlus explains that patients can lower their cholesterol levels through simple lifestyle changes such as eating a diet low in fat, exercising regularly, quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. Depending on a patient's age and other medical conditions, a doctor may prescribe medication to treat dyslipidemia.

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