What is a Cholesterol Test?

A complete cholesterol test, also known as a lipid panel or lipid profile, is a blood test that measures the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. The cholesterol test helps determine your risk of plaque formation in the arteries, which can block arteries throughout the body. However, high cholesterol levels do not show any signs or symptoms, so a cholesterol test is very important. High cholesterol level increases the chances of heart disease, stroke, and dyslipidemia. Corona patients are at high risk if they have high cholesterol levels. Frequent flyers who require to take an antigen fit to fly test should also regularly check their cholesterol levels. This will help them to monitor and manage their cholesterol levels and stay away from the red line. 

Why is the need for a cholesterol test?

High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. A complete cholesterol test is done to find out whether your cholesterol level is high or not and the possible risks of heart disease. During quarantine, it is not possible to go out for a blood test. Although your day 2 & 8 tests are negative, you will still require to complete a 10-day quarantine. In such conditions, a strict diet plan is the only way to keep cholesterol levels down. A complete cholesterol test is called a lipid panel or lipid profile, in which 4 types of fat are found in the blood. This includes Total cholesterol also. 

The blood contains High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol which is also called good cholesterol. This cholesterol helps to remove LDL cholesterol, which keeps the arteries open and keeps the blood flowing smoothly. Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol often known as bad cholesterol is dangerous.  Due to its high volume of blood, plaques start to form which obstruct blood flow. Sometimes these plaques break off and this can lead to a heart attack and stroke. Then there is Triglycerides. This is a kind of fat present in our blood. When you eat something, your body converts any calories without the help of triglycerides. The body keeps them as fat cells. High triglycerides are dangerous. People with high LDL and triglycerides should always check their cholesterol level along with the antigen fit to fly test before any air travel. 

Instructions for adults

Adults over the age of 18 who are at risk of developing heart disease should have a cholesterol check every 5 years. If your first test result is abnormal, you may need more tests. You can get your blood tested for cholesterol in any government approved lab. You are at higher risk of heart disease due to conditions like high cholesterol or family records of heart attack, being overweight, not being physically active, diabetes, and smoking. Men over 45 and women above the age of 55 are also at more risk. People who have had a stroke or heart attack in the past should have regular cholesterol tests to check the effectiveness of treatment. There may be pain or swelling at the point of syringe injection. 

How to prepare for Cholesterol Test?

Unlike an antigen fit to fly test where you just require an oral and nasal swab, a cholesterol test may require some preparation. In some cases, the doctor may ask you to do a test without eating anything. If you just want to get your HDL and total cholesterol level check, you can eat before the test. However, if you are having a complete lipid profile, you should avoid eating and drinking anything, except water, for 9 to 12 hours before the test. Before the test, you should tell the doctor if you have any symptoms or health problems you are experiencing. You should also discuss your family’s history of heart health. If you are taking any medicines, such as birth control pills, that raise cholesterol levels, your doctor may ask you to stop taking them before the test.

What happens during a Cholesterol Test?

A Cholesterol Test is a blood test, which you can do in the morning, as most of the tests require you to fast. Blood is taken from a vein in the arm.  After the cholesterol test, you need not take any special care. You can drive your car and go home and start your normal routine. If you didn’t eat anything before the test, bring some snacks to eat after the test. You will get the test results in a day or two. 

What do the results mean?

Cholesterol level is measured in milligrams (mg). It is measured per deciliter (dL) of blood. The ideal result for most adults is 

LDL: 70 to 130 mg/dL (This value should be as low as possible )

HDL: over 40 to 60 mg/dL (This value should be as high as possible )

Total cholesterol: less than 200 mg/dL (This value should be as low as possible )

Triglycerides: 10 to 150 mg/dL (This value should be as low as possible)

If your cholesterol level is higher than the normal range, you are at higher risk of heart disease, stroke and atherosclerosis. In such conditions, it is always advised not to travel for a longer period of time without consulting your doctor. Before travelling by air you should get your heart checked, take an antigen fit to fly test and also check your cholesterol levels.  If your results are abnormal, your doctor may ask you to test your blood glucose to check for diabetes. Your doctor may order a thyroid function test to determine whether your thyroid is underactive. Cholesterol test results can be inaccurate in some cases. Improper fasting, certain medications, human error, or some other reason can cause test results to be falsely negative or falsely positive. Testing both HDL and LDL cholesterol levels gives more accurate results than just testing LDL.

The normal range for a cholesterol test may vary depending on the lab and hospital. Only opt for govt approved labs. Please consult your doctor for any questions regarding the test results. This article does not recommend any medical advice or treatment. If you have any questions related to this, please consult your doctor for more information about it.

 

Disclaimer: www.medicinesonline.org.uk is a digital publisher and does not offer personal health or medical advice. If you face a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care centre. Before starting any nutrition, diet, exercise, fitness, medical or wellness program, you should consult your healthcare provider.