DEAR DOCTOR K: My recent cholesterol blood test came back pretty good, but my doctor said he was worried about my high triglyceride levels. What are triglycerides? Should I be worried, and what can I do about this?
DEAR READER: When doctors perform cholesterol blood tests, they actually test for LDL ("bad") cholesterol, HDL ("good") cholesterol, total cholesterol (a combination of good and bad cholesterol), as well as triglycerides --another type of fat. Levels of triglycerides that truly are high increase your risk for pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, as well as heart disease and stroke.