Cholesterol is typically seen as the enemy, and we are told repeatedly to keep cholesterol levels down. However, did you know that a healthy level of cholesterol IS important for maintaining our health?
The trouble comes when we eat high-cholesterol foods which deposit unhealthy amounts of cholesterol in the arteries.
As we get older cholesterol tends to accumulate in our arteries and restricts the flow of oxygen and blood to and from our heart. Reduced blood flow can cause chest pain, and if blood flow gets completely cut off, a person can suffer a heart attack.
Getting a blood test for cholesterol is the best way to detect heart disease in its early stages. It gives you the opportunity to adopt a healthier lifestyle to help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels and prevent serious future heart disease.
Monitoring Your Heart Disease Risk
A cholesterol blood test measures cholesterol levels in your body to help your GP monitor your risk of heart disease. A Cholesterol test measures two different types of cholesterol:
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL): This “good” cholesterol can help carry LDL out of the arteries and may even lower your risk of heart disease.
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): Known as the “bad” cholesterol, this type of cholesterol builds up in your arteries and increases your risk of a heart attack.
Understanding Your Cholesterol Numbers
Your GP will discuss the results of your cholesterol blood test fasting. Cholesterol numbers and levels are categorised as follows:
- Less than 100 mg/dL – Optimal
- 100-129 mg/dL – Near optimal/above optimal
- 130-159 mg/dL – Borderline high
- 160-189 mg/dL – High
- 190 mg/dL – Very high
Together, you and your GP can create a plan that will lower your bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol levels to improve heart health. This may include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Medication to help lower cholesterol
- Plant-based diet that emphasises fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources and reduces saturated and trans fat
- Regular physical activity
Routine check-ups with your GP are important when it comes to monitoring and managing your health. By regularly tracking your cholesterol and other health indicators frequently, you can quickly intervene and get back to optimal health.
Book an appointment today with Anna Pharmacy for a cholesterol blood test in Carshalton and to speak to one of our whole health experts about protecting your heart health. If you’re in need of lab services for a cholesterol blood test in Hackbridge or our other locations, look no further than Anna Pharmacy.