Are commercial cholesterol testing kits/machines any use?

Hi, This is my first post. I have really benefited from reading all of your blogs and questions so far. I had a stent fitted 6 weeks ago due to a severe blockage in LAD coronary artery. Alongside all the other meds I need to take, I have tried Atorvastatin and Pravastatin (as well as Simvastatin previously) but have had to stop due to the completely debilitating side effects. I will try the diet and exercise method but would like to be able to keep a check on cholesterol levels myself. Has anyone experience of using the commercial kits or machines which are available at wide ranging prices? Any recommendations would be helpful.

15 Replies

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  • Hi Florence5,

    I had the same idea and paid £60 for one. I would definitely not recommend one. The strips are very, very expensive and I found it difficult to get enough blood on the stick, I think you would have to use one of those pipette things that the Blood Service use to get enough on. Also the results varied so much that I doubted the accuracy.

    Don't even bother with the Boots one off testing kit, it costs £9.99 I think and the colours are virtually indistinguishable.

    I have a glucose monitor which is brilliant but the cholesterol one is sitting in the cupboard waiting to be thrown out.

  • Thanks, Aliwally.

    Your answer was indeed helpful. I was concerned about accuracy , as, without that, there is no point in using them. The reviews on Amazon are not reassuring either, although, as you have experienced, the blood glucose monitors appear to perform better. I'm still unsure about the best ratios for fat and carbs in my diet. I lost weight on a low carb diet a couple of years ago, but I think the fat ratio was perhaps too high. I'll need to develop a repertoire of low fat, low carb meals and snacks which I enjoy. Having three fit dogs, daily exercise is no problem!

  • Hello,

    I looked at home testing kit or measuring machines, the only one I have is the one to check blood pressure. Blood glucose and cholesterol machines did look very expensive.

    Blood glucose and cholesterol testing I rather pay for it at a testing chemist or larger supermarket.

    Do ask for all your cholesterol numbers and keep a record of it.

    Depending upon the age lowering cholesterol by life style change can be a very slow process.

    The one life line screening used gave a print out of all the results, have been trying to find the name of the machine, still awaiting for an answer. If you find a good machine, please let me know.

  • Hi Bala,

    Thanks for your answer. I think I will take your advice and try a testing chemist in the meantime, but will keep researching monitors until I find one I'm willing to take a chance on. I'll let you know how that goes. I'm 58, so reducing cholesterol by life style change will not be quick or easy, but it seems to be my only option at present.

  • hi florence5,

    i have taken rosuvastatin,simvastatin,pravastain and fenofibrate i have had horrible side effects from all of them and had to have medicine to put right what statins have ruined .

    i will never take a statin again im 48 and told i have to live on statins but i have found intermittent fasting great i eat between 11am and 7pm every day only water and sugar free brews in between and opti omega 3 1000mg fish oils my cholesterol is down from 7.9 to 6.2 in just 2 months my doc is amazed

    check out you tube dr.bryan p walsh

    on youtube statins can inhibit muscle repair .

    statins should be given with coq10 or ubliquinol or not at all

    also check out dr mercola

    why eating breakfast might make you hungrier

  • Thanks suki65,

    I never eat breakfast as I find that once I start eating for the day, it triggers my appetite further. However I am very guilty of eating more after 7pm than I should. Unfortunately fish oils are out for me as I am allergic to fish. I swear I will never touch another statin in my life no matter what GP says. I can't see the benefit, if they are so incapacitating that I cannot exercise or eat properly. Well done on reducing your cholesterol so quickly. I will definitely try the fasting and COQ10. Thanks

  • please keep in touch to let me know how you go on and i wish you all the best .

  • Hi again Florence. what I mean,t to say in my last reply was all the medics want us on statins regardless of side effects but as you say the side effects do alter ones life, ie tiredness/ pain .

    Try altering your diet to low/medium carbs, natural organic meat protein chicken sea fish not farmed, no preservatives or processed food at all, good quality extra virgin olive oil /rapeseed oil/ small amount of butter , not spreads of any type, salads/fruit etc.

    Cholestral should come down mine has. the food industry is killing us, its got to stop.

    Allyg

  • the test strips I used were only useful to the point that they sowed I had a moderately recordable score, not any use to evaluate progress.

  • Thanks spats,

    From what everyone is saying I am realising that these things are so inaccurate or give so little information as to be valueless.

  • Hi. Florence5. I,m also very new to HealthUnlocked site, suffered a TIA a year ago, blocked artery in the neck to brain.

    Been on all same Statins as you and suffered very bad pain over 9 month period. GP changed me to 10mg Ezetimibe building up to 1 a day, still got bad discomfort in my neck,i decided to take just 1 10mg tablet per week, so far ok, don't know if it,s worth bothering with 1 tablet GP Says it is but maybe he,s just covering himself they want people with a cardio problem regardless of pain. Are you on a blood thinner? I,me 64 male always kept fit got a manual job eaten good food but too many sugars + carbs. Now cycle up to 100 mile a week cut out all processed food , and eat only natural food , carbs before a ride , good fats/ = PROTEIN +lots of intense excersize I also take 100mg CO-Q10

    PS only hope all those Statins havn,t damaged my muscles, they still ache sometimes when I,m sat watching tv etc,

    PPS my cholestral was 5.5 before, now 4.4. Keep going for regular chol checks.

    REGARDS ALLYG

  • Thanks allyg,

    I am on Lisinopril, Amlodipine, Bisoprolol, Clopidogrel and Aspirin. Perhaps the statins were just too much of an additional load to my system. I suffered muscle and joint pain, nausea and depression which is highly unusual for me. I still have muscle and joint pain but not as severe as it was. I have an another difficulty in that I am allergic to fish and nuts and sensitive to sunlight which makes getting a good Omega 3 and Vitamin D level difficult. I agree the natural food route has to be the best way to go. My total cholesterol was 7.2 in January although HDL was 2.1. Hopefully that has reduced a bit since then. I walk 5km a day and usually manage to achieve 10,000 steps or more but will need to increase the intensity. It sounds as if you are a very fit person, yet still have had problems. Well done in achieving a reduction in your cholesterol.

  • Hi,

    Please take a look at this link,

    lipidplus.com/the-lipidplus...

    You may have to contact this company in US to purchase the testing kit. Three tests are carried out by the tester, pringing the results is an option.

  • Thanks Bala, I'll look into this. Although it looks as if they may sell only to distributors and medical practices, it's worth a try.

  • Hi florence5, there are several self testing kits available in the UK. An overall LDL cholesterol level of up to 130 mg/dl (3.4 mmol/l) is the normal level for adults. If your reading is higher, please visit your doctor for a check up as soon as possible. This test novadetox.co.uk/acatalog/ch... can detect levels of "bad" cholesterol. The test is an Enzymatic test for visual evaluation of a sample drop of blood. Manufactured in the EU and CE certified.

    Hope this helps.

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