Cholesterol Testing

Cholesterol testing at The Town Centre Pharmacy

Cholesterol Test

Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most common cause of death in Ireland, accounting for 36% of all deaths and 22% of deaths in those aged under 65. One of the best ways to reduce your risk of CVD is to keep cholesterol level in your blood at a healthy level. Having raised cholsterol levels will rarely produce any symptoms but will significantly increase your risk of developing CVD. Only a blood test will tell you if your cholesterol levels are raised.

We can check your total cholesterol level in store with written results in only 10 minutes. This involves taking a small sample of blood (about one large drop) from the finger tip which is then put into a machine which measures the cholesterol level.

Our trained pharmacy staff will let you know your cholesterol level and tell you what, if any, further action should be taken. By taking other risk factors into account (such as

age, family history, smoking history etc), we will also be able to tell your overall risk of developing CVD and give you dietary and other advice on lowering your risk. Just contact us to make an appointment:

Patients need to fast for 12hours before a total cholesterol reading however an overall cholesterol reading can be given if the patient has not fasted.

View leaflet on inherited heart disease

HOW CAN I LEAD A HEART HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

 

•1.  INCLUDE PLANT STEROLS IN YOUR DIET
Plant sterols (and stanols) are accepted by scientific experts to be the most effective active food ingredient for lowering cholesterol levels.   Just 2 to 2.5g of plant sterols each day can lower LDL cholesterol by 10%, which can increase to 15% when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

•2.  EXERCISE
Walk, cycle, swim, jump up and down, play games, dance! Even housework counts. Start with what you can and work up to about half an hour on most days of the week. But be careful that you don’t overexert yourself – listen to your body.

3.  REPLACE BAD FATS WITH GOOD FATS
Replace saturated and trans fats (bad fats) with food containing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (good fats). It’s easy to swap good fats for bad ones.

•4. EAT A VARIETY OF FOODS
Include whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and pulses. Variety is the key to a healthy diet.

5. REDUCE STRESS
Try to get enough sleep at night and allow yourself ten minutes or so to sit and do nothing at all every day. Smoking and drinking heavily might seem relaxing, but they are bad for your heart and the rest of your body.

 

IS IT ENOUGH JUST TO STOP EATING BAD FATS?

The trick is to choose food containing the good fats. Studies have also shown that replacing saturated (bad) fats with polyunsaturated (good) fats can help to lower cholesterol. This is good news, as choosing the right fat can add flavour and interest to food, as well as being good for your heart health.

View Healthy recipes