Want to Know If Your are Eating To Much French Fries and Hamburger, Your Lipid Profile Will Tell You.
What is a lipid panel?
Your doctor has ordered a lipid panel or lipid profile for you, and you wonder what is the reason for the test. What exactly will the test tell him and you about your body? Simply, this blood test will check the status of your body’s fat metabolism, which is essential to determining your risk for heart problems. It will measure your fats and its other forms, also known as “lipoproteins.” If you are in active and/or eating to many french fries and hamburgers then it will show up in the results.
In particular, this laboratory test will give you the following values after your blood sample is taken:
o Total cholesterol– this is a rough measure of all the cholesterol and triglycerides you have in your bloodo Triglycerides– these are neutral fats in your blood and tissues, which may contribute to heart disorders. Abnormally high values are linked with conditions such as obesity and diabetes o Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) –contains the highestproportion of cholesterol, which is the culprit for the fatty deposits on the walls of blood vessels (the arteries), often resulting in heart disease; thus its alias, the “bad” cholesterolo High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – this helps ‘soak up’ excessive cholesterol stuck on the walls of blood vessels. HDL carries the excess bad cholesterol back to the liver where it is being broken down, and thereafter removed from the body in the bile. Because of its beneficial role in lowering the incidence of heart problems, this is called the “good” cholesterolo Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)– contains the highest proportion of triglycerides. Like LDL, it contributes to the deposit of cholesterol in the blood vessel walls, which is why it is also considered a type of “bad” cholesterol, especially in deranged amounts.
Factors affecting the Lipid Panel
The following elements may affect your lipid profile readings:
o Age– Cholesterol tends to elevate with age. Doctors recommend taking precautions early in life to prevent dangerous levels of cholesterol as you age. Many years of uncontrolled cholesterol can be fatal or trickier to treat. o Sex– Men typically have higher levels of cholesterol than women throughout life. However, women’s cholesterol values tend to increase, even more than their male counterparts, from menopause onwards.o Alcohol use– Moderate drinking, according to research, elevates “good” cholesterol. Heavy alcohol consumption, however, has an opposite effect, because it raises both triglyceride and cholesterol levels. o Smoking/ tobacco use– Cigarette or tobacco use is linked with adverse effects on the lipid panel, increasing the “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, while lowering the “good” cholesterol. o Exercise– Moderate physical activity has proven beneficial to improving high cholesterol levels; thereby, reducing the risk for heart problems. o Bodyweight– Weight loss among obese or overweight individuals is associated with reduced levels of “bad” cholesterol. o Ethnicity– This is also related to genetics, which may explain why Mexican Americans and Non-Hispanic blacks are more likely to have abnormal lipid and cholesterol levels that predispose to heart diseases. o Medications– A number of drugs and medication classes are reported to affect the lipid profile. Heart medications, hormones, drugs for psychiatric illnesses are known to negatively impact lipid readings.o Chronic disorders such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, obstructive liver disease, kidney disease– Common changes generally brought about by chronic illnesses include a decrease in blood levels of the “good” cholesterol and elevation of triglycerides.
Normal vs. Abnormal
The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends theguideline below to be used for the interpretation or management of cholesterol levels in the general adult population.
However, many experts, such as your physician, will not rely on this guideline entirely, but will consider other significant factors such as your gender, age, ethnicity, total cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking habits, and the presence of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, to determine the best possible therapy for you.
Very High Risk
< 200 mg/dl
< 150 mg/dl
60 mg/dl or higher
60 – 130 mg/dl
Preparations for Lipid Profile Testing
To know your cholesterol level, your doctor may order a lipid panel or lipid profile test for you through a blood test done in a clinic or laboratory, usually in the morning. This will require fasting from food or drinks (except water) for 12 hours before a sample from your blood is taken. Just take your usual diet pattern the night before, but be sure to avoid alcoholic drinks as this may affect your result.
How to Lower High Cholesterol
According to the National Institute of Health report, if your cholesterol levels have gone through the roof, the most effective way to improve your numbers is through therapeutic lifestyle changes. These changes may include the following:
o Participate in moderate aerobic exercise (e.g., lap swimming, cycling, or brisk walking) for 20 to 60 minutes daily, at least three to five times a week to increase your good cholesterol – the frequency and intensity of modification in your physical activity and lifestyle will depend on your initial fitness level. o If you are a smoker, the time to quit is now – smoking cessation can increase your good cholesterol by 15-20%.o Red wine can help – according to studies, moderate consumption of alcohol (one to two drinks per day), red wine in particular, can boost your good cholesterol.o Avocado, nuts, canola, and olive oil are cholesterol-friendly – these contain monounsaturated fats which have been shown to improve your good cholesterol, without increasing your bad cholesterol. o Avoid bakery items, processed foods, and snacks- these contain the deadly “trans fats” which are already being phased out in restaurants and processed food world-wide because of its harmful effects to vital organs of the body, especially the heart. o Take a diet rich in grains, vegetables, fruits, fish, and olive oil – the Mediterranean-style diet sustains the heart in optimum shape.o If you are a heavy alcohol drinker, seek help – too much alcohol in your system will bring you down, and trigger all sorts of complications in line with your high cholesterol figures. o Eat fatty fish – sardines, salmon, herring, mackerel, lake trout, albacore tuna are some of the healthy types of fish that have the essential omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial for you and your high lipids.