Hyperlipoproteinemia type 5
Type of disease: Rare conditions
Hyperlipoproteinemia type 5 (HLP type 5) is one of many hyperlipoproteinemia disorders. Hyperlipoproteinemia disorders are characterized by the inability to break down lipids. Lipids are fat molecules. HLP type 5 is characterized by high levels of certain fats, such as triglycerides and cholesterol. Fats play an important role helping our body work properly. Similar to how oil and water do not mix, triglycerides and cholesterol do not mix well with our blood. To help these fats travel through our blood, we have special proteins. These are called lipoproteins. One type of lipoprotein is a chylomicron. Chylomicrons help fats like triglycerides travel through our blood. VLDL is another lipoprotein. VLDL helps cholesterol travel through the blood.
Individuals with HLP type 5 have high levels of VLDL and chylomicrons. High levels of these lipoproteins are harmful. HLP type 5 is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Environmental factors can include alcohol intake, type 2 diabetes, the use of steroids or estrogen, and the use of other drugs. Symptoms or detectable high levels of lipoproteins occur in late childhood or in the early 20s.
Many people with HLP type 5 experience no symptoms. The disorder is commonly undetectable for decades until a heart condition or stroke develops. Noticeable symptoms of HLP type 5 are stomach pain, glucose intolerance, yellowish bumps on or just below the skin, and an inflamed pancreas.
HLP type 5 is diagnosed with a blood test. Sometimes, a doctor will use family history to help make a more accurate diagnosis. Treatment typically involves lifestyle changes and certain medications. Lifestyle changes include regularly exercising and eating a healthy diet that is low in fats. Avoiding alcoholic beverages is also important.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with hyperlipoproteinemia type 5, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options.