FCS and High Triglycerides

Foods high in fat and simple carbohydrates either contain or increase a type of fat called triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat or lipid in our bodies. After eating, triglycerides are packaged in structures called chylomicrons. These structures allow fats to travel through the bloodstream to be used as energy. An enzyme, lipoprotein lipase, breaks down chylomicrons so they can be used by the body for energy.

Normal triglyceride levels are <1.7 mmol/L or 150 mg/dL. People who have FCS are unable to process fats because lipoprotein lipase is missing or broken. This allows chylomicrons to accumulate and increase triglyceride levels. Sustained high triglyceride levels may increase the risk of pancreatitis. People with FCS have extremely high triglyceride levels that may rise up to 10 mmol/L or more even after medication and/or a low-fat diet. Hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides) is the third leading cause of pancreatitis.

FCS and High Triglycerides

Lipoprotein lipase breaks down bulky chylomicrons.

Without lipoprotein lipase, chylomicrons accumulate in the blood.

Other Causes of High Triglycerides

Many other conditions can cause high triglycerides. Your healthcare provider will ask questions about medications and lifestyle habits, such as:

  • Medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism and uncontrolled diabetes
  • Foods you consume, such as bacon, butter and almonds
  • Pregnancy
  • Commonly prescribed medications, such as estrogen, beta blockers and some medications for mental illnesses
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption