What is Blood Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by our body to regulate healthy cell production in your bloodstream. It is also consumed in the diet. High levels of ‘good’ cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein – HDL) are essential for your body to function properly, but high levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein – LDL) can drastically increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and plaque build-up in your arteries (atherosclerosis). The recommended figure that one should not exceed is 5 mmol/mol Total Cholesterol. High levels of total cholesterol often goes undetected unless a blood test is performed or if your family has a known history of heart disease and high total cholesterol.
Who is at risk of high cholesterol?
Those with unhealthy lifestyles or with conditions like diabetes and underactive thyroids are more prone to increases in total cholesterol levels.
What can you do to lower your blood cholesterol?
High levels of total cholesterol can be treated effectively with healthy lifestyle changes and or prescribed medication. Lowering your total cholesterol takes a lot of commitment. You can start to tackle high total cholesterol by changing your daily routines, for instance:
- Eat less foods with saturated and trans-unsaturated fats
- Increase intake of fruit, vegetables, fish and white meat
- Exercise well and regularly
- Incorporate some form of light to moderate exercise to your daily life
- Reduce, or if possible, stop smoking as it narrows the arteries making blockage easier
- Cutting down or cutting out alcohol entirely, which affects blood flow and reduces oxygen in your blood
Our services and support
At Imaan Healthcare pharmacies, we provide an on-site point of testing for total cholesterol. We only need a finger prick sample of blood to do this. The results take only a few minutes.
Who should have a cholesterol test?
All adults should have an idea of their cholesterol numbers. Even if you have not been recommended to have a check, it’s generally a good idea to get one anyway.
You may be offered a free cholesterol test if you are:
- Ages between 0-74
- At high risk of heart disease
- Have been diagnosed with heart disease
- Currently taking medicine to lower your cholesterol
- A smoker
- Are physically inactive
Who shouldn't have a cholesterol test?
If you are a woman who is pregnant, a cholesterol test will not give you any accurate results during the pregnancy cycle.