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What Do These Labs Mean? - The Advanced Lipid Panel

Updated: Sep 6, 2023


Hey everybody happy functional medicine Friday, Dr. Julie McLaughlin here. What we're going to talk about today, is part of our series where we're looking at, what do the blood test mean? So we're going to be talking about advanced lipids. Last week we talked about the lipid panel, and now we're gonna talk about the advanced lipid panel.

Remember, we said last week we talked about the regular lipid panel with the cholesterol, the HDL, the LDL and triglycerides. That's a 50 year old panel. This is the panel that you want to do in conjunction with that basic panel, because we're going to look at more of the quality of your cholesterol. And it's going to tell us more about the potential of a heart attack or stroke, high blood pressure or other heart related diseases.

So we're going to talk about four markers here. So the first one is. Apolipoprotein B and what this is, it tells us how sticky the bad cholesterol is or your LDL cholesterol. So again, you're going to do your basic lipid panel, and you're going to do these tests along with it. If you really want to take that deep dive on knowing what your heart disease is and how you can prevent it.

So with the APOB we want the range to be less than eighty. The next marker is called SD LDL, small dense LDL. Sometimes they call it super dangerous LDL. So this tells us about the size of our bad cholesterol. If we have big fluffy cholesterol, it's easy to clean up. But if we have little tiny ones like sand, that's really hard. It gets into the lining of our blood vessels and that's what causes plaque.

The next marker is called APOA1 or Apolipoprotein A1 and so think of that, as being good on your report cards, it goes with your good cholesterol, your HDL. So that tells us about the quality of your good cholesterol and how hard that HDL is working. Sometimes HDL can be really deceiving because you could have a nice high number and think, oh, my HDL is good. I'm nice and protected. But if they're not working very efficiently, Then we know it's going to be a problem, just like you could have workers, but they could be really lazy, so it's not going to be any good.

So that's the same thing with our HDLs, just cause you have a lot of HDLs doesn't mean they're all good workers. And the last one in this advanced part of the panel is called LP(a). LP(a) levels are inherited and it's again, linked with the LDL, the bad cholesterol, but they're not associated with diet or exercise or obesity.

This is an inherited type thing. And statin drugs do not lower this. So it's a big cause of familial hypercholesterolemia. So people in your family all have high cholesterol. You want to check this LP(a). Sometimes people can be super, super healthy, and then have a heart attack. We see that in athletes a lot.

We see that in a lot of different people and it's because they have this LP(a) and didn't know about it. So there are things that we can do. But knowing about your numbers are the number one thing you can do to try to get improvement. And while talking about, these advanced markers, i'm going to talk a little bit about inflammation.

Inflammation tells us where the underlying disease is, so we can find where that fire is to put it out. So one of the markers we look at is called an hs CRP or highly sensitive CRP. This is a highly sensitive marker and it tells us about cardiac inflammation. Or inflammation that's outside of your circulatory system. We want it less than 1. If it's around 3 then we know you got a lot of inflammation in your cardiac system. So it's going to affect your heart disease. If it's above three and it's really high, we know is not in your cardiovascular system. Maybe you got a sprained ankle or, maybe you have some other inflammation going on in your gut or something like that.

We always want to know where your inflammation is because inflammation causes downstream diseases. That little spark starts, and next thing you know, the inflammation goes to hypertension, diabetes, heart disease. So remember the only solution for lifestyle problems. Is a lifestyle solution. And what gets measured gets managed.

If you're curious what your numbers are, don't be curious any longer as you can call and we'll set you up and we'll find out and make a plan for you. So if you have any questions about these markers or anything else, just contact us here at the office and we'll be happy to help you. That's it. Next week, we're going to be talking about the metabolic panel which is about blood sugar and diabetes. So be sure to check it out. Talk to you soon. Bye-bye.

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