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Dyslipidemia is an imbalance of waxy, fat-like substances (lipids) in the blood. The body needs lipids in small amounts. Dyslipidemia often involves a high level of cholesterol or triglycerides, which are types of lipids.
There are two main types of dyslipidemia: primary and secondary. Primary dyslipidemia is caused by changes (mutations) in genes that are passed down through families (inherited). These mutations cause several types of dyslipidemia.
Secondary dyslipidemia may be caused by various risk factors that can lead to the disease, such as lifestyle choices and certain medical conditions.
In most cases, dyslipidemia does not usually cause any symptoms.
Very high triglyceride levels can cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
If your lipid profile is abnormal, your health care provider may do other blood tests.
Treatment depends on the type of dyslipidemia that you have and your other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Your health care provider will have a target range for your lipid levels based on this information.
If diet changes and exercise do not help you reach your goals, your health care provider may also prescribe medicine to lower lipids. The most commonly prescribed type of medicine lowers your LDL cholesterol (statin drug). If you have a high triglyceride level, your provider may prescribe another type of drug (fibrate) or an omega-3 fish oil supplement, or both.
Eating and drinking
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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