Laboratory Blood Tests

 

What to look for and what to ask for when seeing your doctor or getting blood work done.   Cholesterol panel, most doctors will order a cholesterol panel, a straight forward very meaningless test and a poor indicator of heart disease.  There is however some meaningful information that can be found with in this older style test regardless of what the totals are.  Do not let total numbers concern you, take a look at the ratios of numbers you are given.

The first ratio you want to look at is your HDL divided by Total cholesterol.  You want this number to be greater than 0.24.  Less than 0.24 is an indication you may have a problem.  An example, my total cholesterol is 150, my HDL is 40, 40/150 = 0.26.  This number is higher than 0.24 but not by much which means I still have room for improvement with my HDL.

The second ratio you can take a look at and this one I find is more important than the first is your Triglyceride/HDL ratio.  Having high triglycerides and a low HDL is a good indicator of future heart trouble.  Trigs/HDL = <2.0 indicates you are at a good ratio, greater than 2.0 indicates you need some improvement in either lowering your trigs or raising your HDL.  Both of these can be accomplished at the same time by reducing your carbohydrate consumption and increasing your saturated fat consumption.  Let us take a look at an example.  My triglycerides are 30, my HDL is 40, 30/40 = 0.75.  So according to this my trigs/HDL is at a very healthy ratio.

If you want detailed report of your cholesterol you need to request either a VAP test or a NMR Lipoprotein test.  Both of these tests will determine particle size.  Particle size is a much better indicator of future complications due to inflammation with in your arteries.  What you are looking for here is large and fluffy particle size, small and dense indicates inflammation your body is trying to repair.  I prefer the NMR test as it also has a math model to determine insulin resistance.

There are other tests you may be interested in, especially if you have adjusted your diet and still are finding it difficult to control your glucose levels.

Vitamin B-12, Cortisol, Electrolytes, DHEA, Testosterone, Estrogen, Estradiol, Progesterone, C-Peptide and GAD antibodies to determine what type of diabetes that you have. 

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