Why cholesterol test important?
High cholesterol may trigger variety of cardiovascular diseases which are mostly spontaneous and life-threatening. Different from other diseases with symptoms, high cholesterol does not show noticeable signs and symptoms other than generally, a chest pain. However, when a severe chest pain occurs, it is usually too late for someone to survive the heart attack. Hence, cholesterol test might be an important, helpful tool in determining the body condition related to the entire level of cholesterol. If the test shows cholesterol level which is too high and therefore, might be harmful, the patient can thus modify their lifestyle to prevent further complications.
Who should get cholesterol level tested?
Cholesterol test will let you know about the level of high-density lipoprotein—the good cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein—the bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. This is beneficial in determining the risk of heart diseases in certain person’s body. The test is especially important if you:
- Have a history of high cholesterol level or heart-related diseases in the family.
- Are overweight.
- Suffer from diabetes.
- Do not do active physical activities.
- Consume high fat diets.
- Are a woman who shows the signs of menopause or has reached menopause.
- Are a man over 35.
What influences the result?
A cholesterol test is done through a blood test. The blood is drained from the vein of an arm, similar to any usual blood sampling procedures. The procedure is commonly painless and there are no specific post-test actions required. However, in general, cholesterol tests are done in the morning, after the patient has fasted overnight. Cholesterol tests consist of a simple HDL and total cholesterol figuring and total lipid profile. Fasting might not be required if you are doing the simple cholesterol test, while total lipid profile requires you to stop eating beforehand.
Encouraging an accurate level of tested cholesterol is important, as inaccurate result often requires repeated procedures, not to mention the absence of treatment you should receive and the unnecessary treatment you do not actually require. There are some factors influencing the result of a cholesterol test, such as:
- Some medications might increase or on the other hand, decrease the level of total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides on your bloodstream.
- Eliminating the effects of cholesterol lowering or heightening medications might require some days. Hence, you need to discuss with your doctor, when you should stop taking the medicines before a cholesterol test is performed.
- Some foods, such as high saturated fat diets contribute to the increasing level of LDL and triglycerides.
- Normal diets which are consistent within a week prior to the cholesterol test is necessary, on order to provide an accurate result of the test. Do not change the diets only because you are going to undergo the test, as the result might be not factual.
- Before a complete cholesterol test, you will be required to fast 12 hours before the procedure is performed, while a simple cholesterol test—seeing the HDL and total cholesterol only does not commonly require fasting.
- Alcohol causes dramatic fluctuation of triglycerides in your bloodstream. Hence, alcohol should be put down at least 24 hours before cholesterol test is performed.
- Wine—red wine consumed moderately is known for increasing the level of good cholesterol or HDL in your bloodstream.
So, is it a good idea to drink wine before a cholesterol test?
The answer is NO. although red wine may increase the level of your good cholesterol, it is not advisable to drink some before you have a cholesterol test performed. While it may give an illustration of a high level of HDL, which is good, wine consumption before the test might disclose your actual cholesterol level. This will not be beneficial if in some other days your LDL level is high and that you actually need help in changing the lifestyle for preventing heart diseases from occurring. Real, accurate illustration of your total cholesterol will be important for determining your entire health state. Hence, modifying the result is not wise and will not be useful for your future health.