Private Cholesterol Blood Test
We are constantly being bombarded with messages telling us we need to watch our cholesterol levels and eat low cholesterol foods. But what truly is the significance of this and how dangerous is it to have too much cholesterol? Private cholesterol blood testing is becoming increasingly popular as people are becoming more aware of the negative effects a high cholesterol level may have on the body. What many people are unaware of is that cholesterol as well as being obtained from dietary sources is also produced by our liver. Cholesterol isn’t just a negative thing. It is in fact a vital component of many of the lipid based hormones within our bodies and without it we would not be able to survive.
However if the levels of cholesterol in the blood are too high, this puts our bodies at major risk of developing heart disease. It may be the case that you have a family history pointing to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, or you may already know you suffer from such diseases. You may just feel your lifestyle is not the greatest so you want to see what impact it is having on your heart. Whatever the reason, going for a private cholesterol test is not only highly beneficial for your health but it will provide you with that piece of mind and knowledge to better your future health.
Why is it important to look for high cholesterol?
As previously mentioned, cholesterol levels are strongly linked to cardiovascular disease. The way in which this occurs is that the extra cholesterol that is no required for your body’s essential functions gets deposited on the walls of your blood vessels. As times goes on, this deposition increases while at the same time narrowing the vessels. Less blood can reach the tissues and organs that the blood vessel supplies. If it is the coronary arteries that become blocked, this means the heart will not be receiving adequate amounts of oxygen so is prone to having a heart attack, also called myocardial infarction. In addition to becoming blocked, the depositing of cholesterol on the walls of the vessels also weakens them. As a result, the wall may become stressed as the blood vessel swells with blood, a phenomenon called an aneurysm. When this eventually burst, severe blood loss occurs and if this happens in the brain, it is referred to as a stroke.
What does the test result mean?
The results of the test will form the basis for any advice a health professional may give concerning your diet to limit your risk of future cardiovascular disease. Other things alongside cholesterol may be examined, such as blood pressure, to get a full picture of your potential risk. A value of above 4 mmol/L is considered to be elevated and you will either be advised to make lifestyle changes, or start taking medication to help lower the cholesterol. The extent of the increased cholesterol will determine which of these actions would be most appropriate for you, but if you are ever unsure of the treatment or would like a second opinion you GP should be for first port of call.
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