Cholesterol Test Kits
Cholesterol Test Kits
Cholesterol is a chemical similar to fat which our liver makes from food. Cholesterol is important for our bodies as it helps our cells work properly. When your cholesterol levels go outside the normal ranges, you have an increased risk of getting certain health conditions.
Whether you think you could have abnormal cholesterol levels or you want to see how well your cholesterol treatment is working, you can get an easy home test kit online. Superdrug Online Doctor’s cholesterol test kits can help you to check your cholesterol levels without going to see a doctor in person.
Using a home test works in the following steps:
- Place an order and get your kit delivered to your door (delivery is free)
- Collect your sample by following the instructions in the test kit
- Send your samples to our UK-based, accredited partner laboratory (postage is free)
- Once your results are available (in 2 to 3 days), our doctors will review your results
- One of our doctors will contact you, via a secure and confidential message in your patient account, to let you know your results and give you advice and support on what to do next
In some cases, the doctor may need to ask for more information. They may contact you by phone, so make sure your telephone number is up to date in your online account.
Cholesterol test kit prices
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How it Works
About Cholesterol Test Kits
How does a cholesterol test kit work?
A cholesterol test kit gives you the tools you need to take a blood sample at home and send it to Superdrug Online Doctor’s partner lab for testing. Then your results are sent to you via your account.
A cholesterol test measures the level of cholesterol in the blood sample you provide. Once you know your cholesterol levels you can easily compare them with normal ranges. Cholesterol comes in different forms. Your cholesterol test result will give you values for your Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and non-HDL cholesterol.
- Total cholesterol: this is the total amount of all the cholesterol types in your blood. Usually this level should be less than 5 mmol/L, but if you have other risks for cardiovascular problems, your doctor might recommend this should be less than 4 mmol/L
- LDL (low density lipoprotein): is considered the “bad cholesterol”. It normally carries cholesterol to the cells, but if LDL levels are too high, cholesterol accumulates in the blood vessels and increases the risk of health problems.
- HDL (high density lipoprotein) is considered the “good cholesterol”. It carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver. HDL protects you from heart disease and stroke. Low levels can be bad for your health.
- Triglycerides: These are another type of fat that is found in the blood. High levels can also increase the risk of heart disease.
- Non-HDL cholesterol: this is a value for when the amount of HDL cholesterol is taken away from the total cholesterol. This gives a measure of the total amount of “bad cholesterol” that there is in the blood
Is this a fasting cholesterol test?
The cholesterol test kit is not designed to test fasting cholesterol levels. This is usually done at your GP or in a hospital and it requires to avoid food and drinks, except for water, up to 12 hours before the test.
As the home cholesterol test kit does not require you to fast, you can eat and drink right before taking the test if you wish to.
When should you consider a home cholesterol test kit?
You are advised to take a cholesterol test if you:
- Have risk factors for high cholesterol, like:
- poor diet: especially if you eat a lot of red meat and full-fat dairy products in excess
- lack of exercise: exercise boosts your HDL levels
- smoking: cigarette smoke can damage your blood vessels and favour the accumulation of cholesterol
- age: as your liver ages it becomes less able to remove LDL
- diabetes: excess of sugar in your blood can damage the lining of your vessels and increase the level of bad cholesterol in your blood.
- family history of stroke and heart disease
- Have been diagnosed with:
- coronary artery disease (CAD)
- stroke or mini stroke (also called TIA : transient ischemic attack)
- peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
A home cholesterol test kit could be a good option if you:
- don’t want to make an appointment with a GP and go in for testing in person
- have risk factors for cholesterol problems and you want to monitor your cholesterol level
- are using treatment for high cholesterol and want to check if it is working
Can I take this test if I’m already taking cholesterol treatment?
Yes, you can take a blood cholesterol test to check if your treatment is effective in managing your cholesterol levels. A common treatment for high cholesterol are statins. These medications are very effective in lowering cholesterol levels in your blood. The test will not react with this kind of treatment in any way.
How to order a cholesterol test kit online in the UK
In order to get your home cholesterol test kit from Superdrug Online Doctor you just have to:
- Fill out a short assessment form
- Order your home cholesterol test kit and make payment
- Your test kit is posted to your address or you can collect it from a Superdrug store
How to use the test kit
Your home cholesterol test will be sent to you together with detailed instructions on how to use it. In order for our partner lab to check your blood cholesterol level, you will need to provide a blood sample. You can do so by following these instructions:
- Wash your hands with warm water and dry them.
- Use the provided alcotip swab to clean the fingertip you have decided to use (it’s a good idea to use the third or fourth finger of the hand you don’t write with).
- Twist and remove the purple stick from one lancet, put it on your fingertip and press the purple button at the end.
- A small drop of blood will form on your fingertip. Wipe the first drop away with a clean tissue, hold your hand downwards and massage the side of your finger to form another drop of blood.
- Use your other hand to squeeze your chosen finger and catch the drops in the collection tube. You should fill the small tube to the upper line. If you are unable to fill it you can use an additional lancet on another finger to complete the sample.
- Once you have collected enough blood, you can use the provided plaster to stop the bleeding. Put the screw lid on the collection tube, and make sure it is securely closed.
- Write your details on the sticky label and fix it firmly on the tube.
- Put your labelled sample tube inside the protective wallet and put the wallet into the prepaid envelope, along with your used lancets. You can use any UK post box to send your test kit back to our partner lab.
How the results work
Once your blood sample reaches our partner lab it will take 1-2 days for them to analyse it. Once the analysis is completed, your results (cholesterol readings) will appear in your account, along with advice from a Superdrug Online Doctor.
Your results will tell you your total levels of cholesterol, as well as your LDL, triglycerides, non-HDL and HDL levels, and indicate if they are too high, too low, or in a normal range. Blood cholesterol is measured in millimoles per liter of blood, indicated with the abbreviation: mmol/L.
Healthy adults should have a:
- Total cholesterol level of less than 5 mmol/L
- LDL level of less than 3 mmol/L
- HDL level of over 1.1 mmol/L
- Non-HDL level of less than 3.9 mmol/L
- Triglycerides level of less than 2.3 mmol/L
For adults at higher risk of cholesterol-related health problems these levels are a bit different:
- total cholesterol level of 4 mmol/L or less
- LDL level of 2 mmol/L or less
HDL cholesterol in adults should be 1 mmol/L or higher. If you have a lower level of HDL you have an increased risk of heart disease.
You can message an online doctor from your patient account if you need more advice, and you can also get in touch with your GP.
What should I do if my test results show I have high cholesterol?
If your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol or triglycerides is too high, or your HDL cholesterol is too low, you should get in touch with your GP. Along with giving you lifestyle advice on how to manage your cholesterol levels, they might also advise you to start a treatment with cholesterol-lowering medications, like statins. Usually your GP will use your cholesterol levels, along with other risk factors including your age, height, and weight, whether you smoke, and other medical conditions to estimate your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. If your risk is high they’ll often recommend taking a statin.
Statins are widely used, safe and very effective. They are a type of medication that have led to a big increase in our average life expectancy in the last decades. By controlling your cholesterol levels, they can help you prevent complications of high cholesterol, like heart disease and circulatory problems.
If your doctor does prescribe you statins, or if you’re already using them, you may be able to reorder your statins with Superdrug Online Doctor. As long as you’ve been taking them for 3 months and you’re happy with your treatment, you can reorder you supply online. Just fill in a short health questionnaire and place your order. An online doctor will check if a repeat of you medication is right for you, and if it is, your order can be shipped.
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Feingold, K. R. et al (2018). Introduction to lipids and lipoproteins. Endotext. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK305896/ [accessed 1st May 2019].
National Health Service (2019). High cholesterol. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-cholesterol/ [accessed 1st May 2019].