Traditional cholesterol testing only gives your total cholesterol level, and is not the most useful indicator of whether you are at risk of diseases caused by hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol) such as heart disease and stroke. At the Walk-in Clinic, we provide a comprehensive cholesterol profile, which is a good indicator of whether your cholesterol levels need adjustment through diet and exercise or require medication.
Your total cholesterol is made up of LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). A high level of LDL cholesterol directly increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases. A high level of HDL cholesterol, however, is a favourable result, as this helps to protect against heart disease. HDL is helpful because it “scours” the walls of blood vessels, cleaning out cholesterol that might be clogging them.
The third element that you should test for is triglycerides. Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fats exist in the body, and is used for energy and for other body functions. However, a high level can contribute to life-threatening diseases like heart disease and stroke.
High cholesterol can be caused by genetic factors (family history), diet, and lack of exercise.
The doctor may advise you to undergo a period of fasting the night before your test.During the test
The cholesterol test is a simple blood test. A needle is inserted into a vein, usually on the inner arm near the elbow, and a small amount of blood is drawn. You may feel a pricking or scratching sensation.
We send the results to our patients by email. If you had a consultation with one of our GPs the doctor will give you a call first to discuss your results and necessary follow up. If you had just a blood test without consultation you are welcome to take the results for interpretation to your own doctor or book a consultation with us.
Cholesterol is a substance made by the liver. It is waxy and similar in consistency to fat. It is also found in food. Cholesterol is found in the cell membranes of every part of the body, and is crucial for normal bodily functioning.
There are a number of possible causes of high cholesterol, but it can indicate that the body is working harder than normal to maintain balance. Certain diets (especially those high in saturated fats) can raise cholesterol levels, as can lack of exercise or overweight. In some cases, high cholesterol is inherited from family members.
HDL, known as “good cholesterol”, supports the liver’s filtration and cleansing of cholesterol. LDL (“bad cholesterol”) just circulates cholesterol. Thus, HDL is actually a protector, whereas LDL can accumulate as plaque and clog arteries.