How Do I Improve My Cholesterol Levels
Its not just foods that are high in cholesterol that lead to bad cholesterol levels. Your weight and exercise have the greatest influence. Weight loss, regular exercise and a balanced diet are the most important steps you can take to improve your cholesterol levels.
In addition, you can eat fewer foods that increase LDL cholesterol. These include crisps and sweets, highly processed meat, soy and sunflower oil and alcohol.
Are Results From A Cholesterol Home Test Kit Reliable
The reliability of cholesterol home tests varies, and the results can fluctuate. It depends on the maker of the kits. Many cholesterol home test kits advertise that they are greater than 95% accurate. Still, these cholesterol results should be considered approximations and should not take the place of a cholesterol test conducted by your health care provider.
In addition, even if you consistently get normal results from your cholesterol home kit test strips, it’s very important to consult with your health care provider. To determine your risk of heart disease, your health care provider will evaluate your cholesterol level along with other factors such as your weight, physical exam results, medical history, and family history. Your health care provider may conduct other tests aside from the cholesterol screening.
Comparing And Contrasting Laboratory And At
Whether conducted in a laboratory or at home, cholesterol tests rely on a blood sample. Virtually all tests measure total cholesterol, but the other components can vary depending on the specific test that is being taken. In addition, fasting may be required in some cases for both kinds of tests. In most cases, accuracy of at-home and in-lab tests is comparable.
A principal difference between these tests is how the blood sample is obtained. Blood drawn from a vein is usually analyzed in tests that are conducted at a doctors office, lab, or hospital. At-home self-tests and self-collection tests rely on a smaller amount of blood obtained with a fingerstick.
Another difference is insurance coverage. When a standard blood draw and cholesterol test is ordered by a doctor, some or all of the charges are often covered by insurance. In contrast, most at-home cholesterol tests are not covered, requiring you to pay the full cost out-of-pocket.
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Type Of Cholesterol Measured
All at-home cholesterol test kits measure total cholesterol, and the more advanced options provide HDL and triglycerides readings as well. Only one of the FDA-approved cholesterol test kits also measures LDL. Pay close attention to what each test measures if youre in need of a more comprehensive analysis, and expect higher price tags on the tests that provide more measurements.
What Causes High Levels Of Bad Cholesterol
Foods that are high in cholesterol are not the only contributor to bad cholesterol levels.
Instead, typically a combination of various lifestyle factors is to blame. Obesity, lack of exercise, diabetes, alcohol and cigarettes all play a role. Some people are also genetically predisposed to have high cholesterol levels.
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Home Cholesterol Tests And Sampling Kits
There are a wide variety of home cholesterol test kits and home sampling kits online, and of varying quality. The home cholesterol test kits measure your cholesterol using a solid-state monitor with colour changes that you view on a chart. With sampling kits, you take a small blood sample at home which you post to a laboratory for testing, and you receive your results later.
We would suggest that it is better to have tests carried out by a trained healthcare professional than to take a test or sample yourself. If you have never taken a blood sample yourself the chances are that your first attempt will be challenging. The blood sample might not be enough, or of a high enough quality, and this could affect your results.
Taking A Test Or Sample At Home
If you do choose to take a cholesterol test or sample at home, follow these tips to help you
Key information about cholesterol tests
It is important to remember that most home cholesterol testing kits using a solid statement monitor will only give your total cholesterol and not the full breakdown of your results. Samples that are sent to a laboratory are more likely to give the full breakdown.
This breakdown is important as it could greatly affect the advice youre given about what action to take.
You can check your results against our suggested healthy ranges. Always follow up a home sample with a proper blood test taken by a healthcare professional.
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Food Allergy Test Food Sensitivity Test Food Sensitivity Comprehensive Test Celiac Disease Screening Test Metabolism Test Vitamin D and Inflammation Test Vitamin D Test Vitamin D3 Omega-3 Fish Oil Vitamin B12 Vitamin B6 Thyroid Test FIT Colon Cancer Screening Test Lyme Disease Test Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit. Going into the doctors office to get a lipid panel every month can become arduous, which is why many companies have developed at-home cholesterol test kits. These kits are easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and give you relatively rapid sometimes instant results on your current cholesterol levels.
What Do The Results Mean
Cholesterol is usually measured in milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood. The information below will help you understand what your test results mean. In general, low LDL levels and high HDL cholesterol levels are good for heart health.
|Total Cholesterol Level|
|Less than 40 mg/dL||A major risk factor for heart disease|
The LDL listed on your results may say “calculated.” This means that your LDL level is an estimate based on your total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides. Your LDL level may also be measured “directly” from your blood sample. Either way, you want your LDL number to be low.
A healthy cholesterol level for you may depend on your age, family history, lifestyle, and other risk factors for heart disease, such as high triglyceride levels. Your provider can explain what’s right for you.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
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Purchasing In Bulk/high Unit Volume
Please note that when purchasing high unit volumes of single lines that delivery promotions are null and void.This is as a result of high volume orders not being able to be dispatched via our normal third party fulfilment.As a result for any excessive bulk orders of single lines we will be in touch regarding your order to discuss further delivery costs that will be incurred.
How To Check Cholesterol At Home
Cholesterol and triglyceride testing at home can be done with the Everlywell Cholesterol & Lipids test kit. The mail-in test kit comes with easy to read instructions, lancets for pricking your finger, bandages, a sample collection cassette, and a prepaid shipping label for sending your blood sample to a certified lab.
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Can I Take This Test If Im Already Taking Cholesterol Treatment
Yes, you can take a blood cholesterol test to check if your treatment is effective in managing your cholesterol levels. A common treatment for high cholesterol are statins. These medications are very effective in lowering cholesterol levels in your blood. The test will not react with this kind of treatment in any way.
Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About My Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol can lead to heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States. You can’t change some risk factors for high cholesterol, such as age and your genes. But there are actions you can take to lower your LDL levels and reduce your risk, including:
- Eating a healthy diet. Reducing or avoiding foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol can help reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood.
- Losing weight. Being overweight can increase your cholesterol and risk for heart disease.
- Staying active. Regular exercise may help lower your LDL cholesterol levels and raise your HDL cholesterol levels. It may also help you lose weight.
Talk to your provider before making any major change in your diet or exercise routine.
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How Long To Fast Before A Cholesterol Test
According to the American Heart Association, a healthcare professional may advise a person to avoid eating, drinking most beverages, and taking medications, for 9-12 hours before a cholesterol test.
However, not all cholesterol tests require fasting. A person should only fast if their doctor or the test manufacturer recommends it.
Are All Home Cholesterol Test Kits Fda
Not all test kits are FDA-approved, but that doesnt mean they arent effective. Only one of the three top tests weve reviewed below is FDA-approved . But because home tests arent meant to replace doctor-ordered panels, non-FDA-approved tests can be used as a guide, as well as to raise an alarm if your levels were to spike or dip. The FDA recommends that whichever test you choose offers test strips that 1. are not expired and 2. are made in the USA.
Scroll for the best home cholesterol test kits weve found that got great reviews.
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Best Overall: Kpi Blood Total Cholesterol Test Kit Curo L5 Digital Meter
Courtesy of Amazon
Comes with smart test strips that draw your sample into the blood inlet via capillary action
Testing is quick and accurate
Only comes with 10 cholesterol testing strips others must be purchased separately
Who else recommends it? Best Reviews also picked the KPI Curo L5 Digital Meter.
The Curo L5 has an intuitive design that makes it simple and easy to use. The test strips quickly and effectively draw your sample into the blood inlet via capillary action, making it easier to provide the correct sample size the first time around and receive accurate testing results. With the right test strips, it can measure your total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides. This kit comes with 10 total cholesterol testing stripsthe others must be purchased separately.
The device shares your test results within two minutes. Its also compatible with Curo blood glucose testing strips should you want to monitor your blood sugar as well. And it comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can feel good about the initial investment.
Price at time of publish: $99
Test Type: Test strips and electronic analyzer | Type of Cholesterol Measured: Total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides Also compatible with blood glucose strips | Result Speed: Two minutes
Best Instructional Video: Letsgetchecked Cholesterol Test
LetsGetChecked offers a finger prick cholesterol test and states that it may suit people with:
- a family history of heart disease
LetsGetChecked has an instructional video on its website that explains how a person should collect the sample. The company suggests that people do so before 10 a.m. and before they eat breakfast.
LetsGetChecked offers a one-time purchase as well as a subscription plan for those who require regular cholesterol testing.
It states that its laboratories are approved by and part of the College of American Pathologists program.
People should receive their results within 25 days. Additionally, they can contact a LetsGetChecked nurse at any time to discuss their results.
Price: A test kit costs $79.
A person may wish to consider the advantages and disadvantages of this test.
What Are The Symptoms Of High Levels Of Bad Cholesterol
High LDL cholesterol levels is not noticeable with symptoms this makes them difficult to detect without a test.
The bad cholesterol can, however, over time result in fatty buildup being deposited in the blood vessels. This calcification of the blood vessels increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.
What If Triglycerides Test Levels Are High
There are many causes of high triglycerides, which include inhertiable traits, having a high fat or high sugar diet, high intake of alcohol, obesity and diabetes.
Healthier lifestyle changes to consider include:
- Try to lower the saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol in your diet. Cutting back on carbohydrates should help too.
- Eating more oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, tuna and salmon which are high in omega-3s, a fat thats good for you. It may be hard to get enough omega-3s from food so you can also consider supplements.
- Increased exercise & weight loss. If youre carrying extra pounds, especially around your belly, losing 5% to 10% of your weight can lower triglycerides.
- Reduced alcohol consumption. Not only is alcohol high in sugar and calories, it can have a significant effect on your triglyceride levels.
If these steps are insufficient your doctor may prescribe drugs to help reduce your triglyceride levels.
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How Can You Tell If Your Cholesterol Is High Without A Test
High cholesterol does not cause any symptoms. The only way a person can find out if they have high cholesterol is through a test.
However, risk factors include having overweight, not exercising regularly, eating fatty foods, and drinking and smoking. High cholesterol may also have a genetic component and run in families.
What To Look For When Choosing A Cholesterol Test Kit
A person should ask a doctor to help them choose an appropriate cholesterol test kit for them. However, they may also wish to consider the following when looking for a test kit:
- Laboratories: A person should check whether or not a company works with CLIA-certified laboratories. This indicates that they hold federal certifications and meet quality laboratory testing standards.
- Consultations: Many brands offer doctors consultations for people who wish to discuss their results. However, these may only be available to those who receive a positive cholesterol test result.
- Design: Some devices are small, lightweight, and portable. These may be suitable for individuals who travel regularly. Some test kits also come with a travel case.
- Guide: It is best to choose a device that comes with a user guide that explains how individuals should use the test kit. Some brands, such as LetsGetChecked, also provide instructional videos on their website.
- Subscriptions: At-home cholesterol test kits come with a one-time price, but there are also companies that offer subscription plans for people who need to check their cholesterol levels regularly.
The body produces cholesterol naturally. However, cholesterol is also present in some foods, including:
- processed meats
- full fat dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
- seafood, such as octopus and prawn
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When Should You Consider A Home Cholesterol Test Kit
You are advised to take a cholesterol test ifyou:
- Have risk factors for high cholesterol, like:
- poor diet: especially if you eat a lot of red meat and full-fat dairy products in excess
- stroke or mini stroke
- peripheral arterial disease
A home cholesterol test kit could be a good option if you:
- dont want to make an appointment with a GP and go in for testing in person
- have risk factors for cholesterol problems and you want to monitor your cholesterol level
- are using treatment for high cholesterol and want to check if it is working
Best Budget Test: Selfcheck Cholesterol Test Kit
Courtesy of Amazon
Budget-friendly price and easy to use
Provides results quickly in under 5 minutes
Can incur user error with manual analysis
Results limited to 5 mmol/L range
In the realm of more basic, manual cholesterol testing kits, SELFCheck is a great option. This single-use test can report your total cholesterol in a matter of three minutes. Its simple to use, known for its accuracy, and it can provide a helpful data point for people who recently began keeping track of their blood cholesterol.
The packet contains a test card, a lancet, and a plaster. Its ideal for adults over the age of 40 seeking a clear indicator of their current cardiovascular health so they can be more proactive with medical interventions that will get them on track and help them stay there. If the test produces a result outside of the 5 mmol/L range, consult with your doctor for a full blood lipid panel and their advice on how to better manage your blood cholesterol.
Price at time of publish: $20
Test Type: Manual cholesterol test | Type of Cholesterol Measured: Total cholesterol | Result Speed: 3 minutes
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Why Take A Cholesterol And Lipids Test
Having a combined cholesterol and lipids test is one of the most common ways to assess your overall heart health. High levels of cholesterol and lipids have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Monitoring your blood cholesterol and controlling high cholesterol levels can be key to reducing your risk for these disorders. This mail-in cholesterol test kit evaluates the four key components of a lipid panel: total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein , calculated low-density lipoprotein , and triglycerides.
How Do They Work
Many home cholesterol tests can measure total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides from a blood sample. Some also measure LDL cholesterol. These tests can be purchased online or at your local pharmacy.
There are three basic types that work in different ways:
- Test strips: These involve paper test strips that you read visually. You add a drop of blood from a finger prick and read the color change after several minutes.
- Electronic meters: This type requires purchasing a small analyzer that is similar to a glucose meter. After placing a drop of blood on a test strip, the strip is inserted into the analyzer for a reading.
- Mail-in tests: The third type of test requires sending a blood sample to a laboratory where health professionals do the analysis. You have to wait for them to contact you with your results.
If you decide to use a mail-in service, opt for labs that are part of the Cholesterol Reference Method Laboratory Network certified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . You can also check online to see if the lab is on the CDC-certified list.
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