Should I check my cholesterol levels at home?
There are 2 ways of having a cholesterol test. Taking blood from your arm. Some blood will usually be taken from your arm with a needle. This is sent to a lab to check your cholesterol level. You should get the result in a few days. You might be asked not to eat anything for up to 12 hours before the test. But this is not always needed. Finger-prick test. If you're over 40, you may have a test during your NHS Estimated Reading Time: 1 min. You can have your cholesterol tested using a simple blood test. This is often a finger prick test. It’s quick, you only feel a small pinch, and the results can be checked there and then. Or, you might have a small blood sample taken from your arm using a needle and syringe, which will be sent off for testing.
Last Updated: May 21, References. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous IV therapy using physical, cholestedol, and emotional support. There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 14, times. Testing your cholesterol is a quick, easy, and important way to evaluate your risk of developing conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or stroke. Whether you choose a color-coded strip kit or a digital readout kit, use your findings as a starting point and work with your doctor to make any changes necessary to improve your cholesterol levels and overall health.
Cookie Settings. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Download Article Explore this Article methods. Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Method 1 of Choose a color-coded strip kit for cholexterol budget-friendly, ylur option. Pharmacies often how to get hippie hair several types of tests that utilize a color-changing strip to assess your cholesterol. You how to apply maybelline mousse blush, for example, find a kit that contains enough single-use strips for 4 individual cholesterol tests.
If you just want to test your cholesterol out of curiosity or only occasionally, this may be the right option for you. Use clean hands to open an alcohol swab, test strip, and lancet.
Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a clean towel. Open one of the sealed, sterile packets in your kit that contains a test strip. Talk to your pharmacist if you need additional help.
Lancet pens are much easier to use than loose lancets, so always choose a kit that contains pre-loaded pens. Prick your sterilized finger with the lancet pen to draw blood. Unless your specific product instructions tell you otherwise, do text following: Wipe the alcohol swab over the pad of one of your fingers and let it dry for a few seconds.
Press the dispensing end of the pen it often has a red button at the end against your finger pad. This causes the lancet to emerge, prick your finger, and retract very quickly. Throw the pen away after a single use. Wipe drops of blood onto the testing strip. As soon as you see drops of blood well up from your finger pad, smear the blood onto the clearly-marked testing area of the test strip.
Be sure to securely dispose of any tissues or other materials that get your blood on them. Consider double-bagging them for extra safety. All rights reserved. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
Wait the teet amount of time for the test strip to change colors. Trst strip kits usually take several minutes to produce results.
The spot on the testing strip where you wiped your blood sample will hwo change color. Assessing a yor test strip too early or too late could give you an incorrect result. Compare the color of your test strip to the provided color-coded chart. Pull out the labeled color chart that comes with your color-coded strip test kit.
Hold your test strip up to the chart and find the closest color match. That color will correspond to a cholesterol range listed clearly on the chart.
Your total blood cholesterol falls within this range. Compare your result to the recommended total cholesterol range. Chklesterol most color-coded strip test hiw only test for jour cholesterol, your only point of comparison will probably be the recommended total cholesterol range.
However, your ideal range may be choleterol, based on your particular circumstances. Method 2 of Invest in a digital tester if you need to check your cholesterol regularly. Digital readout testers are available at pharmacies and online retailers. Wash your hands and open an alcohol swab, test strip, cholestetol lancet packet. Use soap and water to wash your hands and a clean towel to dry them.
Open one of the sealed, sterile packages in your kit that contains a test strip, as well as one packet containing an alcohol swab. Also open one lancet package. If you tedt further guidance, talk to your pharmacist. If you do have such a kit, definitely get instructions on how to use it xholesterol from your pharmacist or physician—or buy a different kit!
Prick your finger with the lancet pen to draw blood. Follow the specific product instructions, but expect to do the following: Wipe the pad of your finger with the alcohol swab, then let it dry for 5 seconds.
Press the end of the pen with the red button or similar against the pad of one of your fingers. The lancet will emerge, prick your finger, and then withdraw back into the pen when you pull it away.
Throw it away and use a new pen the next time you or someone else wants to do a cholesterol test. Your fingertip is a sensitive area, so pricking it with yur lancet will hurt a little—but only for a few seconds. Smear drops of blood onto a test strip. Hold your finger pad-side up and wait for drops of blood to bubble up from the lancet prick. Wipe the clearly-marked testing area of the strip over the blood to transfer it to the strip.
Without putting down tl test strip, use a clean tissue to stop any additional bleeding while you continue the test. Doing this can throw off your results. Your fingertip will likely stop bleeding on its own within seconds. Use safe blood handling procedures when doing the test. Above all, make sure that the blood only goes cholezterol the test strip and that any chollesterol items go straight into the trash.
Insert your test strip into the tesh slot of the digital meter. Make sure the meter is turned on, then slide the test strip into the device as directed by the kit instructions. The meter may start analyzing your sample automatically, or you may need to press a button to begin the process.
Once again, follow the product instructions and talk to your pharmacist if you need help. Evaluate your test results based on a reliable cholesterol chart. Your testing kit likely came with a chart that lets you know if your numbers are high, low, or in the good range.
Alternatively, check online to get an up-to-date chart from a what was russia like before ww1 health website. Your healthy range may be different based on a wide range of factors.
Method 3 of If your test results are outside of the healthy range, definitely call your doctor. They will most likely want you to come to the office to do another cholesterol yur. The lab will test this sample in more detail than your at-home test and give your doctor a more accurate and expansive view of your blood cholesterol levels.
Confirm this with the office beforehand. Work with your doctor to lower your cholesterol, if necessary. If your cholesterol tests reveal that your levels are too high, it's important to choleterol lowering them right away. This can be done in a variety of ways, including tesh changes, lifestyle changes, and medications. Talk to your doctor about what you can do in both the short-term and long-term to lower your cholesterol.
Common recommendations include:  X Trustworthy Source American Heart Association Leading nonprofit that funds medical research and public education Go yourr source Eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, and fewer foods containing added sugars and unhealthy fats. Quitting smoking and cutting back on your alcohol intake. Taking statins or other medications that can help reduce cholesterol what caused the iraq war. Talk to your doctor about your cholesgerol for certain health conditions.
Having high cholesterol can increase your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. Other health conditions and risk factors, tesst as family history, may further increase your risk of cholesteril one or more of these conditions. Instead of being afraid, take charge and work with your doctor to devise the best strategy to cuolesterol your health and reduce your risk.
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Why do I need a cholesterol test?
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 (a small machine) 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. About your cholesterol result. A cholesterol test can measure: total cholesterol – the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both "good" and "bad" cholesterol; good cholesterol (called HDL) – this makes you less likely to have heart problems or a stroke. The cholesterol check-up service at LloydsPharmacy can help identify how likely you are to develop heart disease in the next ten years and may help you to prevent it. The service also helps to make sure you are doing the right things to look after your heart and can support you with any lifestyle changes you are recommended to make.
And what do you need to do now? We take a look at the facts and figures. We hear a lot about the dangers of high cholesterol, but unless you have a blood test, you have Your GP will explain your cholesterol readings and what they mean in terms of your future health - mainly whether you have a high, moderate or low risk of developing cardiovascular disease CVD within the next 10 years.
After the test, you may just be given the TC figure, but ask your surgery for your full results and keep a note of them to compare against future checks. What should I do? If your TC level is too high, you can help bring it down by making some simple diet and lifestyle changes , such as:. This should ideally be over 1. In general, the higher your level of HDL, the more you're protected against heart disease. To maintain healthy HDL-C levels, make sure you:.
If your LDL-C level is high for other reasons, changing your diet and exercise regime can help get your bad cholesterol back on track. Your GP may also prescribe statins , a group of medicines that help lower LDL-C in the blood, particularly if you have FH or other risk factors such as your age, diabetes, smoking or high blood pressure.
So, all the bad cholesterols added together, including your LDL cholesterol. This reading has been shown to help calculate your risk of CVD more accurately than before. So if yours is high, you have a higher risk of developing CVD. Your doctor may prescribe a statin but will recommend you follow healthy lifestyle advice see above too, along with losing weight and quitting smoking if needed.
Exercise can be very helpful; in , a review found exercise could help raise HDL-C levels, particularly resistance training, offsetting any rise in non-HDL cholesterol. The lower this figure, the better. Ideally 4. You can do this by following the advice above. Less than 1. Very high triglyceride levels can cause a painful condition called pancreatitis.
People can have raised levels for many reasons, but the most common reasons are lifestyle-related:. You can keep your triglyceride levels low by losing weight, being more active and eating sensibly, especially by cutting back on alcohol, sugary foods and saturated fats, and eating more fruits, vegetables, pulses and wholegrains. Your GP uses these numbers alongside other risk factors, such as your family history, weight, age, sex and ethnicity, plus whether you smoke or have high blood pressure , to calculate your risk of CVD.
Once your risk has been worked out, your doctor will suggest a number of options to help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of developing CVD. Still have some questions? My GP said I needed to get an echocardiogram which I had at the ER already too and they said it was fine none the less, he seemed mildly concerned with the Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions.
Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions. Why do I need a cholesterol test? Trending Articles. Our picks for Understanding your cholesterol levels.
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