How can you check your own cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that’s found in the blood. It’s an essential component of cell membranes and plays an important role in overall good health. However, excess amounts of cholesterol can build up in the arteries, causing them to narrow and increasing the risk for heart disease and stroke. So how do you know if your cholesterol levels are within a healthy range? Here are some ways you can check your own cholesterol.

Get Blood Work Done

The most accurate way to get a full picture of your cholesterol levels is through blood work done by a healthcare professional or at-home testing kits that provide results via mail-in lab samples. The process typically involves drawing blood from your arm with a needle, which is then analyzed to determine various types of lipids (fats) present in the bloodstream.

While it may not be necessary to regularly monitor cholesterol levels as often as other markers like glucose or thyroid hormones, it’s recommended to get tested at least once every five years if you’re over 20 years old or have certain medical conditions that increase risk factors such as diabetes or high blood pressure (womp womp).

Some common tests used to measure cholesterol include:

Lipid Panel

A lipid panel measures multiple markers including total cholesterols broken down into low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol; high-density lipoprotein (HDL), aka ‘good’ choleserol; triglycerides

Test Normal Levels
Total Cholesterol Below 200 mg/dl
LDL Below 100 mg/dl
HDL Above 60 mg/dl
Triglycerides Less than 150 mg/dl

If any values fall outside these ranges consult with licensed care providers.

The Little Cheat Sheet (trick of the trade; just use dog-eared page)

If you happen to take cholesterol-lowering medication, an important sub-group of LDL called ‘LDL particle number’ can be measured with a test like the NMR LipoProfile test. However, it is not standard fare so getting tested for ‘standard’ values at least once every five years is crucial information for comparison purposes.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

As cliche and overused as this advice is, it’s never too late to make lifestyle changes after seeing one’s own levels that are outside normal ranges – not simply it about being adherent only if levels are already within recommended values (rolls eyes). Making healthier food choices and exercising regularly can help improve your cholesterol numbers as well as reducing other risk factors such high blood pressure or obesity.

Some Tips:

  • Eat plenty of fruits, veggies and whole grains
  • Avoid processed foods i.e., empty calories
  • Increase physical activity.
  • Sayonara tobacco!
  • Reduce alcohol consumption

While dieting may play some portion in managing cholesterol there’s no clear consensus whether certain specific diets directly resulting in lowering one’s bad cholesterols. Nonetheless incorporation of healthy eating will result in various health improvements beyound lipid panel tests .

Over The Counter Testing Kits!

You might see testing devices at pharmacies that tout measuring total blood choleserol without pricking finger! While most don’t provide exact values like traditional laboratory testing methods do across all lipids types their results accuracy have been improving . You’ll need to purchase these kits beforehandi which will require some monetary investment but adds convenience factor compared to scheduling professional testing entirely unlike waiting at doctors’ office with mystery sickness-infested patients..

In conclusion, if you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels there are options available on how check your own status whether at home through OTC kits or via medical professionals for more comprehensive readings. Monitoring cholesterol levels is one of the many health considerations people could make to reduce their cardiovascular risk altogether; tracking this marker—and using various ways/advice/tools outlined above in tandem with other heart-healthy lifestyle choices such as regular exercise, proper nutrition and stress-reduction exercises can boost overall wellbeing beyond just lowering cholesterol count or merely staying within normal limits.

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