Keeping Track of Your Cholesterol Levels
It is always a good idea to monitor your cholesterol regularly so that you will know right away in case you are at risk for high cholesterol. The usual way of doing this is to undergo regular lab checks with your doctor but obviously, this method can be quite expensive over time, not to mention inconvenient for most people. Fortunately, there is an easier way of keeping track of cholesterol levels, and that is by using a home test kit.
Getting Your Own Cholesterol Count
A home cholesterol test kit is not difficult to use at all. It may not give reports that are as detailed as those you can get from a lab but it is still quite accurate. If the home test kit shows that you have normal or low cholesterol, then everything is fine.
However, if the results you get are in the high range, then it is recommended that you see your doctor and undergo a more thorough cholesterol test.
Once your high cholesterol count has been confirmed, your doctor will talk to you about the things you can do in order to bring this number down to more healthy cholesterol levels. Although each case is different, the causes of high cholesterol are usually due to lifestyle. Practically everyone can benefit from some positive lifestyle changes. This would include:
- Regular exercise
- Reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking.
- Dietary changes are also very effective for reducing high cholesterol numbers. Fatty and greasy foods are often responsible for the rise in bad cholesterol levels so you should avoid these as much as possible.
- It is also mandatory that you stay away from saturated fats and trans fats and instead opt for unsaturated fats, like those that can be found in vegetable oils, seeds and nuts.
- You may also want to try baking or grilling your food instead of frying them, which can actually increase your cholesterol rather than bring it down.
When it comes to exercise, there is no particular routine that you are required to do. Generally, you should just try to keep moving and stay as active as you can. Simple exercises like jogging, running, walking or dancing will already do wonders for your cholesterol count and your overall health if you do them regularly.
Finally, you can take prescription medications for cholesterol if your doctor feels that this is the best move for you. However, it is not advisable to take medications right away. It would be good to try lifestyle changes first and only turn to medications when these changes don’t have any effect on your high cholesterol count.
More serious cases may require the use of medication to reduce high cholesterol levels and to keep it down, although you may prefer to try a natural cholesterol lowering supplement first.