All of the cholesterol that moves along a person’s bloodstream is combined with proteins, forming lipoprotein complexes. Depending on density, they are divided into several fractions. The lipoproteins of each of them act on the body in a certain way.
High-density lipoproteins - are involved in the construction of cell membranes and ensuring their ability to selective permeability, the absorption of vitamins, the synthesis of hormones and the production of bile. Due to their functioning, the elasticity of blood vessels increases, the number of cholesterol plaques on their walls decreases markedly.
Low-density lipoproteins, which with an increased content lead to the formation of cholesterol layers.
Very low density lipoproteins. They are the most characteristic indicator of the development of pathological changes in the body. With the growth of their number in plasma, we can safely say about the appearance of atherosclerosis.
Intermediate density lipoproteins resulting from the conversion of very low density lipoproteins into low density lipoproteins. They provoke the appearance and development of diseases of the organs of the cardiovascular system.
There are several indications for analyzing the amount of cholesterol in plasma. The main ones are: the study of the risk level of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease; the patient has pathologies of the endocrine system; all kinds of kidney disease; pathology of the functioning and liver disease; dyslipidemia studies; monitoring the effectiveness of therapy with statins and other medical drugs.
To date, cholesterol standards have been defined in medicine, which characterize the presence or absence of various pathologies. It is important to remember that a certain rate of cholesterol in the blood plasma is not constantly at the same level. With age, its values change.
So, in people of more adult age, this indicator will always be higher than in children and young people. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the existence of differences related to gender.
One of the most common tests to identify violations of lipid metabolism in a patient is a general and biochemical blood test. To conduct them, you must donate blood from a vein. This is done on an empty stomach in the morning.
Before conducting such a study, it is not recommended to eat fried and fatty foods for 12 hours.
In addition to laboratory testing of blood for cholesterol, you can use the rapid test, which is performed at home. The use of rapid diagnosis is recommended for those taking medications that reduce the amount of cholesterol, to track the effectiveness of therapy.
It is very important that patients diagnosed with heart disease independently monitor their cholesterol values. This is especially true for patients older than 60 years.
Such self-control will help in a timely manner to seek help from a specialist and prescribe a special diet and medication therapy drugs.
To carry out such a diagnosis, you need to buy a special one-time rapid test or an electronic rapid analyzer with one-time test strips in a pharmacy.
An important condition for the quality of the test at home is compliance with the rules of preliminary preparation:
- The last meal should be carried out no later than 12-16 hours before the study. In cases of a longer period of fasting, the patient's body may significantly weaken, leading to the appearance of incorrect test results;
- It is advisable not to drink alcoholic beverages for a day before the procedure, and for 1.5-2 hours it is also recommended to stop smoking;
- Before donating blood, it is advisable to limit yourself to a glass of purified water;
- If different kinds of drugs are used, this should be taken into account, as they often affect the test results.
- The level of cholesterol in young women of reproductive age does not depend on the menstrual cycle, so the study can not refuse even during menstruation.
One of the most important advantages of the rapid test to determine the level of cholesterol can be considered the absence of the need to visit the laboratory, as well as obtaining instant results of analysis. A conclusion about the approximate cholesterol concentration can be made within a few minutes after the test. The patient can receive the results of laboratory tests only a few days later.
The algorithm of using electrochemical glucometers for rapid tests is the same as when detecting blood glucose levels:
- A drop of human blood is placed on a special test strip located in the device;
- After a few minutes, you can evaluate the result that appears on the display.
The interpretation of the results of the analysis is usually carried out by a doctor, but for maximum convenience, patients can be guided by generally accepted indications.
The indicator of total cholesterol in blood plasma for a healthy person is from 3.1 to 5 mmol per liter. At the same time, for pregnant women, an increase of up to 12-15 mmol per liter is considered the norm. Such indicators do not require remedial measures, adherence to a special diet that promotes the removal of atherosclerotic plaques.
A value of 5.1 - 6.1 mmol per liter of blood is considered to be moderately elevated. With such indicators recommended a change of diet, an increase in physical activity, adjustment of lifestyle and the rejection of bad habits.
In some cases, the value of total cholesterol from 6.1 to 6.9 can also be attributed to moderately high or high cholesterol levels. The use of drugs that reduce it, in this case is not appointed.
An indicator of cholesterol above 6.9 mmol per liter should be considered as having a negative effect on human health. At the same time, it is necessary to start treatment immediately, including with drugs.
Indicators of HDL levels for any values of total cholesterol should not be lower than 1 mmol per liter. Moreover, the norm for women is the mark not lower than 1.42, for men - 1.68.
The norm of LDL for women is the range from 1.9 to 4.5 mmol per liter, and for men - from 2.2 to 4.8.
This kind of test systems and devices are tools for non-invasive studies of blood cholesterol. These are low-impact devices and test strips. It should be remembered that the use of such diagnostic methods is not very accurate. In addition, devices for express analysis have a fairly high price.
A blood test for cholesterol is described in the video in this article.