A series of few tests are done to measure the amount of cholesterol and fats present in your blood. These tests involve the analysis of the quantitative presence of fats or cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipids and it is termed as lipid profile test. The presence of a certain amount of fats is vital for the health of the body cells. However, an excess of these fats is injurious for your health. Especially, when the accumulation these fats begin in the body, as it might even lead to a fatal condition of atherosclerosis. It can affect the normal function of the circulatory system and the heart. In this, arteries of heart muscles get affected causing a risk of heat failure and even stroke.
This test is also known sometimes as a lipid panel and contains the following individual tests:
- Total cholesterol test
- Bad cholesterol or the LDL test
- Good cholesterol or the HDL test
- Triglycerides test, and other sorts of fat causing hardening of the arteries
Why should I get a lipid profile done?
If you have any family history of heart diseases or stroke than you must get these done. Your doctor might also recommend you to get these tests done. Following are few risk factors which effects the lipid profiles and it becomes a must for a person to get the test done after regular intervals:
- High blood pressure
- Overweight or obesity issues
- Diabetes or pre-diabetes condition
- Lack of activity or exercise
- Unhealthy diet
- High levels of stress
- High levels of total cholesterol
Also, if you are already diagnosed with any sort of heart disease than it becomes essential for you to get a test done to check if the medication therapy is working for you or not.
Your doctor might also recommend getting the following tests done along with this profile:
- ECG or Electrocardiogram, in this test your heart’s electrical impulses are observed to see if it is beating at a normal rate or not
- Echocardiogram, in this test sound waves, are used to take pictures of your heart to depict its functioning
- Stress test, in this test you might have to exercise under ECG monitoring
- Cardiac catheterization. During this test, a healthcare provider inserts a tube in the blood vessels to inject the dye. Further X-rays are taken to look out for clogs in all the arteries of the heart.
- pressure test and blood sugar level is also tested at times as per need
The procedure of test:
In this test, a blood sample is taken via needle from the vein of your arm.
It has very minimal risks of bleeding, bruising, and infection. Sometimes a person might feel slight light headedness. After the needle prick, the pain or slight sting can be felt with slight soreness which goes away with time.
Before the test, no special preparation is required except overnight fasting. Also, you must share your drug history with the doctor, including whatever prescribed and over the counter medications or supplements you are taking.
Factors which can interfere with the test results:
Any sort of sickness, stress, diet, few medications, and smoking status etc.
Test results tend to vary because of factors like age, gender, disease history, health condition, and the method used for diagnosis etc. However, the test results do not significantly indicate a problem until the range is too high and clearly indicates a disease condition. You must consult your physician to understand the test results and its impact on a complete diagnosis of a disease.
Self-diagnosis is never recommended, however, to keep the levels in check regular health checkups are a must. After, the test results whenever in doubt about your condition you must simply contact your healthcare provider for a detailed discussion about the same.
Total cholesterol range in adults is below:
- Less than 200 mg/dL- Normal
- 200 to 239 mg/dL-Borderline high
- = or > 240 mg/dL- High
LDL cholesterol range in adults is below:
- <100 mg/dL – optimal range and can be an ideal target to reach for diabetic or heart disease people
- 100 to 129 mg/dL-Near optimal
- 130 to 159 mg/dL-Borderline high
- 160 to 189 mg/dL-High
- 190 mg/dL and higher-Very high
High levels of triglycerides are a clear indication of heart disease risks.
Below are the adult ranges:
- Less than 150 mg/dL-Normal
- 150 to 199 mg/dL-Borderline high
- 200 to 499 mg/dL-High
- Above 500 mg/dL-Very high
More are the numbers of test results than more is the risk of developing heart diseases.
As per your test results, your doctor will be able to decide if you require any sort of lifestyle changes or medications to decrease your raised levels. Age makes the test results variable for different individuals and so does for their health. Diabetic and hypertensive people are already more prone towards risks of developing high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The increase in levels let your doctor decide which medication should be given to treat that.
It is very important to keep monitoring your heart health via Lipid Profile to ensure early diagnosis of risks or disease. It not only helps us to combat the disease early but also gives us a mental satisfaction of having some sort of control over our tests. Yearly insurance health checkups are increasing with the tremendous increase in diseases. Further home lab testing and sample collection has made it more convenient and hassle-free. So do not delay and enroll yourself for a lipid profile test. It is best to be ready and aware in case you are prone towards a disease rather than not knowing at all.