GetTested’s Cholesterol test kit
It is important to keep track of the levels of cholesterol in the body and specifically to have a good balance between LDL and HDL. Many people have high levels of cholesterol without being aware of it. Especially men above the age of 35 and women above the age of 45 suffer from this.
GetTested offers a simple cholesterol home test kit that will give you insights into your cholesterol levels and the balance between LDL and HDL, also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol, and ‘good’ cholesterol.
Learn More about Cholesterol:
Below we will go deeper into the following sections:
- About Cholesterol
- HDL and LDL Cholesterol
- The Balance of Cholesterol
- What the Cholesterol Test measures
- Not Sure This Test is for You?
1. About Cholesterol
Cholesterol is found in all cells, and is a substance the body needs to build cells, hormones, vitamins (like vitamin D) and other substances to help you digest foods. It is naturally produced in the liver, but you can also absorb it through food.
Cholesterol is needed both as a building block for our steroid hormones and as a constituent in our cell walls, as well as in the production of bile acid. The brain’s cells also need large amounts of cholesterol.
If the body receives too little cholesterol, the cell division suffers.
Cholesterol is transported in the blood in so-called lipoproteins which are the transport particles of fats. High levels of LDL cholesterol (also known as “bad cholesterol”) can cause health problems such as high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. This is because the excessive cholesterol can combine with other substances in the blood, where it will form into plaque. This plaque sticks to the walls of the arteries. Too much plaque can lead to a condition called atherosclerosis, which in the worst cases can cause a stroke or a heart attack.
2. HDL and LDL Cholesterol
Because cholesterol is a fat-soluble substance by itself, it needs to be packed into so-called carrier proteins in order to be transported in the blood and get to all the cells in the body. These carrier proteins are called lipoproteins. There are two types of these lipoproteins: LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein). These two have different functions and different transportation purposes in the body.
Something that they both have in common is their water-soluble exterior and fat-soluble interior. LDL protein is released from the liver and carries cholesterol and triglycerides to the cells while HDL proteins instead transport cholesterol from tissues to the liver.
HDL cholesterol is thought of as the ‘good’ cholesterol. A healthy level of HDL can possibly protect you against a stroke or a heart attack.
On the other hand, LDL cholesterol is considered as ‘bad’ cholesterol because it contributes to the buildup of fatty plaque that causes atherosclerosis, which in turn can create a higher risk of a stroke or heart attack.
3. The balance of Cholesterol
There used to be a lot of talk about the good and the bad cholesterol found in various “good” and “bad” foods. However, nowadays there is more focus on the balance between HDL and LDL. If you analyse cholesterol, it is the so-called total cholesterol that is measured, i.e. both HDL and LDL levels. If you have high levels of LDL (especially in relation to HDL levels), the risk of suffering from heart and vascular diseases increases. The more LDL you have in your body, the greater the risk that the LDL becomes sticky and sticks to the inside of the walls of blood vessels (the so-called plaque) and causes inflammation. Inflammation of the blood vessels can cause atherosclerosis and can eventually cause cardiovascular disease.
Normal cholesterol levels
A normal adult range of HDL Cholesterol is 35 to 65 mg/dL for men and 35 to 80 mg/dL for women.
Most healthcare providers would agree a ratio below 5:1 is good, and a ratio below 3.5:1 is considered very good.
Triglyceride and Cholesterol
Triglycerides are the most common type of fat. They provide the body with energy and store the unused calories.High levels of triglyceride are just as dangerous as high levels of Cholesterol. A high level of triglycerides combined with high LDL or low HDL is linked with the fatty build up of plaque in the artery walls.
4. What the Cholesterol Test measures
With this test you get answers to the following values:
- Cholesterol (total)
- LDL cholesterol
- HDL cholesterol
- LDL / HDL ratio
What are considered good levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol?
Ideally, your HDL levels should be high (somewhere above 60), whereas your LDL levels should be lower (below 100). Your cholesterol numbers as a total should be below 200. A ratio below 5:1 is considered good.
Who should test for cholesterol?
Anyone can benefit from a cholesterol test, but especially those who are particularly at risk of higher cholesterol levels such as men above the age of 35 and women above the age of 45.
Why test for cholesterol?
Cholesterol can cause serious damage to the body and is often the cause of strokes and heart attacks. Most people don’t know that their cholesterol levels are too high, which is why it is important to get it checked.
How to lower cholesterol?
Adopt a low-cholesterol diet including vegetables, high-fibre foods (like beans, broccoli), whole grains, fruit and nuts. Avoid unhealthy foods such as red meat, full-fat dairy, baked goods, sweets, and fried foods.
What are high cholesterol symptoms?
People with high cholesterol levels usually don’t experience any symptoms, which is why it is a hidden risk factor. Often it is discovered too late, which is why it is so important to check your cholesterol level.
When should I take the test?
It is recommended to take the test on an empty stomach in the morning. This way your level has not been influenced by the time of day or intake of food and you can get a better understanding of your cholesterol levels.
How long does it take until I get my results?
You will receive your result digitally as soon as your blood sample has been analysed by the lab. This should take about a week.
6. Not Sure This Test is for You?
If you’re still uncertain whether this test is right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly and knowledgeable customer support team. We’re here to guide you towards the tests that best match your health concerns and objectives. You can contact us through our contact page or use our live chat for immediate assistance.