Statin Follow Up Blood Test
If you've been prescribed a statin medication to lower your cholesterol, your doctor may recommend periodic blood tests to monitor your cholesterol levels and response to the medication. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people taking statins have their cholesterol levels checked four to 12 weeks after starting the medication, and then every six to 12 months.
Your doctor may also recommend other blood tests to monitor your health while taking a statin. These tests may include a fasting blood sugar test, liver function tests, or a test for creatine kinase (CK), an enzyme that can be released into the blood when the muscle is damaged. If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking a statin, such as muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, let your doctor know. He or she may want to order additional tests to rule out any health problems.
- Total Cholesterol
- Total Protein
- HDL % of total
- Non HDL Cholesterol
- LDL Cholesterol
Total cholesterol is the measure of all the cholesterol in your bloodstream. Chloesterol is naturally formed in the liver and aids in the function of food digestion enzymes, vitamin D as well as hormones and substances needed for healthy cell function. Moderate levels of cholesterol in your blood stream are needed for helahty body function, however, an excess of HDL and LDL cholesterol may lead to a risk of heart disease or stroke. The total cholesterol check will measure the amount of lipoproteins in the blood that carries the cholesterol around the body.
A total protein test measures the levels of all the proteins in your blood. The two proteins albumin and globulin have many important functions in the body and are primarily responsible for fighting infection, carrying nutrients and ensuring proper transport within blood vessels. The normal protein level in the blood is between 6 to 8g/dL. If you have low levels of total proteins in the blood it could be an indication of liver damage or malnutrition.
Protein - Globulin
A globulin test may be able to identify a liver infection. The globulin levels within the blood can be checked through a blood test with the normal result ranging between 2.3 to 4.5 g/dL. The globulin is a group of proteins produced in the liver that are responsible for fighting off infections, healthy liver function, blood clotting and metal transportation. The resulting treatment for high globulin levels are based on the underlying cause. If an infection has caused a high globulin count then the treatment will focus on the infection. If an inflammation has occurred, a medication or lifestyle change may be required.
Liver health - Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
Found mostly in the liver and bones, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a blood enzyme that breaks down proteins. The ALP is tested to determine if there are high ALP levels which may be a sign of liver, gallbladder or bone disease. If there are low levels of ALP detected in the blood, it may be due to malnutrition or protein deficiency, possible due to celiac disease. The results of an ALP test will vary depending on your age, blood type, sex and if you are pregnant.
Liver Health - Bilirubin
When red blood cells breakdown it produced a brownish-yellow pigment called Bilirubin. At built up of bilirubin within the bloodstream may be the cause of jaundice or liver disease.
Triglycerides are a type of fat carried in the bloodstream that are an essential part of the healthy functioning of the body. Triglycerides are the excess fat stores left after eating and are stored for later use as energy. Cardiovascular issues can be linked to elevated levels of triglycerides so it is important to monitor the levels of triglycerides when also checking cholesterol levels.
HDL % of total
HDL % of total refers to the percentage of HDL or 'good' cholesterol within the blood compared to the rest fof the cholesterol in the blood.
Non HDL Cholesterol
HDL is known as the good cholesterol. In this test we monitor all the non HDL cholesterols found in the bloodstream. This test is seen as a primary indicator and risk assessment tool for cardiovascular health. It is recommended that non HDL cholesterol levels be below 4mmol/L to ensure a low amount of harmful and non-protectful blood cholesterol. To reduce the amount of this cholesterol in the body, it is recommended to have a balanced diet and active lifestyle.
Protein - Albumin
The albumin protein is responsible for healthy body tissue and transporting hormones, drugs and vitamins as well as other essential substances around the blood. The levels of albumin can be checked by a blood test with normal results ranging from 3.5 to 5 g/dL. The test enables an insight to how many hormones are available to the tissue and if a change in diet or an added supplement is required for the individual.
Liver Health - Alanine transferase (ALT)
Alanine transferase (ALT) is an enzyme produced in the heart and liver cells. The testing of ALT will detect how much ALT is in the bloodstream but cannot show how much damage has been caused to the liver. The test is important to determine the health of the liver especially if drugs, heavy alcohol use or viruses (hepatitus) have been present. Lower ALT results have mostly indicated a healthy liver but healthy ALT ranges will depend on many factors, such as age and sex.
Liver Health - Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT)
The gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) test is undertaken to measure the amount of the GGT enzyme in the blood. GGT's function in the body is to transport molecules and aid the metabolization of toxins and drugs within the liver. A high GGT reading can be due to liver damage or disease, these may include hepatitis or cirrhosis. Testing Gamma GT is also important for bile duct infection and monitoring alcohol abuse.
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
An Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) test is done to ensure an average amount of the enzyme is present within the blood. The enzyme is usually found within the liver, muscles and heart as well as other tissues around the body. When AST levels have increased it means there has been damage to the nearby tissues and cells. The AST is an enzyme that helps to trigger important chemical reactions within the body.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) are responsible for removing other types of cholesterol from the body. HDLs have an anti-inflammatory effect which help to protect the heart and blood vessels. It is important to measure the cholesterol/HDL ratio for calculating the risk of a heart attack.
LDL Cholesterol or Low-density lipoprotein is a molecule made of lipids and proteins that helps the body transport fats such as triglycerides. Higher levels of LDL can lead to an increase of fatty deposits within the artery walls which increases the risk of cardiovascular issues.
Symptoms of Statin deficiency
Symptoms of statin deficiency include:
- High levels of LDL cholesterol
- Low levels of HDL cholesterol
- Elevated levels of tryglcerides
Why take the test
The Statin Follow Up Blood Test will check through the levels of vital cells and enzymes within the blood after an individual begins a Statin medication. The blood test will sample an important array of blood contents including Triglycerides, Bilirubin as well as the HDL and LDL cholesterol levels. A healthy balance of the cholesterol proteins within the liver, body tissue and other organs within the body is vital for the avoidance of cardiovascular problems. The Statin Follow Up Test will also check up on the health of the liver to ensure it is functioning properly or if there is evidence of damages or the presence of disease which will require further treatment. After the results of the blood test are complete, a report will be sent to our qualified doctors who will proceed to give advice for further treatment if needed.
"Statins can affect liver function so it can be useful to see how your liver is performing after starting a cholesterol-lowering tablet. It’s also important to see if your cholesterol has lowered appropriately to ensure the statin is working at the dose that’s been given without causing an impact on the liver."
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