Cholestrol

Home Cholesterol Test

Having cholesterol levels checked by yourself at home is an easy method. This

home cholesterol test

can only measure the total cholesterol and it can be done by just pricking a finger to get a blood drop. This drop is placed on a special strip that changes its color based on the cholesterol level you possess.

Home Cholesterol Test – What is it all about?

Blood cholesterol test is the only way to find out the cholesterol levels in your blood. If you are at age 19 and above, you should get your cholesterol levels checked at least once in 5 years. But, if you are at a risk for heart disorders, you need medical attention.

There are various types of cholesterol tests and each test can detect different blood components of fats and cholesterol present in blood. The various tests include:

  • Good (HDL) cholesterol test
  • Bad (LDL) cholesterol test
  • Total cholesterol test
  • Triglycerides test
  • Lipid panel test which looks for all four components present in blood

But, home cholesterol test can only look for total cholesterol levels.

What is the purpose of a home cholesterol test?

The main purpose to do this test is to measure the total cholesterol levels so that high cholesterol levels in the blood are detected. Total cholesterol implies together all the types of cholesterol i.e good, bad, triglycerides. It is the total amount of cholesterol in the blood.

How to perform a home cholesterol test?

  • Using a lancet, prick your finger to get a blood drop.
  • Put the blood drop on a paper strip that contains certain chemicals.
  • The paper strip changes its color based on the cholesterol level the blood contains.

Home cholesterol tests measure only the total blood cholesterol, but there are certain tests present for measuring even good cholesterol and triglycerides.

Limits of the home cholesterol test

There are limitations in home cholesterol test because it detects only total cholesterol levels. This can be misleading, since an individual can have high bad cholesterol and low good cholesterol even though having a healthy total cholesterol. This is the reason most of the cholesterol treatments are given after detecting the correct good and bad cholesterol levels. Thus, the total cholesterol number should not be taken as a correct reading.

The total cholesterol level under

200 mg/dL

is the

optimal healthy

cholesterol level. If the level is

above 240 mg/dL

, it is considered

high

and a total cholesterol level

between 200 – 239 mg/dL

is considered to be

borderline

. If the level reaches 240 mg/dL and beyond it, the risk for heart stroke and attacks will be higher.

Total Cholesterol Levels

  • Below 200 mg/dL – Desirable level
  • 200 – 239 mg/dL – High Borderline
  • Above 240 mg/dL – High

Cholesterol levels are always measured in mg/dL i.e milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood.

How accurate is home cholesterol test?

The home cholesterol test does not give that accurate results as laboratory tests. But also you should follow the steps correctly. 

Cholesterol tests may also vary according to the brand of paper strip. The accuracy of the test will be given with the kit. It is good to use the test strips approved by the Food and Drug Administration and they also have certain advantages.

  • They are inexpensive and on average it costs about $14.00
  • They are readily available and no need for a prescription to use them
  • On correct usage, they give perfect results up to 95%

Results of a Home Cholesterol Test

If the results of the total cholesterol show to be higher than 200 mg/dL, go to your physician immediately. Get the cholesterol levels checked once again. Regular exercises and diet should be done along with the recommended medications.

 

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