A lipid panel is a test that is conducted to measures fats and fatty substances which are the source of energy in the body. Lipids include cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Lipids are present in our blood and they are stored in our tissues. Lipid disorders, such as high cholesterol, may cause life-threatening diseases, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack or stroke.
Our Doctor may ask for a lipid panel test and use the results to prevent, check and diagnose a medical condition. You have to take certain precautions for preparing for a lipid panel, you have to avoid eating 10 to 12 hours before the blood test. Do not drink liquids other than water. The panel measures:
Total cholesterol level: Knowing cholesterol levels is an essential part of understanding the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association suggested that everyone who has passed the 20 years should get a cholesterol test. Cholesterol is a type of fat that is not bad but it can have harmful effects if it is present in excessive quantity. A result of 200 mg per deciliter (mg/dL) or less is viewed normal, 201 to 240 mg/dL is considered mild and greater than 240 mg/dL is considered high.
Triglyceride level: High triglycerides (over 150 mg/dL) can harm our heart and raised the risk of heart disease
HDL cholesterol level: This is the beneficial or good cholesterol so the more HDL there is, the better. An HDL result of 60 mg/dL or higher is good as it protects us from heart disease. HDL between 40 and 59 mg/dL is acceptable and less than 40 mg/dL HDL is low, it is fatal and increases the risk of heart disease.
LDL cholesterol level: This is the bad cholesterol; this can deposit in our blood vessel walls. LDL cholesterol and other substances blog arteries can then cause sudden blood clots, causing heart attacks. For LDL, lower is better. An LDL of less than 100 mg/dL is good. An LDL of 100 to 129 mg/dL is mild. LDL between 130 and 159 mg/dL is moderately high. LDL cholesterol over 159 mg/dL is considered very high and may cause several diseases.
If lipid test results are not desirable, the Doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to minimize heart disease risk,
Diet. low in saturated fat and cholesterol can lower LDL cholesterol. Including fiber and plant sterols helps as well.
Exercise. Regular aerobic exercise can lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
Medication. If a good diet and proper exercise don’t reduce the cholesterol levels to goal, medical treatment also is required.
For patients with normal lipid results, it is recommended to have lipid testing every year. Those with abnormal test results or those with other risk factors such as diabetes or hypertension will need more frequent lipid testing.