Some information we hope will be useful
With all the publicity given to the health problems associated with High Cholesterol Levels we should all be aware of the dangers. Despite the fact that these levels can be dangerous to our health, for our body to actually remain healthy we do need it, but the important thing here is that it is the right type and in the right amount.
Present in our blood, and carried by a substance called High Density Lipoprotein, there are two types; LDL is regarded as being the bad type as it tends to stick to our artery walls. Too much LDL in our coronary arteries can restrict blood flow to our heart - the highest cause of heart disease in the Western World. HDL is regarded as being the good type, HDL helps to flush LDL away from the heart and actively prevents our arteries from becoming clogged up.
The only way of knowing whether you have dangerous levels within your own body is to have your blood tested. Until recently the only way of getting this tested was via your GP or local hospital. Quite often, unless there's good reason to suspect high levels, your GP, aware of his budget, will be reluctant to test these and certainly so on a regular basis.
With the introduction of sophisticated and expensive Blood Analysers capable of measuring these levels with a high degree of accuracy some of the major Pharmacies, including Boots and Lloyds have introduced an "in store" service to test this "on the spot". Usually this Cholesterol Measurement Service is linked to the local NHS authority and is done on a commercial basis.
The most popular meter in use by professional screening services including outworking departments of the NHS, is the CardioChek system, which is available in two forms:
The CardioChek PA which is capable of measuring Total, HDL, and LDL Cholesterol from one blood sample, and is the meter most often chosen by professional screening companies.
The CardioChek ST is designed specifically for those who wish to measure their levels in the comfort and convenience of their own homes. With this meter you can directly measure Total and HDL Cholesterol each test requiring a separate blood sample. By taking a third reading, this time of Triglycerides (free fat in your blood) you can calculate the value of LDL using a very simple formula.
The most common cause of High Cholesterol in the Western World is a diet high in saturated fats. This encourages the body to produce more than it needs and more than it can get rid of.
This problem can be hereditary so if your family has a history of this or an illness that can be linked to this, it may be wise to keep a close watch on your levels. The statistics can be quite frightening, for instance - people with High Cholesterol Levels as well as high blood pressure are likely to be 8 times more likely to suffer Heart Attack.