15 May Can Your Concierge Doctor Perform a Cholesterol Test at Home?
A concierge doctor, also known as a private physician, provides personalized medical care to patients on a membership or retainer basis. One of the benefits of having a concierge doctor is the convenience of having medical care at your fingertips, including the ability to perform certain medical tests at home.
This article will explore whether a concierge doctor can perform a cholesterol test at your home, the advantages of doing this test at home, and the potential limitations of this service.
What is a cholesterol test?
A complete cholesterol test (also known as a lipid panel or lipid profile) is a blood test that measures the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood. A cholesterol test can check your risk for developing a buildup of fatty deposits called plaques in your arteries. Having too much plaque in your arteries can cause a condition called atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing or blockage of arteries in your body.
A complete cholesterol test measures the levels of four types of fat in your blood:
- Total cholesterol: the sum of your blood’s cholesterol content
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol: the type of cholesterol that causes plaque buildup and atherosclerosis
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol: the type of cholesterol that carries away LDL cholesterol
- Triglycerides: a type of fat that is more likely to accumulate to unhealthy levels if you smoke, are overweight, are sedentary, eat too many sweets, drink too much alcohol, or have diabetes with elevated blood sugar levels
Having high cholesterol can greatly increase your risk of developing coronary artery disease. High cholesterol is known as a silent killer because it does not usually cause any signs or symptoms.
Can a concierge doctor perform a cholesterol test at home?
Cholesterol home test kits allow you to test your cholesterol without going to a doctor’s office, and the results are ready within minutes of taking the test.
Each cholesterol home test kit includes a lancet and either paper test strips or an electronic meter.
Electronic meter tests are typically more expensive than the other type of tests, but they are better if you want to check your cholesterol more frequently.
First, you will need to prick your finger with the lancet. Next, place a drop of blood on one of the test strips. The test strip will contain special chemicals that cause it to change color after a few minutes. The results will be color-coded, so all you have to do is match the color of your test strip with the corresponding color guide.
If you have a cholesterol home test kit with an electronic meter, you will insert the test strips into the meter, and the cholesterol level will be read automatically by a small computer in the meter.
The advantages of having a cholesterol test at home
The advantages of having a cholesterol test at home include convenience, increased privacy, and personalized care.
Having a cholesterol test at home is much more convenient because you do not need to go to a doctor’s office. This saves you time waiting for an appointment and money on gas or other transportation. This is especially beneficial for patients with mobility issues and other challenges.
You will also have increased privacy if you choose to do your cholesterol test at home. The only people who will see your test results are you and your concierge doctor. There are no receptionists or nurses to deal with in this situation.
Having a cholesterol test done at home under the supervision of a concierge doctor also means you get more personalized care. You and your doctor can receive and discuss your results promptly, allowing you to take action to improve your health more quickly.
The potential limitations of having a cholesterol test at home
There are some potential limitations to keep in mind if you are considering an at-home cholesterol test, including the accuracy of test results and the availability of follow-up care.
The test may be difficult to use, or the results may be challenging to interpret. Some tests can provide inaccurate results if you use them incorrectly.
You will also need to coordinate follow-up care with your concierge doctor or your primary care provider, which can be difficult.
How to prepare for a cholesterol test at home
There will be both pre-test instructions and post-test instructions for a home cholesterol test kit.
You will probably need to fast (without food and liquids other than water) for nine to 12 hours before your cholesterol test. However, some cholesterol tests do not require fasting.
If your test requires you to fast, it is a good idea to fast overnight and do the test in the morning.
You do not need to do anything in particular after your cholesterol test. You should be able to go about routine activities, including driving. If you have been fasting, you may want to eat after your test.
Having a cholesterol test performed by a concierge doctor at home comes with its own set of benefits and limitations. It is more convenient than going to the doctor to get tested because you do not need to go anywhere, and depending on the test you take, your results may be ready within minutes after you take the test. It also gives you more privacy because only you and your doctor will see your test results. You also get more personalized care when you work with a concierge doctor who comes to your home.
However, home cholesterol tests may not be as accurate as lab tests. Sometimes the results can be difficult to understand, but having the concierge doctor with you when you review your results can help. It is more convenient if you get your test results in minutes, but if you need to wait for test results, you will need to schedule another appointment to discuss your results with your doctor.
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