What does a Lipid profile indicate

When you are the physician’s office and you are having blood samples taken, the tests performed on your blood will measure a number of different levels in your body. One of the main tests is a lipid profile that measures the amount of fats or triglycerides and cholesterol in your blood. Both cholesterol and triglycerides can clog your arteries and cause heart disease. The blood tests can help the physician predict your risk of heart disease and help you make lifestyle changes that can help improve your levels.

How to Read Your Lipid Panel

Each laboratory runs their blood tests slightly differently, but all the results usually include:
* Total cholesterol
* Triglycerides
* High Density Lipoprotein
* Low Density Lipoprotein
Other results that may be included are:
* Total cholesterol to HDL ratio
* Very low density lipoprotein

Total Cholesterol

This number is a sum of the triglycerides, high density lipoproteins, and low density lipoproteins. The general suggestion is to keep this number under 200 mg/dl to minimize your risk for heart disease. If your number is over 200 mg/dl, the results do not automatically mean you are unhealthy. The doctor will review the breakdown of LDL versus HDL levels before any conclusions are drawn from your results.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)

The fast way to remember which cholesterol is the healthy cholesterol and unhealthy cholesterol is that the “L” in LDL stands for lousy. This is the type of cholesterol you want to keep a lower level in your total cholesterol count. When the LDL levels are high, you are at higher risk for heart disease.

High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)

The fast way to remember that the healthy cholesterol is measured by your HDL levels, is that the “H” in HDL stands for healthy. High density lipoproteins help remove low density lipoproteins out of your bloodstream and arteries, preventing hardening and clogs. You want to see a high number when you read your results.


The fats in your blood are referred to as triglycerides and high levels of triglycerides are correlated to diabetes and heart disease. When your triglyceride levels are high, your total blood serum cholesterol will be affected. The doctor will work with you on the best treatment plan for lowering your triglycerides to keep you healthy.

What's Your Goal?

Your cholesterol blood levels are only one way to review your overall health and it can provide you with a general perspective. Depending on your family history and your personal medical history, what is normal for someone else may not be the best indicator that you are OK. The physician will take these results into consideration with your other blood work, physical symptoms and lifestyle choices before determining the best treatment plan with you. Some of the other considerations include your age, family history, diabetes, high blood pressure, and weight. Before you need to add medication to your daily routine, there are other changes you can make to keep your heart healthy for the long term.

What happens if lipid profile is high