High blood cholesterol is alarming as it is the risk factor for all coronary heart diseases, gallstone formation, arthrosclerosis and stroke. Each one of us has to keep cholesterol levels monitored and under recommended acceptable range to prevent all troublesome diseases that can become life threatening too. Everyone above 20 years of age must get their cholesterol levels checked.
Role And Significance Of Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat that is essential for life, when consumed in certain amount. Cholesterol is an important constituent that provides support and stability to outer membranes of all body cells. Cholesterol is measured in three forms, good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides.
LDL can impart harmful effects when consumed in a little more amounts by getting deposit in walls of blood vessels that may develop blood clots, causing heart attacks or stroke. To get the right balance of good cholesterol, bad cholesterol and triglycerides, cholesterol testing is significantly important and is the foremost step in maintaining cholesterol levels and reducing its associated risks.
Essential Analysis Performed By Cholesterol Testing
Fasting Blood Test For LDL And TG Check
A small amount of blood is drawn from the arm for testing cholesterol. Patient needs to be fasting for 9 to 12 hours, before the blood test. There should not be any food consumption, use of medications and beverages during this fast period. This is very important as amounts of triglycerides and LDL can only be appropriately analyzed, when nothing has been consumed recently.
In case, one has come for testing without fasting then, HDL and total cholesterol will only be estimated correctly and one need to come again fasting for estimating LDL and triglycerides levels.
Lipoprotein Profile For Determination Of LDL/HDL Ratio
Complete analysis of all lipoproteins, Low density lipoprotein (LDL), high density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglyceride levels will give a detailed profile of cholesterol levels. These all are measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dl).
For determination of treatment plan for high cholesterol levels, LDL and HDL values are more valuable as the LDL/HDL ratio will determine the extent of complexity of the situation. Each women above the age of 20 years should get her lipoprotein profile analyzed every five years, to keep any rising cholesterol levels under check and manage them well in time.
Interpretation Of Cholesterol Based On Health History
The correct interpretation of cholesterol levels is determined based on certain factors like family history, age, high blood pressure, smoking and alcohol consumption.
These risk factors may even pose a greater risk for cholesterol induced diseases, even when the levels are within the range, but slightly more towards the higher limit.
Frequent Cholesterol Testing For High Risk Women
More frequent cholesterol testing are needed for individuals who are at higher risk, owing to low HDL levels ranging below 50mg/dl in women or high total cholesterol range of 200mg/dl or more. Women of age above 50 years are considered at higher risks for increased cholesterol.
Those who are prone to risk of cardiovascular diseases or stroke should also performed cholesterol testing every year or earlier as advised by the doctor. Once cholesterol has reached high levels, it can still be managed and brought down to normal levels, but ensuring that requires repeated cholesterol testing.