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Lipidogram is a laboratory test requested by the doctor with the aim of verifying the person's lipid profile, that is, the amount of LDL, HDL, VLDL, triglycerides and total cholesterol, which when they are in abnormal values, represent a great risk for developing cardiovascular diseases, such as angina, heart attack, stroke or venous thrombosis, for example.
The lipid profile test is requested by the doctor in order to identify the risk of these diseases and help guide the ideal treatment for each person, as a way to prevent he alth complications.
To determine the lipid profile, it is necessary to collect a blood sample in the laboratory, which can be done with or without fasting. The need for fasting for 12 hours should be indicated by the doctor according to the person's clinical history.
In the complete lipid profile exam, it is possible to observe the values of:
1. LDL cholesterol
LDL, or low density cholesterol, is popularly known as bad cholesterol because when found in high concentrations it is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. However, LDL is essential for the proper functioning of the body, as it participates in the formation of various hormones.
The ideal is that LDL cholesterol levels are below 130 mg/dl, however, for some people stricter controls are necessary, such as below 100, 70 or 50 mg/dl, depending on conditions such as habit of life, history of disease or the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors. See more about LDL and what to do to control it.
2. HDL Cholesterol
HDL, or high density cholesterol, is popularly known as good cholesterol and it is important that it is increased in the circulation, as it represents greater cardiac protection.It is recommended that its value is above 40 mg for men and women, as a way to prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases and, for this, it is recommended to perform physical activity and have a diet rich in good fats and fibers, present in fish., olive oil, vegetables and seeds, for example.
3. VLDL Cholesterol
VLDL is the type of cholesterol whose function is to transport triglycerides and cholesterol to the tissues of the body, and is part of the non-HDL cholesterol group, so it must be kept at low values, not It is recommended that its values are above 30 mg/dL. Learn more about the harms of high VLDL cholesterol.
4. Non-HDL Cholesterol
It is the sum of all types of cholesterol, except HDL and, like isolated LDL cholesterol, it is also considered by doctors as an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, and can be used for monitoring and guidance of treatment.
Non-HDL cholesterol must be at levels 30 mg/dl above what is considered ideal for LDL, so if the maximum recommended LDL value for a person is 130 mg/dl, non-HDL cholesterol is considered normal if it is up to 160 mg/dl.
5. Total cholesterol
It is the sum of HDL, LDL and VLDL, and it is desirable that it be below 190 mg/dL, since when it is high it also increases the risk of diseases such as heart attack, stroke, angina or pancreatitis, for example. However, it should be taken into account that if the good cholesterol (HDL) is too high, it can increase the total cholesterol value, so it is always important to compare the values of the complete lipid profile.
Also known as triglycerides, these fat molecules are an important source of energy for the body and muscles, however, when they are elevated in the bloodstream, they can facilitate the accumulation of fat in the blood vessels and the development of cardiovascular diseases.
The desirable value of triglycerides in the lipid profile exam is less than 150 mg/dl, and the higher its value, the greater the chances of complications. In addition to cardiovascular disease, excessively high triglycerides can also cause pancreatitis.
See what to do to lower triglycerides.
When the lipid profile test is indicated
Usually, the lipidogram measurement is performed for adults every 5 years, however, if there is a greater risk for heart disease or if the cholesterol is altered in other tests, this interval should be shorter.
Although this test is not normally requested for children and adolescents, it can be performed on those with high chances of developing heart disease, such as those with genetic diseases of cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity, for example.
How to know if my cholesterol is good
To find out if your cholesterol is good, enter your lipid profile test results in the following calculator:
What to do when it's changed
When the lipid profile is altered, it is important to carry out the treatment, which is guided by the doctor and, preferably, with follow-up by a nutritionist. The main ways to handle these changes include:
- Diet changes: you should avoid foods rich in fat, such as fried foods or fatty meats, and excess carbohydrates. However, it should never be forgotten that the diet must be balanced, and with the ideal amounts of nutrients for each person, so it is recommended to follow up with a nutritionist, so that you know how to better select foods and in the ideal amount;
- He althy lifestyle habits: to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, it is recommended to practice regular physical activities, at least 3 to 6 times a week, with a average of 150 minutes of exercise.It is also important to stop smoking, as this habit influences the drop in good cholesterol;
- Use of medication: in many cases the doctor will recommend the use of medication to control cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and some of the main ones include statins to lower cholesterol, such as Simvastatin, Atorvastatin or Rosuvastatin, for example, or fibrates to lower triglycerides, such as Ciprofibrate or Bezafibrate, for example. Discover the options for drugs to lower cholesterol.
Furthermore, to decrease the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases, it is also important to control other risk factors, such as controlling blood glucose levels, blood pressure and losing weight, as all these factors contribute to the formation of atherosclerosis in blood vessels and the development of disease.