What Does This Shift Mean
Everyone wins with this change. People dont like to fast overnight. Some find it difficult to do, others are even harmed by it, such as those who faint from fasting and people with diabetes who take medications to lower blood sugar. The new recommendation means you can have your blood drawn when its most convenient for you, rather than early in the day.
What Happens During A Cholesterol Test
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
Cholesterol tests are usually done in the morning, as you may be asked to refrain from eating for several hours prior to the test.
You may also be able to use an at-home kit to test for cholesterol. While instructions may vary between brands, your kit will include some kind of device to prick your finger. Youll use this device to collect a drop of blood for testing. Be sure to follow the kit instructions carefully.
Also, be sure to tell your health care provider if your at-home test results shown your cholesterol level is higher than 200 mg/dl.
How Do I Prepare For The Test
You may need to not eat or drink anything but water for 12 to 14 hours before this test. In addition, be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don’t need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.
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Why Exercise Is Effective At Lowering Cholesterol
Cholesterol is one of the fatty substances we have circulating in our blood. If we have too much, it can stick to the inside walls of our arteries, narrowing them and increasing risk of cardiovascular disease.
Its not only the amount of cholesterol in the blood that affects our risk, though. Other factors play a part. One of these is the type of protein that carries the cholesterol through the body. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is more likely to cause problems. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol protects the body from cholesterol buildup.
Exercise helps increase levels of HDL good cholesterol. Researchers reported on this in Lipids in Health and Disease. Physically active women had significantly higher levels of HDL cholesterol than sedentary women. Another study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology found similar results. In men with belly fat, regular endurance exercise increased HDL good cholesterol levels.
Exercise may even change the nature of our cholesterol. In 2002, researchers from Duke University Medical Center found that exercise improved the number and size of the particles carrying cholesterol through the body. Those who exercised more had larger, fluffier particles that were less likely to clog arteries.
Obesity Or High Body Weight
Obesity is another health issue that affects the results of various blood tests.
For example, obese men have greater BMI, and they usually have lower PSA concentrations. That’s because obese men usually have a larger blood volume where PSA can get diluted. As a result, a prostate test can return false PSA results which affect the diagnosis set by the doctor.
Similarly, obesity can also affect the results of rheumatoid arthritis tests. During those tests, various inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate are checked to detect the level of inflammation in the body.
Some studies show that obese people tend to have higher levels of ESR and CRP in their bodies, and this can interfere with the results, leading to false diagnosis.
Another blood test that can be affected by body weight is creatinine . This test result may be artificially elevated in people with higher body weight or lean mass.;Cystatin C may be a better indicator of kidney function in those patients.
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How Much Will It Help
Just how much of an effect exercise has on cholesterol is also a matter of debate. “We’ve found that the people who benefit the most are those who had the worst diet and exercise habits to begin with,” says Roger Blumenthal, MD, director of the Ciccarone Preventive Cardiology Center at Johns Hopkins University. “Some of those people reduce their LDL by 10-15% and increase their HDL by 20%.”
Living With High Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, you are twice as likely to develop heart disease. That is why it is important to have your cholesterol levels checked, especially if you have a family history of heart disease. Reducing your LDL bad cholesterol through good diet, exercise, and medicine can make a positive impact on your overall health.
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Can Eating Change A Cholesterol Test
Cholesterol testing is recommended every five years for people over the age of 20, MayoClinic.com explains. Eating in the hours before a cholesterol test may interfere with the results, but it may not make a significant difference. Before taking a cholesterol test, talk to a doctor to discuss any steps needed to prepare.
So What Is Cholesterol
The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines cholesterol as a waxy, fat-like substance thats found in all the cells in your body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs.
Too much cholesterol in your blood may combine with other substances to form plaque. Plaque can stick to the walls of your arteries, which could lead to the narrowing of the arteries and even blockage.;
According to the NLM, If you have large deposits of plaque in your arteries, an area of plaque can rupture . This can cause a blood clot to form on the surface of the plaque. If the clot becomes large enough, it can mostly or completely block blood flow in a coronary artery.
Lack of blood flow can lead to a heart attack. Other arteries in your body can be affected, which can lead to serious health issues like stroke, carotid artery disease, and peripheral arterial disease.;
Things that may impact your cholesterol levels include genetics, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, smoking, age, and obesity.
Since there really are no signs of high cholesterol, a blood test is typically used to diagnose it.
You can lower your cholesterol by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight.
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Did You Know Exercise Can Affect Blood Counts
My physical was scheduled for 11:00 a.m. ;I had physical therapy that day, but didnt think twice about going to PT before my doctors appointment. ;My typical physical therapy session involves at least 60 minutes of pretty heavy exercising, including the elliptical, light jogging, a lot of strength training, and some other cardio exercises. ;In other words, it isnt like a stroll in the park. ;I went straight from therapy to my appointment, and proceeded to have my exam and blood work done.
The next day, I picked up my blood test results, and two variables were high that have never been elevated before- my white blood cell count was 11.8 ;and my neutrophil count was 9.6. ;The doctors office called and said it was probably just a transient event, but the doctor wanted me retested in two weeks.
Great, now I had to worry about what raised my WBC count. ;I didnt feel sick at all, so I didnt know what caused the increase.
So, I turned to the internet, which can make your head spin, but also provide some good information.
In my reading, I came across study after study that showed the affects of exercise on white blood cell counts, specifically neutrophils. ;Ironically, exercise can also skew results of cholesterol and ;glucose tests. ;I know my doctor is ;adamant the patient does not eat at least 12 hours before a cholesterol test, but I know I personally had never been warned not to exercise. ;It makes total sense though, but I had never thought about it before.
How Long Does It Take Cholesterol To Go Down
People who need to use medications such as statins to lower their cholesterol should see their cholesterol levels fall quickly.
These medications may work in a matter of weeks, and they generally work to a larger degree than lifestyle changes.
However, because diet affects the levels of cholesterol in the body, doctors commonly recommend that people make changes to their diet and lifestyle in addition to taking medications.
Making simple changes to the diet and lifestyle can help reduce cholesterol.
These changes vary depending on how strictly a person adheres to their diet, as well as other factors, such as exercise and weight loss.
Some dietary changes may cause minor reductions in cholesterol in as little as
Dietary and lifestyle changes and medications can all help lower blood cholesterol levels.
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How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
All kids should have their cholesterol checked when they’re between 9 and 11 years old and again when they’re between 17 and 21.
Kids over 2 years old should be tested if they:
- have a parent or other close relative with a total cholesterol higher than 240 mg/dL
- have a family history of cardiovascular disease before age 55 in men and age 65 in women
- have some kinds of medical conditions
- are overweight or obese
- have diabetes, high blood pressure, or smoke cigarettes
Your doctor can order a blood test to check your child’s cholesterol. Your child may have to fast before the test.
According to the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines, the ranges of total and LDL cholesterol for kids and teens 218 years old are:
mg/dL = milligrams per deciliter
How Low Should Your Ldl And Non
Numerous studies have found that an LDL level above 100, even in otherwise healthy patients, will lead to the growth of damaging plaques. Research suggests that LDL levels significantly lower than 100 are optimal. For example, one major study involving more than 8,800 European patients found that LDL cholesterol levels of 81 were even better than levels of 104 in preventing death, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular-related problems in people with heart disease. 2
And recently, a six-year study involving 18,000 people with heart disease affirmed that for reducing LDL levels,;the lower, the better. The study was reported at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.3 Half the subjects lowered their LDL, on average, to 69; the other half reduced LDL to 54. Both groups were rewarded with few heart events over the six-year period, but the group with the lower LDL, 54, ended up the winner. It had 6.4% fewer events heart attacks, heart disease deaths, strokes, bypass surgeries, stent procedures, and hospitalizations for severe chest pains than the group with the higher LDL.
For non-HDL, an optimal goal for people with clear evidence of heart disease is less than 80. A good goal for healthy individuals wanting to prevent heart disease is less than 100.
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How Does Exercise Affect Cholesterol Levels
According to Heart UK, 6 out of every 10 people in the UK have high or abnormal levels of blood cholesterol. With high cholesterol being such a common issue, it is important to understand why the problem comes about and what you can do to ease it. In this blog I explain the connection between exercise and cholesterol, however, I also provide information on other lifestyle tips that can help to lower cholesterol levels.;
Resistance Exercise Lowers Ldl
Although aerobic exercise remains recommended for lowering LDL cholesterol, research indicates that resistance exercise also effectively lowers LDL levels. A study published in “British Journal of Sports Medicine” looked at the role of resistance exercise and cholesterol levels in two groups of women. After 14 weeks, women who performed 45 minutes of resistance training three days each week significantly reduced LDL cholesterol levels. A similar study published in “Cardiovascular Journal of Africa” compared men after 16 weeks of no exercise, aerobic exercise only or a combination of resistance and aerobic exercise. Both the aerobic and combination group saw similar decreases in LDL cholesterol, indicating that resistance exercise by itself or added to an aerobic workout effectively lowers LDL levels.
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Why Are Cholesterol Tests Used
A person can have too much cholesterol in their body. Often, people with high cholesterol have no symptoms.
Cholesterol can combine with other substances in the blood and make a substance called plaque that clogs the arteries.
The higher a persons cholesterol levels, the more likely they are to have health problems related to high cholesterol, including:
As high cholesterol often does not cause symptoms, doctors routinely order a cholesterol test for adults. The American Heart Association recommend that people aged 20 years and older should consider having a cholesterol level check once every 46 years.
Doctors may recommend that some people get more frequent cholesterol tests. Those who may need these additional tests include the following groups:
- people who are overweight or obese
- people with a family or personal history of heart attack
- people with a family history of high cholesterol
- people whose initial cholesterol test was high
- people who smoke
Getting A Cholesterol Test
A blood sample is taken that will be used to determine the amount of bad cholesterol , good cholesterol and;other fatty substances in your blood.
You may be asked not to eat for 10-12 hours before the cholesterol test, usually including when you’re asleep at night. This ensures that all food is completely digested and won’t affect the outcome of the test.
Your GP or practice nurse can carry out the;cholesterol test and will take a blood sample, either using a needle and a syringe or by pricking your finger.
A newer type of test that measures non-high-density lipoprotein is now sometimes used because it’s thought to be a more accurate way of estimating;cardiovascular disease risk than LDL.
Non-HDL cholesterol is total cholesterol minus HDL cholesterol. It’s also not necessary to fast before the test, so it;is more convenient.
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Alcohols Effects On Cholesterol
Simply put: Alcohol can raise your cholesterol.;
According to HEART UK, a United Kingdom-based organization focused on raising awareness about high cholesterol, alcohol is broken down and rebuilt into triglycerides and cholesterol in the liver. This, in turn, leads to increased triglycerides and cholesterol in your blood.
When triglyceride levels get too high, triglycerides can build up in the liver and cause fatty liver disease. Since the liver is somewhat compromised, it may not be able to remove cholesterol from your blood. This can raise your cholesterol.;
Alcohol can also lead to weight gain, which can then lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. Other health problems alcohol can contribute to include pancreatitis and depression.
Since excessive alcohol use can lead to addiction and other issues, dietary guidelines regarding alcohol consumption have been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Drinking in moderation for men is two drinks or less a day, and one drink a day for women. Two out of threeadults admit to drinking above moderate levels at least once a month.
There are people who should refrain from drinking at all, including:
- Those who are pregnant or might become pregnant
- Those under the legal drinking age
- Those with certain medical conditions
- Those taking certain medications
- Those recovering from an alcohol use disorder, or those who have trouble limiting their alcohol intake
When Should My Cholesterol Levels Be Tested
Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:
- have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini stroke , or peripheral arterial disease
- have a family history of early;cardiovascular disease
- have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition
- are overweight
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What Is This Test
This group of tests measures the amount of cholesterol and other fats in your blood.
Cholesterol and triglycerides are lipids, or fats. These fats are important for cell health, but they can be harmful when they build up in the blood. Sometimes they can lead to clogged, inflamed arteries, a condition call atherosclerosis. This may keep your heart from working normally if the arteries of your heart muscle are affected.
This panel of tests helps predict your risk for heart disease and stroke.
A lipid panel measures these fats:
- Total cholesterol
- High total cholesterol
If you are already being treated for heart disease, you may have this test to see whether treatment is working.
Ideal Cholesterol Test Results
As you have known about the factors that control and affect your cholesterol test readings, you need to know the ideal levels of HDL, LDL and total cholesterol in the blood. These are â
- Total Cholesterol: 6.9%
- HDL : 12.4%
- LDL : 9.5%.
Anything higher or lower than this will indicate high or low cholesterol levels and would require significant lifestyle changes. You should consult with your doctor regarding your cholesterol test results to get the correct picture of your health.
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