One of the major causes of natural death in the United States is heart attack and it is believed that about half a million Americans succumb to the disease ever year. This number can easily be reduced if an individual takes proper care of their health. Apart from a regular stint at exercising and strict diet control, it is mandatory that the person check his cholesterol frequently. A Cholesterol lipid panel will help a person check his cholesterol and help him retain normalcy. When the level of cholesterol in the blood increases, chances are the person is a good candidate for heart attack. Apart from high cholesterol, other causes too can contribute:
- Genetic factors
- Heavy bouts of drinking
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a soft wax-life fatty substance produced mainly in the liver. There are two kinds of cholesterol – High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL). Cholesterol also contains Triglycerides and this is responsible for giving energy to a person’s body. The body has the capability to produce the energy needed by a person; complemented by the food he consumes. Once the food is eaten by a person it is converted into energy, the rest of it is stored in the body for later use.
Cholesterol is found in every cell in a person’s body in the form of lipoproteins. High-Density Lipoprotein, or HDL, as it is fondly called, is good for the body as it is responsible for removing the blocks in the arteries and taking the cholesterol back to the liver. Low-Density Lipoprotein, or LDL, on the other hand is considered bad cholesterol because it has the tendency to clog the arteries. However, minuscule amounts are necessary because a person’s body needs a certain amount of cholesterol.
Too much cholesterol will lead to a condition called atherosclerosis (thickening of arteries and later, when the plaque in the arteries rupture clotting of blood too) and this will eventually lead to heart attacks. In order to control this from happening, a person should check his cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides through cholesterol lipid panel. The total cholesterol must never go beyond 200mg/DL. HDL should be maintained at 40 or 50mg/DL and LDL at a range of 70-130 mg/DL.
A cholesterol lipid panel test is actually a blood test that measures cholesterol levels and should be taken after 12 hours of fasting.
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