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Cholesterol Blood Testing

Context

My doctor informed me at my last annual physical that my good cholesterol is too low and my bad and total cholesterol are too high. I knew this from past tests but he urged me to take action to improve my levels. I also know that this is somewhat genetic because my vegetarian marathon running Dad also has the same problem.

My doctor recommended exercise and dietary changes. Though I have not increased my physical activity as much as I should, I did improve my diet. Based on a suggestion from a friend at church and with my doctor’s support, I also agreed to try a supplement called red yeast rice that has similar effects as prescription statins to see if that would help. This was about six months ago and I’m wondering how often it makes sense to test cholesterol levels in my blood.

Search terms

frequency of cholesterol blood tests

how long does it take for cholesterol to change

Helpful link

https://www.healthline.com/health/high-cholesterol/how-long-does-it-take-to-lower

Outcome

My first search only returned articles recommending testing every five years or in certain cases annually, or as prescribed by a doctor. But I wanted to know how often I can test to see improvement based on dietary and supplement changes. So I was more specific in my second search. The answer was in line with my doctor’s suggestion.

I learned that taking this test as often as three to six months makes sense to see if changes have had the desired effect, so I have a blood test scheduled for this week.

I also learned that you can order this kind of routine blood test directly from companies like Sonora Quest without having to go through your physician or insurance and it is very affordable ($28).

By Paul Shippy

Christian software engineer and homeschooling dad

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