Everything You Need To Know About Cholesterol

You may have heard the word Cholesterol in passing and pondered ‘What Is Cholesterol’. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this thought - a lot of people don’t know exactly what Cholesterol is or does, and that is why we are here! We have produced this informative blog to help our readers understand not only what cholesterol is, but how to monitor your cholesterol and tips on heart-healthy meals to reduce high cholesterol.

What is Cholesterol? 

The easiest way to explain Cholesterol is to describe it as a waxy substance which is found in your blood. Your body requires cholesterol in order to build healthy cells, However, if your cholesterol is raised and considered high, it can increase your risk of heart disease.

With high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels, if left untreated the fatty deposits grow subsequently, making it more difficult for the blood to flow easily through your arteries. 
Sometimes, the deposits can break and form a clot that causes a heart attack and or a stroke - High Cholesterol can be inherited, but it is often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices.

How Can Your Monitor Cholesterol Levels?

The best way to stay on top of your cholesterol levels is to have routine blood tests at your local pharmacy. The test is simple and the blood is often taken with a finger prick test. It's quick and practically pain free - so you don’t have to worry about that part! The results are almost instantaneous so there is no waiting around for blood test results.

What Are The Causes Of High Cholesterol? 

Cholesterol is carried through your blood, attached to proteins. This combination of proteins and cholesterol is called a lipoprotein. There are different types of cholesterol, based on what the lipoprotein carries, they are:

  1. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, transports cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL cholesterol builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow.
  2. High-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL, or "good" cholesterol, picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver. A lipid profile also measures triglycerides, which is a  type of fat in the blood. Having a high triglyceride level can increase your risk of heart disease.

There are some factors in which you control which result in high cholesterol -  such as inactivity, obesity and unhealthy lifestyle choices. These are all key factors that contribute to high cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol.

There are unfortunately some other factors that may be out of your control that can contribute to high cholesterol such as your genetic makeup.


Where Can I get A Cholesterol Test?

You can get tested for high cholesterol at your local GP Practice, local pharmacy, health centres and some leisure centres or gyms. Cholesterol tests are offered to people aged between 40 and 74 as part of your regular NHS health check.

Contact us: 01744813306 and we will help you identify your nearest cholesterol test centre. 

What Can I Do To Lower My Cholesterol?

There are many ways you can reduce high cholesterol and we have taken this opportunity to list a few of them for you below:
Quit Smoking

  • Exercises Daily For 30 Minutes

  • Only Drink Alcohol In Moderation

  • Manage Stress

  • Maintain A Healthy Weight

  • Eat A Low Sodium Diet

  • Replace Saturated Animal Fats With Healthy Fats 

  • Enjoy A Balanced Heart-Healthy Diet

We hope you are now clued up on all things Cholesterol, but should you have any queries on test centres please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of dedicated professionals are on hand to assist with all your pharmaceutical needs.