Posted by: Georgi 

Many modern so-called-diets and lifestyles can create havoc on our health. People are beginning to realize that some of the diets can be dangerous and could cause severe fluctuations in cholesterol levels. It is advisable to periodically perform some cholesterol tests as these can now be done at home safely to play safe.

A plethora of home kits are available for testing cholesterol levels and these can be ordered online or picked up from most drugstores. One can avoid the hassle of making appointments with the health center or local GP to check out their fitness levels.

Check out the testing kit by researching a bit about the type and function of the product. You may not get the same results from every kit and you will perhaps notice that there is a marked difference in the quality and accuracy of each home testing kit.

There is no doubt that these testing kits are valuable assets to own as they are good indicators of the degree of fitness levels of a person. The medical test done in a clinic can also prove inaccurate some times. Therefore, it is in your own interest to self test every week or several days to check your condition and take necessary action promptly. Make sure that you read the instructions carefully before you use the testing kit for best results. It is necessary to be fasting before undergoing the test.

Conducting a home test to check cholesterol levels is convenient and easy to carry out from home. It may not give you immediate suggestions for how to lower the levels, if you happen to have high cholesterol. Levels differ from person to person, depending on various circumstances and the best part is that you are aware if you have a problem.

Should we be aware of cholesterol levels in the body?
We do not have to fear cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol refers to the substance that resembles fat, which can settle on any part of the body, since it is made by the liver. Cholesterol is important as hormones such as adrenaline, testosterone and bile acids are all made with cholesterol which can be consumed by us. We also find cholesterol in animal foods.

A person has to start getting concerned only if their cholesterol levels are higher than recommended. Cholesterol can be classified under two categories – LDL and HDL. The function of the low-density lipoproteins (LDL) is to ensure that the cholesterol is carried to the rest of the body. The high-density lipoproteins (HDL) encourage the cholesterol to return to the liver by removing it from the bloodstream. LDL deposits excess cholesterol as plaque on the arteries and this ends up hardening the walls in the arteries. Over time, the blood flow gets restricted as the walls narrow down or is blocked. Chest pain occurs when there is restriction of oxygen to the heart, because of insufficient blood supply and this eventually leads to a heart attack.

Various types of fat that is imbibed in our diet determine the levels of LHDL and LDL in the blood. Basically, this can be categorised as polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and saturated fats.

Saturated fats are found in processed meats such as sausages, salami, dairy products, which are full-fat, cakes and deep fried foods snacks, such as chips or biscuits, which end up raising the LDL in the blood. These fats are generally unhealthy and bad for you. Monosaturated fats are found in oils, such as olive oil, canola oil, most nuts and avocados. These fats as well as polyunsaturated fats found in sunflower seeds, safflower, walnuts and corn increase the levels of HDL and are known as good fats. Therefore, one should eat foods that reduce problems, associated with arteries.

Levels of cholesterol can be tested in several ways by analysing the blood. One of the common and most used methods is the tests carried out at home. It may go wrong about 5% of the time, when compared to a normal test done at the clinic. You require a drop of blood to determine the level of cholesterol, which can be read on the test device within a few minutes. Some kits give you the LDL and HDL levels while others may only give you a total value.

Depending on the type of kit you have, the reading of lipid values serum differs in different countries. In U.S, India and other countries it is recorded as milligrams to a decilitre. For example it could read 200mg/dL. However, in UK, Europe and Australia, SI units record the level in millimole to a liter. (For example it may show a reading of 5.10mmol/L.)

You can check if there has been a change in the cholesterol levels done last at a clinic by performing one from home. This will serve as a guideline as it is difficult to know how high or low the level is with one reading done at home. It would be a good idea to consult a doctor and ask him to interpret the results of a home test for cholesterol.

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