Posts Tagged ‘lipid panel tests’

A Microalbumin urine test is used to detect very small amounts of albumin in urine. Albumin is a blood protein and is used to detect early signs of kidney damage.  This test is typically ordered by those that have chronic conditions that can adversely affect the kidneys:  diabetics (both Type 1 and Type 2) and those with high blood pressure.

kidney awareness Kidneys – Your Body’s Filter

When kidneys are functioning properly, they will filter the waste from your blood. Albumin is present in the blood and there is virtually no albumin present in urine.  If the kidneys stop functioning correctly due to disease, they lose their ability to filter properly and albumin will appear in the urine.  Having albumin protein in the urine reflects increasing kidney failure due to poor filtering capability and you should immediately discuss this with your physician.
Having albumin in the urine indicates issues with the kidney, but research shows that people are also at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

The National Kidney Foundation recommends that the microalbumin urine test should be taken each year for diabetics between the ages 12 and 70.  Additionally, the American Diabetes association advises that this test should be conducted annually for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

If any amounts of albumin are discovered in the urine:

  1. contact your physician
  2. re-test to verify detection of albumin

Those with hypertension should have a microalbumin test at regular intervals as recommended by their physician.
This test is offered by www.HealthOneLab.com by itself or as part of the diabetes test package which includes important tests for all diabetics:

  1. The Hemoglobin A1c test tests for long term glucose levels. Molecules of glucose (sugar) in the blood bind to this fraction of hemoglobin, and stay bound to it for months. The higher the amount of blood glucose, the higher the amount of hemoglobin A1c, and according to its value, one can obtain the average blood sugar during the previous 8 to 12 weeks. The test indicates how well your diabetes has been controlled in the 2 to 3 months before the test. Information gained from this test can help determine whether your diabetes medication needs to be adjusted. It can also help your health professional estimate your risk of developing complications from diabetes, such as kidney failure, vision problems, and leg or foot numbness. The A1c level is directly related to complications from diabetes: the lower your A1c level, the lower your risk for complications.
  2. Microalbumin, Random Urine A microalbumin test checks urine for the presence of a protein called albumin. Albumin is normally found in the blood and filtered by the kidneys. When the kidneys are working properly, albumin is not present in the urine. But when the kidneys are damaged, small amounts of albumin leak into the urine. This condition is called microalbuminuria.
  3. The Comprehensive Health Profile has been our most ordered lab test for 30 years. The profile screens for cardiovascular risk, major organ function, anemia, diabetes, infection, blood disease, and other indications of illness. This is the blood test routinely ordered as part of an annual physical exam and it includes the components of a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel.

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Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.

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When you get a cholesterol test (Lipid Panel), the results show 5 numbers:


1.  Total Cholesterol

2.  Triglycerides

3.  High Density Lipoprotein

4.  Very Low Density Lipoprotein

5.  Low Density Lipoprotein

Many people are just concerned about their Total Cholesterol number but physician’s are increasingly monitoring the other blood lipid numbers to assess overall health.


The Body Needs Cholesterol

Yes, we need to keep our cholesterol in check, but the body needs cholesterol to function.  Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is used for the creation of cell membranes and hormones and it also protects the nerves.  Too much of the waxy substance clogs arteries and increases the risk factor for heart disease.

  • Low Density Lipoprotein has been called, “bad cholesterol” and this number should be low : less than 100.
  • High Density Lipoprotein is called, “good cholesterol because it takes unused cholesterol away from cells to the liver to be excreted.  High levels of HDL can be more efficient at removing excess cholesterol so unused cholesterol is eliminated from the body. Your number should be greater than 60.
  • Triglycerides are the fats that your body uses for energy, so they are necessary, but not in excess.  If your body does not use them for energy, they remain in the blood and can exacerbate hardening of the arteries.  Your number should be less than 150.
  • VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol is the “bad” triglyceride. Elevation represents a risk of heart disease and/or pancreatitis. Your number should be between 5-40.

The lipid panel is the blood test that is used to measure all the cholesterol levels and it is a fasting test.  Most physicians recommend you get tested annually or more frequently if you have certain risk factors.  Also, your physician may recommend a frequent lipid panel test if you are on cholesterol lowering medication to be sure the medication and dosage is working. 

 

www.HealthOneLabs.com for discount lab tests.

 

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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What is Your Lifetime Risk for Diabetes?

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Diabetes is a serious and costly disease which has increased 40 percent in the last 10 years. Based on research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), new estimates suggest that as many as one in three people born recently will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

Here are the estimates for people born after 2000:

• Men, 32.8% will develop diabetes in their lifetime
• Women, 38.5%
• Hispanic males, 45.4%
• Hispanic females, 52.5%

The odds of being diagnosed with diabetes is high and the complications of diabetes are serious:

  • coronary heart disease,
  • kidney failure,
  • blindness,
  • increased risk of cancer, infections, and dementia.

The CDC implemented a Diabetes Prevention Program that took a large group of people who were already pre-diabetics and put them on a lifestyle change program for one year. This included a healthy eating plan (lower calories and saturated fat, and a higher fiber intake), plus 150 minutes of exercise weekly. On this program they lost five to seven percent of their body weight. They also reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent compared to a control group that made no changes.

important diabetes tests

The Harvard University Nurses’ Health Study found that about nine out of 10 cases of diabetes could be avoided by taking these seven simple steps:

  1. Control your weight. Being overweight increases your risk of diabetes sevenfold. Losing just 10 to 15 pounds (if you’re overweight) can significantly reduce your chances of getting diabetes.
  2. Be more physically active. Limit TV viewing and other sedentary pursuits. Harvard found that walking briskly for even 30 minutes daily cut the risk of type-2 diabetes by 30 percent, even without weight loss. They also found that for every two hours of TV a person watched daily, the risk of diabetes increased by 20 percent. By choosing more active leisure time activities you greatly improve your health. Try riding a stationary bike when watching your favorite TV program.
  3. Choose whole grains over white bread and other refined grains. When Harvard combined the research from both the Nurses’ Health Study and the men’s Health Professional Follow-up Study (a total of 160,000 people) they found that those who chose more whole grains (at least two to three servings daily) were 30 percent less likely to develop type-2 diabetes during the 18-year study compared to those who ate primarily white bread, white rice, and other refined cereals.
  4. Skip sugary drinks. Sugar is a high glycemic food that causes the blood sugar to rise rapidly. French fries, white bread, white rice, and refined grains were all linked to higher risks of developing diabetes. For example, in the Nurses’ Health Study, women who had one or more sugar-sweetened drink daily had an 83 percent higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes compared to women who seldom drank sugar-sweetened beverages. Go for water instead of a soft drink.
  5. Choose good fats. Harvard found that as saturated fat went up in the diet, so did the risk of diabetes. On the other hand, those who chose healthy polyunsaturated fats found in liquid vegetable oils, nuts, nut butters, and seeds actually had a lower risk of developing diabetes. Be sure to avoid all trans fats. These very unhealthy fats are found in many solid margarines, packaged baked goods, fried foods in most fast-food restaurants, and any products that list “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on the label.
  6. Limit red meat and avoid processed meat. Red meat and other foods high in cholesterol raise the risk of type-2 diabetes. In a study of over 440,00 people, Harvard found that eating just three ounces of red meat daily (a serving about the size of a deck of cards) raised the risk of type-2 diabetes by 20 percent. Eating processed meats had an even greater risk. Eating just two slices of bacon, or one hot dog daily raised the risk of diabetes by 51 percent. In the Adventist Health Study that including nearly 90,000 people, researchers found that those who ate a healthy, plant-based diet had only one-fourth the prevalence of diabetes compared to those who ate meat regularly.
  7. If you smoke, quit. Smoking significantly increases the risk of developing diabetes.

You can help prevent diabetes or minimize the complications of this disease. Here’s how: Stay lean and be active. Choose healthy meals that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Make it a goal to eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. And choose foods that are low in sugar and other refined carbohydrates.

Sources:
The Journal of the American Medical Association; 290(14):1884-1890.
National Diabetes Prevention Program. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wellsource Newsletter, February 2012
Simple Steps to Preventing Diabetes. Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health.

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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In a meta-analysis of 10 chocolate studies, researchers found that eating dark chocolate reduced LDL cholesterol by more than 6 mg/dL. This isn’t a big drop, but it is significant when combined with other healthy foods that lower cholesterol.

dark chocolate image resized 600

Flavanols, the substances found in dark chocolate that are thought to be protective, have been long known to be good for the cardiovascular system. Flavanols are thought to work by slowing cholesterol absorption. Dark chocolate is also a strong antioxidant and may help protect the cardiovascular system that way as well. Other studies show that dark chocolate can improve endothelial function and lower blood pressure – two measures of cardiovascular health.

These findings confirm results from another meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last year. In this similar study, researchers also found that dark chocolate lowered LDL cholesterol levels by about 6 mg/dL.   It’s easy to add dark chocolate to your diet and it’s you can order your own lab tests to check your cholesterol blood levels.

Another meta-analysis of seven studies including 114,009 people, looked at chocolate intake and the risk of developing a cardiovascular disorder.

Researchers found that those who consumed the highest level of chocolate, versus the lowest level, had a 37-percent decrease in cardiovascular disease, and a 29-percent reduction in stroke.

So, if you enjoy chocolate and want a treat occasionally, you don’t have to feel guilty. It’s important to remember, however, that dark chocolate is also high in calories. If you are going to have dark chocolate, eat only a moderate amount so you don’t increase your body weight. You might also consider walking an extra mile or two to walk off some of the calories. That way you’ll get a double benefit – dark chocolate and the benefit of exercise.

Sources:

Wellsource, February 2013 Newsletter
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2011.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010.
British Medical Journal, 2011.

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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Cholesterol Blood Test – NMR Lipo Test

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So, you had your cholesterol tested recently and some or all of your values are out of the normal range.  We always recommend discussing your lab results with your physician and together you may decide to recheck your cholesterol lipid levels with a more sophisticated test: NMR LipoProfile.

The NMR LipoProfile Test

The NMR LipoProfile test indicates the number of LDL particles (LDL-P).  The blood test is used to assess your risk of cardiac heart disease and a means to provide a protocol to minimize the damaging affects of cholesterol.  Knowing your LDL particle information along with your LDL cholesterol values provides a more complete picture to manage and maintain your heart health.

The NMR LipoProfile test should be used in conjunction with other lipid measurements (e.g. the typical, inexpensive Lipid Panel) to manage cardiovascular disease.

plaque in arteries

Lipid Panel Test

The typical lipid panel, an inexpensive test, is an excellent way to test for the following components and estimating your risk for heart disease:

  1. Total Cholesterol
  2. Triglycerides
  3. HDL Cholesterol
  4. VLDL Cholesterol
  5. LDL Cholesterol
  6. Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio
  7. Estimated Cardiac Heart Disease (CHD) Risk

The NMR LipoProfile test also includes Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL, but also measures the LDL density pattern.   LDL is what is considered the bad cholesterol and the density pattern provides additional information – small and dense LDL can infiltrate the lining of the artery walls and can aggressively promote plaque formation. It is believed that the smaller, denser LDL particles are more likely to cause clogged arteries than particles that are light and less dense.  The NMR LipoProfile test can provide this additional information.

The NMR LipoProfile test also provides an Insulin Resistance Score.  The score combines information from lipoprotein particle concentration and size to give improved assessment of insulin resistance and diabetes risk.

Should You Get the NMR LipoProfile Test?

If you have any of these factors that contribute to cardiometabolic risk, the NMR LipoProfile test — The Particle Test — may be right for you:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiometabolic risk
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Previous heart attack
  • Family history of heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Low HDL (dyslipidemia)
  • High triglycerides

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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High Cholesterol Test Results? Lower It.

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If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, there is an increased risk for heart disease and stroke.  The three main lifestyle changes you can employ, without the use of medication are:

1.  diet – eating healthy foods

2.  losing weight

3.  exercise

cholesterol blood test

Start reducing your cholesterol now to avoid heart and blood vessel disease that is caused by a buildup of cholesterol, plaque and other fatty deposits along artery walls.  When the buildup is large, the arteries become clogged and the blood flow is reduced.  Arteries feed oxygen rich blood to the heart, but if they are blocked and blood flow is reduced, a heart attack is likely to occur.  It is also likely that a blood clot could form and block an artery leading to the brain therefore causing a stroke.

Limit the use of whole milk, cream and ice cream.  A good substitute – low fat milk products.  Be careful of fat-free products as sometimes added sugar is used in lieu of fat.  Minimize the use of butter, egg yolks and cheese.  Instead use Omega-3 rich olive oil, just egg whites and maybe a sprinkle of low fat cheese for flavor.  Highly processed meats such as hot-dogs, sausage, and salami are high in sodium, nitrates and fat  Consider turkey sausages as a lower fat alternative.  When you have a craving for a high fat food, try a small handful of nuts that will provide the healthy fats along with some protein.  Meatless meals once or more per week is another great way to minimize fat without sacrificing flavor.  Black beans, chickpeas or healthy grains like quinoa can be filling and satisfying without the fat.

If you cannot manage your cholesterol with diet, exercise and losing weight, your physician may want you to start a protocol of cholesterol lowering medications.

You have heard of Statins – these are drugs that can lower your cholesterol by blocking a substance your body uses to make cholesterol.  The drug also may absorb cholesterol that has built up on your artery walls.

Using statins is a life-long commitment:  your cholesterol will most likely go back up if you stop taking the statins.  The only way you may be able to safely stop taking statins is if you can modify your cholesterol through diet, weight control and exercise.

As with all medications, there are side effects to consider.  Minor side effects are muscle and joint aches, nausea, diarrhea or constipation.  Major side effects could include liver damage, muscle pain and increased blood sugar.  Most people on statins will regularly test the liver via a liver function test (also called a hepatic panel) and they will also monitor longer term average sugar via a hemoglobin A1c test.  Discuss all medications, lifestyle habits and tests with your physician to determine the best protocol for you.

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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