A lipid panel is a cholesterol test which is used in order to ascertain the levels of cholesterol in your blood, as well as measuring the ratio of HDL and LDL (high density lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein) and the number of triglycerides in the blood stream to give a result sometimes referred to as a ‘lipid profile’.
This is an important blood test which has many implications on general health. If your reading is too high then this can put you at risk of heart attack or stroke, and it’s important to work with your clinician in order to get your levels back to the healthy normal ranges.
Lipid panel fasting is required before your lipid panel. This fasting means staving off of foods and aspects of your diet which could otherwise alter your results so that you get a clear picture of your cholesterol ‘baseline’ as it were. Here we will look at how to go about fasting for a lipid panel.
Before a lipid panel, you are required to stop eating solid food for 9-12 hours prior. This includes broths soups and anything else – even if they are allowed in other blood tests. The easiest way to accomplish this is to ask for an early morning appointment – this way you can then fast largely overnight when you will be asleep so that you don’t notice the effects. Make sure to have a large meal 12 hours before your test and that this meal is high in complex ‘slow release’ carbs so that your body is provided with adequate energy.
If you should break protocol and eat during your fasting period then you will likely increase your triglyceride levels by 30% or more.
You will also be required to restrict yourself from liquids other than water, so that means no juices or coffees. Alcohol is even more of a no-no and you should try to stay away from beer, wine etc. for 24 hours prior to the panel if possible. Ask your doctor about medications and whether any of your current medications might affect your readings. You may have to abstain from these for varying periods prior to your test.
After your lipid panel you will be able to eat again. Your body will be craving sugars so this is a good time for some quick-release carbs such as wine gums or an isotonic energy drink. Make sure not to eat too much too quickly on an empty stomach as this can end up making you ill.