Total Cholesterol Testing
With an approximate 30% of all deaths in Ireland resulting from heart disease it is important to keep your body in good shape. The measurement of cholesterol is one marker used to access your bodies heart health. Although cholesterol is an important element to your body's function, too much cholesterol can lead to:
- heart disease
- atherosclerosis (a clogging or hardening of your arteries)
At Pharmhealth, we can test your cholesterol levels for you. Experts agree that men should have their first cholesterol screening before age 35 and women before age 45. To stay on the safe side, you may even want to begin having your cholesterol tested every five years after age 20.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, stroke, or high blood pressure, or if you are taking medication to control your cholesterol levels, you should check your cholesterol every year no matter your age.
Who is at risk of developing high cholesterol?
Cholesterol testing is very important if you:
- have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease
- are overweight or obese
- drink alcohol frequently
- lead an inactive lifestyle
- smoke cigarettes
- suffer from diabetes, kidney disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, or an underactive thyroid gland
All of these things can increase your risk for developing high cholesterol.
Haemoglobin Test (Iron Levels)
The amount of iron in your blood is important for your body’s normal function. A protein of iron, Haemoglobin (Hb), is responsible for carrying oxygen from your lungs around the body to fuel your bodies tissues. It is also responsible for exchanging the oxygen in your organs with carbon dioxide, return it to the lungs where it is transported back into the air when you breath out.
The level of this Iron protein, haemoglobin, has a normal range. Under certain conditions the level of (Hb) can go outside the normal range. This can be caused by several factors including:
- Women of childbearing age who loose a large amount of blood during menstruation
- Pregnant women are at risk of having a low Hb due to extra demands placed on them by the unborn baby
- Vegetarians who do not eat any red meat
- Those with malabsorption problems due to disease or caused by certain drugs
- Those with underlying kidney or bone marrow problems
- Possible signs amp symptoms of low Haemoglobin levels
- Shortness of breath
- Enlarged spleen
- Extreme dehydration, when there is lack of sweating, lack of urination, and dry mouth
How is the test carried out?
We obtain a drop of blood from a finger prick of your finger. We then put this into a machine for analysis and will have your results ready for analysis in a few minutes.
What analysis is measured in the test?
The two markers we are measuring in this test are your haemoglobin (Hb) and your Haemocrit (Hc) levels.
Hemoglobin (Hb) is the protein contained in red blood cells that is responsible for delivery of oxygen to the tissues. To ensure adequate tissue oxygenation, a sufficient hemoglobin level must be maintained. The normal Hb level for males is 14 to 18 g/dl; that for females is 12 to 16 g/dl.
The hematocrit measures the volume of red blood cells compared to the total blood volume (red blood cells and plasma). The normal hematocrit for men is 40 to 54%; for women it is 36 to 48%.
What advice do you give with the results?
Advice is dependent on the results of course. If your result is within the normal range then no advice is required. However, if your results are outside the normal ranges we can discuss the options available to you. We may need to refer you onto your doctor for a fuller investigation if a complex result if obtained.
Blood Glucose Testing (Sugars)
Blood Glucose Test
With the incidence of both Obesity and the eating of refined foods on the rise it is not surprising that diabetes is threatening to be a huge problem. If detected at an early stage, diabetes can be easily controlled and long term damage to health can be minimised.
At Pharmhealth we will use a machine to detect the levels of glucose (sugars) in your blood. Your daily food intake is partly made up of carbohydrates from which glucose is a part of. By measuring you sugar levels we can screen for the detection of diabetes. Your body produces a hormone, insulin, which is responsible for regulating the amount of sugar in your blood. When this hormone is not working properly your sugar levels in your blood can be too high or low. This can put you at risk of serious illness over the long term.
How is the test undertaken?
We take a finger prick sample of blood from your finger and place it in a machine for analysis. The results are obtained from the machine within a few minutes for further investigation.
Your normal Blood glucose range should be aiming to be aiming towards 4 – 7 mmol/l before meals, and around 8 mmol/l if testing 2 hours after meals.
What advice is given?
Depending on the results obtained you may not require any advice if within the normal range. If however you are outside the normal range we discuss with you if further investigation is necessary.