In This Article
In This Article
About 94 million American adults have cholesterol levels above 200 mg/dL. Unfortunately, many people with high cholesterol don't know they have it.1
High cholesterol doesn't produce any symptoms. An at-home cholesterol test is a convenient and effective way to check your cholesterol.
Not all cholesterol is bad for your health. It depends on the type of cholesterol and their levels. There are two kinds of cholesterol:
HDL cholesterol is good for you. It lowers your risk for heart disease and stroke.2
Consequently, high levels of LDL cholesterol is bad for your health. It builds up on the walls of your arteries and forms into plaque.3
Plaque narrows and hardens the arteries. It decreases blood flow to the heart muscle, leading to angina. Sometimes, plaque can dislodge and completely block blood flow to your heart. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Plaque can also impair blood flow to the brain. It can lead to a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (sometimes called a mini-stroke).4
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High cholesterol is when you have a total cholesterol of 240 mg/dL or higher.
Ideally, it should be less than 200 mg/dL. Although a total cholesterol of 200 to 239 mg/dL is unhealthy.5
Doctors will not only look at your total cholesterol. They will also check your HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides to better assess your health.
Triglycerides are the stored fats in your body. They can affect your HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol levels.
In the past, the only way to measure your cholesterol was with a blood test. Now, there are at-home cholesterol tests.
Here is what high cholesterol levels will look like when you take thee tests:
Keep in mind that having high HDL levels is good for your health. HDL cholesterol that falls below this range is unhealthy.
An LDL cholesterol between 100 to 129 mg/dL is considered high if you have:
In healthy individuals, high LDL cholesterol is over 160 mg/dL. However, having an LDL cholesterol between 130 to 150 mg/dL is also considered unhealthy.
Triglycerides should fall below 150 mg/dL. Anything between 150 to 199 mg/dL is unhealthy. Once it reaches over 200 mg/dL you have high triglycerides.
Unless your doctor has recently tested your cholesterol and your results were good, you might want to consider an at-home cholesterol test. These tests:
If cholesterol is a problem for you, at-home testing is an affordable way to monitor your levels. It's also an excellent tool for tracking changes as you make adjustments to your diet.
There are three different types of at-home cholesterol tests:
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many at-home tests are accurate and a great tool for managing and monitoring your cholesterol. But they should never replace a professional medical assessment.
The accuracy of these tests tends to vary across brands. Ask your doctor for recommended brands.
At-home tests may not provide comprehensive results. Many test for total cholesterol. However, they don't check your LDL and HDL cholesterol.
Your total cholesterol may be within the normal range. But your HDL and LDL may be too low or high, which are bad for your health.
Cholesterol tests that lack meters do not give you measurable results. You should only use mail-in cholesterol kits and tests that have meters, so you can read the results.
Of course, your test results are best interpreted by a medical professional. But if you simply want to monitor your cholesterol levels, they are great tools to have at home.
There are several reliable at-home test kits, including:
Remember, even if you have high cholesterol, it doesn’t need to stay that way. Healthy diet and exercise can reduce your cholesterol levels and health risks.
An at-home cholesterol test allows you to closely monitor your levels at home. It can help you determine if your lifestyle changes are lowering your cholesterol.
If you aren't sure of which test to choose, look for a kit that's approved by the FDA. It must also provide measurable results, so it's easier to read.
Talk to your doctor if you still aren't sure which at-home cholesterol test is right for you.
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