Foods that are particularly high in cholesterol can lead to elevated cholesterol levels. However, the combination of lifestyle with eating habits is usually what leads to increased levels. Habits such as lack of exercise, smoking, obesity, or excessive alcohol consumption significantly worsen your cholesterol levels if you do not eat a balanced diet. Additionally, some people have naturally high cholesterol levels due to genetics.
Cholesterol & Lipids Test
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Almost 25% of the world’s population has high cholesterol. This test allows you to assess your cardiovascular health by measuring the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. Check your current cholesterol levels or monitor them over time with easy-to-understand results for three markers of cholesterol (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL) and triglycerides.
Test method: Finger prick test
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About the Test
What is a Cholesterol Test?
This test measures the total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and Triglyceride levels in your blood. The test is a fingerprick test that you can easily take from home. Your sample will then be examined by a certified laboratory and you will receive the results within a matter of days. It couldn’t be easier!
What does a cholesterol test measure?
A cholesterol test checks how much cholesterol is circulating in your blood. High cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. By checking your cholesterol level, you can make lifestyle changes or take medication to lower it.
What’s in the test kit?
The test kit contains instructions for use, lancets to collect a small blood sample, a blood collection tube, alcohol wipes, band-aids, a protective transport bag and a return envelope to send your sample to a certified laboratory.
High cholesterol in itself does not produce any noticeable symptoms. This is why it is often discovered by chance through other bloodwork.
While high cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms, long-term high cholesterol can lead to symptoms of heart disease, stroke, or atherosclerosis in other blood vessels. These symptoms include left-sided chest pain, pressure, or fullness; dizziness; slurred speech; or pain in the lower legs.
Summary of Biomarkers
Cholesterol is produced in the liver and is found in every cell of the body. There are two types of cholesterol: one in the form of HDL (high-density cholesterol) and LDL (low-density cholesterol). HDL is also referred to as the ‘good’ cholesterol and LDL is known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol. An elevated cholesterol level is defined as total cholesterol above 6.5 mmol / l.
High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is called the “good” cholesterol because it transports excess bad cholesterol to your liver to clear it. For the HDL value we use a reference of >0.91, which means that if your HDL value is above 0.91, this is considered normal. To learn more about HDL, and which levels of HDL are considered normal/healthy, we recommend you to check out our article “What is HDL?”.
Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) transports cholesterol throughout the body, creating the risk that cholesterol builds up in the arteries and can cause cardiovascular disease. For individuals without any risk factors, the LDL value is elevated if higher than 3.37 mmol / l. We apply an upper limit of 2.6 mmol / l for people with other risk factors (smoking, diabetes, cardiac issues etc).
HDL% of total cholesterol
The percentage of total cholesterol refers to the amount of HDL (= “good” cholesterol) in the body that can fight the LDL (= “bad” cholesterol). The higher the percentage of total cholesterol is HDL, the better.
Triglycerides are the most common types of fats in the body. Excess calories, alcohol and sugars are converted into triglycerides and stored in the body as fat. A value lower than 2.28 mmol / l indicates a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.
How to prevent high cholesterol
There are certain ways to prevent high cholesterol. These include but are not limited to:
- A healthy and varied diet.
- Limiting products that contain saturated fats.
- Eating as little salt as possible.
- Limiting your alcohol consumption to a maximum of one glass per day.
- Stopping smoking.
- Making sure you exercise regularly
How does it work?
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Frequently asked questions
How do unhealthy cholesterol levels occur?
What are unhealthy cholesterol levels?
The following reference ranges apply to cholesterol. If your cholesterol values are outside these ranges, see your GP for advice.
Total cholesterol < 6.50 mmol/L
HDL > 1.17 mmol/L
LDL < 3.37 mmol/L
Triglycerides < 2.28 mmol/L
What will the results of this cholesterol self-test tell me?
This home cholesterol self-test helps you understand your cholesterol levels, which is related to your risk of blood vessels calcification (arteriosclerosis). As such, the total cholesterol and LDL values are particularly important to the test result.
Who should use this cholesterol test?
Home cholesterol tests are recommended to almost everyone. However, Homed-IQ cholesterol self-tests are particularly advisable for people who belong to risk groups for cardiovascular disease. Risk groups include:
- People who smoke
- People with high blood pressure
- People with type 2 diabetes
- Older adults
- People who are obese
- People with a family history of heart attacks or strokes
Why is it wise to test your cholesterol levels?
High cholesterol does not cause any symptoms on its own, so it often goes undetected. However, if these levels are not reduced over time, they can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. An LDL level that is too high contributes to the calcification of the blood vessels. Calcified blood vessels are a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy material that is found in all body cells. It is a fat-like substance that binds to HDL and LDL proteins and is formed in the liver. There are two types of cholesterol – the “good” cholesterol, HDL, and the “bad” cholesterol, LDL.
Cholesterol is important for performing various functions in the body and making hormones. These hormones include:
- Vitamin D
To learn more about cholesterol, check out our article, Cholesterol and Your Health.
What causes high cholesterol?
Many different factors can contribute to high blood cholesterol levels, including lifestyle factors like smoking, an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, as well as having an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.