Cholesterol Test Preparation Guide: What To Eat, Requirements Etc
Cholesterol is also known as the silent attacker. Do you know why? Because it doesn’t provide any symptoms in the early stages. In most cases, the disease shows symptoms in the final stages. People don’t know if they are diagnosed with cholesterol or not. It’s better to take a cholesterol test to know about the total cholesterol in your body.
You may have several doubts regarding the test like whether food consumption will affect the results of cholesterol, Is there possible to eat anything before the test, etc. This article will provide you with the details about everything.
A cholesterol test is also known as a lipids panel. Because the test shows the lipid levels in the body. The test measures three types of cholesterol in your body.
- Amount of High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. (also known as good cholesterol)
- Amount of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. (also known as bad cholesterol)
- Amount of triglycerides (chemical form in which most fat exists in the body)
The blood test will give you a separate count of each type of cholesterol and the total amount of cholesterol. A doctor will use the blood test result to assess the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and other health problems relating to high cholesterol.
What Can You Eat The Night Before The Test?
Most people have doubts regarding the food that they eat the night before the test. You can eat and drink normally like on other days. There is no problem with the food that you eat at night before the test.
In some cases, healthcare professionals may ask the person to avoid eating before a cholesterol test. It is based on the body conditions of the individual. In such situations, they should not consume any food except water the night before a cholesterol test. Fasting means they can only consume water and can’t drink any other liquids.
Eating or Fasting – Which is better?
Standard practice requires that people who are testing cholesterol should take a fast for 9-12 hours. But the recent guidelines suggest that people can eat normal foods unless their doctor gives any suggestions. A paper published in 2017 recommends that non-fasting cholesterol testing is advantageous. Because it is convenient and safe and you can get the results without any delay.
The research examined the test results of 300,000 people. The test result shows that nonfasting tests are at least as accurate as fasting tests. The results have found variations in the results. For example, the triglyceride level will rise by an average of 26 milligrams per deciliter for a nonfasting reading compared to the fasting level. In the final findings, the author believes this difference does not affect the total cholesterol level. Therefore it is clinically insignificant.
According to National Health Service, there are two ways to measure cholesterol levels. You can test cholesterol either using a finger prick test or taking blood from the arm. The first method uses a drop of blood from their arm and placed on a strip of paper. The machine reads the strip of paper and checks the cholesterol level within minutes.
What are the requirements you needed to do for a cholesterol test?
If you are going to check your cholesterol level, you should talk to your doctor regarding the medical conditions that you are currently experiencing. If you have any family history related to heart disease, you should also let the healthcare professional know the details of their medical reports. Talk about the medications, vitamins, herbal remedies, or supplements that you are taking. If you feel any side effects due to particular medicines, remember to inform the symptoms also.
Only this way your health professional can study the risk factors and change the medications if needed. You can’t stop regular medicines without the suggestion of your doctor.
A cholesterol test is a simple test when compared to other medical tests. A technician will seat the person with a special armest. Tie a rubber strip around the arm to find a suitable vein to draw blood. The technician will clean the area using alcohol and inject the needle into the vein to allow the tube to fill. When the tube is filled with blood, the technician will remove the needle from the vein and press the area with a piece of cotton.
The person who is checking cholesterol should have to apply pressure for a few minutes. If it bleeds, sometimes they will apply a small bandage over the gauze. This is the procedure of a blood test. You can engage in normal activities after the cholesterol test. Rest is not compulsorily required after the test. You can either take one hour’s rest or do normal daily activities.
Results of the cholesterol tests
The blood test measures several types of cholesterol. It is measured in mg/dl. As aforementioned, it is possible to separate results by type of cholesterol. When it comes to HDL, higher readings show better results than lowering readings. If your HDL count is 60 mg/dl or higher, it is an optimal level. If the reading shows 40-59 mg/dl, it is less desirable.
The decreasing level of HDL shows the poor condition of your good cholesterol in the body. On the other hand, the lower readings of LDL tend to be better than high readings. If your LDL cholesterol level shows below 70 mg/dl, it is optimal for people with diabetes or heart disease. Bad cholesterol below 100 mg/dl shows optimal levels for people with no heart disease and no increased risk for heart disease. If the LDL level goes above 190 mg/dl, you may have a high risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is the same with the count of triglycerides.
Low-level triglycerides are better than high readings. If you have high-level triglyceride (above 500 mg/dl) you may have a high chance of getting heart disease.
You can eat normal food the night before the cholesterol test. The doctor recommends to some people should follow fasting based on their health conditions. Otherwise, you can freely go and take your blood test to know the cholesterol count.
The American heart association says fasting before a cholesterol test is considered the standard practice. But nowadays, the medical community is starting to change its recommendations.