Cholesterol Test Brisbane Northside
Having high cholesterol levels in the body is an alarming situation, given the risk of developing heart diseases and stroke. In 2016, the leading cause of death for Australian males was heart disease according to the Institute of Health and Welfare. That is why many people in Brisbane are getting their cholesterol test in their nearest, most trusted GP clinics.
Cholesterol levels represent just one of the many factors affecting cardiovascular health, and the GP’s assessment factor in one’s family history, lifestyle, environment to make a diagnosis and design treatment. Thus, it is important to take cholesterol test by a primary care specialist.
A cholesterol test, or lipid profile, measures the amount of cholesterol and other fats in the blood. Understanding the results help determine if a person is at high risk of developing heart diseases and stroke. Getting a cholesterol test will also enable a person to make informed decisions about their health.
The doctor recommends fasting for 9 to 12 hours before taking a cholesterol test. Then, a small blood sample will be taken from the arm or a finger.
What Is in A Cholesterol Test?
A complete test is the sum of four types of fats, or lipids, in the blood. Total cholesterol is the entirety of cholesterol content in the blood. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is used by the body to build cells. Too much of it becomes the “bad” cholesterol as it causes plaques to build up in the arteries, reducing blood flow. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or the “good” cholesterol, transports LDL cholesterol away and keep arteries open and allow more blood flow. Triglycerides are a type of fat converted from calories not used by the body that are then deposited to the fat cells.
Who Should Get Tested?
- People who have heart disease, or those with elevated risk
- People with a family history of heart disease
- People who have high blood pressure or diabetes, to be taken every 5 years
- People aged 20 and above, to be taken every 4 to 6 years
- Children between ages 9 and 11, and another test for ages 17 and 21
Lifestyle Changes to Improve Cholesterol Levels
While having a high cholesterol level imposes a risk on one’s cardiovascular health, there are ways to lower it down starting with adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking medications.
Eat foods that are good for the heart. Opt for rich in omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, mackerel, flaxseeds) that reduce blood pressure. Increase intake of soluble fiber (found in kidney beans, oatmeal, apples) helps decrease absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. If there is no allergy to dairy, taking whey protein may help lower LDL and total cholesterol in the blood. Limiting alcohol and salt intake is also highly recommended.
With physician’s guidance, do exercise for at least 30 minutes five times a week. Increased physical activity also boosts HDL cholesterol plus other overall health benefits.
Quitting smoking also improves HDL cholesterol. In fact, the absence of smoke within 20 minutes lets the body recover from a cigarette-induced spike. Three months, and the blood circulation and lung functions improve. A year and the risk of heart disease is half compared to a smoker.
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