What does a Cholesterol test measure?
Cholesterol tests will measure your total cholesterol (TC), and the HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in your body, from this your total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio (TC:HDL) will be given.
How often should this test be taken?
It is always a good idea to take a cholesterol test, especially if you have never had one, if you are aged 40 or over, then you may benefit more from a test every few years to keep updated on the levels of cholesterol in your body.
During pregnancy it is not recommended to take a cholesterol test, as it naturally rises during pregnancy, and does not provide a clear picture of normal cholesterol levels.
For adults, every 5 years would be efficient if there are no other concerns.
What contributes to high cholesterol levels?
High levels of cholesterol can be caused by eating fatty foods, lack of exercise, smoking, drinking alcohol, and being overweight. It can also be inherited, but is usually the result of an unhealthy lifestyle.
How can I reduce my risk?
Adjusting your lifestyle can help reduce the risk of high cholesterol, eating a healthy balanced diet, increasing exercise, and reducing the amount of alcohol or smoking consumed will be the most proactive thing to do.
Medicine can also be taken as an option of treatment, if required.
Are there any symptoms?
High cholesterol does not leave symptoms, but, if left untreated it can eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke, due to fatty build-up in the arteries that could lead to a blood clot.