Cholesterol - Total
What is Cholesterol - Total?
A total cholesterol test also called a lipid panel or lipid profile measures the amount of cholesterol in your blood. The total cholesterol includes low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. This test is done to screen the risk of developing heart disease and to check the efficacy of the ongoing lipid-lowering treatment. Your total cholesterol level reflects your risk for heart disease. In general, the higher the level, the higher your risk.
Normal cholesterol levels can be maintained by following a healthy lifestyle, by losing weight and staying active. If lifestyle changes are not enough, cholesterol-lowering medications may be advised.
Why is Cholesterol - Total done?
The cholesterol - total test is done:
As a part of the lipid profile test
To monitor the levels in case of patients prone to the risk of heart disease
To check patients for any previous history of high lipid levels
In patients undergoing treatment for abnormal lipid levels
What does Cholesterol - Total Measure?
Cholesterol is essential for life, as it is required by the body to work properly. It plays a role in the formation of cell membranes in all organs and tissues in the body. It is associated with the formation of hormones which are important for development, growth, and reproduction. It forms bile acids, which help to absorb nutrients from food.
In the blood, a small amount of cholesterol circulates in the form of lipoproteins which contains protein, cholesterol, triglyceride, and phospholipid molecules. These are classified according to their density into HDL (high-density lipoproteins), LDL (low-density lipoproteins), and VLDL (very low-density lipoproteins). HDL cholesterol is also known as good cholesterol, as it carries excess cholesterol away for disposal while LDL cholesterol is also known as bad cholesterol, as it deposits cholesterol in tissues and organs.
It is important to maintain and monitor the levels of cholesterol for a healthy lifestyle. The source of cholesterol is diet as well. If a person is taking too much of cholesterol-rich foods, it can cause a rise in levels of cholesterol in the blood. The amount of cholesterol which is not required by the body starts to deposit in the form of plaques on the walls of blood vessels. These plaques can narrow or block the blood vessels opening which can lead to the hardening of arteries known as atherosclerosis. Also, with an increase in cholesterol levels, there is an increased risk of various conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
Interpreting Cholesterol - Total results
Cholesterol Levels (mg/dL)
171 - 199
> or = 240
> or = 200
Reference range may vary from lab to lab*