Thursday, November 21, 2013

Take A Look At Bloodstream Test Results

Review Your Blood Test Results

A blood test is a tool that a physician uses to assess your health. If you or your doctor suspect that your cholesterol level is elevated, a fasting "lipoprotein profile" will be ordered. A sample of your blood will be drawn and analyzed in a laboratory under controlled conditions, and the results will be sent back to your physician. He or she will review the test results and then determine and monitor treatment. It is important for you to discuss the results with your physician so that you can determine together the best therapy given your risk factors and lifestyle.


Review Your Blood Test Results

1. Make an appointment with your physician. He or she is the one who will order a blood-level cholesterol test and review the results with you.

2. Begin by reviewing your total cholesterol level. This measurement--listed as mg per deciliter (mg/dL)--tells you the total level of cholesterol in your blood. In most cases, the higher your total cholesterol, the higher your risk for heart disease. Generally, a value of less than 200 mg/dL is desirable, placing you at less risk for heart disease. There are, however, other factors to take into account.

3. Analyze carefully your HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels. This is your good cholesterol because it carries cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it is prepared for elimination from the body. HDL levels below 40 mg/dL put you at risk for heart disease. Levels above 50 are good, but you should aim for levels of over 60.

4. Pay particular attention to your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels. They may be the best predictor for your risk of heart disease. For most people, HDL levels should be no higher than 130 mg/dL. If you have other risk factors for heart disease, it should be lower.

5. Don't ignore your triglyceride (a type of fat the body uses to store energy) levels. They are becoming an important predictor of risk for heart disease. Triglyceride levels below 150 mg/dL are normal. Your level will be tested and reviewed as part of your "lipoprotein profile."

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