What Causes High Cholesterol
As mentioned before high levels of cholesterol may have a substantial impact on our overall life. So it’s worth knowing what are the causes of high cholesterol.
Hypercholesterolemia is often caused by thyroid insufficiency, type 2 diabetes and obesity. It may also be caused by genetic disorders, such as familial hypercholesterolemia, which is not that rare – about 0.3% of the population have mutations causing high LDL-cholesterol!
Nevertheless, the most important factor influencing your lipid and cholesterol levels is your lifestyle! Diet has an impact on cholesterol levels, but the size of its impact differs between individual patients. The results of meta-analysis Does Dietary Cholesterol Matter? published in 2016 reveal that the intake of high-cholesterol food causes an increase in serum cholesterol levels. Also trans fatty acids have a strong atherogenic potential – they reduce levels of HDL-cholesterol while increasing levels of LDL-cholesterol .
What Is A Cholesterol Home Test Kit
The cholesterol home test kit is a convenient and effective way to test your cholesterol level. It allows you to monitor your cholesterol without having to go to a doctor’s office. And, rather than waiting days or weeks for cholesterol test results, the cholesterol test kit can give you results in a matter of minutes.
Living With High Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, you are twice as likely to develop heart disease. That is why it is important to have your cholesterol levels checked, especially if you have a family history of heart disease. Reducing your LDL bad cholesterol through good diet, exercise, and medicine can make a positive impact on your overall health.
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Recognizing Signs And Symptoms
To Take This Cholesterol Test Kit:
Order the Everlywell kit online.
Once it arrives, register the kit online using the unique ID that comes inside the kit.
Use the lancet in the kit to prick your finger and follow the collection instructions inside the kit.
Place your sample inside the sample pouch included with the kit. Then, put the sample pouch back inside the kit box.
Send the box back in the return envelope using the prepaid shipping label provided.
After the lab tests your sample, check your results on our secure, online platform.
After you take any at-home sample collection test, it is recommended that you discuss test results with your healthcare provider for appropriate follow-up. They can discuss your medical history and personally evaluate your risk for specific medical conditions.
- Have a family history of heart disease before age 50 in male relatives, or age 60 in female relatives
- Have a personal history of coronary heart disease or non-coronary atherosclerosis
- Have a personal history of diabetes
- Have a personal history of high blood pressure
- Have a BMI > 30
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Can I Test My Own Cholesterol At Home
Its better to have your cholesterol tested by a professional because taking blood and measuring cholesterol levels is a skilled job and your results will be affected by the way you do the test. Going to a health professional means you will get an accurate reading.
We dont recommend home sampling, but if you do decide to test your cholesterol at home, follow these simple steps to take your sample safely and get a more accurate result.
How And When To Have Your Cholesterol Checked
Getting your cholesterol levels checked is an important part of staying healthy. High cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States.
Knowing your cholesterol status can help you stay in control of your health. Learn about cholesterol screening and why it is important.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your body needs to make hormones and digest fats. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, but you can also get cholesterol from eating certain foods, such as egg yolks and fatty meats. Having high blood cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke. High blood cholesterol doesnt have symptoms, which is why getting your cholesterol levels checked is so important.
Learn more about cholesterol screenings.
You should get your cholesterol checked at least every 5 years. If you have cardiovascular risk factors, talk with your health care team about getting tested more often.
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What Are The Next Steps If My Lipid Panel Results Are Abnormal
Since many factors contribute to cardiovascular disease and every person is unique, theres no one single way to treat abnormal levels of cholesterol and/or triglycerides.
If you have abnormal lipid panel results, your healthcare provider may recommend one or more of the following actions:
- Continued lipid monitoring.
- Lifestyle changes, such as changing your diet or starting an exercise routine.
- Starting a cholesterol-lowering medication.
How Much Does The Test Cost
There is no standard price for a total cholesterol test. The cost depends on where you take the test as well as coverage that may be provided by your insurance.
Costs of testing can include the office visit, the fee for the technician to draw your blood, and the actual laboratory analysis. If your doctor recommends a cholesterol test, these costs are typically covered by insurance, but, depending on your plan, you may be responsible for copays or a deductible. Your doctor and insurance plan can provide more specific information about your costs for cholesterol testing.
A point-of-care cholesterol test at pharmacies or health clinics may cost around $100 or less. This kind of test may be free at community health fairs or similar events.
There is a wide price range for at-home test kits. Many models include a small device to conduct the test and cost under $150, but more expensive options are available. Kits commonly come with extra test strips that allow you to check your cholesterol more than once.
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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol
There are two main ways to lower your cholesterol:
- Heart-healthy lifestyle changes, which include:
- Heart-healthy eating. A heart-healthy eating plan limits the amount of saturated and trans fats that you eat. Examples include the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet and the DASH Eating Plan.
- Weight Management. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Physical Activity. Everyone should get regular physical activity .
- Managing stress. Research has shown that chronic stress can sometimes raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol.
- Quitting smoking.Quitting smoking can raise your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries, having more HDL can help to lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Drug Treatment. If lifestyle changes alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol medicines available, including statins. The medicines work in different ways and can have different side effects. Talk to your health care provider about which one is right for you. While you are taking medicines to lower your cholesterol, you should continue with the lifestyle changes.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
What Age Should I Get Screened For High Blood Cholesterol
About 1 in 5 adolescents have an unhealthy cholesterol reading,1 and nearly 93 million U.S. adults age 20 or older have high cholesterol.2 But since high cholesterol doesnt have symptoms, many people dont know their levels are high.
Cholesterol should be checked starting early in lifeeven children and adolescents should have their cholesterol checked.
Cholesterol testing should be done
- Every 5 years for people age 20 or older who are at low risk for cardiovascular disease.3
- More frequently than every 5 years for people with cardiovascular disease risk factors.3
The 2018 ACC/AHA Guidelines recommend that cholesterol management be based on a persons lifetime cardiovascular risk.1
If your family has a history of early heart attacks or heart disease, or if a child has obesity or diabetes, doctors may recommend screening for high cholesterol more often.
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Why You Should Measure Your Cholesterol
While cholesterol is essential for your health, if it gets too high it might increase your risk of heart disease putting you at risk of things like a heart attack or stroke.
There are a number of things that can raise your cholesterol to an unhealthy level:
- eating foods high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats can increase your levels
- lack of exercise
- drinking too much alcohol
- a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia
There arent any signs of high cholesterol until something goes wrong, like a heart attack. So measuring your cholesterol levels regularly is recommended.
Regular cholesterol tests are particularly important if you:
- are overweight or obese
- have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease
- have high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or diabetes
- are on medication for high cholesterol and need to track your levels
How Do Home Cholesterol Tests Work
Some home cholesterol tests measure total cholesterol while others measure total cholesterol plus HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels. Make sure to read labels closely to know exactly what your kit will measure.
You can get a cholesterol test kit with or without a meter. Heres how they work:
Cholesterol kit without a meter: Cholesterol kits come with test strips and a lancet. A lancet is a small, fine blade or needle. You use it to prick your finger to draw a drop of blood. Place the drop of blood on a test strip. The strip will change colors after a minute or two. Compare your test strip color with the color guide that comes with your kit. It will tell you your cholesterol level.
Cholesterol kit with a meter. Newer cholesterol kits have an electronic meter much like blood glucose meters used for diabetes. Instead of waiting for your test strip to change colors, you insert it into your meter to measure your cholesterol. These kits cost more than the kits with paper strips only.
Mail-in kits. Some kits come with a pre-paid mailer like the American Diabetes Associations CheckUp America Cholesterol Panel. You take your blood sample at home and then send it to a lab. The lab delivers your results either by phone or on a secure website. One CheckUp America kit costs about $40.
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What Are Risk Factors For High Blood Cholesterol
Lifestyle, some health conditions, and family history can raise your risk for high cholesterol. Your doctor may suggest you have your cholesterol checked more often if you have risk factors, such as the following:
- A family history of heart disease or high blood cholesterol. You are more at risk of having high cholesterol if other people in your family have it. This may be due to genetics, but it may also be that families share the same unhealthy lifestyle habits. Some people also have a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, which can cause high levels of low-density lipoprotein , or bad, cholesterol from a young age.
- Diabetes. Type 2 diabetes raises bad cholesterol and lowers high-density lipoprotein , or good, cholesterol, raising the risk for heart disease and stroke.
- Older age. As you age, your body cant clear cholesterol as well as it used to.
- Being male. Men tend to have higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels than women do. But after menopause , LDL cholesterol levels in women increase.4,5
- Having overweight or obesity. Excess weight, unhealthy eating habits, and lack of physical activity can lead to high cholesterol.
- Previously having had high cholesterol. If you have a history of high cholesterol, your doctor may want you to keep a closer watch on your cholesterol.
Your doctor may tell you not to eat or drink anything except water for 9 to 12 hours before the test.
What Do The Results Mean
Cholesterol is usually measured in milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood. The information below shows how the different types of cholesterol measurements are categorized.
|Total Cholesterol Level|
|Less than 40 mg/dL||A major risk factor for heart disease|
A healthy cholesterol range for you may depend on your age, family history, lifestyle, and other risk factors. In general, low LDL levels and high HDL cholesterol levels are good for heart health. High levels of triglycerides may also put you at risk for heart disease.
The LDL on your results may say “calculated” which means it includes a calculation of total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides. Your LDL level may also be measured “directly,” without using other measurements. Regardless, you want your LDL number to be low.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
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What Do The Results From A Cholesterol Home Test Kit Mean
Your cholesterol level is one part of an equation that your doctor uses to determine your risk of a heart attack and stroke in the next 10 years. Other parts include your race, gender, age, HDL cholesterol level, and blood pressure. In addition, the equation factors in your use of blood pressure medications, whether or not you have diabetes, and if you smoke.
Once you know your risk, you and your doctor can work to lower your likelihood of a heart attack or stroke. In addition to healthy lifestyle and dietary changes, you may need a medication known as a statin to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol thatâs in your blood by 20 to 60 percent.
The cholesterol kit test results are only an estimate of your cholesterol level. While the test is often as accurate as the test your health care provider uses, this home test should not be a substitute for your health care provider’s assessment.
How To Save Money On At
As you can see, the cost of home cholesterol tests varies greatly. Some go for less than the ones mentioned in this article, and others cost much more. To save money, consider what your goals are for cholesterol testing. Do you need to test regularly to see if your medication is working? Are you just curious about your heart health? Answering these questions can help you decide which kit is best for you.
To save on the actual price of a kit:
Check the manufacturers website for specials
Look for coupons or promo codes online
Use funds from your flexible spending account or your health savings account
Compare prices on online pharmacies and with mega-retailers like Amazon and Walmart
Over 100 million Americans have total cholesterol levels above the healthy level of 200 mg/dL. Of that number, more than 35 million have levels of 240 mg/dL or higher. Perhaps the best way to save money is to take an at-home cholesterol test, know your numbers, and start working with your doctor towards better heart health.
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What Does It Mean If I Have High Cholesterol
A high cholesterol level may indicate a higher risk of plaque buildup, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This isnât always the case, though, since total cholesterol includes seemingly beneficial lipids such as HDL. So itâs best to talk with your healthcare provider to understand what high cholesterol may mean for your health. A lipid panel may help you better understand your current risk for cardiovascular events and what actions you may be able to take.
How To Cheat A Cholesterol Test Is It Possible Or Not
Cholesterol is an organic fatty substance that belongs to the steroid family and is present in every cell of the human body. This waxy substance is pivotal for human existence because it serves as a material to synthesize many of the bodys compounds, such as hormones and bile acids.
Due to the above-mentioned reasons, the body has the capacity to produce cholesterol, this process is conducted in the liver to be more precise.
However, this is not the only source, cholesterol is also found in animal foods, like egg yolks, milk, cheese, and meat. In other words, the cholesterol of your blood can come from two sources, liver production or food.
As cholesterol is a fatty substance, in order to travel in the blood stream, it has to be transported through a particle called lipoproteins.
There are three types of lipoproteins that are more common and usually appear in your blood test when the doctor wants to check your cholesterol levels, these are LDL , HDL , and VLDL .
Afraid of failing in your next blood cholesterol test? Follow me in this article to understand how your blood cholesterol is measured and if it is possible to cheat a cholesterol test.
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