Lipid Profile Testing

Medical science has developed lipid profile testing to determine a person’s risk of coronary heart disease. The tests that are taken make up a lipid panel test and they may include finding out the total cholesterol, the HDL cholesterol, the LDL cholesterol, and the triglycerides. The results will be based on the patient’s age, sex, and other risk factors such as whether he smokes and how much. The results will help medical professionals determine the treatment options for the person at risk. A plan is made up to help determine the best way to achieve good cholesterol levels through medication, exercise, and diet. There are two forms of lipids. One is cholesterol and the other triglycerides. Both of these are made in the liver and intestines or are in the food we eat in the form of fats. When the fats are digested by stomach, they go to the liver and are attached to carrier proteins. These proteins help the fat flow in the blood to the cells.
There are four kinds of these proteins and the fat that they carry. They are High Density Lipoproteins HDL, Low Density Lipoproteins LDL, Very Low Density Lipoproteins VLDL, and Intermediate Density Cholesterol IDL. When VLDL is sent to the liver, the substance carries triglycerides and cholesterol. Eventually, it discharges all its triglycerides and becomes LDL. LDL is considered the bad cholesterol because if the body doesn’t eat up all the LDL in the blood, then the substance attaches itself to the arteries, causing atherosclerosis. This eventually may result putting pressure on the heart as the muscle pumps harder to move the blood around the blockage, causing angina, pain, and perhaps even a heart attack. Or the arteries may become so blocked that this causes loss of blood to the brain, resulting in a stroke. The material that is deposited in the arteries causing blockage is called plaque. The lipid panel test determines how much of the patient’s cholesterol is LDL, which helps illuminate the risk factors for coronary disease. These problems do not usually have symptoms until the blockage is severe, which can result in a fatal heart attack. HDL is considered the good cholesterol because it can help remove the LDL from the blood and bring them back to the liver.

What lipid profile testing will tell a patient is what he needs to do to change his lifestyle to counteract disease progression. Two of the problems with lifestyle that lead to problems are having the wrong kind of diet and doing too little exercise. But having the right diet and doing the correct exercises are the basis for lowering cholesterol and living a healthy life. Foods to avoid are red meats, egg yolks, fried foods, coconut oil, butter, cheese, cream, milk, and chocolate. A heavy concentration of these foods will tip the lipid panel test to show more risk factors and a propensity toward coronary disease. Eating fiber will prevent these problems. Fiber can be found in fresh fruit, seeds, whole grains, and beans. Also, the way food is cooked will make a big difference in how bad it is for the body. If a food is baked or boiled, it will contain less fat. Fried foods contain higher levels of fat. Exercise should be undertaken for fifteen to twenty minutes per day. The best exercises to reduce coronary heart disease are jogging, walking, swimming, cycling, or aerobics. These exercises pump up the heart and strength the blood vessels, and reduce the risk factors for a heart attack.

The worst thing a person can do is to ignore or put off getting lipid profile testing because then he or she will never know the personal risk factors and will continue living the same way, perhaps leading up to a fatal heart attack or a stroke that debilitates. But having a lipid panel test done is a factor for long life and good living. Understanding one’s genetics is also essential to devising a lifestyle plan that will lead to a healthy future. If one’s ancestors had coronary disease, then that will be passed along in the gene pool. Some of the problem with heart attack or stroke may be the result of an ancestor’s lifestyle or diet, but these factors must be assessed when making up a treatment plan and a lifestyle change. Because this illness is a silent killer, waiting to find out how the risk factors affect the patient may be fatal.

Lipids are fatty substances that are formed in the liver. However, they are also found in foods high in saturated fats. We cannot live without some cholesterol, so we cannot completely eliminate it from our diet. It helps our cells function and helps form certain hormones. The male over 45 and the female over 55 may have higher levels on their lipid panel test. People who have diabetes, who smoke, have high blood pressure, or have a family history of heart disease are in need of lipid profile testing. Some people can have good diets and still come out poorly on these tests, so just assessing the diet is not a fail-safe result. But these exams can show how to manage diet and exercise, along with medication if needed, to lower the chances of having a heart attack or stroke.