Tuli Health - Cholesterol Test
Cholesterol Check Test
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a lipid, and is important for the normal function of cells and organs in the body.
More than two in five people in England have high cholesterol which puts them at significant risk of developing heart disease and/or stroke, and around 6.5 million adults in England are currently taking lipid-lowering drugs such as statins.
Cholesterol has three main jobs:
- It's part of the outer layer, or membrane, of all your body's cells
- It's used to make vitamin D and steroid hormones which keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy
- It's used to make bile, which helps to digest the fats you eat
What Does the Cholesterol Check Test For?
- Total Cholesterol
- Total Triglycerides
- HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol
- LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol
- Non-HDL Cholesterol
What Are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. Triglycerides are stored in fat cells and later hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, particularly from high-carbohydrate foods, you may have high triglyceride.
High triglycerides can also be a sign of:
- Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
- Metabolic syndrome — a condition when high blood pressure, obesity and high blood sugar occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease
- Low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism)
- Certain rare genetic conditions that prevent the body from breaking down fats (familial chylomicronaemia syndrome).
What Is HDL Cholesterol?
HDL is high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol. HDL helps keep your cardiovascular system healthy. It actually aids in the removal of LDL from the arteries. It carries the bad cholesterol back to your liver, where it's broken down and eliminated from your body. High levels of HDL have also been shown to protect against stroke and heart attack, while low HDL has been shown to increase those risks.
What Is LDL Cholesterol
LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called the “bad” cholesterol because it collects in the walls of your blood vessels, raising your chances of health problems like a heart attack or stroke. High levels of LDL-C make people more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.
What Is Non- HDL Cholesterol?
Non-HDL cholesterol is the total cholesterol minus the HDL cholesterol. It's a measure of all the “bad” types of cholesterol. It's a helpful way for your doctor to evaluate your risk of heart disease and ideally should be less than 4 mmol/L.
If your non-HDL cholesterol is high, you may be at a higher risk of developing atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries. Non-HDL cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease and:
- Chest pain (angina)
- Heart attack
What Raises Your Cholesterol?
Your blood fats (that is your cholesterol and triglycerides) can become raised for a number of reasons.
Lifestyle is a major contributing factor to high cholesterol and making changes to your lifestyle is one of the most effective ways of regulating the cholesterol levels in your blood. There are also a few fixed factors which cannot be changed that might increase the risk of high blood cholesterol.
- Diet - a diet high in saturated fats.
- Exercise - A lack of exercise can increase the level of bad cholesterol and decrease the level of good cholesterol.
- Obesity - Those that are overweight or obese have a higher chance of developing high cholesterol due to the increase of triglycerides. The increase of this type of fat leads to lower levels of 'good cholesterol'.
- Alcohol - The amount of alcohol that you consume also correlates to cholesterol. If you regularly drink large quantities of alcohol, then it can increase your cholesterol levels.
- Smoking - Smoking is known to cause numerous health conditions and high cholesterol is one of them. There is a chemical called Acrolein in cigarettes which prevents the 'good cholesterol' from being transported to the liver.
- Age - As you get older, your cholesterol levels will naturally rise. With age, you are more likely to experience the narrowing of your arteries which can lead to higher cholesterol.
- Gender - Males are generally at higher risk of developing high cholesterol, but tends to level off after the age of 50. For women, their cholesterol levels generally remain low until their menopausal stage, where the cholesterol levels may rise to the same levels as males.
- Ethnic group - Being from a South Asian Background.
- Family history - Your family history could be a causing factor for high cholesterol. If you have a close relative that has had a stroke or coronary heart disease, then you are more likely to have high cholesterol. If someone in your family has familial hypercholesterolemia then this could also contribute to the health condition.
Who Is the Test For?
Anyone can have high cholesterol - even if you are young, slim, eat well and exercise. That's because high cholesterol can be caused by different things. It can be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, but it can be genetic too.
High cholesterol does not cause symptoms. You can only find out if you have it from a blood test.
Risk factors to consider are:
- Family history of high cholesterol or heart disease in close relatives.
- Being overweight or obese.
- Diabetes mellitus
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Smoking cigarettes
- Having a sedentary lifestyle or a health condition which may impair your activity
How Do I Order My Cholesterol Test?
Our cholesterol blood test requires a small blood sample(finger-prick) and makes checking your lipid profile levels privately, fast, affordable, and convenient. All you need to do is collect your sample and send it directly to our accredited laboratory for analysis. Results will be available within 2 working days of receipt of your sample in the laboratory.
Will I Need to Do Anything to Prepare for The Test?
A fasting sample is required for a full lipid profile including cholesterol. Sample should be collected before 10am and returned on the same day.