Many people worry about their cholesterol on a low carb diet. I've been using the CardioChek device for nearly instant home testing whenever I wish. It's great!
The device is about the size of a long pack of cigarettes and is SUPER easy to use. You can buy a variety of test strips for it. We have the total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and Triglycerides tests. From these, you can also calculate your LDL levels quite easily.
You turn on the CardioChek, slide in whichever strip you want to use, and then add in a drop of blood. We have an AutoLancet which is a one-button push pen-like item that easily gets a drop of blood without much pain at all. Then you wait maybe 30 seconds, and the device tells you the exact number.
We haven't had any problems with this system at all. If anything, the problem we have is that I don't bleed easily and my blood refuses to leave my body :) I find that running my hand or foot under warm water for a few minutes helps out. My toes seem to work better than my fingers, and are less sensitive, too.
Highly recommended for anyone who is on a low carb diet - if only to silence those nay-sayers out there. I have pages that explain what the different values mean. I've been on a low carb diet for a year and a half now, on NO medication at all, and my values as of 4/9/2005 are:
Total Cholesterol - 170
HDL Cholesterol - 67
LDL Cholesterol - 81
Triglycerides - 107
In March 2008, doing low carb the entire time, my numbers were:
Base cholesterol - 131
HDL cholesterol - "under 25"
LDL = 96 (calculated value, could be lower since HDL is a guess at 24)
Triglycerides - 56
Whether you test at home or at a doctor's, be sure to test yourself regularly, and to talk to a doctor about the results you see!
Buy a CardioChek Tester from Amazon.com
Total Cholesterol Information
HDL Cholesterol Information
LDL Cholesterol Information
Triglyceride Cholesterol Information
Lisa Shea's Library of Low Carb Books