In Junior College I took a Nutrition course. When we got to the part about the various fats, the instructor explained the three main types: Monoglycerides, Diglycerides, and Triglycerides. Each is a Glycerin molecule linked to one or more strings of fatty acid. What I remembered, and what affected me most, was that Triglycerides are not easily processed in the digestive tract and generally go into the blood stream unchanged. There they can cause atherosclerosis, elevating the risk of heart attack and stroke. The instructor also told us that red meat contains the highest concentration of Triglycerides.
Given my family history of heart disease, I decided to give up eating red meat in hopes of decreasing my Triglyceride level and prolonging my life. Instead of beef and pork, I chose chicken and turkey.
Fifteen years after that decision (and I still avoid all red meats today), a routine blood test revealed elevated levels of Triglycerides. How could that be? I didn’t eat red meats. Alcohol consumption can also affect Triglyceride levels, but I don’t drink that much. Believing it to be a result of random fluctuations or a recent beverage, I didn’t give it any more thought.
However, the next time I had a blood draw and the number was even higher, my doctor advised that I start on a medication to control my Triglyceride level. Within a month or so, with the assistance of modern medicine, my level was high but within normal limits.
And so I did not give much more thought to my Triglyceride level until about a year ago when it began rising above the upper limit again. I asked my doctor if we could increase the dose of my medication but was told it wouldn’t have much of an effect.
I began to get concerned that my health might deteriorate if the Triglyceride level remained elevated. One possible option was to add a medication from the class known as Statins. Their main goal was to lower overall Cholesterol levels. However, one of the side-effects was an increase in Lactic Acid, which causes muscle pain, and I had reservations regarding that.
With major reservations, I gave a few of the Statin drugs a go, only to experience horrendous pain and drowsiness. It turns out there’s a reason for that, but I’ll go into that in an upcoming section.
Over the last year my Triglyceride levels have remained high. None of the physicians I have dealt with are worried about this, and the only person who seems concerned is me.