What is a Lipid Panel ?
The American Heart Association recommends everybody above the age of 20 years to carry out cholesterol level test. This test is to be done every five years periodically. This test is technically called lipid panel test. This article tries to gain further insight on what is a lipid panel.
What is a Lipid Panel ?
Lipid is the name given to all the forms of the fat cholesterol. These forms are low-density protein, high-density protein and triglycerides. The lipid panel test provides information about all these forms and the total cholesterol level which is the sum of these forms.
Precautions to be Followed Before the Lipid Panel Test:
- Based on the age-group of the patient, fasting is to be carried out prior to this test.
- The accuracy of HDL and Triglycerides levels is not affected much by taking food.
- But levels of LDL is sensitive to taking food. It is for this reason that doctors instruct the patients to fast before this test.
What Lipid Panel Test Involves ?
All this test requires is the blood after fasting for certain hours. The blood is collected using a syringe. A vein is selected near the elbow region. That vein is disinfected by wiping the area with an anti-septic. A strap is placed on the upper arm. This applies pressure and the vein is seen clearly. The needle of the syringe is gently inserted into the vein and the blood gets collected in a tube attached to the needle. A cotton ball is pressed on the location of injection to stop bleeding if ever that occurs. The results are available after the blood sample is analysed by lab assistants in the laboratory.
In recent times, there are testing kits available in the market to test the cholesterol level in the privacy and convenience of our home. A drop of blood is placed on a strip with special chemicals. Once the strip comes in contact with the blood, it changes color. The device compares the color of the strip with the pre-defined colors representing cholesterol levels between 150 – 300 mg/dL. The results are displayed instantly. The whole process does not take more than three minutes to complete.
Knowledge about queries like what is a Lipid panel? is essential. It is because our food habits and lifestyle in present times are such that they all contribute to the rise of cholesterol levels in a big way.