3 Different Kinds Of Cholesterol Tests

Cholesterol tests are simple blood tests that check cholesterol levels in the blood. It’s often called fasting lipoprotein profile which measures total cholesterol or the total amount of cholesterol in the blood. There are two kinds of cholesterol:

  • HDL or good cholesterol which helps keep cholesterol from building up in the arteries.
  • LDL or bad cholesterol which is the main cause of buildup and blockage in the arteries.

With the fasting lipoprotein profile, you will be instructed to not eat or drink (except for water) for 14 hours before the test, and to abstain from alcohol for 48 hours.

There is another, commonly used cholesterol test which determines the combination of total and HDL cholesterol. A single measurement of only the total cholesterol won’t give any information on the relation between the good and the bad cholesterol. To determine risks for a coronary heart disease, one must not only check the concentration of the total cholesterol, but also the Hdl and Ldl Cholesterol. Knowing the ratio between the "good" HDL cholesterol and the "bad" LDL cholesterol will let you know your exact condition.

With this test, you will not only get information about the separate values of Hdl and Ldl cholesterol but also their relation to one another. Research has shown that this kind of test has been proven to be reliable in determining the risk for coronary heart disease.

Results of this test may vary depending on gender but this is so easy to use and can be performed anywhere and anytime. With just a finger pricker, one can immediately obtain the required drops of blood. This test is not advised for:

  • Haemophiliacs or those taking medicines that thin the blood (anticoagulants) Those who have just become pregnant because illness and birth control may influence the blood levels
  • It must not be used in direct sunlight and after the expiry date.
  • Most of all, a person who regularly takes 500 mg or more Vitamin C or a standard dose of acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) or Naproxen must not take it within 4 hours before performing the test.

Another type of test is the Total Only Cholesterol Test which can quickly check the cholesterol level in blood. If the level is high then you should contact your doctor because he can recommend ways to significantly reduce your heart disease risk. Cholesterol level in the blood is affected by diet and also by drugs, diabetes mellitus, pregnancy and other diseases. One is advised to perform this test after fasting for at least 6-9 hours.

The result of the test is determined by the color. Each color area corresponds to a cholesterol value. The lightest color is a cholesterol reading of 130 mg/dl and the highest is a cholesterol reading of 350 mg/dl. If the color is lighter than 130 mg/dl then a cholesterol reading of less than 130 mg/dl must be considered. If the reactive strip is darker than 350 mg/dl then a cholesterol level of higher than 350 mg/dl must be considered.

Less than 200 mg/dl is considered the desirable blood cholesterol while 200-239 mg/dl is the borderline high blood cholesterol, and higher than 240 mg/dl is considered high blood cholesterol.

One determination of the cholesterol level can not be interpreted as a final reading. Cholesterol levels may vary from day to day. Cholesterol levels may also vary as a result of weight loss, stress, illness and pregnancy. Whether done at home or in a lab, a cholesterol test is very helpful to make a risk assessment for coronary heart disease.

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