Cholesterol
Blood Test

A cholesterol blood test will measure your good and bad cholesterol which may determine if you are potentially at risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Having a high Non HDL (bad) cholesterol tends not to show any symptoms.

Cholesterol Blood Test

The impact of high cholesterol might not be felt until it is too late. There are no obvious signs that you have high cholesterol, however it can be a major factor in cardiovascular disease and could result in heart disease or a stroke. You can check your cholesterol levels with a blood test to better understand the changes you might need to make to reduce your risk of ill health from high cholesterol.

High cholesterol is often a result of an unhealthy lifestyle but it can also run in families, known as Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH).

Cholesterol Test

Most of the cholesterol in our bodies is made in the liver – that’s 80% – while the remaining 20% comes from our food and drink intake. While we need cholesterol to function properly – it helps to create hormones and new cells – more cholesterol than our bodies need can cause health issues, including cardiovascular disease.

Cholesterol uses proteins, called lipoproteins, to move through the blood. The body uses two types of lipoproteins to transport cholesterol; these are low-density lipoproteins (LDH) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Low-density lipoproteins (LDH) are often referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol, as increased LDH levels are connected with a greater risk of heart disease or a stroke. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol, which takes cholesterol back to the liver to be flushed out of the body. High HDL levels can actually reduce the risk of heart disease or a stroke.

Why might I have high cholesterol?

It can run in families and be down to genetics, however in most other cases, high cholesterol can be attributed to a poor diet that is high in saturated fat and alcohol usage, as well as lifestyle indicators that include smoking, carrying excess weight and a lack of regular exercise.

A blood test for high cholesterol is the only reliable way to assess your cholesterol levels as there are no other symptoms, except experiencing heart disease, such as angina or a heart attack, or a stroke.

How To Lower Cholesterol

Lowering cholesterol that is high as a result of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle is achievable. Ways to lower your cholesterol include following a diet that is low in saturated fat, exercising for 30 minutes at least five times a week, losing excess weight, smoking cessation and reducing alcohol consumption to under 14 units per week. There are certain types of medication as well which may be used to help control cholesterol.

Testing for high cholesterol

The test can be performed using a small amount of blood from a finger prick which you can do yourself.

How often should I have a cholesterol blood test?

We recommend checking your cholesterol levels annually, or if suffering with a high cholesterol and changes have been made with diet and lifestyle, then retest three months later.

Other Questions

  • Regularly eating high saturated fat foods
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Family history of high cholesterol
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Poor diet
  • Diet lacking in fruit and vegetables
  • Family history of cardiovascular disease
  • Drinking excess alcohol regularly
  • Having Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure

This blood test is to check on:

  • Cholesterol levels

For best results (if medically suitable) it is advisable to fast (water is allowed) 12 hours prior to the test which needs to be taken first thing in the morning and posted on the same day on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

Collection method: Finger prick
Results available: 2-3 days after the sample has reached the laboratory

Cholesterol

Your liver makes cholesterol and can be found in many foods you eat such as dairy, meats and fish.

There are two main types of cholesterol: HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) and LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein)

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in your body. They come from foods we eat (such as dairy, meat, oils) or made by our liver. Any excess calories your body doesn’t need straight away is converted into Triglycerides and stored in your fat cells to be used when needed for energy.

LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein)

LDL is known as the bad cholesterol, as it can block up our blood vessels causing them to narrow. Sometimes a clot can form and get stuck in these narrow vessels leading to a heart attack.

HDL (High Density Lipoprotein)

HDL is known as the good cholesterol as it helps remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream. Higher levels of HDL are associated with lower risk of heart disease.

Non-HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol

Non-HDL cholesterol is your total cholesterol minus your HDL. The higher the number of the Non-HDL cholesterol may be indicative that you could be at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

HbA1c

HbA1c also known as glycated haemoglobin or glycosylated haemoglobin. This test will measure how well your blood sugar level has been controlled over the past 3 months. The results can be indicative of pre or Type 2 diabetes.

Urea

Urea is usually passed out through urine. It is a waste product from the breakdown of amino acids found in proteins.

Higher than normal levels may be indicative of a kidney problem, while low levels may be indicative of dehydration.

Creatinine

Creatinine is usually passed out through urine. It is a breakdown of waste products made from the muscles.

A high level may be indicative of a kidney problem, however this does depend on muscle mass. Usually if a high muscle mass the creatinine may be higher. If levels are low, it could be due to a low protein diet or reduced muscle mass.

Sodium

The test will measure the sodium in your blood. Sodium helps the nerves and muscles work properly.

Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)

This test will assess how well your kidneys are working.

Liver Health

This test will assess how well the liver is working and can be indicative if there is any damage or inflammation inside the liver.

This test used to be known as the Liver Function Test (LFTs).

How it Works

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1. Order and Receive Your Test
Order your Blood Test. Receive it directly at home or work. Delivered by courier with Free shipping.
2 Fingerprick Red 512w - BloodTest.co.uk
2. Take the Easy Finger-prick Blood Test
Activate your test online. Collect 2-3 drops of blood.
3 Pre paid sample Red 512w - BloodTest.co.uk
3. Freepost your Blood sample to our laboratories
Use the pre-paid package to post to our laboratories. Simply drop it into your nearest high-priority Royal Mail postbox.
4 Laboratory analysis Red 512w - BloodTest.co.uk
4. Our laboratory team run the tests
Tests are run by our staff in a clean and secure environment. All possible measures are taken to keep Vampires out.
5 Secure online results Red 512w - BloodTest.co.uk
5. Receive Your Results within 7 days
We will email you to inform you that your blood test results are ready. Login to your account to review the results.
6 Track your levels Red 512w - BloodTest.co.uk
6. Track your levels over time
With regular ongoing tests, you can track your results. Check if you're improving healthily or where changes could be made.

What’s In The Test?

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Home to laboratory kit
  • Blood Test
  • A prepaid return envelope (UK & Ireland only)
  • Two single-use lancets
  • One blood collection tube
  • One blood collection tube label
  • One plastic blood collection tube case
  • Two adhesive plasters
  • A cleansing wipe