When you realize how high cholesterol can reduce the days of your life over time, you’d ask yourself – “Is there a lab for cholesterol testing near me?”
Did you know that it’s unlikely to notice any high cholesterol symptoms unless a person suffers a stroke or a heart attack? A middle-aged person may struggle to breathe with light activity, but how often does this make you want to get a cholesterol test?
These days, with the drastic change in lifestyle and eating habits, high cholesterol has seeped into young individuals. So, what is cholesterol, and how do you manage or reverse its levels in the blood?
What you should know about high cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance produced by our liver. Cholesterol isn’t all that bad. Certain types of cholesterol in the right amounts help build cell membranes, vitamin D, and certain hormones.
Cholesterol does not dissolve in water, and hence it cannot travel throughout the body without the help of a vehicle. This vehicle or particle is called a lipoprotein, and it transports cholesterol through the bloodstream.
Lipoproteins come in two forms, LDL and HDL – you may have heard about them.
Low-density lipoproteins or LDL is the “bad cholesterol” that builds up in the arteries, leading to heart attack or stroke.
High-density lipoproteins or HDL is the “good cholesterol” that helps return the LDL cholesterol to the liver for elimination from the blood.
However, as we mentioned, unhealthy eating habits or foods rich in fat increase LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. This increase is what leads to high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia).
If LDL cholesterol levels are extremely high, and additionally, HDL cholesterol levels are low, blood vessels collect more and more of the fatty deposits. As a result, these deposits will disrupt blood flow through your arteries. It’s a severe issue if blood flow is interrupted as this causes problems throughout your body; in the heart and brain, interruption of blood flow could be fatal.
How is high cholesterol diagnosed?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers these ideal cholesterol levels in the blood:
- LDL cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol: Greater than or equal to 60 mg/dL
- Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL
If your Total Cholesterol level is between 200 and 239 mg/dL, it is considered “borderline high.” However, if total cholesterol exceeds 240 mg/dL, your levels are considered “high.”
Your LDL cholesterol is considered “borderline high” if the levels range between 130 and 159 mg/dL. And, they are considered “high” when levels are greater than 160 mg/dL.
Due to the impact that high cholesterol can have on your health, it is recommended to have your cholesterol checked every year through a lipid panel test. The test requires that you do not eat or drink for at least 12 hours prior to your blood test.
Cholesterol testing near me
JustLabTest.com provides affordable and standard lipid panel testing at $28. This test measures serum cholesterol and triglyceride (TG) levels. It includes evaluation of the cholesterol/HDL-C ratio (calculated), HDL-C, LDL-C (calculated), and non-HDL-C (calculated).