Knowing your cholesterol levels is really important as it could save your life. It doesn’t matter whether you are in your 20s, 30s or 40s, high cholesterol happens at any age and the only way to diagnose it is by conducting a blood test.
If you’ve never in your life had cholesterol levels tested or it’s been a very long time since your last test, you should really take action now to make sure your levels are within the normal range.
It’s very important to monitor your cholesterol levels especially as you get older as levels naturally increase with age (especially after the age of 40).
If you are younger, this is also something that shouldn’t be ignored since many young people have high cholesterol and they are not even aware of it. That’s because high cholesterol levels often come with no symptoms so there is no way to tell you have high cholesterol unless you do the test.
To get your cholesterol tested, you should see your GP first and if you have trouble making an appointment, it’s well worth considering buying a cholesterol home test kit. These home kits are also good for monitoring your levels since your GP won’t send you for a test every few months.
The other advantage of taking the cholesterol test at home is that you do it on the day when it’s convenient for you without having to take the time off work to visit your GP. You also get the results faster.
For those of you who are interested in considering doing their own test at home, I can assure you it’s really not that difficult, you just have to follow all the instructions correctly and you will be fine. To make it easier for you I’ve decided to share with you all the details when it comes to doing this test at home. You will see how easy it is. Yes, you will need to prick your finger but it’s really not that hard.
Home testing kits from Medichecks
I helped my fiance many times to take cholesterol test at home and we always use Medichecks which is a reliable and trusted home health testing company offering over 700 affordable blood tests (review here). I bought several of their tests in the past already but recently they kindly sent me their cholesterol test free of charge so that I could tell you all about it on my blog. Of course, it was for my fiance to see whether his cholesterol levels are any lower than before (he’s had increased levels for a few years now and still struggling with it).
So here is a step-by-step guide to show you that you can easily check your cholesterol levels at home, without the need to visit your GP:
Medichecks Cholesterol Home Test Kit Content
Once you order your test from Medichecks, you will receive the testing kit pretty much the next working day. Their delivery is extremely fast.
In the kit you will find the following:
- 4 lancets
- 2 plasters
- 2 alcohol swabs
- 1 moist wipe
- Collection tube
- Protective packaging
- Name label
- Lab request form
- Freepost return envelope
Before you do anything, just familiarise yourself with the content of the kit and understand what each item is meant to be for. Read the instructions several times to make sure you know exactly what you need to do.
The instructions are very clear so there should be no confusion on what you should do next. However, if you have any questions, there is a helpline number attached which you can use if you need any help.
The most important points to keep in mind before doing the test are:
- You need to take your sample in the morning between Monday and Friday and post it on the same day
- To get the blood flowing it’s recommended to do some gentle exercises or take a warm shower.
- Make sure you are well hydrated before the test so as soon as you wake up, drink a big glass of water.
- When massaging your finger to get the blood out, don’t squeeze it too hard otherwise you will damage the blood cells and the sample won’t be usable so you will have to do it again (if you get it wrong they will send you another test free of charge).
Preparing yourself for the test
To make it easier to collect a blood sample, you need to make sure you are well prepared beforehand.
Read the instructions again to make sure you know what you are doing. Once there is no doubt, get everything you need ready in front of you. You won’t need the lab request form and return envelope for now so just put them to the side.
Take a sample tube and insert it into the holding slot in the test kit box. Make sure you know which line you have to fill it up to (it should be the upper line for cholesterol test).
Get your circulation going and either take a warm shower or do some gentle exercises. Make sure your hands are clean and wash them with warm water.
Select one of your fingers (either the third or the fourth) and use the alcohol wipe to clean it. Dry it with a clean tissue.
Now you are ready to collect your sample.
Collecting a sample
The most difficult part of collecting your blood sample is probably piercing your finger with a lancet. If you haven’t done it before you may feel a little bit nervous about it but luckily you don’t get to see any needles so this may make you feel better.
You get enough lancets in the kit so if one doesn’t work or you make a mistake you can use others.
To activate the lancet you need to press it firmly down on your finger as shown in the instructions. You may not be successful at first try as you don’t know how much pressure exactly is needed but try a few times until you are successful. My fiance was making this mistake and didn’t press firmly enough so the lancet didn’t work at first try but then he managed to make it work after a few tries.
When the lancet is activated, it happens really quickly and you will feel a quick sting that can be easily handled.
The first drop of blood should be wiped away with a clean tissue. After that, start massaging your finger while standing and keep the finger at the top of the tube to make sure all the blood that comes out goes into the tube.
Keep massaging and gently squeeze your finger to get more blood into the tube. Remember, you should fill up the tube to the upper line which may seem like a lot of blood but it will get full before you know it.
If your blood stops flowing, you just need to do the same thing on another finger (using a new lancet) until there is enough blood in the tube.
My fiance somehow managed to use only one finger to get all the blood that was needed but I think many people will probably need at least two fingers.
As soon as you have enough blood in the tube, use a plaster to cover your finger. After that, replace the cap on the tube and make sure it clicks into place. You then need to invert the tube 10 times without shaking it.
Pack and post
The final steps include:
- Completing the date and time on the named label
- Sticking the label onto the tube
- Placing the tube back into the protective packaging
- Placing the tube inside the return envelope
- Enclosing the lab request form in return envelope and sealing it
Once the return envelope is sealed, make sure you post it on the same day.
You should also login to Medichecks website and input your “sample sent” date and at the same time answer some basic questions. And that’s it!
The results of your cholesterol test will follow very quickly. I am still amazed at how fast you get the results. It’s always within 3 days but it can happen as fast as 2 days. My fiance did the test on Thursday and his results were ready on Monday. How fast this was! Isn’t this so much better than waiting for weeks for an appointment with your GP and then waiting for a week for your blood test results? I think it is, honestly, and sometimes it’s really worth paying for something rather than having inconvenience and hassle when using a free service.
But when using Medichecks you don’t only get the results fast, you also get an opportunity to ask a qualified doctor any questions you may have, whether it’s to do with the results or the next steps. You can ask anything and they will get back to you pretty quickly. It’s like having an online consultation with a doctor. It’s all part of a package.
Cholesterol home test kit price
The home cholesterol test from Medichecks normally costs £39 but this month is a National Cholesterol Month and they are doing a special offer where you can buy the test for only £29. This offer expires at the end of this month so if you are interested, don’t delay and get yourself a deal while it lasts! To learn more about the test, check out this page.
Medichecks Home Cholesterol Check – The final verdict
All in all, we’ve had no issues when doing the last home cholesterol check at home. The instructions are clear and easy to follow and as long as you don’t miss any steps, you should have no issues at all.
The results are really fast (within a few days) so you will quickly learn your cholesterol levels without visiting your doctor. I think sometimes all you need is a quick service and quick answers so it’s really worth going private and paying for your own tests. I haven’t tried any other providers of home cholesterol checks but I am quite certain Medichecks offer one of the best cholesterol test kits you can find. Will you be giving them a try?
Disclaimer: Medichecks have kindly sent me a free cholesterol test so that I could review it on my blog. I am not receiving any monetary compensation to write this review but if you click on one of the links and purchase a product I will get a small commission. This will not cost you anything extra.