Screening for high cholesterol involves a blood test. These are standard guidelines for preparing for this type of screening, but be sure to follow any additional instructions given to you by your doctor’s office.

  • Before a blood test, it is important to fast so that proper levels can be obtained.
  • No food or beverage (other than water) should be consumed for 12-hours before the test.
  • Abstain from alcoholic beverages for two days before the test.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About High Cholesterol

You’ll probably have questions about high cholesterol as you are diagnosed and treated. Review this list of common concerns before your appointment, or print it out to bring with you.

Questions About My Diagnosis

  • If I have a high triglyceride count and the total cholesterol number is normal, do I have a cholesterol problem?
  • What does a lipid panel include?
  • Are lipids and cholesterol the same?
  • Do I have blocked arteries or plaque formation already? What is my risk for heart disease?
  • How often should I have my cholesterol tested? What tests do I need?

Questions About My Treatment

  • Is there a specialist for high cholesterol? Should I see one?
  • Do I need medication to lower my cholesterol? What are the side effects of these drugs?
  • Do I have to take the medication forever? Even if my values return to normal?
  • Can I lower cholesterol by taking supplements?
  • What risks do I have if I choose not to take medication?
  • Are there alternative therapies to lower my cholesterol?

Questions About My Lifestyle and Family

  • Does this run in families? Will my children get it?
  • At what age should my children be tested?
  • Will a special diet decrease my cholesterol? Will you recommend one or should I consult with a nutritionist?
  • Are there foods that I should avoid? Should I give up alcohol?
  • How much weight loss would change my cholesterol numbers?
  • Is there exercise that I can do?