How to Check Cholesterol At Home?

Vivoo
March 19, 2023 4 minutes
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Individuals who wish to test their cholesterol levels at home might use home testing kits. There are many at-home cholesterol kits available that give a simple and handy solution. 

In the body, cholesterol is a fat-like waxy molecule. Although the body needs some cholesterol to produce vitamins and operate correctly, excessive amounts may pose health hazards. 

This blog looks at why individuals should measure their cholesterol, how to do it at home, how accurate it is, and what the findings may signify. 

High cholesterol is rather frequent. It affects more than one-third of all American adults. A simple lab test can determine if you have elevated cholesterol. However, many Americans are still not tested. In fact, 40% of Americans claimed they don't go to the doctor for medical testing because of the expense, according to a recent poll. Time is also an issue. 

Given this, it's no wonder that home-based lab tests are appealing. They make it simple to test your cholesterol at home. However, although they are handy, they should not be used in lieu of visiting your doctor. 

Why should you check your cholesterol? 

When cholesterol levels are excessively high, it may accumulate or create deposits in the arteries. The deposits may restrict the arteries, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke, both of which are significant causes of mortality in the United States. 

Knowing one's cholesterol level may assist a person to retain control of their health. If their cholesterol level is too high, several lifestyle changes may help bring it down to a healthy level. 

Adults over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol checked every 4-6 years if they have no risk factors, according to the American Heart Association. 

A doctor may advise monitoring cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol more often for patients who are at a greater risk of getting heart disease or who already have heart disease. 

How does a home cholesterol test work?

Some home cholesterol tests just measure total cholesterol, but others measure total cholesterol as well as HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels. Make sure you carefully read the labels to determine what your kit will measure. 

A cholesterol test kit is available with or without a meter. This is how they work: 

Home cholesterol test kits that do not include a meter 

Cholesterol testing kits include test strips and a lancet. A lancet is a tiny, small blade or needle. It is used to pierce your finger in order to extract a drop of blood. Place the blood drop on a test strip. After a minute or two, the strip will change colors. Compare the color of your test strip to the color guide that came with your kit. It will provide you with your cholesterol level. 

Home cholesterol testing kits that include a meter 

Newer cholesterol kits include an electronic meter, similar to blood glucose meters used to diagnose diabetes. Rather than waiting for your test strip to change colors, you enter it into your meter to get your cholesterol level. 

Home vs. lab cholesterol testing 

To get the most accurate results, users must strictly adhere to all manufacturer's instructions. The precision varies from brand to brand. When selecting an at-home cholesterol test, users should make sure it is linked to the CDC's monitoring program. This indicates that the exam fulfills the program's accuracy criteria. 

The downsides of a home cholesterol test 

While home test kits have many advantages, they also have some disadvantages. Many kits simply assess your total cholesterol level. This is insufficient information to evaluate your heart health. You might have normal total cholesterol while having high LDL  or bad cholesterol (you should decrease bad cholesterol). Look for a kit that examines LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels to obtain a complete picture of your heart health. 

Home health kits cannot replace the expertise of your healthcare physician. Only your doctor can take into account aspects such as your weight, food, activity, blood pressure, and whether or not you smoke. If your cholesterol is high, this will assist you and your physician in determining the best treatment choices for you. 

When should you visit a doctor? 

Maintaining a healthy weight via a balanced diet and frequent exercise, avoiding tobacco products and smoking, and lowering alcohol intake are all recommended lifestyle adjustments for high cholesterol. However, people who have cholesterol readings that are higher than the recommended values should consult with their doctor. Different cholesterol levels decide the best sort of treatment method. 

Your doctor can advise you on lifestyle changes and drugs that may help you manage and reduce your cholesterol. 

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