Familial Hypertriglyceridemia

Familial hypertriglyceridemia is a common disorder passed down through families in which the levels of triglycerides in a person’s blood are higher than normal. This condition is not associated with a significant increase in cholesterol levels. Recently I had the opportunity to assist in the treatment of a patient who suffered from familial hypertriglyceridemia. I’m glad I had the opportunity to take part in this case because I really learned a lot from this patient, his conditions, and how all of the components in life can affect the rest of your life and health.

The patient was a male, 39 years of age, and was suffering from hypertriglyceridemia. His condition was also exacerbated by his weight, insulin resistance, and alcohol consumption. The patient’s peripheral vascular disease raised suspicion for familial dysbetalipoproteinema. The gentleman was a non-traditional student at a nearby college, majoring in mechanical engineering. He was also married with two daughters. The patient was the main food preparer in the household and was open and willing to learn new ways of cooking (low-fat) for his family.

Here were the patient’s labs values:
Cholesterol: 254 mg/dl (160-200: normal)
TGs: 1029 mg/dl (35-160: normal)
Glucose: 127 mg/dl (70-109: normal)
HDL: 36.3 mg/dl (40-60: normal)

I’ve noticed it’s always important to put the normal range for each lab value because different facilities/healthcare agencies could have different normal ranges, depending on their measuring tools.

The patient’s typical diet consisted of:
Breakfast:
– Once a week
– Breakfast sandwich
– Danish (sometimes)
– Coffee
Lunch:
– 12p-1pm
– Leftovers- dinner
– Salad- chicken, shredded cheese, Ranch/Italian dressing)
– Sandwich- turkey/ham, wheat/rye bread –or- Chicken hoagie with mustard
Dinner:
– Lean chicken breast (grilled/baked)
– Olive oil
– Bread crumbs
– Vegetables (variety)
– Shredded cheese (Mozzarella or cheddar)
Bedtime Snack:
– Pretzels

So after speaking with the patient, learning his diet habits, and hearing about his lifestyle factors, as well as other miscellaneous habits, we developed a few goals for him to strive for.
Goal 1: The patient mentioned that he drinks 2-3 cans of soda a week. So, we asked if he can cut that out of his diet. And he said he could.
Goal 2: The patient mentioned that he’s very tech savvy so we asked if he could keep a food log on through a Smart phone application. And he said he could.

We also gave the patient education materials on:
– Dean Ornish program
– Nutrition Therapy for high TG levels
– High TG Meal Tips
– Fat-Restricted Diet

It was clear to me that the patient was at risk for developing pancreatitis from the amount of pressure that his pancreas was experiencing from the fat in his diet. So, to avoid this, we recommended that the patient restrict his fat intake to 15% of his daily energy intake. This is a good starting point for this patient. This way we can work together to get his fat (and protein) levels down and take those important baby steps towards decreasing his fat intake even more, hopefully, in the future.
10

Cancer of the Sigmoid Colon

The sigmoid colon is the terminal section of your large intestines that attaches to the rectum and anus — a sigmoid colectomy is a surgical procedure in which the sigmoid colon is resected. During this procedure, the sigmoid colon is removed and the remaining large intestine is then reattached to the rectum. After the procedure, patients will need to eat certain foods to allow the intestines to heal, as well as to prevent gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhea, constipation and excessive gas.

Patients should follow a low-fiber diet for about six weeks after discharged from the hospital. A low-fiber diet is imperative for post-colectomy patients to decrease the risk of trauma to the intestines and promote healing. After six weeks, slowly introduce fiber back into your diet. Patients can then increase fiber intake by only one serving each day, until they are able to tolerate 20 grams to 35 grams per day, or about five servings. Patients should be sure to drink plenty of water while increasing your fiber. Fiber can be constipating when not complemented with adequate water.

I recently led a follow-up appointment with a patient who was on his third chemotherapy treatment and recovering from a sigmoid colectomy. The patient consistently lost 14 pounds over the last 6 months but gained 10 pounds since his last appointment, which was last month. But, the patient reported that he was slowly gaining his appetite back but could not tolerate smells like he used to. On the SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, plan) note I developed, I indicated that I educated the patient on the importance of keeping his weight up and maintaining that weight as well. It’s important for patients to maintain their weight after major surgeries like a sigmoid colectomy, in addition to cancer treatment. The stronger the state that the body is in, the more tolerable it will be towards the treatment of cancer. The patient is currently prescribed a vanilla-flavored supplement from the facility and reported that he couldn’t tolerate the taste of it sometimes. So, I educated him on different ways to make his supplement taste better like adding chopped strawberries to his supplement. We talked about what foods he could eat and how we were going to make sure that the patient listens to his body. By listening to his body, I mean if a patient can tolerate a certain food on a Monday- then eat it. But if he can’t tolerate that same food on Tuesday- try something different. The patient reported that he “forces himself to eat”, which is good for patients going through chemotherapy. A number of patients that are going through chemotherapy become easily frustrated. But, RDs are there to remind them that they need to fight through the frustration and aggravation of their senses (taste and smell specifically) changing.

Livestrong

This is an image of a normal colon

This is an image of a normal colon

This is an image before a sigmoid colectomy and highlights the area that will be removed.

This is an image before a sigmoid colectomy and highlights the area that will be removed.

This is an image of how the colon looks after surgery and the shows the section where surgeons re-connected.

This is an image of how the colon looks after surgery and shows the section where surgeons re-connected.