What is a Lipid Panel Blood Test, and When Should You Take It? 

One of the most important things we can do for our health besides eating right and exercising is to make sure that we have the preventative tests done to make sure everything is going the way it should. It can be scary when your doctor orders a specific test, but most often, these tests are used to check the function of certain organs or make sure that certain substances in the body, such as hormones, glucose, and cholesterol, fall within the desired range. If not, it could mean that there is a problem that needs to be addressed, and the sooner you find these types of issues, the easier it is to treat them.

In this post, we are going to discuss a specialized type of test known as a lipid panel blood test, what it is used for, and when you should take one. Having the information you need about these kinds of tests can make it easier and much less stressful to have the test done.

What is a lipid panel blood test?

A lipid panel blood test is a specialized type of test used to determine the amount of cholesterol and other fats in the blood. This test can be used to detect potential issues before they become a major problem when used as routine screening, or your doctor may recommend the test.

The test specifically looks at total cholesterol, the amount of both LDL and HDL in the bloodstream. Your total cholesterol (TC) is one of three ways your doctor measures your overall cholesterol to determine your risk for various illnesses.

The next thing the panel tests for is your Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL). This is what most folks call “bad cholesterol,” and the higher the concentration in your blood, the higher the potential for blockages and buildup in the walls of the arteries.

Third, the lipid panel blood test will measure your High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL). This is considered the good cholesterol out of the two and measures the number of good fats in the bloodstream that promotes healthy blood flow and circulation. Monitoring this factor will help determine your overall cardiovascular health.

Lastly, the test measures the number of triglycerides in the blood. Triglycerides are a substance that forms glycerol and fatty acids and are the primary component of body fat in the human body. While triglycerides are found in almost everything, measuring the amount of them in a person’s blood tells how much extra fat the person is taking in. This is useful for a number of reasons.

Why might you need a lipid panel blood test?

The primary reason that your doctor may suggest a lipid panel blood test is if either previous tests have come back concerning or you have a potential risk for heart disease, high body fat, or other cholesterol or weight-related health issues.

Your doctor may order it as a routine preventative screening if you’ve had previous health issues or simply due to age to make sure that your arteries and heart remain healthy and you are at optimal weight.

Most often, this test is ordered, and a person has to go to a clinic or testing center to get the test done. This means long waits, co-pays, and having to be around other people.

A better option is to have the test done in the privacy of your home by a home health provider. They can bring the test to you and deliver the results, so you never have to leave your home.

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