Familial hypertriglyceridemia also known as hyperlipoproteinemia type 4, is one of many hyperlipoproteinemia disorders. Hyperlipoproteinemia disorders are characterized by the inability to break down lipids. Lipids are fat molecules. Familial hypertriglyceridemia is characterized by high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat. Fats play an important role helping our body work properly. Similar to how oil and water do not mix, triglycerides do not mix well with our blood.
Familial hypertriglyceridemia becomes noticeable at puberty or early adulthood. Individuals with familial hypertriglyceridemia have high levels of triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can lead to heart disease. Many people with familial hypertriglyceridemia experience no symptoms. For individuals who do experience symptoms, this includes obesity, high levels of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia) and high levels of insulin in the blood. The most common indicator of this condition is family history. Familial hypertriglyceridemia is a genetic condition caused by a change in a gene. Each person has two copies of every gene, one from mom and one from dad. Familial hypertriglyceridemia is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern which means only one mutation from one parent is inherited by a child in order to cause symptoms.
Familial hypertriglyceridemia can be diagnosed with a blood test and family history. The most common treatment is to make lifestyle changes. It is important that a person diagnosed with familial hypertriglyceridemia take special care in keeping their triglyceride levels low. This typically involves exercising regularly, eating a diet low in fat, and avoidance of alcohol. These lifestyle changes will help to minimize chances of developing diabetes and obesity.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with familial hypertriglyceridemia, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options.
Description Last Updated: Feb 25, 2018