Are you tempted to purchase an at-home cholesterol test?
Are you worried about lowering your bad cholesterol enough that making this purchase is tempting you?
There are many of these cholesterol at-home tests on the market to choose from. If you pay attention to the ads you may believe that these tests are quick, accurate and you can get the results in the privacy of your own home where no one else needs to know just how bad your numbers really are.
They also promise that you can save time as there is no waiting around in waiting rooms while the test is being run and you sweat it out about what your numbers are.
You wonder if the test is really worth the money you need to spend on it? Are they really accurate or will you have a false sense of security in the number they show you?
The FDA approved home cholesterol tests in 1993. The tests work by measuring the total fat levels in your blood. There are also tests that will measure high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is the "good" cholesterol and LDL, which is the "bad" cholesterol as well as triglycerides.
Users of the test need to prick their finger in order to use the tests. A small lancet is provided to help you prick your finger.
A small drop of blood is then placed on a piece of paper that has chemicals on it the user than waits approximately 10 minutes for the results to show on a color-coded piece of paper.
Some of the tests have a small screen in which the results are shown on within usually one minute of taking the test. The accuracy for these tests is generally about 95% accurate.
The next question one might ask when contemplating an at-home cholesterol test is the cost factor. The low end of the cost spectrum is around $14 and the high end for a hand-held automatic cholesterol device that tests your total cholesterol (LDL, HDL and triglycerides) runs about $125.00.
The at-home cholesterol tests are known for some problems that may not make them a good investment.
The tests that are more easily found and affordable only measure the total cholesterol and will not give you a profile of the individual cholesterol levels (HDL and LDL) as well as the triglyceride level.
Knowing all levels can give you is more total picture.
Purchasing the higher end model may not solve all of your problems because even if you have all of the desired numbers, you still need the doctor to evaluate the numbers and take into account all of the other risk factors you have to determine your real risk for heart disease.
Testing your cholesterol levels and knowing what they are is not enough to save your life.
You have to know how to interpret the levels and to know what lifestyle changes are necessary in order to keep those levels in a healthy range.
Your doctor can interpret the levels for you and give you lifestyle guidance for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Your doctor can also prescribe medications if your levels are not within a healthy range for you.
If medication is necessary, you doctor can also re-test your cholesterol levels during your medication therapy to be sure that the medicine is lowering your bad cholesterol to an acceptable level. Your doctor can also make adjustments in your medicine therapy when necessary.
It is important to know what your cholesterol levels are especially if you have ever tested high for the bad cholesterol (LDL) and these at-home cholesterol tests are good tools for doing that.
There is no substitute though for good medical care that only your doctor can give you.