Can you answer yes to any of these questions:
Are you aged over 40?
Do you have a family history of cholesterol?
Do you have a family history of cardiovascular disease?
Are you overweight or obese?
Do you have high blood pressure?
Do you have a medical condition, such as a kidney condition, an under-active thyroid gland, or acute inflammation of the pancreas (acute pancreatitis )?
If you answered yes to any of these, you are at risk of high cholesterol.
How do I know I’ve got high cholesterol?
High cholesterol is symptomless. You will not know you suffer from it until you get a simple blood test. Unfortunately many people don’t realise they have high cholesterol until they suffer a heart attack or stroke.
Why get it checked?
High cholesterol causes serious conditions such as angina and stroke. It increases your risk of developing coronary heart disease, which is caused by narrowing of the arteries that supply the heart with blood. This narrowing of the arteries is called atherosclerosis. Fatty deposits, such as cholesterol, build up in the inner lining of an artery (plaques ) causing clots and potentially a heart attack. Risk of heart disease increases more with other factors including high blood pressure and smoking.
A cholesterol check is a simple blood test and can be checked in your GP surgery. Whelehans Pharmacy in Mullingar (opposite the Greville Arms Hotel ) can now check your cholesterol in store. During their heart screening service they will check for cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure, and body mass index and percentage risk of heart disease. It only takes 20 minutes and costs €20. Heart screening takes place every Wednesday; book by calling Whelehans at (044 ) 93 34591.
A diet low in saturated fat reduces risk of cholesterol. A small amount of unsaturated fats in your diet can reduce cholesterol levels. The traditional Mediterranean diet, with its emphasis on raw olive oil and low animal-fat content prevents heart disease. Foods high in unsaturated fats include oily fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, sunflower, rapeseed, olive oil, and vegetable oils. Lecithin reduces cholesterol by binding cholesterol and fats in your intestinal tract, hence reducing the absorption of cholesterol. Whelehans Lecithin 1200mg caps are only €6.99 per 90.
Whelehans Pharmacy, Pearse St, Mullingar. Tel (044 ) 9334591.