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Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like, waxy substance found in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells. It's normal to have cholesterol. Cholesterol is an important part of a healthy body because it's used for producing cell membranes and some hormones, and serves other needed bodily functions. But too much cholesterol in the blood is a major risk for coronary heart disease (which leads to heart attack) and for stroke. Hypercholesterolemia is the medical term for high levels of blood cholesterol.
Only about 20% of cholesterol comes from the foods you eat. The other 80% is made by your body. Things such as age and family health history affect how much cholesterol your body makes.

Cholesterol levels tend to rise as you get older. Unfortunately, there are usually no signs that you have high cholesterol. But it can be detected with a blood test. These tests can also help your doctor predict what your risk for heart disease may be.

The total cholesterol number is based on:
- LDL ("bad" cholesterol)
- HDL ("good" cholesterol)
- Triglyceride (a type of fat found in your blood) levels

If you're worried about high cholesterol and heart disease, make an appointment to speak with your doctor.

HDL-Cholesterol (Direct)
HDL is one of the classes of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol in the blood. HDL is considered to be beneficial because it removes excess cholesterol and disposes of it. Hence HDL cholesterol is often termed "good" cholesterol. The test for HDL measures the amount of HDL-cholesterol in blood.

High levels of HDL can help protect you from a heart attack or stroke. HDL carries cholesterol from the body's tissues to the liver. So, low levels of HDL can increase the risk of heart disease.

LDL-Cholesterol (Direct)
LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol. When too much of it circulates in the blood, it can clog arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. LDL cholesterol is produced naturally by the body, but many people inherit genes from their mother, father or even grandparents that cause them to make too much. Eating saturated fat, trans fats and dietary cholesterol also increases how much you have. If high blood cholesterol runs in your family, lifestyle modifications may not be enough to help lower your LDL blood cholesterol. Everyone is different, so work with your doctor to find a treatment plan that's best for you.

VLDL (Very low density lipoprotein) is composed mostly of cholesterol, with not much protein. VLDL is often called "bad cholesterol" because it leaves cholesterol on the walls of arteries.

Total Cholesterol
The total cholesterol is based on:
- LDL ("bad" cholesterol)
- HDL ("good" cholesterol)
- Triglyceride (a type of fat found in your blood) levels

Related Videos

Lowering Your LDL Levels - Hindi
Lowering Your Triglycerides - Hindi
Understanding Cholesterol

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

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