Cholesterol Care with PillBox Chemists

Have you or anyone else you know got any cholesterol issues? Are you unable to check yours or someone else’s levels? Well, you’ve asked for it and we are now delivering. You can have your cholesterol levels checked at any of our Pharmacies. 

Simply ask, and one of our trained Pharmacists or Pharmacy Assistants will conduct a simple fingertip ‘pinprick’ test for you. Our skilled professionals will accommodate you to one of our GPhC certified consultation room. What does that mean for you exactly?

Our GPhC consultation rooms are approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) which ensures that our standards meet the standards set by our bodies ensuring you get the best care possible in a looked after, well-managed environment to get your cholesterol levels checked. 

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We will take a small blood sample just from your fingertip without you having to worry about pain or giving lots of blood. Just one small prick and you’ll have your results present and have the Pharmacist to go through your results and discuss what to do from there. There are no needles for you to worry about.

Now you may have some questions about this so we collected some most frequently asked Q&A’s (Questions and Answers) about cholesterol and cholesterol testing to help reassure you about the process and its importance in tracking your overall health.

Why should I get my cholesterol checked?

Getting your cholesterol levels checked is an important part of staying healthy. High cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in UK adults. This is why getting your cholesterol levels checked is vital.

The higher your cholesterol, the higher your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Therefore it is crucial for you to check your cholesterol levels.

How often should cholesterol be checked?

It’s generally recommended by the NHS and other bodies, that every UK adult aged 20 or older should have their cholesterol and other traditional risk factors checked every four to six years. After the age of 40, your health care provider will then want to use an equation to calculate your 10-year risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease or stroke.

What are the symptoms of cholesterol problems?

The most common symptoms include:

  • angina, chest pain.
  • nausea.
  • extreme fatigue.
  • shortness of breath.
  • pain in the neck, jaw, upper abdomen, or back.
  • numbness or coldness in your extremities.

Now although they do not serious they can lead to to a number of serious health conditions. It doesn’t matter if you’re slim or even active. Cholesterol can affect anyone and lead to serious symptoms such as:

  • Heart attacks
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke

This is why it is important to get your cholesterol levels checked.

What is the best drink to lower cholesterol?

High Cholesterol as mentioned before can increase the risk of heart conditions. Although there are medications that you can take to improve and lower your cholesterol, simply changing your lifestyle can make a huge impact. Beverages. Adding drinks onto your diets can help and these are the drinks you should look out for

Green tea

Hot green tea, or a green tea supplement, can naturally help to reduce cholesterol. Teas have been known as a drink that is soothing for the mind and the body. It has many healing properties and green tea may be the answer for you. The antioxidants found in the tea is what makes this a good cup of tea.

Montmorency Tart cherry juice

A study published in Food & Function found that Montmorency tart cherry juice helps both cholesterol levels as well as respiratory conditions such as cardiovascular health. This type of cherry juice adds a lot of nutritional benefits from the fruit to your diet. 

Citrus juice

For those who like their fruits, bitter or sweet, drinking hot water with lemon juice has been found to lower your cholesterol levels. A lot of dieticians recommend kickstarting your body functions by drinking this first thing every morning as it also contains antioxidants proving to be helpful to your heart. It also has an added benefit of feeling active early in the morning.

Cranberry juice:

Cranberries have the same benefit just like the citrus juice does. There is a lot of nutrients within the juice which helps the body fight off infections as well as the bad cholesterol that we have in our body. Having cranberry on its own is more beneficial but having it as a beverage still helps.

Having these drinks for your daily lifestyle has been in the past proved to be beneficial for not just your heart but also your body. It helps with fighting the flu as well as get rid of those toxins we are exposed to when eating some food.

How can I lower my cholesterol quickly?

  • By eating heart-healthy foods like fruit and vegetables, it is proved to be good for not only a balanced diet but reducing the risk of cholesterol that leads to heart conditions. This is one of the reasons as to why they say having your 5 a day. This also has an added benefit if you suffer from vitamin deficiency as fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
  • By reducing your saturated fats intake, you can significantly lower your cholesterol quickly. Saturated fats are found mainly in red meat and full-fat dairy products. These products although may be tasty are the ones that contribute to your cholesterol levels. Instead, snack on pretzels or have a lush salad box. These have all the flavours and tastes you may have been missing all this long.
  • Eliminate your trans fats completely. Trans fats are listed most of the times as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. They are mostly found in cakes and cookies and although they may be tasty it is good to check the ingredients to be on the safe side. It should be noted that The Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils by the start of 2021.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish. Omega-3 fatty acids don’t affect your cholesterol and instead have heart-healthy benefits including the reduction of blood pressure. Foods such as salmon, herring and walnuts have Omega 3.
  • Increasing soluble fibre accounts to the reduction of cholesterol into the bloodstream. Foods such as oatmeals, Brussels sprouts, pears and apples are the ones that you should keep an eye for.
  • One more thing you could do is add whey protein to your diet. This is a necessity as it attributes towards your dairy intake whilst not having the fatty side to it. This helps in the reduction of increasing your cholesterol levels.

Do eggs raise cholesterol?

It is stated by scientists that having up to 3 whole eggs per day is perfectly safe for healthy people to consume and that doing so will raise your HDL levels (the “good”) cholesterol.

Does lack of sleep affect my cholesterol levels?

There have been several studies which seem to clearly show that too little sleep has a negative impact on lipid levels. Usually, when you’re not sleeping within the period you aren’t sleeping and should be sleeping, you eat something which you may not need to eat. This adds on your cholesterol levels depending on what you eat. 

In addition to this, It’s also been proven that sleeping less than five hours at night raised the risk of high triglycerides and low HDL levels in women. What this means is that you will have more bad levels of cholesterol levels that good. This increases the chance of getting a heart condition.

If I feel healthy, should I still get my cholesterol checked?

We highly recommend that all adults should get a cholesterol check – no matter what your age or how healthy you feel. As mentioned before, no matter how healthy you may think you are or slim, we all have a chance of getting a heart condition if we don’t have one at the moment. It all matters about your dietary, how healthy you etc. 

Is it just what I eat that affects my cholesterol levels?

Your cholesterol levels depend on your genes as well as your lifestyle, so the only way to know your cholesterol numbers is to get a check.

What does a cholesterol check actually entail?

A cholesterol check involves a simple blood test administered by means of a ‘pinprick’ into your fingertip. No long needles are administered and only takes a couple of moments and you can be on your way after your results have been explained and explored to what measures you may need to take.

Does a cholesterol check show you anything else?

When you get a check, your doctor or pharmacist should also check your levels of triglycerides – another type of blood fat. As well as this, you can get a total synopsis on your VLDL levels. These are very-low-density lipoprotein which is another type of bad cholesterol. It tells you the development of plaque (if any) on the arteries. The result is based on your triglycerides.

What can a cholesterol test tell you?

A cholesterol test can be used along with some other simple tests to give a good idea of your heart health. These include a blood pressure test and find out your BMI and waist measurement. This can tell you if you really are healthy or not.

Do I have to fast before I have my cholesterol levels checked?

You can eat and drink normally before the test unless your doctor or pharmacist asks you not to. The benefit of not having to fast is that you can identify your cholesterol levels with the food that you are having in your daily life. Therefore you would be able to identify if there are any necessary action needed in the changing of your dietary. 

Will I get my results explained to me?

When you have a cholesterol test, it is really important that your healthcare professional explains the results to you, to prevent unnecessary worry and confusion about the results. At PillBox Chemists, we never let you leave without ensuring that you’ve fully understood your results.

What are the different types of cholesterol readings?

Total cholesterol:

This is sometimes written as ‘serum cholesterol’ or TC and refers to the overall level of cholesterol. But it’s not just the total cholesterol that’s important

Non-HDL cholesterol:

Your non-HDL cholesterol is your total cholesterol minus your HDL cholesterol. It’s the LDL and all the other bad cholesterol added together and ideally should be as low as possible.

HDL cholesterol:

Your HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) helps clear the cholesterol out of your arteries, while your LDL cholesterol  (low-density lipoprotein) can clog them up. So your HDL cholesterol should be above 1mmol/L in men and above 1.2mmol/L in women, ideally around 1.5-1.6mmol/L.

TC: HDL ratio:

You might be given a ratio of HDL compared to the total cholesterol, written as TC: HDL ratio. You can work it out from your HDL and total cholesterol numbers. This should be as low as possible; above six is considered high.

What might the pharmacist recommend after my cholesterol test?

The interpretation of your cholesterol results should be made in relation to any other risk factors you may have, and any other health conditions.  Because of other risk factors or medical conditions that you may have, your doctor may recommend lowering your cholesterol level.

There’s no need to book an appointment to have your cholesterol levels checked, just head into your nearest PillBox Pharmacy branch and speak to the duty Pharmacist, who’ll be happy to help you from there.

To find the nearest PillBox Pharmacy to you, use our handy branch locator http://www.pillboxchemists.com/your-nearest-pharmacy/ – remember, no appointments needed, let us help you get your cholesterol levels checked at a time that’s convenient to you.