Lipid Panel Blood Test
Lipids are fats or fatty substances found in the blood. Although most people understand the danger of having too many lipids, small amounts of these substances are essential to make energy for your body to function normally. However, when you have more blood lipids than you need, you could endanger your health and increase your risk of a life-threatening medical condition.
What Is A Lipid Panel?
A lipid panel is a blood test that measures fats and fatty substances that play a role in your cardiovascular health. It is usually referred to as a cholesterol test since this lipid can build up in the walls of your arteries. When this occurs, your arteries harden and narrow, resulting in less efficient blood flow to your vital organs.
What Is High-Density Lipoprotein?
Lipids combine with protein in blood and form lipoproteins. There are three types of lipoproteins, also known as cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein (HDL), referred to as the “good cholesterol,” absorbs excess cholesterol and carries it to the liver. Your liver can then eliminate it from your body.
What Is Low-Density Lipoprotein?
The second lipoprotein, Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), known as the “bad cholesterol,” accumulates in your arteries and increases your risk of several diseases. When you have healthy amounts of HDL, it carries the LDL from your arteries to your liver for eventual elimination from your body.
What Are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are the most common lipid. Cholesterol is a fatty substance, but triglycerides are fats that can form from excess fats, sugar, alcohol, and calories in the diet. Triglycerides can combine with HDL or LDL to block arteries with fatty buildups.
What Does A Lipid Panel Measure?
A lipid panel measures how much cholesterol and fat you have in your blood. This commonly used test can help predict your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. A complete lipid panel measures the levels of the various types of lipids. The optimal values for each are:
- Total cholesterol. This measurement combines your total good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol. Optimal: Below 200 mg/dL.
- HDL cholesterol. Above 60 mg/dL.
- LDL cholesterol. Below 100 mg/dL and below 70 mg/dL for people with diabetes.
- Below 150 mg/dL.
When Should I Get This Test?
You may need a lipid panel test for screening, monitoring, or diagnosing various medical conditions. Your age and various risk factors determine how often you should get this test. The risk factors include:
How Do I Prepare For The Test?
You need to fast from food and all drinks except water. Typically, this is the 9-12 hours before the test. You should inform your phlebotomist if you happen to eat or drink during this period as it can affect your results.
How Is The Test Performed?
We take most blood samples from the arm. After placing an elastic band on your upper arm, we clean the withdrawal site with a sterile antiseptic wipe. Next, your phlebotomist uses a small needle to collect the blood sample. You may feel a slight stinging sensation but no pain during the test. The entire procedure takes about one minute.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
*This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace consulting with a healthcare professional. Please consult with your primary care physician or healthcare provider before engaging in any services offered by Speedy Sticks.