What Causes a Lipid Profile to Exceed the Normal Range?


Quick Answer

Diets rich in saturated fats and trans-fatty acids, smoking, insufficient workout and diseases are the primary causes of an abnormal lipid profile, according to Healthline. A lipid profile, which is determined through a blood test, measures cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

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Full Answer

Cholesterol in the body is classified into two types: high-density lipoprotein, or HLD and low-density lipoprotein, or LDL. HDL is commonly referred to as good cholesterol because it aids in the removal of LDL, also called bad cholesterol, from the arteries. A buildup of LDL in the arteries hinders blood circulation. Triglycerides are typically stored in fat cells to provide usable energy for the cells. However, excessive levels of these fatty compounds can lead to hypertriglyceridemia, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Triglyceride levels are directly correlated to cholesterol levels.

Dairy products, such as cheese, milk and butter, contain saturated fats while peanut butter, potato chips and margarine are rich in trans-fatty acids. These types of foods cause a spike in LDL levels and reduce HDL levels. Abnormally high LDL levels are in the range of 160 to 189 mg/dL. Abnormally low HDL levels, meanwhile, are in the range of 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women. When these results show in a lipid profile, the risk of acquiring cardiovascular diseases is potentially high. Medical conditions, including diabetes and hypothyroidism, are also associated with high blood cholesterol, which in turn triggers an increase in triglycerides. Abnormally high triglyceride levels are in the range of 200 to 499 mg/dL.

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