There are several factors that affect the health of our heart. One of the major reasons is an increase in the levels of lipids that also include cholesterol in our blood. Lipids are fatty substances in the blood that work as a source of energy for our bodies. Both these lead to fat deposits in your artery walls increasing your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart diseases, or atherosclerosis. This is where a Lipid profile test comes in. Also known as a complete cholesterol test, lipid panel, or lipid profile, this test measures: Triglycerides: This is a blood fat and the excess of which is related to inflammation of the pancreas and heart diseases. Total cholesterol: The test of your lipid profile measure the levels of your overall cholesterol in your body. LDL Cholesterol: The Low-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol collects in your blood vessel and increases the risk of cardiovascular problems. HDL Cholesterol: This High-Density Cholesterol is known as the ‘good cholesterol’ and helps reduce the production of the “bad” cholesterol.
The world that we live in has propelled us towards several lifestyle alterations that have a direct impact on our cardiovascular health. If you fall into any of these categories, your doctor may advise a Lipid profile test. Some of these reasons, though modifiable, include: Insufficient physical activity levels due to lack of open spaces or long hours of office work. Obesity, which may be due to overconsumption of unhealthy foods or genetics. Smoking regularly. Overconsumption of alcohol. Improper sleep patterns. Regularly experiencing stress or anxiety. Consuming unhealthy fatty foods and sugary drinks regularly. There are other reasons that are beyond our control but have an equally adverse effect on our heart health and warrant a lipid profile to be done. These include: Having a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease. Diabetes Underactive thyroid gland Polycystic ovary syndrome Besides these reasons, a Lipid profile test may also be advised as a part of your routine physical examination. In fact, if you experience any of these above-mentioned conditions, you must proactively look for a cardiologist near me and seek advice on taking these tests. A Lipid test may be recommended to serve a variety of purposes such as: Screening you for a predisposition to heart diseases and to check if you fall in the borderline, intermediate, or high-risk category. Monitoring your previous abnormal results. Assessing your response to the treatment that you may be undergoing currently and if you need a change of treatment. Diagnosing other medical conditions.
Here are some indicators on when to get your Lipid profile test done: If you are a male of 45 years and above. If you are a female of 50 years and above. You are obese. Your eating habits mostly include high-calories foods and drinks. You are a habitual smoker. You consume alcohol more than 4 times a week. You lead a sedentary lifestyle and have low physical activity levels, If you have recently suffered a heart condition. You suffer from diabetes, PCOS, or hypertension. In case you fall in any of these categories, it is imperative that you get your Lipid profile test done every five years once you cross the age of 18 years. In cases of children having a family history of heart ailments, doctors may even advise kids to get a Lipid panel test done as early as nine years of age.
A Lipid profile test includes the following tests. We have included the specific indicators along with what each measure denotes: Cholesterol Test- Total: The complete cholesterol test measures the four main types of fats or lipids in your body. These include: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) High-density lipoprotein (HDL) Total cholesterol Triglycerides HDL Cholesterol Test: The HDL cholesterol test measures the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol in your blood. When your body has higher levels of HDL-C, it is associated with a lower risk of developing the artery-clogging plaque that is a contributor to heart diseases. LDL Cholesterol: The LDL cholesterol test measures the level of ‘bad’ cholesterol in your blood. When your body has high levels of LDL, it puts you at risk of cholesterol build-up in the arteries and may lead to strokes and heart attacks. LDL/HDL Ratio: This lipid profile test measures the ratio of the ‘good’ cholesterol to ‘bad’ cholesterol in your body. A higher ratio between the two indicates a higher risk of cardiovascular problems. Non-HDL Cholesterol: This lipid profile test measures your total cholesterol value minus the HDL cholesterol. This non-HDL cholesterol test gives a better indication of your predisposition to heart issues than the LDL cholesterol test. TC/HDL Cholesterol Test: This lipid panel test measures the ratio of cholesterol in your body. These values are arrived at by dividing the total cholesterol by your levels of HDL or the ‘good’ cholesterol. A higher TC/HDL ratio indicates a higher risk of cardiovascular problems. Triglycerides Test: The triglycerides test measures the level of these fats in your blood. A high level of these fats in the triglycerides test indicates a higher risk of heart issues. VLDL Cholesterol: This lipid panel test measures VLDL, which is a type of bad cholesterol that leads to a buildup on the walls of the arteries. High levels of VLDL indicate a higher predisposition to heart problems. Along with these Lipid profile tests, some of the following tests are also recommended that give you a better idea about your health and help in preventing cardiovascular issues. These include: Diabetes Screening (FBS, HBA1C): This test is recommended for people who have a history of heart diseases, obesity, or diabetes. This test includes the Glucose Fasting (FBS) test that determines the levels of glucose in the body and Glycosylated Haemoglobin (HbA1C), which is used to assess a person’s predisposition to diabetes and the average amount of glucose in the blood over the last two to three months. Thyroid Screening (T3, T4, TSH): This test checks for the levels of T3, T4, and TSH, which are extremely critical hormones when it comes to the optimum functioning of the body. The TSH test is done to screen for and diagnose disorders related to the thyroid gland. The T4 test detects the levels of thyroxine, also known as T4, in your blood. Severely high or low levels indicate the existence of thyroid disease. The T3 test is done to detect how well is the thyroid gland functioning. This test also helps ascertain if your thyroid treatment is giving you satisfactory results or if t needs to be altered. Liver Function Test (LFT): This test assesses the presence of harmful toxins in your body along with enzymes and proteins in your blood. This test looks for the levels of Albumin, Alanine Aminotransferase (SGPT), Albumin/ Globulin Ratio, Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP), Aspartate Aminotransferase (SGOT), Bilirubin Direct, Bilirubin Indirect, Bilirubin Total, Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT), Globulin, Protein Total, and SGPT/ SGOT Ratio. Kidney Function Test (KFT): This test is critical for assessing if your kidney is functioning optimally along with the production of vitamin D, Red Blood Cells, and hormones that are responsible for regulating your blood pressure. This test includes measuring your Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN), BUN/ Creatinine Ratio, Calcium, Chloride, Creatinine, Phosphorus Serum, Sodium, Uric Acid, Urea, and Urea/ Creatinine Ratio. Complete Haemogram (CBC+ESR): This test is essential to assess your susceptibility to various infections and diseases. It measures the levels of your Absolute Eosinophil Count, Absolute Neutrophil Count, Basophils, Eosinophils, Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), Haematocrit, Haemoglobin, Lymphocytes, Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin (MCH), Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration (MCHC), Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV), Mean Platelet Volume, Monocytes, Neutrophils, Platelet Count, Platelet Distribution Width, Red Cell Distribution Width, Total Leucocytes Count (WBC), Absolute Basophils Count, Absolute Lymphocytes Count, Absolute Monocyte Count, RDW-CV. Vitamin Screening Test: This test checks for the levels of Vitamin B12 and vitamin D in your body. Other important tests that you should get done include Anaemia Test and Ferritin Test
With the busy schedules that we all have, it becomes difficult to take out time to visit a clinic and get a Lipid test done. There are also reasons such as immobility or injury that prevent a person from stepping out for getting tests done. Thankfully, it is pretty simple to get a Lipid panel test done at home. Just follow these simple steps: Pick up a reliable diagnostic centre that offers Lipid panel test. Choose the test pack that meets your requirements. Schedule the Lipid profile test at a time convenient to you. Wait for the staff from the diagnostic centre to come and collect your samples from home. It is a simple blood test where blood is drawn from a vein in your arm. Schedule, track, and view your report containing Lipid profile test details either on email or the diagnostic centre’s website.
Here is how to prepare for your Lipid profile test: For Lipid profile test fasting is required. Lipid profile test fasting means that you don’t get to eat anything for a minimum of twelve to fourteen hours before the test. While you may drink clear water, you must abstain from drinking beverages like milk, tea, and coffee. Other things that are not allowed before a Lipid test include alcohol, strenuous exercise, or high-fat foods. In case you are on some medications, consult your doctor before getting the test done.
The results of your Lipid profile test depend on your health history, age, gender, etc. Here is how to interpret your test results and understand a normal lipid profile: Total cholesterol: Normal: Less than 200 mg/dL Borderline high: 200-239 mg/dL High: 240 mg/dL or above LDL Cholesterol: Optimal: Less than 100 mg/dL (this is for people with heart diseases or diabetes) Near optimal: 100-129 mg/dL Borderline high: 160-189 mg/dL Very high: 190 mg/dL or higher HDL Cholesterol: Higher than 40 mg/dL is considered to be good. Triglycerides: Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL Borderline high: 150-199 mg/dL High: 200-499 mg/dL Very high: Above 500 mg/dL If your results need attention, your doctor will recommend medications or lifestyle changes to bring you into the normal lipid profile range.
A Lipid profile test is a simple blood test that doesn’t pose any side effects or risks. However, some people who are sensitive to pain may experience slight pain, soreness, or a sting-like sensation. Some people may also experience bruising or a feeling of light-headedness.
Managing your lifestyle will ensure that you get great results on your lipid test. Here is what you can do: Eliminate foods with trans fats and saturated fats from your diet. Instead eat foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, monosaturated fats, soluble fibre, and proteins. Try supplements that include fish oil and fibre to enhance your heart health. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Exercise for at least 30 minutes five times a week. Or do vigorous aerobics for at least 20 minutes thrice a week. Quit smoking and drink alcohol in moderation. These have an instant impact on your blood pressure, blood circulation and heart rate. Maintain your optimum weight. Losing even a few kilos can make a great impact on your cholesterol levels. This can easily be achieved by exercising and watching your diet. If you experience stress or anxiety constantly, look for ways to calm down. You can opt for meditation, mindfulness, or yoga to help you feel happy and peaceful. In case you are on medications for heart issues, diabetes, PCOS, etc. stick to your medication schedule diligently to achieve good lipid profile test results the next time you are tested.
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