Summary: What you should know about cholesterol test.

When should I undergo a cholesterol test? What would the results say about my health? How many tests are there and which will give me the best results?

Unlike any other health tests, a cholesterol test does not diagnose a patient her disease. Instead, this will tell a patient her risks of developing a disease, namely, heart disease. A cholesterol test is considered necessary in preventive health care because a high blood cholesterol level results in the accumulation of cholesterol on the walls of the arteries that suppress the blood flow which later on bring about heart attacks or strokes.

A cholesterol test is advised to individuals who are beyond 20 years old. It is also recommended that they go through this test once every five years from thereon. However, for patients who have been given medications and strict diet, these tests are being done several times in one year. Cholesterol test is being performed along with other tests like HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. These tests are also known as the lipoprotein profile. However experts suggest that when you intend to have a cholesterol test, ask for the direct measured LDL. Other tests may not be as precise as this method, although this test is said to be more expensive than those other tests.

A person who is through some stress or has an acute illness can not get the best results in his cholesterol test. This is because the blood cholesterol level is temporarily low at these instances. A Cholesterol test should be done at least 6 weeks after any stressful time or illness or when a person is healthy, to obtain the most reliable result.

Also some experts say it is not necessary to fast just before a cholesterol test. They say that a single meal does not influence the cholesterol level but long term eating habits like a change in diet affects it. However, some parties believe that eating prior to getting a cholesterol test will somehow have an impact on the triglyceride level which is a component of the total blood cholesterol number.

An increase in the triglyceride level increases the total blood cholesterol number, thus your results will tell you that you have a higher risk of developing a heart disease.

So before you decide on having a cholesterol test, make sure these issues are clear with you and your doctor. While we all strive to get the best numbers, we don’t want to be pointed to the wrong ones.




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