Cholesterol Test – Why Do a Cholesterol Blood Test

A cholesterol test can help doctors detect any levels of low density lipoproteins or LDL (bad cholesterol) in your blood. Cholesterol is a waxy or fatty substance that is made in the liver and if it gets too high, it can be a treat to the over all health of diabetics and non-diabetics.

This substance is also found in certain foods that many of us consume.

Some of these foods are from animals that include dairy products such as whole milk, eggs, and meat.

Diabetic or not, we all need a small amount of cholesterol for our bodies to function the way God intended.

Our cell walls or membranes need this fatty substance.

Without it, our bodies will not be able to produce the required hormones needed for daily functions.

This include vitamin like vitamin D and the bile in our stomachs which aids in digestion of fats. Therefore a cholesterol test is very important to determine if there is too much of the bad cholesterol LDL in the blood.

If diabetics experience high cholesterol test results, they may develop severe health problems such as coronary heart disease. Individuals that have been diagnosed with diabetes, should test their blood cholesterol and triglycerides levels one or more times a year.

This is extremely important since they are already at a greater risk for the development of heart disease and other related health problems that are caused by diabetes. Diabetics should make it a priority to keep their blood cholesterol level down and if it is too high, work with their health care provider/s to lower it immediately.

High blood cholesterol used to just be a concern of men but recently it has become a major concern for women as well. Over 200,000 females have developed or died from heart disease in the United States alone. Since diabetes can develop in both men and women, females need to have a cholesterol test done as well.

This will allow their physician to check their cholesterol and triglycerides levels. High cholesterol levels can eventually lead to the build up of plaque in the arteries. When this occurs, the path for normal blood flow is restricted due to the narrowing the arteries.

And as a result of this restriction, a condition call atherosclerosis is developed. This condition is otherwise known as the hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

Types of lipoproteins found the body

Because cholesterol moves through the body by attaching itself to a protein, a cholesterol test can determined the levels of these proteins in the blood. These particular type of proteins are referred to as Lipoproteins and come in three forms. These include:

  • Low Density Lipoproteins, otherwise known as the bad cholesterol or LDL
  • According to medical facts, individuals that are diagnosed with diabetes, have more of the smaller and denser LDL particles. Hence the more LDL there is in your blood, the greater your risk of developing coronary heart disease.

  • High Density Lipoproteins
  • This is called the good cholesterol or HDL for short, is the one that helps your body to rid itself of the bad LDL. The more HDL cholesterol (the good kind) diabetics and non-diabetics have in their blood, the better it is for them. Consequently if your levels of HDL are too low, your risk of developing coronary heart disease will be greater.

  • Triglycerides
  • or Very Low Density Lipoprotiens Cholesterol (VLDL). This is another type of fat that is found in the blood. Normally these triglycerides are found in very small amounts in the blood. However if your cholesterol test reveals a very high level of it, along with a very high level of LDL, then your risk of developing coronary heart disease is even greater.

Factors that are taken into consideration during a cholesterol test!

There are a few more factors that should be taken into consideration when it comes to having a cholesterol test done. These include:

  • Your Diet.
  • A diet that is rich in saturated fats and cholesterol will increase your test levels significantly.

  • Your Weight.
  • Besides the risk of heart disease, diabetics that are overweight can have high cholesterol test results.

    Cholesterol test

  • Exercise.
  • By following a regularly scheduled fitness program, diabetes as well as non-diabetes patients can lose weight.

    At the same time they can lower their cholesterol and boost their HDL.

    It is recommended by fitness professionals that you follow a 30 minutes per day program.

  • Heredity.
  • There are two sources of Cholesterol that we have to deal with. One being the food that we eat and the other being our bodies. Because we inherit the genes of both our parents, it is very possible that we could develop high cholesterol if we have a family history of it.

What involves you having a cholesterol test done

There are certain prescribed medications and countless other medical conditions that can contribute to the development of high cholesterol. A cholesterol test can help to minimize this problem. The test measures the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in a part of the blood called the Serum. This test is actually a blood test that is called a Lipoprotein Profile.

The profile test includes:

  • Total Cholesterol test.
  • LDL cholesterol Test.
  • HDL Test.
  • Triglycerides.

As a diabetic, your doctor may decide to have a non-fasting or a fasting cholesterol test done.

A non-fasting test measures your total cholesterol and your HDL.

Whereas a fasting cholesterol test or lipoprotein profile, measures your LDL, HDL, your total cholesterol, and your triglycerides. Diabetes individuals should always try to keep their cholesterol levels below 200.

This is highly recommended by health care physicians. By lowering their cholesterol, diabetics can decrease their risks of developing coronary heart disease.

Healthy ways of controlling your blood cholesterol

After you have had a cholesterol test done, your doctor may at some point instruct you to:

  • Eat foods that are low in cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, your recommended daily intake of this fatty substance should be under 300mg. If you already have coronary heart disease, then your daily intake should be under 200mg. Avoid all foods that are rich in saturated fats and those that have dietary cholesterol added to them.
  • You should quit smoking if you do and if you don't, don't start. Smoking is a very bad habit that can lead to other health problems that you as a diabetic individual don't need. Smoking will also reduce your levels of the good cholesterol (HDL) and increase your chances of developing atherosclerosis. However if you quit the habit, the affects can be reversed.
  • Increase Your Physical Activity (Exercise). Fitness activities can increase weight loss and it can prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes. Diabetic patients that are overweight have an increased level of triglycerides which lower their HDL cholesterol.

    Diabetics that have an in-active lifestyle, have very low HDL and very low energy levels but by following a regularly scheduled fitness program can cause an increase in HDL and cause an increase in energy.

  • Take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.

A change in your diet or increased physical activity may not be enough. Therefore after you have received your a cholesterol test results, your doctor may prescribe medications that will help lower your cholesterol level immediately.

Medications used in treating high cholesterol levels

Your medication/s may include one of these drugs that are normally used in the treatment of high cholesterol.

  • Satins. These are a group of cholesterol health lowering drugs that include:

    1. lipitor
    2. Crestor
    3. Pravachol
    4. Zocor
    5. Lescol

  • Niacin. This is a drug that is used to treat hyperlipidemia because it reduces very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), a precursor of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol. Because niacin prevents the breakdown of fats, it causes a decrease in free fatty acids in your blood.

    And as a result, a decrease in the secretion of VLDL and cholesterol by the liver is achieved.

    When niacin lowers your VLDL, it also increases the level of your HDL (high-density lipoprotein).

    This is otherwise known as the good cholesterol in the body.

    Sometimes niacin is consumed by individuals that are trying to beat a drug screening test.

    This is usually the case in a marijuana drug test in particular.

  • Bile Acid Resins. Bile acid resins are substances that attach themselves in intestines, to bile acids that contain the cholesterol which are then excreted from the body in the stool. The major effect of bile acid resins, is the reduction in your LDL cholesterol levels. This is usually a 10 to 20 percent reduction.

    Sometimes your physician may prescribe this form of cholesterol treatment with another...such as satin. Usually for patients with heart disease to help them reduce their cholesterol even lower. Combining these two treatment can cause a reduction of about 40%.

    There are three types of cholesterol health lowering drugs that are presently used by doctors today. The first two are the main bile acids resins that are prescribed by doctors. They include:

    1. Cholestyramine. It is most recognized by its brand name QUESTRAN.
    2. Colestipol It is also recognized by its brand name COLESTID.
    3. Colesevelam.

  • Fibric Acid Derivatives. Fibric acid derivatives or Fibrates, are a class of cholesterol health medications that are used to lower your blood triglyceride levels. Fibrates lower your triglyceride levels by reducing the production of VLDL (the triglyceride-carrying particle that circulates in your blood)in your liver.

    Fibrates are are also slightly effective in increasing your HDL cholesterol levels; however, they are not very effective in reducing your LDL cholesterol. These are the only two fibrates that are available in the United States presently. They include:

    1. gemfibrozil
    2. fenofibrate

These medications when combined with a low cholesterol diet, will be most effective. So as a diabetic individual, you should always maintain good diabetes care and have a cholesterol test.

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