Sunday, October 16, 2016
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a type of fat made by the body. It is usually attributed with heart disease and strokes, however that is only the case if the levels in your body are too high. Cholesterol is still essential for good health. High cholesterol can come about as the result of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, or it can be something that runs in families.
How do I know if I have high cholesterol?
There are no obvious symptoms to show that you have high cholesterol, but if you are concerned you should visit a GP for a cholesterol blood test. This is the first step in diagnosing high cholesterol.
What if I am diagnosed with high cholesterol?
If you are diagnosed with high cholesterol a GP will advise you on how you can manage your cholesterol levels effectively. Recommendations can include:
- Adopting a healthier diet
- Exercising more and regularly
- A medical prescription
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Recommendations differ person to person, based on your individual cholesterol reading.
In addition to this, your doctor might recommend some other changes to your lifestyle, for example if you smoke you would be advised to quit. You may also be recommended vitamins and supplements to manage cholesterol, however you must check with a GP before taking any new supplement, as they may interfere with other medication or conditions you may have.
Monitoring your cholesterol at home
Cholesterol home testing kits are available which can be useful for checking your cholesterol levels between doctor appointments. Standard home testing kits include a lancet and test strips, and work simply by you pricking your finger with the lancet and placing the blood drop on the test strip. You would then match the colour on the test strip to the colour guide, which would give you an indication as to what your cholesterol reading currently is.
To find out more about Oxford Online Pharmacys cholesterol service, click here.