Big Mac Disease…you are what you eat

You can “click” on the image to get a better look but before you do that, let me give you some explanation.

Last week I job shadowed some of the folks in the lab.  While there, Lynn Henry pointed out the test tube of blood you see on the left.  The blood came from a patient who was in the Emergency Department because of a suspected heart attack.  Fortunately for the patient he did not have a heart attack and he was treated and released, but he should be concerned.

You see, your blood should not look like it does in the test tube on the left, it should look like it does in the test tube on the right.  In both cases the blood has been spun down so that the blood separates from the serum.  The serum should be slightly yellow like it is in the test tube on the right.  The test tube on the left shows that this individual may have some very serious cardiac concerns.

The white milky looking “stuff” in the test tube on the left is cholesterol and triglycerides and when blood appears this way it’s referred to as lipemic.  Now I won’t bore you with a bunch of technical jargon, and to be quite honest I don’t fully understand it myself but what I do know is the old saying “you are what you eat” is true because blood in your veins looks this way when you eat a high fat, high cholesterol meal. 

The white, milky looking stuff in the test tube on the left is what clogs arteries and leads to heart attacks.

I think I’ll have salad for lunch…

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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