What Are The Next Steps If My Lipid Panel Results Are Abnormal
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.
Preparing For A Cholesterol Test
There are a couple of things you can do before a blood test so the process is as smooth as possible:
- drink a lot of water being hydrated makes it easier to collect your blood sample and evidence shows that dehydration can affect your results
- keep warm having a hot shower or jumping on the spot for a minute makes it easier to collect a finger-prick blood sample
You might also need to fast before doing a cholesterol test.
Risks Of Untreated High Cholesterol
High cholesterol often produces no signs and symptoms, but the health consequences can be severe.
When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it builds up in the arteries alongside fat and other substances, forming deposits called plaque. The accumulation of plaque narrows the arteries and reduces and slows the blood flow to the heart. If the blood supply to any part of the heart becomes blocked, a heart attack can occur.
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Why Is A Cholesterol Test Done
Raised cholesterol levels can cause cholesterol to be deposited within the walls of arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow through. This build-up in the walls of the arteries, which is called atherosclerosis, puts a person at significant risk of heart disease and stroke.
High cholesterol levels may not give you any symptoms, so a blood test is the best way to check how much cholesterol and other lipids your blood contains.
Who Performs A Lipid Panel Blood Test
A healthcare provider called a phlebotomist usually performs blood draws, including those for a lipid panel, but any healthcare provider who is trained in drawing blood can perform this task. A provider then sends the samples to a lab where a medical laboratory scientist prepares the samples and performs the tests on machines known as analyzers.
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Interpreting Cholesterol Test Results
Your cholesterol results will typically be ready within a day or two. At-home cholesterol tests either offer immediate results via a monitor or come with a mailer that you use to send a blood sample to a lab in order to receive your results. Your test results will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood .
Why Would I Need This Test
You might need this test if your doctor wants to assess your risk of developing heart disease. It is usually recommended every 5 years for people who are over 45 . If you have other risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure or diabetes, you will need the lipid test more regularly.
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What Do The Results Of A Lipid Panel Mean
Blood test reports, including lipid panel blood test reports, usually provide the following information:
- The name of the blood test or what was measured in your blood.
- The number or measurement of your blood test result.
- The normal measurement range for that test.
- Information that indicates if your result is normal or abnormal or high or low.
Cmp Blood Test: What Does It Mean And What Does It Tell About Your Health
CMP blood test is referred to as a comprehensive metabolic panel that is typically used to measure the level of blood sugar, electrolyte and fluid balance, liver function and kidney function.
In this article, you will get to know the CMP blood analysis results explained.
These measurements are meant to provide information about the current health status of the body, metabolism and chemical balance.
According to doctors at the Mayo Clinic, the blood test can be used to diagnose certain conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, and hypertension.
In this post, you will learn what it means to have high CMP and what low CMP means.
You will also get insight into the reasons for abnormal CMP readings. You will also find out what to do if you have low or high CMP.
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What Is A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
A comprehensive metabolic panel is a test that measures 14 different substances in your blood. It provides important information about your bodyâs chemical balance and metabolism. Metabolism is the process of how the body uses food and energy. A CMP includes tests for the following:
- Glucose, a type of sugar and your bodyâs main source of energy.
- Calcium, one of the bodyâs most important minerals. Calcium is essential for proper functioning of your nerves, muscles, and heart.
- Sodium, potassium, carbon dioxide, and chloride. These are electrolytes, electrically charged minerals that help control the amount of fluids and the balance of acids and bases in your body.
- Albumin, a protein made in the liver.
- Total protein, which measures the total amount of protein in the blood.
- ALP , ALT , and AST . These are different enzymes made by the liver.
- Bilirubin, a waste product made by the liver.
- BUN and creatinine, waste products removed from your blood by your kidneys.
Abnormal levels of any of these substances or combination of them can be a sign of a serious health problem.
Other names: chem 14, chemistry panel, chemistry screen, metabolic panel
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How Will My Doctor Use Results From My Cholesterol Test
After reviewing your blood test, The doctor will also consider other risk factors you might have for heart disease, including:
- Your family history
- History of diabetes
- Evidence of elevated blood sugars
Then, your doctor will talk with you about your level of risk and the potential benefit to be derived by taking steps that include changes in your level of activity and diet as well as using medication to improve your cholesterol levels in order to reduce your overall risk.
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What Do Cholesterol Test Numbers Mean
If you have a lipoprotein profile, itâs important to look at all the numbers from the cholesterol test, not just the total cholesterol number. Thatâs 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
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What Do The Results Mean
Cholesterol is usually measured in milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood. The information below will help you understand what your test results mean. In general, low LDL levels and high HDL cholesterol levels are good for heart health.
|Total Cholesterol Level|
|Less than 40 mg/dL||A major risk factor for heart disease|
The LDL listed on your results may say “calculated.” This means that your LDL level is an estimate based on your total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides. Your LDL level may also be measured “directly” from your blood sample. Either way, you want your LDL number to be low.
A healthy cholesterol level for you may depend on your age, family history, lifestyle, and other risk factors for heart disease, such as high triglyceride levels. Your provider can explain what’s right for you.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
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What Kind Of Blood Test Do They Do For Cholesterol
A comprehensive cholesterol test also called a lipid panel or lipid profile is a blood test that can measure the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. What is a CBC test used for?
What is the most important part of the CBC test?
Complete blood count A routine complete blood count test checks the levels of 10 different components of each major cell in your blood: white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Important components measured by this test include red blood cell count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit.
Why It Is Done
Cholesterol and triglyceride testing is done:
- As part of a routine physical examination to screen for a lipid disorder.
- To check your response to medicines used to treat lipid disorders.
- To help determine your chances of having of heart disease, especially if you have other risk factors for heart disease or symptoms that suggest heart disease is present.
- If you have unusual symptoms, such as yellow fatty deposits in the skin , which may be caused by a rare genetic disease that causes very high cholesterol levels.
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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.
Who Orders My Blood Tests
Your doctor typically orders blood tests for you during a physical, checkup, or an appointment intended to screen for a specific condition.
Its possible to order your own blood tests without a doctor through laboratories like LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, but health insurance may not cover these tests.
While such blood tests may more accessible and convenient, it may be harder to interpret the results without a medical professional.
Some blood testing facilities may also not give you accurate results.
One infamous case of this is Theranos. The California biotechnology firm shut down in 2018 when an investigation uncovered lies and fraud around the accuracy of its private blood-testing technology.
Currently, litigation is underway against the founder and chief executive of the company, Elizabeth Holmes.
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How To Read Blood Test Results
While every laboratory or test-providing company may structure their result reports differently, they all must include the same components as mandated by federal legislation.
Some of that may be administrative content, such as the name of the person who did the blood test, the date the test was done, and the name of the doctor who ordered the test.
When it comes to understanding the results, you can look for the following :
- Quantitative test result. Results will be typically written out numerically in cases when the test measured the quantity of something. For example, if the test measured the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
- Abnormal markers. Often, a laboratory report will include some kind of marker to let you know if a result is outside the normal interval, and therefore abnormal. For example, you may see the letter H to indicate high, the letter L to indicate low, or the acronym WNL for within normal limits. You may see an asterisk and some additional comments in text if your results come out as highly abnormal. In this case, youll typically get a call from your doctor.
- Reference range. Every laboratory will have its own reference range for each type of test. Typically, this reference range will be written in your laboratory report next to the numerical value of your result so you are able to see where your result falls in the range.
To a blood test, the nurse or technician:
How It Is Done
The health professional taking a sample of your blood will:
- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with alcohol.
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
- Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is collected.
- Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
- Put pressure on the site and then put on a bandage.
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What Are Ldl And Hdl
LDL and HDL are two types of lipoproteins. They are a combination of fat and protein. The lipids need to be attached to the proteins so they can move through the blood. LDL and HDL have different purposes:
- LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the “bad” cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries.
- HDL stands for high-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the “good” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver then removes the cholesterol from your body.
When Should I Get A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
The comprehensive metabolic panel may be appropriate in a range of different circumstances. For diagnosis, it may be indicated when you have symptoms that could be related to problems affecting the kidney, liver, or metabolism. It may also be helpful when you have a general symptom, such as fatigue, that can be caused by many different health conditions.
There are no clear guidelines for when the CMP should be used for screening in people without any symptoms. While many doctors prescribe the test as part of routine check-ups, there is a lack of evidence showing that the benefits of such testing outweigh the risks, such as unnecessary costs and procedures.
For monitoring, a CMP may be prescribed if you had a prior test that was abnormal in order to see if your levels remain abnormal. A CMP can also be used after treatment has been started to see how your levels have changed. If you are starting a new medication that can alter kidney or liver function, the CMP may be a useful tool for making sure that these organs are still working properly.
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Medications To Treat High Cholesterol
For most people who need medication to manage high cholesterol, doctors will prescribe statins. Statins, also known as HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, are a class of drugs that prevent cholesterol from forming in the liver, where both LDL and HDL cholesterol are made. This lowers the amount of cholesterol circulating in the blood. They are most effective at lowering LDL cholesterol but can also lower triglycerides and HDL cholesterol.
If you have certain conditions, or if statins arent working to decrease your high cholesterol sufficiently, your doctor may prescribe one of these other cholesterol-lowering medications:
- PCSK9 Inhibitors A newer type of medicine, PCSK9 inhibitors bind to and inactivate a protein on certain liver cells, which then lowers LDL cholesterol. Administered by injection, they are often used in patients with high cholesterol that doesnt respond to statins or people with familial hypercholesterolemia.
- Selective Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors The most commonly used nonstatin agent, according to the AHA, selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors prevent cholesterol from being absorbed in the intestine. This means less cholesterol is delivered to the liver and, ultimately, the blood.
- Bile Acid Sequestrants Also known as bile-acid-binding agents, these drugs work by removing bile acids from the liver. Since LDL cholesterol is needed to make bile acids, the body then breaks down more LDL cholesterol particles.
Where Can I Get Blood Work Done
There are different locations that offer laboratory services that include blood work. Most hospitals contain a laboratory that you can visit to get tests done. Some laboratories will have walk-in options. Others may require an appointment.
Additional locations for blood testing may include:
- Private laboratories. Hospitals may use private labs to offload some testing from their own laboratories, or in cases when a specialized test is needed. Often, health insurance plans will require you to use a specific laboratory that is in their network for the test to be covered.
- Point-of care. This describes situations when you may need to get a blood test wherever you are receiving medical care. In routine scenarios, this typically
Results may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to become available. Heres an overview of how long some common tests may take:
- complete blood count : 24 hours
- basic metabolic panel: 24 hours
- complete metabolic panel: 24 to 72 hours
- lipid panel: 24 hours
Timing can depend on the specific lab where you get tested, and how many tests you get done at once. If you order multiple tests, you may not get the complete results until all of the tests are completed.
Sometimes a lab will only release results to your doctor, who reviews them and then releases them to you.