Cholesterol is being the serious problem because it forms a plaque and block or narrow arteries. This could further lead to heart disease or other serious health problems. To investigate and start treatment promptly, your health care provider will determine cholesterol test you must go through.
Why do you need to go through cholesterol test?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance present in every cell of your body. It is kind of a fact essential to keep your body in fine fettle. Your liver makes required cholesterol inside of the body. But some cholesterol you store from outside such as from packaged foods, meat, eggs, alcohol, etc.
If your body contains it in excess, it starts to build up “plaque” in the walls of arteries. Later, this plaque narrow or block the blood flow and eventually you turned out to be a heart patient.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t cause any sign or symptoms. Therefore, it is important to scrutinize cholesterol levels to estimate any risk of heart disease regularly. A complete cholesterol test is done to determine whether your cholesterol is high and estimate your risk of developing heart disease.
How does this test take place?
This test is also called a lipoprotein profile or lipoprotein analysis. You are not allowed to eat or drink (except water) for 9 to 12 hours and alcohol is strictly prohibited for 48 hours prior to your complete cholesterol test.
There are few things you must inform your doctor beforehand such as your family history of heart health, your own medical history if you are under any medications (particularly birth control pills) and if any other health problems.
A sample of your blood will examine different types of lipids or fats in your blood:
- Total cholesterol
- LDL (Low-density Lipoprotein)
- HDL (High-density Lipoprotein)
- VLDL (Very low-density Lipoprotein)
Though all above are prominent, first four are common. VLDL measurement is not easy, therefore it is most of the time estimated based on the triglycerides measurement.
What does it diagnose?
- Total cholesterol should be 200 mg/dL or less. More than 240 mg/dL is estimated as a high risk.
- LDL which commonly called as bad cholesterol is the main cause of plaque build up. Hence, the lower the number is better. As per the recent guidelines, it should be 70 to 130 mg/dL for adults depending on their health.
- HDL is also known as good cholesterol. Since it is good we need it more to keep arteries clear of LDL. Its good level is 60 mg/dL or higher. Less than 40 mg/dL raise the risk of heart attack.
- Triglycerides are stored in fat cells throughout the body which gives energy. A high number of it could be perilous to your heart. It should be 10 to 150 mg/dL.
Depending on age, race, gender, and certain health conditions, everyone should get their cholesterol checked regularly. It is guided; an adult above age 20 should get it done in four to six years.