Cholesterol Test - Interpreting the Results

Posted by maiko muki

Cholesterol Test
Cholesterol Test

There are some people who state that home cholesterol (Chol.) testing is not as accurate as testing that is conducted in a laboratory. Well, this may surprise you, but it is not true! There are two major types of tests that you can perform at home, a full lipid profile test (the same as is performed in a hospital) or a total cholesterol test. With this variety of options there is no doubt that cholesterol testing joins blood sugar tests, ovulation kits and home HIV testing as a standard product that can be found in any American home.

The fact is that home kits are essential so that you can monitor your Chol. levels in the convenience of your home without having to go to a laboratory. A total cholesterol home test is meant to be able to monitor total Chol. levels so that the 'borderline' cases can be identified before they reach the 'high red alert' zone. In addition to this, a total cholesterol test is extremely helpful in keeping track of Chol. levels when you have set a target for yourself and want to lower your levels. A full lipid panel gives you more detail, breaking down the results into four categories.

As is the case in most medical tests that you perform yourself, cholesterol testing done right also involves understanding the readings that appear on the scale. A complete lipid profile cholesterol test will give you [a] reading for total Chol., low-density lipoprotein (bad Chol.), high-density lipoprotein (good Chol.) and triglycerides. Measuring total cholesterol at home gives you just one number which is a fairly good idea about the direction in which your total Chol. level is going.

It is important to be able to read the numbers on a total cholesterol home test and know what they mean if you are to be able to understand whether you are in the safe zone, high cholesterol zone or the borderline zone. Such a test gives you the total cholesterol levels in a matter of a few minutes and all that you need to do is to look at the reading and find out whether your cholesterol levels are under control or not.

According to the National Cholesterol Education Program, following are the cholesterol test result ranges and their interpretations.

- Desirable range - lower than 200 mg/dL or 5.17 mmol/L
- Borderline - Between 200 mg/dL and 239 mg/dL or between 5.17 mmol/L and 6.21    mmol/L
- High cholesterol levels - higher than 240 mg/dL or 6.21 mmol/L

If the reading that you obtain on your cholesterol test is in the desirable range, then you have no reason to worry. On the other hand if the reading falls in the borderline or high cholesterol range, then you might need to purchase a full lipid profile home cholesterol test to completely understand the situation. The specific action that you take in trying to reduce the total cholesterol levels shall also depend on the kind of scores that you obtain for HDL, LDL and triglycerides.

Continuing to use a home cholesterol test as you take specific steps to reduce the cholesterol levels is a good idea since you can keep a tab on how you are faring.

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