In many individuals, hyperlipidemia has no symptoms and the disorder is not discovered until laboratory tests reveal elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, elevated LDL levels, and decreased HDL levels. Often, these drugs are initially prescribed on an outpatient basis, but initial administration may occur in the hospitalized patient. Serum cholesterol levels (ie, a lipid profile) and liver functions tests are obtained before the drugs are administered.
The nurse takes a dietary history, focusing on the types of foods normally included in the diet. Vital signs and weight are recorded. The skin and eyelids are inspected for evidence of xanthomas (flat or elevated yellowish deposits) that may be seen in the more severe forms of hyperlipidemia.
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