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How should my father bring down his high triglyceride level?

Q: I am a biomedical engineering graduate and want advice for my father who is a bank employee. He is 47 years old and weighs 70-75 kg. He worked in the Indian Air Force for 15 years. Now he is having a cholesterol problem. The reports say that triglycerides are 584. He is taking Losartas-HT tablet daily. Apart form this he complains about leg pain. I could see some foldings of blood vessel in his foot. He walks regularly for about 2 km. He smokes two cigars per day and never consumes liquor. He does not take non-vegetarian (not even egg). He lives away from the family where he takes rooms and visit us once a week. What should he do to bring his cholesterol to a normal level?

A:We as Indians are genetically predisposed to high triglyceride levels and as far as the genetic pre disposition is concerned, nothing can be done. However, environment plays a very important role in expression of this high triglyceride into a disease process. It is here that we can work wonders. Your father is over weight (75 Kg - though I do not know the height), and is also a smoker. So in the first place he must give up smoking totally and not even sit in company of smokers, as passive smoking is also bad for health. He should take regular exercises in form of brisk walk for 30 minutes every day. He must also regulate his diet and avoid fried and fatty foods. He can take fresh vegetables and fruits in plenty. The fibre content of diet should also be increased by taking brown bread, including husk in rice and taking chapatis made of whole grain wheat. Even stress relief by meditation and yoga has been shown to help in improving lipid profile. If despite all this, his triglyceride levels do not come down then you may have to take recourse to certain medications, which can be prescribed only after a consultation with a cardiologist. I would also suggest you to undergo a Thyroid Profile Check and an extended lipid profile check on your father.

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