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What Causes High Triglycerides?

You may have heard people talking triglycerides, or your doctor may have even said that you have borderline or high triglycerides at your last appointment. But what causes high triglycerides? You should always consult your doctor for more detailed answers specific to you, of course, but here are some general causes of high triglycerides:

Habits & Conditions

Obesity, overeating (taking in more calories than you expend) and excessive alcohol consumption can all cause high triglycerides. You can change your diet, exercise and drinking habits to control triglyceride levels, but other conditions may require medical expertise. Undiagnosed or mismanaged diabetes can cause high triglycerides, as well as hypothyroidism and kidney disease.

Certain Medications

What causes high triglycerides besides the above conditions? Some common medications like estrogen, diuretics, steroids, beta-blockers, birth control pills and tamoxifen can all cause high triglycerides. If you suspect these are the causes of your high triglycerides you should talk with your doctor about possible alternatives.


High triglycerides can run in the family. This is sometimes accompanied by fatty deposits under the skin called xanthomas. As unfortunate as they may be, it can be worth speaking to your doctor about this to see if there is anything that can be done outside of the usual lifestyle changes.

What you can do to mitigate causes of high triglycerides:

If you haven't already, then you should quit smoking, limit drinking, and examine the amount of fats and sugars in your diet. If you need to lose weight, make it a point to do so. Although some causes of high triglycerides require medication to control, your doctor will probably ask you to try these tried and true methods of lowering triglycerides as well. And your body will thank you no matter what.