How Can I Test My Cholesterol At Home
Cholesterol home test kits are a good way to check your cholesterol levels in between clinician visits. You are able to get your results within minutes rather than days or weeks for traditional results. It is also important to monitor levels as high cholesterol has no symptoms. The only way to detect it is if you take a blood test.
Your local pharmacy will sell cholesterol home test kits for around $20. It will usually contain a lancet that you can use to draw blood and test strips. These are basic strip tests. If you would like a test with a device, it may cost between $100 to $200. There are also mail in kits, which you can use to take a blood sample at home and send to a lab in a prepaid mailer with your results delivered via phone or online in around three days. These mail in kits cost around $40.
When you are ready to test your cholesterol with the kit, you will start by pricking your finger with the lancet. Then you will place a drop of blood on the test strip provided. The test strip already contains certain chemicals that will change color usually within 10 minutes of testing. You will then have to match the final color of the test strip to the color diagram that is included in the kit. Once you match the color, you will know an estimate of how much total cholesterol was in your blood drop.
What Does It Mean If I Have High Cholesterol
A high cholesterol level can mean that you face a higher risk of plaque buildup, heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain kinds of lipid disorders. This isnât always the case, though, since high levels of HDL can contribute to a high total cholesterol level. So itâs best to talk with your healthcare provider to understand what high cholesterol may mean for your health. Routinely taking cholesterol tests and reviewing your cholesterol numbers with your healthcare provider may help you better understand if you are at a greater cardiovascular risk.
Can Test Results Be Wrong
In some cases, cholesterol test results can be wrong. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that one common method for calculating LDL cholesterol levels often produces inaccurate results.
Improper fasting, medications, human error, and a variety of other factors can cause your test to produce false-negative or false-positive results. Testing both your HDL and LDL levels typically produces more accurate results than checking your LDL alone.
High cholesterol can be treated with lifestyle changes and medication. Lowering high levels of LDL in your blood can help you avoid problems with your heart and blood vessels.
To help lower your cholesterol levels:
- Quit smoking tobacco and limit your alcohol consumption.
- Avoid high-fat and high-sodium foods, while maintaining a well-balanced diet. Eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products, low-fat dairy products, and lean sources of protein.
- Exercise regularly. Try to do 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week, as well as two sessions of muscle strengthening activities.
Your doctor may put you on a therapeutic lifestyle changes or TLC diet. Under this meal plan, only 7 percent of your daily calories should come from saturated fat. It also requires you to get less than 200 mg of cholesterol from your food each day.
Some foods help your digestive tract absorb less cholesterol. For example, your doctor may encourage you to eat more:
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What Does The Test Result Mean
In general, healthy lipid levels help to maintain a healthy heart and lower the risk of heart attack or stroke. A healthcare practitioner will take into consideration total cholesterol results and the other components of a lipid profile as well as other risk factors to help determine a person’s overall risk of heart disease, whether treatment is necessary and, if so, which treatment will best help to lower the person’s risk.
In 2002, the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III provided the guidelines for evaluating lipid levels and determining treatment. However, in 2013, the ACC and AHA issued guidelines for adults that made recommendations on who should receive cholesterol-lowing therapy. .
However, use of the updated guidelines remains controversial. Many still use the older guidelines from the NCEP ATP III to evaluate lipid levels and cardiovascular disease risk:
For adults, in a routine setting where testing is done to screen for risk, the test results are grouped in three categories of risk:
For children and adolescents:
- A cholesterol below 170 mg/dL is acceptable.
- A result of 170-199 mg/dL is borderline.
- A total cholesterol reading greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL is considered high.
For young adults:
- A cholesterol below 190 mg/dL is acceptable.
- A result of 190-224 mg/dL is borderline.
- A total cholesterol greater than or equal to 225 mg/dL is considered high.
Quit Smoking And Lower Your Ldl Cholesterol
Now, this point is something very important and I request you to take this point seriously. Smoking is something which is not at all good for your health. Each and every day you heard on radio and television that smoking is injurious to health. But still, everyone who smokes ignores this biggest truth and enjoys smoking like that caution of quit smoking is fake.
Smoking is one of the major factors of heart and lung diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of the deaths are from cardiovascular diseases which are caused by smoking. On the other hand, smoking increases your total cholesterol level and lowers down your HDL cholesterol. This, in turn, leads to several diseases like High blood pressure diabetes, etc. make an effort and try to quit smoking.
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Questions For Your Doctor About Test Results
The following questions may be helpful as you discuss your cholesterol test results with your doctor:
- What is my risk for cardiovascular disease? What factors affect that risk?
- What do the cholesterol test results indicate about my heart health?
- Have my cholesterol levels changed over time?
- Do I need any follow-up tests?
- How often should I have a cholesterol test?
- Do you recommend treatment to lower my cardiovascular risk? What are the treatment options and their benefits and risks?
My Doctor Told Me I Had A High Cholesterol Test But Instead Of Treating Me He Told Me To Wait A Few Months And Test It Again Why
Cholesterol levels fluctuate over time. A single measurement of cholesterol may not always reflect the “usualâ cholesterol level. For this reason, you may have at least two different measurements several weeks to several months apart before beginning any kind of treatment.
Conditions: Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Heart Attack, StrokeScreening: High Cholesterol – Children , Teens , Young Adults , Adults , Adults In the News: More Evidence That Fasting Not Needed Before Cholesterol Tests , Assessing Personal Risk of Heart Attack and Heart Disease
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Cholesterol Testing At Home: It May Be Faster But Is It Better
If you don’t mind pricking a finger, you can check your cholesterol without sitting around in a doctor’s waiting room or laboratory. Devices available in pharmacies or through the Internet make this easy to do at home. But is it worth doing?
The makers of home cholesterol tests rightly tout their products as faster than visiting a doctor. You prick your finger, gently squeeze a few drops of blood onto a test strip or into a small “well,” and you get the results in a few minutes, instead of waiting a few days.
But faster isn’t necessarily better. The results won’t give you the information you need to figure out your risk of having a heart attack or other cardiovascular problem. Nor will they help you check whether a diet and exercise program is working.
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Healthy cholesterol levels are a key component of cardiovascular wellness. The American Heart Association recommends getting tested every four to six years beginning at age 20a blood lipid panel includes your total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein , low-density lipoprotein , and triglycerides. If you have cardiovascular disease or elevated risk, you may need more frequent testing. After age 40, your doctor would recommend testing based on your calculated risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
These regular check-ins can guide your doctor’s assessment of whether you need to make lifestyle adjustments or take medication to keep your blood cholesterol within a healthy range.
At-home testing kits can be handy for people diagnosed with high cholesterol who may want to test their blood more frequently.
While home cholesterol testing should not be used as a replacement for the comprehensive diagnostics provided by your physician, it can be an addition to a proactive health regimen.
Here are the best at-home cholesterol test kits that you can use in-between visits with your doctor.
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A More Accurate Measurement Tool
The traditional Friedewald equation estimates LDL cholesterol this way: total cholesterol minus HDL cholesterol minus triglycerides divided by five. For simplicitys sake, the formula applies a one-size-fits-all factor of five to everyone. But Johns Hopkins researchers found that this often makes LDL cholesterol appear lower than it really is for some high-risk patients. The researchers sought a more accurate formula that would take into account specific details about a persons cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Using a database of blood lipid samples from more than 1.3 million Americansalmost 3,000 times larger than the one used to develop the Friedewald equation Johns Hopkins researchers developed a more accurate system for calculating LDL cholesterol. It can be used to make more precise decisions about treatment to prevent heart attack and stroke.
This newer LDL cholesterol formula is being adopted by U.S. laboratories as well as others around the world. The best implementation is direct coding the LDL cholesterol estimation in the lab IT system, which automates the process and saves clinicians time. The formula is also available as a mobile device app called the LDL Cholesterol Calculator. It is available on the iTunes App Store and on Google Play, for those whose lab hasnt adopted it.
Researchers hope the new formula will one day be adopted by all labs that process lipid panels, as it can improve patient care.
What Is A Home Cholesterol Test
A home cholesterol test is a DIY medical screening that claims to be as accurate as traditional lab screenings. It measures your cholesterol levels and compares them to the accepted range. The process of determining your total cholesterol level includes testing various biomarkers which together help determine if you are at a higher risk of contracting heart disease, stroke or other severe conditions that are associated with abnormal cholesterol levels.
A complete cholesterol test is known as a lipid panel or lipid profile. With a complete test, you will be able to measure the amount of good and bad cholesterol in your blood and also know your triglycerides level, a type of fat, in your blood.
If any of your numbers are outside the healthy range, you are considered to have high cholesterol.
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How Much Do Cholesterol Medications Cost
Four of the most common brand-name medications used to help control high LDL levels and triglycerides are: Lipitor , Zocor Crestor , and Pravachol. They are all off patent and their generic options are very affordable, domestically in the U.S. and internationally as well.
|Generic Cholesterol Medication Cost for 90 tablets
Which Home Cholesterol Kit Is Best
CardioChek offers starter kits as well as deluxe models. A starter kit comes with an electronic analyzer and 3 total cholesterol test strips, 3 HDL test strips, 3 triglyceride test strips, and 9 lancets. It sells for just over $140 on .
Solana Healths Best Home Cholesterol Test measures LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. It includes everything you need, plus a postage-paid return envelope which is sent to a lab. The kit sells for about $46 on Solana Healths website.
Everlywell manufactures an entire line of at-home health tests from thyroid to food sensitivity. The companys cholesterol test measures total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides, and includes a pre-paid shipping label and envelope. For $49 on Everlywells website, you get the kit plus a follow-up report with insights to your heart health and next steps.
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There Are Two Types Of Cholesterol:
1) Low-density lipoprotein , aka bad cholesterol 2) High-density lipoprotein , aka good cholesterol
Just remember: The word happy begins with the letter h, which is exactly what your clinician will be when your HDL levels are high!
Triglycerides, a type of fat that is found in your blood, come into the picture as well and heres where fear is perhaps warranted. Both high LDL and triglyceride levels in your blood put you at risk for heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in the United States. When LDL levels are high, they cause the body to build up plaque in arteries which disrupts blood from flowing properly. When blood does not flow like it should, your heart may not receive enough blood, and this could result in a heart attack. Also, when blood flow is disrupted to the brain, it can result in peripheral artery disease or a stroke.
Monitoring LDL cholesterol levels has been an important indicator for cardiovascular disease risk and the target for treatment. However, new research now recommends that total/HDL cholesterol and LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios are better predictors of cardiovascular risk than monitoring LDL, HDL, and total cholesterol individually.
Cholesterol: What Is Ldl Cholesterol How To Measure Ldl Cholesterol Level
LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and cholesterol are the basic terms, but cant be understood by many peoples. Cholesterol is not just something like fat, which sticks around your waist. It usually carries through your bloodstream in a small package called a lipoprotein. These packages are made up of fat and protein.
There are two types of lipoprotein carries in your bloodstream. One is called LDL cholesterol and another one is called HDL cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol is not good for health. A high amount of LDL cholesterol in your body can lead to building up of cholesterol in your arteries. Arteries are a blood vessel that carries blood from your heart to your body. A high amount of LDL cholesterol can block your arteries, which in turn can lead to heart strokes and other severe heart problems.
Thats why I decided to write an article on cholesterol, and make you understand the difference between LDL and HDL cholesterol, and provide the proper knowledge about these cholesterols. Also, I have discussed how to measure your LDL cholesterol level by providing a cholesterol chart below and what food you should include in your diet to lower your LDL cholesterol level.
Lets get started!
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What Is Being Tested
Cholesterol is a substance that is essential for life. It forms the membranes for cells in all organs and tissues in the body. It is used to make hormones that are essential for development, growth, and reproduction. It forms bile acids that are needed to absorb nutrients from food. The test for cholesterol measures total cholesterol that is carried in the blood by lipoproteins.
A small amount of cholesterol circulates in the blood in complex particles called lipoproteins. Each particle contains a combination of protein, cholesterol, triglyceride, and phospholipid molecules and the particles are classified by their density into high-density lipoproteins , low-density lipoproteins , and very low-density lipoproteins . HDL-C particles, sometimes called “good” cholesterol, carry excess cholesterol away for disposal and LDL-C particles, or “bad” cholesterol, deposit cholesterol in tissues and organs.
Whats The Difference Between Ldl And Hdl Cholesterol
- LDL cholesterol = âlow-density lipoprotein.â Itâs often called the âbad cholesterolâ because it can gum up the inner walls of your arteries with plaque. Eventually, this can restrict blood flow throughout the bodyâand even lead to a heart attack or stroke. If you have a lot of LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream, plaque can keep building up in your arteriesâincreasing your risk of coronary heart disease . Diets consisting of a lot of saturated fat and/or trans fats can result in higher LDL numbers.
- HDL cholesterol = high-density lipoprotein. HDL is known as the âgood cholesterolâ because it can protect your arteriesâand heartâagainst the harmful effects of LDL cholesterol. Normal levels of HDL have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.
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Easy Life Cholesterol Monitor Kit 3 In 1 Meter System
A Tester that Passes the Tests
Easy Life Cholesterol Monitor Kit is a really nice and thorough kit, we can give it this much. The zip carry case that comes with it is large enough to fit the device and every supplementary implement but not too large so that you would not have been able to fit it in your backpack or any regular bag.
In addition to the said case and, naturally, the device itself, the company sends you spare batteries, an automatic lancing device, a whole stock of sterilants, 2 cholesterol strips, as well as 10 glucose and uric acid strips each.
Again, it is a really thorough and comprehensive kit. Sure, there are only 2 cholesterol strips inside but you can always buy them separately, they don’t cost a whole lot, just type “easy life test strips” into Google and you should be able to figure it out.
Needless to say, considering the aforementioned strips, this home cholesterol test device is capable of measuring cholesterol, glucose, and uric acid levels. Generally speaking, it takes the device around 20 seconds to come up with the results.
Its memory capacity isn’t bad either, too bad that some of the values can be really difficult to read due to the small font size.
To sum it up, Easy Life Cholesterol Monitor Kit gives you great value for your money. You can set the checker to automatically begin measuring the moment you insert the lancing device. With it, you shouldn’t have any calibration problems.