What does a lipid test indicate?
A lipid test depicts the amount of cholesterol and other essential lipids present in one’s blood. Cholesterol is necessary for the synthesis of bile acids, vitamin D and the formation of steroid hormones in our body. Although our body has an excellent mechanism to reduce the synthesis of additional cholesterol, sedentary lifestyles and numerous other factors such as escalating age can hamper the proper functioning of the body. Therefore, it becomes essential to get a lipid test done for leading a healthy life.
Measuring Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol levels differ with age, weight, and gender of the person being diagnosed. Total cholesterol indicates the amount of HDL and LDL present in the body. These are carriers of lipids (lipo) covered with proteins on their outer surface. These lipoproteins are responsible for distributing the cholesterol evenly throughout the body. Usually, there are three parameters for determining total cholesterol levels in one’s blood:
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL): It is termed as good cholesterol. Higher the level, the better it is for the body.
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): It is considered as bad cholesterol for the body and the doctor must be consulted immediately for remedy. Lower the level, the safer one is.
- Triglyceride: This is the most common type of fat residing in the body and is an essential parameter in measuring total cholesterol levels in the blood.
Understanding the results of Lipid test
On the basis of the blood sample taken, the total cholesterol level is determined, which includes an 80% weightage to both HDL level, LDL level, and a 20% weightage to triglycerides. If the total cholesterol expressed in a lipid test is less than 200 mg/dL, one can relax at ease. If it ranges between 200-239 mg/dL, it is still bearable, but if this level exceeds 239 mg/dL, it should be a matter of concern.
If your cholesterol levels are imbalanced, there is no doubt that you are at the risk of heart diseases. Cholesterol sticks to the inside of the arteries and forms a thick layer called plaque. The flow of blood decreases through coronary arteries because they may be constricted or even blocked. This condition may lead to cardiovascular diseases or even a stroke. This is commonly referred to as atherosclerosis.
What leads to high cholesterol levels?
- Family history of heart diseases
- Consumption of alcohol
- Those who have been diagnosed with diabetes or thyroid (Such individuals are recommended to get a lipid test done)
Before undergoing a lipid test near you, it is imperative to tell the doctor about one’s present intake of medicines.