Cholesterol Testing Is Best Performed by Professionals

Coronary heart disease and high blood cholesterol are strongly linked together, and if a person is affected by other risk factors for coronary heart disease, cholesterol testing will be offered them because high blood cholesterol along with one or more risk factors warrants checking the level of blood cholesterol in the affected person. Cholesterol testing is necessary to find out the total cholesterol level in the blood and the three levels to be measured include high density lipoproteins (HDL), low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglyceride levels. In order to get accurate results, it is necessary to not eat or drink anything except clear fluids like water, tea or coffee without milk for twelve hours prior to the test as eating before the test will affect the triglyceride levels. Cholesterol testing should be performed by a general practitioner or a practice nurse to ensure that the test results are accurate. It may be necessary to have a follow-up appointment, which is of importance because often, more than one test is necessary.

Getting tested by a general practitioner or practice nurse will also lead to getting reassurances as well as advice and this is especially helpful if one is nervous or anxious about the test and its results.

Types of Tests

The person that performs the cholesterol testing will be able to explain the reading as well as discuss how the person tested is affected by other risk factors such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, smoking habits as well as family history of coronary heart disease, and more. However, there are also cholesterol testing kits available for use at home and these kits are quite accurate when used by skilled professionals in a laboratory, though results of tests performed at home are known to vary.

Cholesterol testing kits that are used at home can provide results that should then be discussed with health professionals for advice as well as support. Also, mobile screening units are not guaranteed to provide accurate measurements, and just like home cholesterol testing kits, may cause unwanted worry and complacency.

On the whole, home cholesterol testing kits are not considered as being accurate or consistent enough to help manage cholesterol, even though there are several testing kits available. The majority of them only test total cholesterol while a few may measure total cholesterol as well as high density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol. Cholesterol management means more than simply measuring total cholesterol, and carefully and clinically assessing HDL cholesterol, low density cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) as well as triglycerides is of utmost importance and best left to professional health care persons to get accurate results. And, in almost all instances, a home cholesterol testing kit will be unable to give the required information to assess a person's overall risk of cardiovascular disease.