What are Lipid profile tests?
A lipid profile test is a combination of various blood tests that are used to identify any possible abnormality or conditions in Lipid, problems relating to cholesterol and triglyceride. This panel of tests is also used to assess cardiac risks and determine any other risk related to heart diseases. Then further decisions regarding the treatment are made depending upon the severity or level of risk.
Along with the lipid profile, doctors consider other factors or symptoms that indicate heart diseases to draw up a treatment plan. Depending upon the results and overview of the test, treatment options are opted which include a combination of medications, changes in diet and exercise that help to reduce the level of lipid, specifically statins.
Additional lipid tests may be recommended during treatment to understand if it has shown a positive impact on the body.
Causes of Lipid disorders
One of the most common causes of lipid disorders is genetic predisposition. If members in the family have lipid disorders or if there is a family history, the risk of diagnosis is higher. You can reduce it by making changes in lifestyle habits.
Certain choices could improve your health or worsen it. Consumption of a diet that includes high amounts of simple carbohydrates, sugar, and saturated fat increases the amount of Lipid level.
Weight gain and belly fat lead to higher levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, so the risk of diabetes increases. People who have diabetes, especially sedentary, can be diagnosed with other conditions where the triglycerides accumulate in some parts of muscles or liver, and instead of being used in the form of energy, they are removed from the body.
Consumption of certain medicines such as steroids, blood pressure medications, medicines for treating psychiatric conditions, and estrogen used in birth control pills can increase the levels of Lipid.
- Hormone disorders-
Hypothyroidism, type 2 diabetes and Polycystic ovary syndrome- PCOS can cause high levels of Lipid.
- Genetic disorder-
A genetic disorder which is called semi lial hypercholesterolemia develops during childhood and can lead to escalation of cholesterol levels throughout the duration of growth. It can reach such heights and complications, that it could lead to risks of attacks and strokes frequently and occur as early as preschool years.
Family members diagnosed with the same condition need to be screened for other causes and symptoms. No symptoms are visible during the early stages of Lipid disorders. People who have very high levels of cholesterol and triglyceride might have a possibility of developing xanthomas, a condition where deposits of cholesterol appear on some parts of ankles or elbows but this is not a common symptom.
A diagnostic test to identify lipid profile
- Advanced Lipid test
If doctors want to understand the risk of heart attacks and strokes in your body, they use advanced lipid testing. Doctors check your blood to understand the levels of LDL and HDL. They also understand the number and concentration of lipoproteins.
Their sizes help to look at them more clearly. This is a more accurate approach towards the assessment of Lipoprotein as compared to other basic Lipid profiles.
- Carotid intima-media thickness test
This type of lipid profile test uses ultrasound evaluation which allows doctors to detect the presence of an amount of plaque in the neck arteries. Doctors are then able to understand the possibility of the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.
The person conducting the test applies a thick gel on your neck and then a handheld device known as a transducer is carried up and down your neck. This test is used for determining the thickness of all the inner and middle layers of the arteries, which are the areas most prone to accumulation of cholesterol deposits.
If thickness increases, there is a higher risk of stroke and heart attack. The present amount of plaque in the neck arteries helps the doctor to get an overall estimated idea about its presence in the coronary arteries. If a large accumulation is present, a more aggressive and higher form of treatment is recommended and opted for.
- Blood test
Doctors advise for a blood test which is called a Lipid profile. You can also refer to it as a fasting lipid profile because consumption of food is not advisable the night before the test. It measures the levels of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Fasting helps to increase the accuracy of the test, except in the case of people who have increased triglyceride levels and there might be a requirement of a more specialized lipid test. If levels in your body are accelerated, the doctor requests for family history, your diet, and exercise habits and tries to understand your complete lifestyle.
They then perform further tests to understand the causes of such elevated levels which could be present due to thyroid disease, kidney disease, medication, and liver disease. Depending upon the overall results of the test, the doctors then suggest changes that need to be made in your lifestyle, food you should avoid, and consumption of certain other medicines. Physicians recommend restricting consumption of any refined carbohydrates like potatoes, white rice, and other trans and saturated fats if the results detect high levels of triglycerides.
Coronary calcium score
To understand how your body is reacting to any suggested medication doctors recommend coronary calcium score tests. It involves the performance of a CT scan which focuses on the heart and uses the method of X-Ray to understand the amount of calcium present in your coronary arteries.
Doctors can understand and look out for any present calcium deposits in the walls of your coronary arteries which express the accumulation of plaque that are signs of early coronary artery disease. They are an accurate reflection of the amount of risk of cardiovascular diseases that could occur in a person and they can understand what level of treatment is required.