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How Long To Fast For Cholesterol Test

What Treatments Are Recommended If My Level Is Too High

Fasting Safely : How to Fast for a Cholesterol Screen

One treatment option is to adopt a lifestyle that will help lower your levels, one including exercise and a diet that is low in saturated fats and trans fat. If diet and exercise alone cannot lower cholesterol enough, drugs are often recommended and usually aim to lower LDL-C levels specifically. Sometimes, two different drugs are used together to treat people with extremely high cholesterol levels. The drug of choice differs for different people although the most commonly used lipid-lowering drugs are statins. Your healthcare practitioner will need to take into account your individual situation before prescribing any cholesterol-lowering drug.

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What Is A Lipid Panel Used For

Healthcare providers use lipid panels to help assess someones cardiovascular health by analyzing cholesterol in their blood and to help diagnose other health conditions.

Reasons a provider may order a lipid panel include:

  • As a routine test to determine if your cholesterol level is normal or falls into a borderline-, intermediate- or high-risk category.
  • To monitor your cholesterol level if you had abnormal results on a previous test or if you have other risk factors for heart disease.
  • To monitor your bodys response to treatment, such as cholesterol medications or lifestyle changes.
  • To help diagnose other medical conditions, such as liver disease.

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How Is Cholesterol Tested

Cholesterol is measured using a blood test. A healthcare provider will draw your blood using a needle and collect it in a vial. This typically takes place at your doctors office or at a lab where the blood is then analyzed.

The test only takes a couple of minutes and is relatively painless. However, you might have some soreness or bruising on your arm around the injection site.

Your results will likely be available in a few days or within a couple of weeks.

Can You Drink Alcohol If Youre Fasting Before A Blood Test

How Long Do I Have to Fast Before Taking a Cholesterol ...

Some blood tests, such as those that assess liver health or triglyceride levels, may require you to not drink any alcohol for a full 24 hours. Trace amounts of alcohol can remain in your bloodstream for several days. If you have any concerns about alcohol consumption, discuss this with your doctor when you schedule your test.

Also ask your doctor if you can smoke cigarettes before the test, or if you should refrain from smoking during your fast.

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Fasting In Your Future Heres What To Do

If you have to fast, dont stress. Doctors usually schedule tests in the morning, since patients tend to prefer nighttime fasting.

Go ahead and hydrate with H2O beforehand, but avoid juice, soda, and other drinks. And skip the adult beverages for at least 24 hours, since alcohol can raise your triglyceride levels.

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What Does A Lipid Panel Measure

As stated, when you have a lipid panel, there are several notable measurements. The results of your lipid panel are an important component in allowing your doctor to assess your cardiovascular health and risk. Other factors that are taken into account when determining your risk include your blood pressure, weight, exercise levels, and the presence of medical conditions such as diabetes.

Each component of the results provides different pieces of information. Important measures are:

When you have a cholesterol test, doctors are most concerned with total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels.

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Foods To Lower Cholesterol

The foods a person consumes can affect their cholesterol levels over time.

Some foods can help reduce cholesterol. For example, soluble fiber can bind with cholesterol in the digestive system and from the body. Additionally, polyunsaturated fats can help lower LDL levels.

According to Harvard Health, a person should aim to include the following in their diet:

  • barley

What Does A Cholesterol Test Measure

Cholesterol Testing, To Fast or Not To Fast?

In addition to measuring the total cholesterol in your blood, the standard cholesterol test measures three specific kinds of fat:

  • Low-density lipoproteins . This is the “bad cholesterol,” the main cause of plaque build-up, which increases your risk for heart disease. In general, the lower the number, the better. But LDL cholesterol is only one part of a larger equation that measures a personâs overall risk of having a heart attack or stroke. For years, guidelines focused on specific target numbers for individuals to achieve to lower their risk. The most recent guidelines focus on a personâs overall risk and, based on that risk, recommend a certain percentage of LDL reduction as one part of a strategy for preventing serious heart and vascular problems.
  • High-density lipoproteins . This is the “good cholesterol.” It transports bad cholesterol from the blood to the liver, where it is excreted by the body. Your HDL is another part of the equation that identifies the risk of a cardiovascular event. In general, the higher the number the better, although, as with LDL, the emphasis has shifted from specific target numbers to strategies for reducing the overall risk.
  • Triglycerides. Another type of fat in the bloodstream, triglycerides are also linked to heart disease. They are stored in fat cells throughout the body.

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What Are Normal Lipid Panel Results

The optimal level for each of the four standard tests in a lipid panel are as follows:

  • Total cholesterol: Below 200 mg/dL.
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol: Above 60 mg/dL.
  • Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: Below 100 mg/dL .
  • Triglycerides: Below 150 mg/dL.

If your results are higher or lower than the target range, they may be classified as borderline-, intermediate-, or high-risk for cardiovascular issues. In general, higher-than-normal levels of total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides and lower-than-normal levels of HDL can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Its rare to have abnormally low levels of cholesterol. If you do, its usually due to a health condition thats causing malnutrition.

What Is My Risk Of A Heart Attack If I Have High Cholesterol

High cholesterol increases your risk of a heart attack. The higher the cholesterol, the higher the risk. However, many other factors also affect your risk of a heart attack, such as smoking, diabetes, age, and high blood pressure. For more information on related risk factors, read the American Heart Association’s article Understand Your Risk for High Cholesterol.

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List Of Foods To Avoid Before A Cholesterol Test

In cardiovascular risk assessment, the lipid profile also known as Cholesterol Test is a vital investigation and it has become one of the routine tests in medical checkups. The lipid profile checks the level of total cholesterol, high density lipoproteins, low density lipoproteins and triglycerides.

High density cholesterol is known as Good Cholesterol and high levels of reference are recommended as healthy. Low density cholesterol is considered as Bad Cholesterol and patients are advised to keep it at a lower level. There are certain foods to be avoided before a cholesterol test, which are found to be causing an alteration in the cholesterol test. The test can be performed as a fasting test or a non-fasting test. Evidence suggests that the fasting lipid test will overcome the effect of elevated post-prandial triglyceride level. Patients should be provided with adequate information on foods to avoid before a cholesterol test.

In a fasting lipid profile, all patients should fast for 12 hours prior to the test.

  • They must avoid eating any type of solid or semisolid food during these 12 hours. But it is important to state that the patient should continue drinking water and any medication he is on. After a meal, the calories of the foods are converted to triglycerides and they remain high in the blood for a significant number of hours. The need for fasting before the test is based on this concept.

Why Do You Have To Fast Before A Cholesterol Test And For How Long Should You Fast

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It is important to before a fasting cholesterol test, because fasting allows the accurate measurement of blood lipid levels. The doctor will instruct you to fast for about 14 hours before you get the test done, and you arent allowed to eat or drink anything during the fasting period except for water. Also, it is important to remember that you do not consume alcohol for 48 hours before the test.

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Fasting Before A Blood Test: Drinking Coffee Eating And More

Certain blood tests require fasting beforehand. If your healthcare provider has instructed you to fast before your upcoming test, it means that you should not eat or drink anything for the specified amount of time before having your blood drawn.

Understanding why fasting is important and how to properly fast before a blood test can be helpful for eliminating pre-test anxiety and simplifying the testing process. Below, learn how to fast for a blood test correctly to help make sure that your test results are accurate.

Which Blood Tests Require Fasting

Not all lab tests require fasting beforehand, but many of the most common blood tests do. Tests that typically require fasting include:

  • Basic or comprehensive metabolic test: Commonly part of a routine physical, this test measures the bodys blood sugar, kidney function, and other vital organ function. Fasting is usually required for 10-12 hours before the test.
  • Fasting blood glucose test: This test can be used to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes based on the measurement of glucose in the blood after a period of not eating. Fasting is usually required for 8-10 hours before the test.
  • Cholesterol test: Also known as a lipid profile, this test measures the amount of cholesterol and other fats in the blood. Fasting is usually required for 9-12 hours before the test.
  • Gamma-glutamyl transferase test: This test measures the level of GGT enzyme in your blood, which can indicate liver disease. Avoiding alcohol for up to 24 hours beforehand is usually required additionally, you may or may not be required to avoid food for up to 8 hours before the test.
  • Other nutritional tests: Blood tests that measure vitamins and minerals often require fasting beforehand. Depending on the type of nutritional testing, you may be asked to fast for between 6-12 hours before the test.

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Can I Test My Own Cholesterol At Home

Its better to have your cholesterol tested by a professional because taking blood and measuring cholesterol levels is a skilled job and your results will be affected by the way you do the test. Going to a health professional means you will get an accurate reading.

We dont recommend home sampling, but if you do decide to test your cholesterol at home, follow these simple steps to take your sample safely and get a more accurate result.

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Can You Reverse Gestational Diabetes

do I have to fast before i take my cholesterol test?

There is no need for gestational diabetes to take away from the joys of pregnancy. Unlike other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes usually goes away on its own and soon after delivery blood sugar levels return to normal, says Dr. Tania Esakoff, clinical director of the Prenatal Diagnosis Center.

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What Treatments Are Recommended If I Have Unhealthy Lipid Levels

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an important part of heart health and in treating high cholesterol. This may mean you will need to change your lifestyle, specifically by adopting a diet low in saturated fat and trans unsaturated fats , avoiding smoking, controlling high blood pressure and diabetes, and participating in moderate exercise. You may be referred to a dietician for advice in making dietary changes.

Your healthcare practitioner will talk to you about risks and benefits of statin drug therapy, based on your history, health risks, the results of your LDL-C test, and possibly your calculated risk for CVD. Statins are generally recommended as a first choice for lowering LDL-C. You may be prescribed one of these. Your LDL-C will be checked at regular intervals to make sure that the drug is working. If the drug does not lower your LDL-C, your healthcare practitioner may increase the amount of drug or possibly add a second drug.

The Significance Of Fasting Cholesterol Tests

Fasting blood tests are mainly used to measure cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. This test is also known as lipoprotein profile or lipoprotein analysis. The test measures the following:

  • The total amount of cholesterol present in your blood
  • The HDL levels, HDL stands for High Density Lipoprotein and is often referred to as the good cholesterol
  • The LDL levels, LDL means Low Density Lipoprotein, and it is considered to be bad cholesterol

Testing blood cholesterol levels helps to make dietary and lifestyle changes and helps minimize the risk of stroke, heart attack and peripheral artery diseases in people.

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What Do Cholesterol Test Numbers Mean

If you have a lipoprotein profile, it’s important to look at all the numbers from the cholesterol test, not just the total cholesterol number. That’s because LDL and HDL levels are two primary indicators of potential heart disease. Use the information below to interpret your results . This will help you get a better idea about your risk for heart disease.

Total blood cholesterol level:

  • High risk: 240 mg/dL and above
  • Borderline high risk: 200-239 mg/dL
  • Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dL
  • Borderline high risk: 150-199 mg/dL
  • Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL

What Are The Next Steps If My Lipid Panel Results Are Abnormal

Ldlcholesterolhigh How Long Do I Fast For Cholesterol Test ...

Since many factors contribute to cardiovascular disease and every person is unique, theres no one single way to treat abnormal levels of cholesterol and/or triglycerides.

If you have abnormal lipid panel results, your healthcare provider may recommend one or more of the following actions:

  • Continued lipid monitoring.
  • Lifestyle changes, such as changing your diet or starting an exercise routine.
  • Starting a cholesterol-lowering medication.

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What Do These Numbers Even Mean

After the test, youll take a look at your total lipid profile. Your doctor will explain whether your results appear normal, at-risk, or high.

These are the adult recommendations, according to the American Heart Associations 2018 guidelines. All values are in mg/dL :

Total cholesterol: All the cholesterol found in your blood

  • Good: below 200

Triglycerides: A major type of fat in the body

  • Good: below 149
  • High: 200+
  • Very high: 500

Folks with conditions like diabetes might need to shoot for lower numbers, so chat with your doctor to know whats right for you. Cholesterol guidelines also vary by age: Kids should have lower levels than adults.

If your numbers are in the at-risk zone, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to lower them.

Doctors recommend complete fasting of 9 to 12 hours before taking a cholesterol test. Only water is allowed during fasting as any solid food or beverage could cause a change in the triglyceride levels.

In addition, they also recommend not exercising strenuously and strictly avoiding alcohol two days before the cholesterol test as it may cause a surge in the triglyceride levels. Sometimes, an increase in HDL levels in the blood is also observed and hence the results of the actual cholesterol content may not be very accurate. Sometimes, the doctor may also ask you to stop medications temporarily in case the ingredients in the medicine can affect cholesterol levels.

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The History Behind Fasting Cholesterol Tests

When doctors test for cholesterol, we almost always order a group of tests called a lipid panel . This panel typically includes four separate measures:

  • Total cholesterol concentration.
  • Low-density lipoprotein* cholesterol, often called the bad cholesterol. The amount of LDL in your blood strongly predicts your risk of cardiovascular disease, as higher levels are associated with development of plaque in the arteries.
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often called good cholesterol because higher levels protect against heart disease.
  • Triglycerides . High levels of triglycerides are also associated with vascular disease, although this relationship isnt as well defined.

*Lipoproteins are the packages that transport cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Lipids have traditionally been drawn after a fast for two main reasons. The first was to minimize variation, since eating can affect some lipid levels. The second was to produce a better calculation of LDL-cholesterol, which is often derived from an equation thought to provide highly distorted results after eating. However, more recent studies have largely negated these concerns.

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Low Density Lipoprotein Bad Cholesterol

High levels are linked to an increased risk of heart and blood vessel disease, including coronary artery disease, heart attack and death. Reducing LDL levels is a major treatment target for cholesterol-lowering medications.

Goal values:

  • Less than 70 mg/dL for those with heart or blood vessel disease and for other patients at very high risk of heart disease
  • Less than 100 mg/dL for high risk patients
  • Less than 130 mg/dL for individuals who are at low risk for coronary artery disease

Preparation:

Blood should be collected after a 12-hour fast . For the most accurate results, wait at least two months after a heart attack, surgery, infection, injury or pregnancy to check LDL levels.

LDL is a lipoprotein found in the blood. It is called âbadâ cholesterol because it picks up cholesterol from the blood and takes it to the cells. A high LDL level is related to a higher risk of heart and blood vessel disease.

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