Cholesterol Advice

LDL Cholesterol Test

LDL-Cholesterol stands for Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol. This is bad type of cholesterol which plays quite a significant role in the perpetration of heart-related diseases. Hence, it is imperative that you keep a tab of LDL-Cholesterol levels in your blood.

The risk of developing heart diseases from LDL-Cholesterol is higher in comparison to that of HDL-Cholesterol. Further, the type of cholesterol treatment to be prescribed to the patient is based upon the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood stream. Hence, it is of utmost importance to accurately determine the levels of LDL-Cholesterol in our blood.

LDL Cholesterol Test
You get LDL-Cholesterol test to determine the risk of developing heart diseases. The test is generally performed as a part of regular lipid profile or when your screening cholesterol is high.

To perform a LDL test a blood sample is drawn from a vein in the arm or from a finger stick. You would need to be on a 12-hour fast before giving the blood sample for LDL-C. However water intake is allowed.

The test for LDL-Cholesterol implies the following things for your health.

* LDL-Cholesterol levels greater than 189 mg/dL (4.90 mmol/L) - Very high risk.
* 160-189 mg/dL (4.15-4.90 mmol/L) - High risk.
* 130-159 mg/dL (3.37-4.12 mmol/L) - Borderline high risk.
* 100-129 mg/dL (2.59-3.34 mmol/L) - near optimal, above optimal level.
* LDL-Cholesterol level less than 100 mg/dL (2.59 mmol/L) - Optimal level, zero risk.

Always keep in mind that LDL cholesterol should be measured only when a person is healthy. Even acute illness would temporarily lower your cholesterol.

The cholesterol lowers after heart attack, surgery, accident or severe stress shocks. So you should wait for symptoms of illness to subside before the test. You should wait at least for 6 weeks to measure your LDL-C so as to get completely healthy after the illness.

Also LDL cholesterol rises during pregnancy. So, a woman should wait for six weeks after the delivery to measure her LDL cholesterol.

In case of healthy persons, a routine lipid profiling is more than adequate to give the levels of Triglycerides, LDL-Cholesterol and HDL-Cholesterol. This can be done at least once every five years. However, those who are suffering from the following conditions need a more frequent lipid profiling.

* Chain smokers.
* Diabetes mellitus patients
* People suffering from coronary heart disease
* Men who are 45 years or older and women who are 55 years or older.
* If previous lipid profiling showed less than 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) levels of HDL cholesterol
* Hypertension patients (wholes BP levels are 140/90 or higher )
* If there is a familial history of untimely heart disease.

Hereditary trait is one cause, amongst many causes result in low levels of LDL cholesterol. If such is the case then there is no cause of concern and the person can continue living in the same way. The same would be the case with people who are suffering from cirrhosis, inflammation, infection, and hyperthyroidism.

The suggested course of treatment can only be formulated once your doctor sees the results of lipid profiling. Further, the course of treatment would also depend upon factors such as familial medical history. In all cases, the remedial course of action would be a combination of healthy diet and exercise (which might imply lifestyle changes for some). Adopting lifestyle changes such as regular exercising or a diet low in saturated fat (that is less than 7% cal from saturated fat) will usually lower LDL cholesterol by about 10%. In extreme cases, lipid management would have to be undertaken through lipid-lowering drugs.