It is a known fact that without some amount of cholesterol in a human being’s cells, life would cease.
But conversely, too much of it can be dangerous too.
Several studies have shown that one in every three adults live with high cholesterol levels. That equals billions of people on Earth exposed to the dangers this might lead to if not taken care of in time. Furthermore, the U.S agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported in 2012 that as many as 78 million U.S. adults, had LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels), which amounts to nearly 37% of the population, First to high levels, then to low levels. What does this mean?
Cholesterol is a widely recognized parameter for monitoring cardiac-related diseases, but because many people do not know what high cholesterol means, how dangerous it can be and how it affects their lives, there is currently little public attention paid to it compared to other diseases e.g. like diabetes.
What is cholesterol and why is cholesterol important to monitor?
Cholesterol is a waxy, oil-based substance, typically known as lipids, found in the body cells. It is essential to life because the body needs a sizeable amount for the:
- Protection of nerves and structuring of cellular walls
- Production of specific hormones
- Supporting the production of bile acid that aid digestion
- Production of vitamin D
The human body, through the instrumentation of the liver, possesses the ability to produce the needed amount of cholesterol. Nonetheless, this has been relegated to the background as a result of the superimposing effects of food-based cholesterol predominantly obtained from foods such as meat, dairy products, and eggs.
These external sources of cholesterol increase the body’s cholesterol concentration to levels where it begins to have negative effects on your health.
When it hits an excessively high level in the bloodstream, it tends to fuse with other body substances to form atheroma, meaning fatty deposits that are built up within the arterial walls.
Although heightened levels of cholesterol in the human body may not present any significant signs and symptoms, it tends to pose some health risks such as the narrowing or complete clogging of the coronary artery, a medical condition known as coronary artery disease. This is why it is essential to keep track of your cholesterol level.
Three different types of cholesterol
Cholesterol (lipids) does not mix with blood in your body; they are basically transported by proteins. When lipids merge with protein, the resulting outcome is called lipoprotein.
As such, the ideal cholesterol test or monitoring device distinctively checks for levels of the different types of lipoproteins. Lipoproteins differ from one another by their varying functions. This difference forms the basis by which cholesterols are characterized into types.
The three known types are:
- High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL): this is the type that transports cholesterol from various parts of the body back to the liver; the point where it is either broken down or expelled from your body as a waste product. Hence, HDL is called the “good cholesterol.”
- Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL): this transports the cholesterol to your body cells in need of it. However, if this deployment is beyond the cell needs, the excess gradually builds up within the arterial wall, an accumulation that may eventually result in diseases of the artery. Thus, LDL is called the “bad cholesterol.”
- Very Low-Density Lipoprotein (VLDL): this is another form of “bad cholesterol,” like the LDL, which leads to the accumulation of lipids within the arteries. However, unlike LDL which transports cholesterol, VLDL transports triglycerides (an ester of glycerol and about three other animal and vegetable fatty acids).
Good and bad cholesterol levels
Generally, cholesterol at normal levels is essential for the optimal function of your body.
With a functional cholesterol monitoring device or meter, you can constantly keep an eye on your cholesterol levels and as a result, prevent concentration from getting too extreme levels where it may trigger a heart attack.
Generally, blood cholesterol concentration level is measured in millimoles per liter of blood (i.e. mmol/L).
An HDL above 1 mmol/L is considered safe and ideal, while anything that falls below the number is considered a high-risk factor and may result in heart diseases.
The ratio of your cholesterol to HDL can be calculated by simply dividing your total level of cholesterol by actual HDL level. Your ratio should fall below 4 because higher levels may eventually result in heart diseases.
The monitory guide suggests that the total cholesterol level:
- For healthy adults; 5 mmol/L or less is a healthy range
- For adults who are at high risk; the healthy range is 4 mmol/L or less
For LDL levels:
- For healthy adults; 3 mmol/L or less is a healthy range
- For adults who are at high risk; the healthy range is 2mmol/L or less
Except for other risk factors such as high blood pressure and smoking, any individual with a cholesterol level of 1 mmol/L is considered safe.
There are no high cholesterol level indicators!
Generally, there are no typical signs or symptoms indicating a high cholesterol level. Be that as it may, a blood test can be carried out to measure the concentration level of cholesterol.
This is why routine test regimen is usually recommended.
How often should my cholesterol level be monitored?
Your doctor will typically recommend or prescribe a routine test regimen based on the following factors:
- If you have a personal history or family history of the cardiovascular condition
- If you have been recently diagnosed with a stroke, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), or coronary heart disease
- If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or some other health conditions which have the tendency to push up your cholesterol levels
For age 19 and below:
- An initial test is usually recommended specifically for those between age 9 and 11
- A routine testing after every five years is recommended afterward
- In the case where there is a family history of stroke, heart attack, or high blood cholesterol, an initial test is recommended as early as age 2
For age 20 and above:
- Routine tests should be carried out at every interval of five years
- A routine test regimen at an interval of two years is usually recommended for women between the ages of 55 to 65 and men between the ages of 45 to 65
However, in cases where the initial test reveals low HDL (good cholesterol), high LDL (bad cholesterol) and VLDL (triglycerides), and a high level of total cholesterol, a more frequent routine test is advised.
Tips for the correct use of a cholesterol monitoring device
The cholesterol monitoring device is basically a home test kit that allows for a convenient and effective testing of your cholesterol level. It can produce your test result within minutes from the comfort of your home without having to visit a doctor’s office.
Generally, the kit comes with a lancet which is used to prick the finger. The droplet of blood is then placed on the test strip made with special chemicals that allow the strip to change colors within minutes after the blood sample is placed on it.
The final color of the strip is then matched with a standard color reference (guide) which reveals the levels of cholesterol concentration in the blood.
In any case, the most recent cholesterol home test kits come with a digital meter, a function that is like the blood glucose monitor for testing of diabetes
In new modern devices, the test strip is inserted into the electronic device with a smart system that automatically measures the level of cholesterol concentration.
This normally comes with a higher price tag compared to the regular paper strip testing kit, but with added convenience and accuracy as a result.
“Are cholesterol monitoring devices reliable and accurate, instead of going to the doctors?” one may ask. The answer is a simple “yes” and we cater to both requirements for home and doctors offices.
At Palliance, we have a long history of finding and supplying quality medical devices for both self-testing at home and point of care testing. We are introducing the leading cholesterol monitoring device in the marketplace with over 95% accuracy.
The device is very easy to use yet so effective in monitoring the actual level of cholesterol in the body. The registered patent means it is unique and trusted by medical practitioners as well as individuals who care about their cholesterol health.
With over 7 billion people scattered all over the world at the moment, the need for an effective and easy-to-use cholesterol monitoring device cannot be overstated. Providing such to those who would use them in the cities and the remotest parts of the world is a necessary task.
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