FLP or Fasting lipid profile blood test is also sometimes called fasting cholesterol test. Lipids are the fats in your blood which travels through the blood attached to a protein known as lipoproteins. Cholesterol is needed by your body, but too much cholesterol leads to coronary artery disease. The blood cholesterol level is directly related to the foods you eat or to genetic conditions. It is also associated with conditions such as obesity and thyroid or liver disease.
Lipoproteins are classified broadly into two types depending on the relation of protein to fat which are:
- High density lipoprotein (HDL): Known as the 'good' cholesterol, it removes excess cholesterol from the walls of the arteries, making them wide enough for the flow of sufficient blood and oxygen to the heart.
- Low density (LDL) lipoprotein: Known as the 'bad' cholesterol, the presence of LDL above the desired level leads to thickening of the walls of the artery. This makes the arteries narrow and causes shortage of the supply of blood and oxygen in sufficient amounts.
A FLP lipid profile blood test is generally performed to measure the different types of cholesterol and the amount of triglycerides in your blood. The test provides detailed information on the amount of good and bad cholesterol in the blood. The result of the test then allows the doctors to assess your risk of coronary heart disease. The data obtained can assist the physician in recommending lifestyle changes to bring the levels back into an acceptable range and thus decrease the chances of heart attacks and strokes.
When going for a fasting lipid profile blood test, the doctor will ask you to come on an empty stomach without eating or drinking anything. Generally, the test is taken after a 12 hour fast. For the most accurate results, doctor advises the patient to wait at least two months after a heart attack, surgery, infection, injury, or pregnancy to check cholesterol levels. For the test, a blood sample is taken in the usual way. This is then sent to a laboratory where the lipids in the sample are measured. The results are taken into consideration to design a healthy diet and exercise program to make healthy changes in your lifestyle.
The results of the test come back listing four numbers. This then shows the level of total cholesterol in your blood, low Density Lipoprotein (LDA),high Density Lipoprotein (HDL), and triglycerides. The ideal range for lipid profile test is as follows:
- Total cholesterol - Under < 200 mg/dL
- LDL - < 80 mg/dL,the lower, the better
- HDL - Men - 65 mg/dL,women - 75 mg/dL or higher
- Triglycerides - 2 or Less.
The more the blood test result is out of the normal range, the more you are at a risk of heart diseases. However, the doctor will recommend and assess the condition depending upon the other risk factors as well such as blood pressure, smoking, age and sex, family history, and other medical conditions. The fasting lipid test is recommended to healthy people at least once in five years and in case of diabetic patients the fasting lipid panel should be performed annually.
Submitted by M T on June 1, 2010 at 08:59