Lipid Profile

What is it?

  • A lipid profile is a group of blood tests that tells how your body uses, changes, or stores lipids. Lipids are fats and cannot dissolve in blood. Lipids stick on proteins in the blood and are called lipoproteins. The amount of lipoproteins in the blood can change with what you eat. The amount can also change because of some illnesses and because of heredity.

  • Some of the lipids included in the profile are cholesterol, triglycerides, and high density cholesterol. Low density cholesterol (LDL) is usually calculated from the values of HDL, triglycerides and total cholesterol.

  • The job of HDL is believed to be the removal of cholesterol from tissues. Then HDL takes cholesterol to the liver where it is removed from the body. This is why HDL is known as the "good cholesterol."

  • LDL can carry cholesterol and deposit it in the arteries, which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This is why LDL is known as "bad cholesterol."

Why do I need it?

A lipid profile can help find out if you are at risk of developing heart disease. This test may also be done to see how your medicines are working.

How do I get ready for the test?

Your caregivers will tell you when to have your blood test done. Do not eat or drink anything, except water, for at least 12 hours before the test. Ask your caregivers if you should wait to take your medicines until after your blood is taken.

How is the blood collection done?

A caregiver will put a wide rubber strap around your arm and tighten it. Your skin will be cleaned with alcohol. A small needle attached to a special test tube will be put into a vein in your arm or hand. The tube has suction to pull the blood into it. When the tube is full, the rubber strap, needle and tube are removed. The caregiver will press a piece of cotton where the needle was removed. You may be asked to hold the cotton on the area for a few minutes to help stop the bleeding. Tape may then be put over the cotton on your arm.

What do I do after the test?

You may remove the tape and cotton in about 20 to 30 minutes. Follow the instructions of your caregiver. Call your caregiver to get the results of your test. Your caregiver will explain what your test results mean for you.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your lab tests. You can then discuss the results with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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