In Western countries, coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death. An elevated blood cholesterol level is one of the major risk factors for coronary heart disease.
We offer a cholesterol test looks for the presence of Total cholesterol. This test is ideal for you to get a general idea of the total cholesterol levels in your blood.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a soft waxy substance which is required by the body to keep itself healthy, but too much cholesterol circulating in the blood is a health risk. As cholesterol is not water-soluble it must bind to special proteins before it can be carried in the bloodstream. These special proteins are called lipoproteins, there are 2 main types of lipoproteins, High density lipoproteins (HDL) and Low density lipoproteins (LDL). HDL cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol because it seems to carry the cholesterol away from your heart and blood vessels, preventing the narrowing of the arteries. LDL is known as “bad” cholesterol as it is the type most likely to build up on artery walls.
For more detailed information on cholesterol click here.
Why do I need this test?
If the cells in the body are given more cholesterol than they can use, they have no way of getting rid of the excess and so the unused cholesterol can form deposits in the coronary arteries, which restricts blood flow to the heart. This condition is known as arteriosclerosis and is the leading cause of coronary heart disease. For more information and other risk factors of heart disease, click here.
Reducing a high cholesterol level can reduce the chance of dying of a heart attack or stroke in people who have coronary diseases, as well as those individuals who have no evidence of heart disease. Therefore, evidence indicates that monitoring whole cholesterol is in the interest of everyone.
How often should my cholesterol levels be checked?
There are conflicting opinions as to how often cholesterol should be tested. You can ask your doctor for advice on how often he/she recommends you have your cholesterol tested. It is usually recommended that cholesterol testing should be performed on all adults aged 20 years and older.
This diabetes test detects the presence of glucose (sugar) and ketones in your urine. This test contains 2 test strips. If you obtain an abnormal result with the first strip, repeat the test using the second strip.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes Mellitus as it is known in full, is a common health condition where there is too much glucose in the blood. Glucose is a type of sugar that comes from carbohydrates in the food we eat and is also produced by the liver and is our body’s main source of energy. Most of the food we eat is broken down into glucose. The level of glucose in the blood is regulated by a hormone called insulin. Insulin stimulates cells to absorb enough glucose from the blood for the energy they need. Insulin also stimulates the liver to absorb and store any glucose that’s left over. People who have diabetes either do not produce enough insulin or the insulin they do produce does not work properly, so the glucose builds up in their blood instead of moving into the cells.
What are Ketones?
Usually our body will turn the food we eat into sugar (glucose) and this is used for energy. But if you have diabetes, you may not have enough insulin for the sugar in your bloodstream to be used for fuel. As a result the body will use fat instead and as the fat is broken down, substances called ketones are produced. Ketones are produced normally by the liver and are usually metabolised so very little or none will be detected in urine or blood. However, when Ketones are present in the urine this can be an indicator of diabetes. Ketones can also be present if your body is starved of food and so may be present first thing in the morning or if you have been on a strict diet or have been suffering with sickness.
The 2 main types of Diabetes:
Type 1, also known as insulin dependent diabetes, develops when the insulin producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed and the person stops producing their own insulin. This may be due to a combination of hereditary and environmental factors, but it could also be as a result of damage to the pancreas from a virus. It generally affects children and young adults of both sexes and will usually become apparent before the age of 40.
Type 2, also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes, is the most common type of diabetes. Type 2 usually appears in older people (over 40) though as levels of obesity in the UK are rising, more and more younger people are being diagnosed. Type 2 happens when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to completely control the levels of glucose in your blood, or when the body cannot use the insulin that it does produce properly.
Why do I need this test?
This test looks for the presence of glucose and ketones in urine and can help identify diabetes at an early stage, before the illness causes any symptoms. It is important to detect diabetes early on so that you can begin to have treatment and reduce the risk of complications.