Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women. Every year, roughly 610,000 people die from heart disease, meaning that the condition is responsible for roughly 25 percent of all deaths in the US. The good news is that it may be possible to reduce your risk of developing heart disease and to improve your health once you have the condition. Home cholesterol tests can help you determine whether you have a major risk factor for the condition, so that you can seek treatment. CVS carries an assortment of home cholesterol testing kits that you can purchase online.
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy material that is naturally found in the fat present in your blood. While we often think of cholesterol as a harmful thing, the substance actually plays an important role in the body. Without cholesterol, your body cannot build healthy cells.
Dangers of High Cholesterol
Cholesterol becomes dangerous when levels of a certain type of cholesterol called low-density lipoproteins (LDL) build up in the body. Excessive levels of LDL can create dense fatty deposits inside of the blood vessels, the tubes that carry blood throughout your body. When these deposits become large in size, they can reduce or block blood flow. This increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Genetics, a diet high in saturated fat, obesity, a lack of exercise, smoking and diabetes increase the likelihood of high cholesterol.
Importance of Testing
Although high cholesterol can have serious health implications, the condition is typically treatable. Doctors can prescribe medications to help lower levels of LDL in your body and increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL) that helps deliver LDL back to the liver. Dietary and lifestyle changes can also lower LDL levels, decreasing your risk of heart attack or stroke. The first step toward addressing high cholesterol is knowing that you have it. Home testing kits may allow you to find out without having to visit a doctor.
How to Test at Home
Typically, home cholesterol tests require a small sample of blood. Usually, you collect this by pricking your finger with a special device. The blood sample is then collected with the testing device. After a certain period of time, results are displayed for you to interpret. The cholesterol home test that you purchase will come with detailed instructions. Make sure to follow them carefully to ensure that you receive accurate results.