The Lipid profile test is used to measure the total cholesterol levels in your body. The test determines the HDL (bad cholesterol), LDL (Good Cholesterol) and triglycerides present in your blood.
Before getting into the importance of the Lipid profile test and why it is essential, let’s have a brief understanding of the Cholesterol and about its impact on your body.
Cholesterol is an essential form of fat that is required by our body. It is a waxy substance, and the role of the controlled level of Cholesterol is very vital in our bodies.
They help in building the stable outer membrane of the body’s cells. Also, helpful to produce digestive bile acids in the intestine lets your body to produce vitamin D and enables your body to produce certain hormones.
However, a higher level of Cholesterol is also not good for our health. It could become a silent danger that puts you at danger zone and leads to several complications including stroke, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and clogging or hardening of your arteries.
There are three different forms of cholesterol, and each plays different roles. High total cholesterol, low good cholesterol, or high bad Cholesterol could increase the chances of heart disease.
In general, the Cholesterol is carried in the blood vessels attached with proteins called lipoproteins, which is again differentiated into low-density lipoprotein and high-density cholesterol.
Low-density lipoprotein: The low-density lipoprotein is considered to be bad Cholesterol as a high level of LDL could increase the risk of several cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis.
High – density cholesterol: In contrast, HDL is considered to be good Cholesterol as it protects your heart and eliminates the harmful bad Cholesterol.
Importance of Lipid Profile Test
A lipid profile test is usually done to determine your risk of heart disease. Several laboratories offer this test at affordable rates. Through this test, you could check if there are any risks of developing heart disease.
It is very crucial to maintain the right levels of lipid levels in your body to stay healthy. The lipid profile test results will be beneficial in creating a plan for reducing your risk of heart disease.
The Lipid profile test is a blood test that is performed to determine the risk level of a person’s cardiac disease. The blood is drawn from your body after fasting for 9 to 12 hours. This blood test helps you measure the total serum cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, serum triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol.
It is evident that a controlled level of Cholesterol is essential for everybody for a healthy life, but it’s very crucial for people with diabetes.
If a person has a high blood sugar level (Diabetes), then they should be more cautious about the high cholesterol level, because there is a high chance that diabetes leads to a medical condition called diabetic dyslipidemia.
This condition occurs due to high blood sugar level and high cholesterol levels, which will affect the overall health. Hence people with diabetes should undertake regular lipid profile tests as advised by your doctor.
What Do the lipid profile Test Results Mean?
Your blood test result represents how far you are from the risk of coronary heart diseases you’re your cholesterol levels are under normal range then your risk of heart disease is less whereas if your test results are abnormal or shows higher value then your doctor might suggest some remedies or ask you to follow specific diet to keep the cholesterol levels under control.
If required, your doctor might also advise checking for the blood glucose levels and thyroid, because these are also one of the factors affecting your cholesterol levels.
Lipid profile test often includes the following levels:
- Total Cholesterol – Should be below 200
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol – Should ideally be above 60, because this is considered to be good Cholesterol and plays a vital role in protecting your heart.
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol – Should be below 100, this is considered as bad Cholesterol and gets deposited in the arteries. The fat deposition might lead to several health issues including stroke and heart disease
- Triglycerides – It is one type of fat in your blood
- VLDL-C – Very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
- Non-HDL-C – This is your total cholesterol minus your HDL.
- Cholesterol/HDL ratio – This number should be under 150. This is a ratio of your total cholesterol to HDL.
In general, the cholesterol levels are measured in mg of Cholesterol per deciliter of blood. Below mentioned values are the typical ranges of cholesterol level.
Total Serum Cholesterol Level
Below 200 mg/dL – Healthy
Between 200 to 239 mg/dL – Border line
More than 240mg/dL – High
LDL Cholesterol Level
Below 100 mg/dL – Optimal level
Between 100 to 129 mg/dL – Above Optimal
Between 130-159 mg/dL – Borderline high
Between 160-189 mg/dL – High
190 mg/dL and above – Very High
HDL Cholesterol Level
Less than 40 mg/dL: A risk factor for heart disease
Between 40-59 mg/dL: Optimal, but can be higher
60 mg/dL & above: Reduced risk of heart disease.
From the table mentioned above, you can understand the standard level and high level of Cholesterol. Hence, now you can take the necessary actions based upon your results.
What you can do about abnormal lipid profile test levels:
There are no many things you should follow before taking any test. Based on patient history and circumstances, doctors may suggest some people fast before taking the blood test. In some cases, if you are only getting your HDL and total Cholesterol tested, then you may eat a little before the test. In case if you are prescribed to take the full lipid profile test, then it is better to avoid foods or drinks for 9 to 12 before the test.
You should also discuss a few things to your doctor before the lipid profile test:
• Health issue or symptoms you are experiencing
• Heart health and your family history regarding the coronary disease
• Supplements or the medications you are undertaking
Once you have got your reports in hand and find that the cholesterol levels are high. Now, what should you do to bring down the cholesterol level? The first thing is the change in your lifestyle and eating regimen.
By following this, you could bring down the LDL by 30%. You should reduce the saturated fat intake, which should be 7% of total calories or even less. Start consuming foods rich in omega 3 and fiber, intake of fiber-rich foods will make you feel full and avoid consuming more calories.
Further treatment and remedies (Lipid Profile test)
Obesity is also considered as one of the crucial factors for increasing the risk of heart disease, so you may be recommended by your doctor to cut down few pounds by exercising every day and reducing few calories from your eating regimen.
You can also be prescribed to take medications like statins to keep your LDL level under control.
Lifestyle and obesity is the leading cause of high Cholesterol.
However, if you are identified with high cholesterol, you don’t need to be scared, by making some lifestyle changes and taking medications you can bring down the LDL level.
Another way is to increase the LDL levels because this will reduce the HDL and avoid issues related to heart and blood vessels.
Here are some changes required in your lifestyle:
- 30 – 45 minutes of walking or moderate-intensity aerobic activity per day is recommended.
- Two hours of muscle-strengthening activities per week is recommended.
- Avoid taking alcohol and quit smoking
In some cases, your doctor may also suggest you “therapeutic lifestyle changes” or the TLC diet based on the patient’s history.
Under this diet plan, you should consume only 7 percent of saturated fat from your daily calories. Additionally, it also requires you to obtain around 200 mg of Cholesterol from your food each day.
- Maintain a well-balanced diet and stay away from high-fat and high-sodium foods
- Include a lot of vegetables, whole-grains, and fruits in your diet. Also, include low-fat dairy products
Some foods items support your digestive system to absorb less Cholesterol. Especially, foods that are rich in fiber like barley, oats, and other whole grains, fruits such as pears, apples, bananas, oranges, and vegetables such as okra and eggplant.
You can also include more beans and legumes like kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas in your diet.
Additional Information on Cholesterol:
- Cholesterol is essential for the human body to produce vitamin D, bile acid, and digesting food.
- It helps in producing sex hormones like progesterone, testosterone, aldosterone, and many others.
- It is one of the major components of cells and aids in building, protecting, and support the body cells.
- It is essential for neurological and brain development and is necessary for communication among the nerve cells.
- 25% of the body’s cholesterol is in the brain
To wrap it all, the high Cholesterol is very controllable. All you need to do is to follow your doctor’s prescription and follow strict lifestyle changes.
It may include exercise routine, changes to your diet, and other daily rituals.
In case if your doctor has suggested medications for lowering the cholesterol, then you should take it regularly until the required duration.
The more serious you are in making changes in your lifestyle and consider taking prescribed medications, the results will be better and can protect your heart.