High cholesterol can cause fatty deposits in your arteries which raises your risk of heart disease. Since high cholesterol isn’t a health condition you can see or feel, the only way to diagnose high cholesterol is to take a cholesterol blood test.
How often do you need a cholesterol test? That depends primarily on your age, weight, lifestyle, and family history.
Early detection of high cholesterol can help prevent future heart disease which, if left untreated, can lead to serious events such as stroke or heart attack. Regular cholesterol tests can also determine if medical treatment and lifestyle changes are working to lower cholesterol levels.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of regular cholesterol testing for heart health.
Causes of High Cholesterol
The most common cause of high cholesterol can be contributed to leading an unhealthy lifestyle, but it can also be related to family history.
Typical causes of high cholesterol are:
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Smoking cigarettes
- Family history
What is a Cholesterol Blood Test?
A complete cholesterol blood test (aka lipid panel or profile test) measures the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood to provide you and your healthcare provider with important information about your risk of developing heart disease.
There are two types of cholesterol that blood tests measure: ‘bad cholesterol’ (Low-density lipoprotein – LDL) and ‘good cholesterol’ (high-density lipoprotein HDL).
While having some ‘good’ cholesterol in your blood is beneficial for your health, having too much ‘bad’ can cause high cholesterol. It can build up in your arteries causing them to become narrowed and/or hardened, making it hard for blood to circulate properly in your body. This can eventually lead to heart disease which can cause chest pain, heart attack, and stroke.
A complete cholesterol test measures:
- Total cholesterol
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels
- Triglycerides levels
When Should I Start Getting Regular Cholesterol Tests?
If you are at high risk of high cholesterol due to your family history or lifestyle, you should start getting routine cholesterol screenings as early as possible. Most people should get a cholesterol test every 1-2 years starting in their 40s to identify any risk factors for heart disease that can be treated or prevented early on. As the saying goes – prevention is the best cure!
Get Your Private Cholesterol Test in Gravesend at Intrigue Health Pharmacy
You can book fast and convenient private cholesterol tests in Bexley and Gravesend through Intrigue Lifestyle pharmacy.
Appointments are also available online for private cholesterol tests in Medway. Click here to schedule your appointment today.