How does not fasting for the standard lipids panel change the results?



How does not fasting for the standard lipids panel change the results?

In: Biology

By eating prior to having the blood drawn, you may elevate the levels of the chemicals they are looking for in order to make the determinations they’re seeking.

A standard lipid panel looks at the presence of a lot of different chemicals in blood, and their concentrations, in order to make some pretty bold assumptions. By fasting for at least 8 hours prior, you can be certain that the levels in the blood are your “standard operating levels and not “elevated cause I just ate a sleeve of oreos” levels. After eating a whole sleeve of oreos, it’s very likely that your blood sugar will be very high. If I’m taking a blood test to see if you have high sugar, that’s going to show up when in reality you have normal blood sugar.

So you fast to ensure your levels are “normal” and not atypical due to something you might have just eaten/drank.

When you get a lipid panel it measures a couple things. Total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, Triglycerides, etc. The ‘bad cholesterol,’ LDL is not measured directly on many tests (newer tests may measure it directly). Historically, the LDL is calculated using: Total cholesterol – HDL – Triglycerides/5.

While eating does not change some of those cholesterol values much, they can change your triglycerides (especially with fatty meals) for a few hours. Thus it will also affect your ‘LDL’ measurement. Nowadays we put less emphasis on fasting unless your Triglycerides are high to begin with.