A trained member of staff will perform a cholesterol screening test using a finger prick sample of blood. The result is obtained within 1-2 minutes and the pharmacist will provide all relevant advice and guidance depending on the outcome of the test.
If you are concerned about your cholesterol we offer two options:
Option 1: Standard Cholesterol Test
- A simple test in which your total cholesterol level is measured.
- There is no need to fast for this test.
- Cost: €10.
Option 2: Lipid Panel Test
- A more comprehensive test in which your total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides levels are measured.
- It is a requirement that you fast for 8 hours before this test.
- Cost: €20.
The following video shows how a cholesterol test is performed.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is vital for the body to function as normal. The majority of cholesterol is produced in the liver with the excess coming from consumption of saturated fats in the diet.
What is LDL and HDL?
Cholesterol does not travel alone in the bloodstream but is bound to proteins, the overall complex known as lipoproteins.
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) carry cholesterol from the liver to other areas of the body. LDL (known as "bad cholesterol") sticks to the lining of the blood vessels causing them to harden and narrow.
High-density lipoproteins (HDL) carry excess cholesterol back to liver for disposal. HDL (known as "good cholesterol") helps prevent blocking of blood vessels, therefore, high levels of HDL is desirable.
What are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are the chemical form in which fat exists in food or in our bodies. They can also be produced in the body, either by the body’s fat stores or in the liver. Triglycerides provide a source of energy for the body and also provide insulation helping maintain body temperature. Excessive consumption of certain foods, some of which include dairy products, meat, alcohol and cooking oils can result in excess quantities of triglycerides beyond the bodies needs and can leadto weight gain.
Why Measure Cholesterol Levels in the Body?
Excess cholesterol in the bloodstream leads to complications, the most common being cardiovascular disease. The excess cholesterol in the bloodstream sticks to the inner lining of the blood vessels, eventually hardening and blocking blood supply in the affected blood vessel.
What Levels to Target?
The table below summarises the lipids which are included in our screening tests and also outlines the target levels that we will look for. If your test is outside these parameters we will guide you on what further action is most appropriate.
|Type of cholesterol||Target levels (mmol/l)|
|Total cholesterol||< 5|
|LDL cholesterol||< 3|
|HDL cholesterol||> 1|
Table: Ranges for Cholesterol Readings