Physicans in New York Use Cholesterol Panels to Screen for Heart Disease
Your Upper East Side doctor, Marina Gafanovich uses cholesterol panels to screen patients for current or potential heart disease.
When levels of cholesterol are high, there are usually no obvious signs or symptoms. Thus, a laboratory test for cholesterol is important. When levels of cholesterol are high, this indicates a significant risk for heart disease and stroke. The cholesterol panel should be done once every five years in adults over the age of 20 and older.
“Cholesterol panels” is a lay term for what people in the medical profession describe as “lipid panels”. These blood tests are used by doctors in the screening process for heart disease. The body uses lipids (fats) as a source of energy. However, when there is too high a level of these fatty substances in the bloodstream it can, over time, lead to aortic blockage.
What are risk factors for high lipids?
High levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are associated with several risk factors like eating too much fatty or processed foods, having diabetes, drinking excessive alcohol, being overweight, not performing regular exercise or having a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol levels. If you have any of these risk factors your doctor may consider doing the testing more often to determine if thelevels are responding to treatment. There are also some drugs, whichcan increase cholesterol levels like oral contraceptives, beta-blockers or anabolic steroids. Thus, youshould always tell your healthcare provider of all the supplements and medications you take. In some cases, discontinuing these medications may be the solution to the problem.
Treatment for high lipids
Today there are well-established guidelines to help healthcare providers manage individuals with high cholesterol levels. If the levels of cholesterol are borderline, then in most cases no drug treatment is required. Instead you will be asked to change your lifestyle and this means eating a low fat diet (avoiding processed foods, too much sugar), quitting smoking, and performing some type of regular exercise. If these changes do not affect your cholesterol levels in three months, then the doctor will prescribe you cholesterol-lowering medications.
The testing for cholesterol is usually done after you have fasted overnight. In some cases, your doctor may ask you to stop certain medications (eg oral contraceptives) for a few days before the test.
These panels measure:
- Your total cholesterol level
- Your HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels
- Your LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels
Dr. Gafanovich may widen the scope of the panel depending upon your particular previous diagnostics to include the “Very-low density lipoprotein” (VLDL) levels, as well as, perform other comparative measurements as a part of her cholesterol screening process.
Prior to taking this test, New York Doctor, Dr. Marina Gafanovich, will give you specific instructions in regards to eating and drinking.
Call (212) 249-6218 to schedule your appointment today.