Product: CardioChek Starter Cholesterol Analyzer Kit with Cholesterol Strips by PTS Panels
Available at: Amazon.com
My Rating: 8 out of 10
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Do you suffer from high cholesterol? Have you been told that you are at risk for this condition? Do you have to go to the lab for frequent monitoring?
Well there is good news for you.
You no longer have to leave your house when it’s time for testing because now you can check your cholesterol at home. Isn’t that great?
Cholesterol is a buzz word these days. Everyone has heard a lot about it and I am sure even you have heard about “the number“.
“What number?” you ask.
Less than 200. That’s right. The number that everyone wants their cholesterol to be.
(Of course this number is going to depend on the units the measurement is done in. Less than 200 mg/dL or for some countries, the number is less than 5.2 mmol/L)
Why do you need to know your Cholesterol Level?
High blood cholesterol has been associated with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), heart disease and an increased risk of death from heart attacks. If you know your cholesterol levels you will be more empowered to make decisions about how to minimize your risk of these diseases.
High cholesterol levels don’t usually have any signs or symptoms and so the damage can be taking place in your body without you realizing. You might have heard the saying “The first symptom is sudden death”. You certainly don’t want that to happen so you need to know if it is high so you can take steps to lower your cholesterol.
A lipid panel is a blood test that measures the amount of cholesterol and triglyceride in your blood and help determine your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Want to know what is measured in the lipid panel ?
Well a lipid panel includes the measurement or calculation of four types of fats (lipids) in your blood. You might have heard of them.
- Total Cholesterol – as it suggests, is the sum of all the blood’s cholesterol content.
- HDL Cholesterol – Sometimes referred to as the good cholesterol. It helps carry away the bad cholesterol and keeps the arteries open and the blood flowing more freely.
- LDL Cholesterol – Sometimes referred to as the bad cholesterol. Too much of it in the blood causes plaques to form in the arteries and can ultimately lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Triglycerides – These are a type of fat found in the blood. They are used to give energy to your body. A high level has been linked to a greater chance for heart disease.
Who should get a cholesterol test?
The obvious answer is, anyone who wants to know what their cholesterol level is.
It could be you want to know just out of curiosity. However there are some persons who do need to know….not just from curiosity, but due to health challenges and health risks.
You may need more frequent testing if an initial cholesterol test had high values or if you’re at higher risk of heart disease because:
- You have a family history of high cholesterol or heart attacks
- You are diabetic
- You are overweight
- You are physically inactive
- You eat a lot of meat and high fat foods
- You smoke
- You are a male older than 45 or a female older than 55
If you are in any of these categories or have a history of heart attacks or stroke, you will require regular cholesterol testing to monitor your risk or the effectiveness of any treatment you might be undergoing.
Monitor your levels
The CardioChek Starter Cholesterol Analyzer Kit allows you to measure and keep check of your cholesterol levels at home. It not only measures the total cholesterol but allows you to keep check of your entire lipid profile which includes HDL Cholesterol, Triglycerides and LDL Cholesterol.
So you have been trying to keep your cholesterol under 200 all year but you went all out during the Christmas holidays. You just couldn’t resist all that lovely food. Wouldn’t you like to know what damage was done to your year’s resolve without having to go to your doctor or laboratory.
Not to mention the Thanksgiving feast or Labor Day when you brought out the grill. It would be good to be able to check to see if your cholesterol was still under control. Wouldn’t it?
Well now you can check your cholesterol at home.
More about the Product
The Cardiocheck system is one of the quickest ways to obtain lipid results. Results are available in less than 1 minute.
It is a hand held device similar to some of the popular glucose measuring devices that we are accustomed to seeing. It is battery powered and requires a drop of blood for measurement.
It is very lightweight. The Starter Kit weighs less than a pound.
The CardioCheck Starter Kit includes:
1 box containing 3 Total Chlesterol strips
1 box of 3 HDL strips
1 box of 3 Triglyceride strips
9 capillary pipettes
As you may notice, you can get all your lipid values with this kit….. Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides.
The kit does not contain LDL strips as the LDL is not actually measured.
The levels are calculated using the formula;
LDL = Total Cholesterol – HDL – (Triglyceride/5)
or you may use the formula
LDL = Total Cholesterol – HDL – (Triglyceride x 0.2)
Don’t panic! I see some of you breaking out in a sweat at the sight of a math formula. Don’t worry. I’s not that difficult. Just calm down and look at the formula again.
See, it’s not that bad.
How to Use the Cardiochek to measure your Cholesterol
- Turn on the instrument.
- Insert the memo chip related to the test you will be performing (Total Cholesterol, HDL or Tiglyceride) into the CardioCheck. (Unique chip ships with every set of test strips.)
- Insert the test strip into the instrument.
- Clean finger to be used and pierce with lancet.
- Gently squeeze to get the required amount of blood.
- Use the capillary provided and collect blood up to the mark.
- Squeeze out the entire drop of blood from the capillary unto the sample area of the test strip.
- Results will show in about 45 seconds.
The strips come in different colours.
Total Cholesterol – red
HDL – green
Triglyceride – purple
The memo chip colour is related to the test colour i.e. red for Total cholesterol, green for HDL and purple for Triglycerids.
To get accurate results, it is important that the instructions outlined in your kit are followed.
It is also crucial that enough blood is collected.
The Cardiochek Analyzer requires considerably more blood than what is used in the typical blood glucose machine.
The blood glucose machine requires only a tiny drop of blood but the CardioChek requires a very large drop…….maybe 4 times as much blood.
However with this Kit you have the convenience of checking your cholesterol levels whenever you wish and in the comfort of your own home……..or anywhere else for that matter. You can check it at a party, at a picnic, at your friend’s house, at church… wherever you desire because it is so easy to pop it into your bag or pocket and carry it with you.
- You are able to check your cholesterol levels without having to leave your house.
- Results are available very quickly……45 seconds for a single test.
- Compact and lightweight making it easy to transport and store.
- Unlike some other equipment which can only test Total Cholesterol, you are able to check the rest of your lipids (HDL, LDL, Triglycerides)
- Test is simple to perform
- All the required equipment is included in the kit (analyzer, test strips, lancets, capillaries)
- Comparable results to lab (when test is performed properly)
- FDA approved.
- Cholesterol Starter Kit Refills are readily available
- Too much blood needed to perform test accurately
- Sometimes difficult to get the blood into the capillary
- Will not get accurate results if the proper size blood drop is not applied to the test strip
- Only 3 strips come in each box
- The test strips are expensive
The CardioChek Starter Cholesterol Analyzer Kit with Cholesterol Strips by PTS Panels is a very convenient kit to own especially for persons who have a history or a family history of high cholesterol and who may be at risk for cardiovascular disease.
It is also good for the health conscious persons who just want to monitor their cholesterol levels and ensure that they do not end up in the high cholesterol category.
Although the results are not as accurate as the test that is actually run in the laboratory, the results are still pretty comparable and can be used to monitor your status. Of course, if the proper procedure is not followed while performing the test the results will not be accurate and one of the biggest problems people have which affect accuracy is to get enough blood. Some people have problem getting enough blood from the finger prick and some have problem getting the blood into the capillary and unto the testing pad. However, if you are able to overcome these issues, you will have quite a useful instrument in your possession.
My Overall Rating: 8.0