While cholesterol, a waxy substance, is important for proper functioning of the cells of your body, its high levels can cause a lot of harm. High cholesterol levels can cause hardening of your arteries and lead to a heart attack, apart from a host of other health conditions. Therefore, it is essential to lead a healthy lifestyle in order to keep the cholesterol levels in check.
Cholesterol screening should also be done regularly as a preventative health care measure. All healthy adults should get a cholesterol screening test done at least once in five years. People who have a family history of heart diseases, heart attacks, diabetes, blood pressure, and those with high levels should get the screening done more often as recommended by the doctor. It is quite an easy test and you can read more about its details in this article.
Steps For Cholesterol Screening Tests
Reasons For Doing Cholesterol Screening Tests
A cholesterol screening test is helpful in detecting high levels of cholesterol, which can lead to atherosclerosis and a subsequent heart attack. Checking the cholesterol levels regularly can help you to take preventive measures and correct the condition.
This screening test is also performed for determining lipid disorders and how well a person is responding to the treatment. Cholesterol screening test can also help determine the disease that is causing high cholesterol levels in a person.
Preparation For Cholesterol Screening Test
For best results, you should avoid having food and beverages twelve hours before the cholesterol screening test is to be performed. Alcohol should not be consumed before going in for the test.
Water is permitted during this period. Certain medications may interfere with the test results and should be avoided if you are going in for a cholesterol screening test. Discuss these factors with your doctor before going for the test.
Procedure For Cholesterol Screening Test
An elastic band is tied around your upper arm and cleaned with an antiseptic. It can also be collected from the hand. Blood is drawn from a vein by inserting a needle, and collected in a vial that is then sent for laboratory analysis.
The needle as well as the band are now removed, and the area is covered with a small bandage to prevent bleeding.
Meaning Of Cholesterol Screening Test Results
The cholesterol screening test measures your complete lipid profile, which includes total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Normal ranges are given, along with your test results, which help your doctor to determine your health condition.
Your doctor will study the results and advise you on what preventive measures you need to take if the levels are abnormally high.
When To Have A Cholesterol Screening Test
There are different opinions on this. Certain health organizations suggest people above 20 should undergo cholesterol screening tests every five years. Others recommend cholesterol screening test should be done based on risk factors and the age of an individual.
Even children in high risk category should undergo cholesterol screening tests when they are 2 years of age and should be tested every three years. Patients who already have high cholesterol problems need to take cholesterol screening test every two to six months as asked by the doctor.