A visit to a doctor for general check-up will at times make it necessary to be equipped with the results of various medical tests that indicate health status. one of them is the lipid profile. This is a panel of blood tests that serves as an initial screening tool for abnormalities in lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides. The results of this test can identify certain genetic diseases and can determine approximate risks for cardiovascular disease, certain forms of pancreatitis and other diseases. lipid panels are ordered as part of a physical exam, along with other panels such as the complete blood count (CBC) and basic metabolic panel (BMP).
What the lipid profile helps determine is the cholesterol count. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. With high cholesterol you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. Sometimes, those deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.
High cholesterol can be inherited, but it’s often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, which make it preventable and treatable. A healthy diet, regular exercise and sometimes medication can help reduce high cholesterol. It has no symptoms. A blood test is the only way to detect if you have it. Ask your doctor if you should have a cholesterol test. Retesting for adults with no risk factors for heart disease is usually done every five years. If your test results aren’t within desirable ranges, your doctor might recommend more frequent measurements. Your doctor might also suggest more frequent tests if you have a family history of high cholesterol, heart disease or other risk factors such as smoking, diabetes or high blood pressure.
Cholesterol is carried through your blood, attached to proteins. This combination of proteins and cholesterol is called a lipoprotein. There are different types of cholesterol, based on what the lipoprotein carries. They are:
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