How to interpret the results of cholesterol test?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found naturally in blood. Mainly produced in the liver, but also found in foods such as red meat, high fat cheese, butter and eggs, cholesterol is essential for the normal functioning of body and maintaining good health. But it can become a problem when the level in blood goes very high as it can clog the arteries.
Cholesterol is transported around the blood in ‘vehicles’ known as lipoproteins. There are two types of lipoproteins:
- Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL
- High-density lipoprotein, or HDL
Triglycerides are another class of fat found in the bloodstream.
The amount of each type of cholesterol in your blood can be measured by a blood test known as lipid profile or cholesterol test in layman’s language.
Cholesterol test is the test which measures the level of cholesterol in the blood, for both good and bad. The test is conducted to measure HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol) and the triglycerides.
It is essential to carry out cholesterol test since an elevated cholesterol level suggests heart disease.
Type of Cholesterol Tests
When it comes to evaluating the level of cholesterol in the blood, there may be two kinds of tests, namely,
- total cholesterol and
- lipid profile test
Testing kits are available in the market but they are not very accurate. You may schedule the test at home by contacting lab professional to collect blood sample from your home. Your sugar level, blood pressure, weight and other health aspects may also be checked in the process. This will give comprehensive picture of your health. With the home kit also, you may measure the level of cholesterol. A complete lipid test will give a lot of data regarding your health. This test is detailed and comprehensive.
Understanding the Test Results
Just like it is important to carry out different kinds of tests, it is also crucial to understand the test results.
Lipid test will give complete reading of total cholesterol, bad cholesterol, good cholesterol along with triglycerides. If you take the test at home or through a diagnostic lab, it can still give you an idea where your cholesterol level is moving.
The test result range is as follows:
- anything lower than 5.17 mmol/L or below 200 mg/DL is normal
- if you are having between 200-239mg/DL, it means that the level of cholesterol is touching the border line. It implies elevated cholesterol level and can be controlled
- anything above the 240mg/DL mark is too high
If the level is touching borderline or is in the high range, you must immediately consult a doctor to discuss the situation and plan the management. Your action to control the level of cholesterol is dependent on the score of LDL, HDL and triglycerides.
You may undergo full body checkup in order to trace out any underlying medical condition whatsoever. Using the home kit to test the level of cholesterol is also the way to start controlling it.
(It is a guest post by Protea Medical)