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Cholesterol Test

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CHOLESTEROL TEST DEFINITION

A cholesterol test (also known as a lipid profile, a lipid panel, or a complete cholesterol test) is a blood test that involves measuring how much triglycerides or cholesterol in your blood. This test can assist in determining your risk for plaque buildup in your arteries or atherosclerosis.

CHOLESTEROL TEST PURPOSE

A cholesterol test is important because high cholesterol levels don't usually show any outward signs and symptoms even though they're a significant risk factor for heart disease. Furthermore, all adults age 20 or older should be taking this test every five years or so to ensure their health.

CHOLESTEROL TEST RISKS

There are little to no risks associated with taking a blood test. They include the usual unlikely complications of excessive bleeding, lightheadedness, and infection. There may also be difficulty in finding veins because they vary in size from one side of the body to the other and from person to person.
CHOLESTEROL TEST
Image: CHOLESTEROL TEST

CHOLESTEROL TEST PREPARATION REQUIRED

This test requires you to fast for 12 hours, which means you shouldn't eat or drink during that allotted amount of time. You can drink water during the time leading up to the test, but you should avoid drinking juice, coffee, or any other beverages. Tell your doctor about your medical and drug history as well.

CHOLESTEROL TEST PROCEDURE

After fasting (you should tell your doctor in case you drank water 8 hours before taking the test as opposed to the allotted 12-hour timeframe), your blood will be taken from a vein on your arm just like in a normal blood test (only this time, they'll take a vial's worth of blood). It's usually done in the morning so that you can sleep while you fast for 12 hours.

CHOLESTEROL TEST COMPLICATIONS

The usual complications for a cholesterol blood test are the same complications found in any other blood test, and they include infection, hematoma, bruising, excessive blood loss, and faintness after taking your blood.

CHOLESTEROL TEST SIDE EFFECTS

The immediate side effect you'll get out of this blood test is pain or throbbing in the penetration site. If pain persists, contact your doctor immediately.

CHOLESTEROL TEST RESULTS

A complete cholesterol test usually examines your total cholesterol, your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ("good" cholesterol), your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol), and your triglycerides (type of fat in the blood). Depending on the results in the lab, your doctor will be able to determine your risk for diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
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