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Reasons, Preparation and Procedure For Conducting a Total Cholesterol Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

A total cholesterol blood test is a blood test to check the cholesterol and triglyceride in the blood. Total cholesterol testing is necessary to check the level of cholesterol in the blood. This test is especially essential for anyone who is at a risk of getting heart disease or suffers from heart disease. A total cholesterol home test is essential for anyone who believes in remaining fit and wants to keep his cholesterol level under check.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol attaches itself to a protein and travels through blood. This package is known as a lipoprotein. A Lipid profile test is done to check the level of total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol.

  • Cholesterol - Cholesterol is used by the body to produce hormones and build cells. Excess cholesterol in the blood can clog artery walls and form plaque. Too much of plaque can increase the risk of heart disease.
  • HDL cholesterol - This is good cholesterol that binds with fat in the blood and helps to remove it from the body.
  • LDL cholesterol - Known as 'bad cholesterol', LDL cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease.
  • VLDL - This lipoprotein distributes the triglyceride that is created by the liver. Excessive VLDL can increase the chances of a stroke and heart disease.
  • Triglycerides - Triglycerides are fat that is stored in the body as energy.

Reasons Why It is Conducted

  • This is done to screen for a lipid disorder.
  • This test is done to check how a person is responding to treatment for lipid disorders.
  • A test like this can determine if you are at a risk of getting heart disease.
  • This test might be done to screen for diseases that cause high cholesterol in people.

Preparation

You need to speak with your doctor about the preparations that you need to make for the test. For a total cholesterol test, you can get the test done even if you've eaten a meal before going in for the test.

For some of the other tests you may have to abstain from food and drink for nine to twelve hours before the blood test. In general, it is advisable not to eat high-fat foods before you go in for the test. Some medicines may affect the test results. You should not drink alcohol before the test.

Procedure

The total cholesterol test is done by following a simple blood test procedure. The health care expert will tie an elastic band around your upper arm and clean the area with alcohol, before inserting a needle.

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