What Can Affect My Cholesterol & Triglyceride Levels?
Participating in a wellness screening can give great insight into your overall health! Everyday factors like diet, medication, and stress can vary your lipid levels by as much as 10 percent. These factors might cause your test results to differ from a previous screening or appointment with your doctor.
After reviewing screening results, talk to your primary care physician to best understand what they mean for you.
- Nutrition: Your diet is a major factor in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Your body stores calories that aren’t used right away as triglycerides. These lipids circulate in the blood to provide energy for your muscles. However, your triglyceride levels can surge if you consume excess calories, particularly from foods high in fat and low in protein. Frequently consuming highly-saturated or trans fat foods can also raise your cholesterol levels.
- Medications: High cholesterol can be a side effect of certain drugs. This can be found with certain birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, estrogen, diuretics, beta-blockers, anabolic steroids, antiviral therapy, immunosuppressants, anticonvulsants, growth hormones, and some medications used to treat depression.
- Medical Conditions: Some people have high lipid levels due to an inherited disorder. This might be caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, hypothyroidism, alcoholism, kidney disease, and liver disease.
- Stress: Studies suggest that high levels of stress can cause high levels of cholesterol.
- Sleep Habits: Studies have linked short-term sleep deprivation with several well-known risk factors for heart disease, including higher cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Alcohol: Moderate to heavy drinking is typically associated with higher levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, spirits, mixed drinks, wine coolers, and alcoholic coffee drinks can significantly raise triglyceride levels.
- Smoking: Smoking does not cause higher cholesterol levels, but it can reduce good cholesterol (HDL) which breaks down the bad cholesterol (LDL).
- A Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity and movement can contribute to high cholesterol levels.