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Cholesterol and Triglycerides Tests: About These Tests

What are they?

Cholesterol and triglycerides tests measure the amount of fats in your blood. These fats have both "good" (HDL) and "bad" (LDL) cholesterol.

Why are these tests done?

These tests are done to help find out your risk of a heart attack and stroke. Your doctor uses your cholesterol levels plus other things such as blood pressure, age, and sex to calculate your risk. These tests also help your doctor find out how well medicine is working for some health problems.

How do you prepare for these tests?

    If your doctor tells you to fast before your blood test, do not eat, chew, or drink anything other than small amounts of water for at least 12 hours before the test.

    If you have diabetes and your doctor tells you to fast, do not eat, chew, or drink anything other than small amounts of water for at least 8 hours before your blood test.

    Fasting for this type of blood test means not having anything to eat, chew, or drink other than small amounts of water. You can take any prescription medicines you need.

    Other things to know:
    • Do not eat high-fat foods the night before the tests.
    • Do not drink alcohol or do intense exercise the night before the tests.
    • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your test. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the test and how soon to do it.

How are these tests done?

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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