Knowing Your Health Numbers

We have all heard the importance of knowing your four important healthcare numbers most of our adult lives. With current medical technology, so many instant diagnostic resources, and the vast availability of testing, it’s easier than ever to keep on top of those magic numbers that are so vital to maintaining good health.

Blood Pressure: According to the American Heart Association high blood pressure is called “the silent killer” because you can have high blood pressure and have no symptoms, or not feel any?

Therefore, it is important to get it measured regularly at your annual checkup and several times throughout the year at Health Fairs, your pharmacy, and other locations that have machines set up for the public to use.  High Blood pressure can lead to damage of delicate vessels leading to the kidneys, heart and brain.

Systolic pressure (the top number) should measure less than 120mmHg and Diastolic (the bottom number) should be less than 80. Lifestyle changes and medications could be indicated with numbers higher than these guidelines.

Blood Glucose: Our pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin to regulate how our body digests sugar and pushes it into our blood stream to be used by our cells for energy. If a dysfunction of this process occurs, it can lead to high glucose levels in the blood and low access to the glucose for our cells. Prolonged high blood sugar can lead to damage of our vital organs such as kidneys, the heart and the eyes.

Blood Cholesterol: Cholesterol is actually a normal function of the body but can lead to problems when the balance of both HDL and LDL are not maintained. Good cholesterol is vital to maintaining the health of our cell walls. Maintaining healthy Triglycerides (fats in the blood) and cholesterol can help protect your body from coronary artery disease and stroke. A healthy diet, exercise and regular tests and checkups with your doctor can help ensure this number is a good one!

BMI: Body Mass Index:  Your BMI is a number that compares the relationship of your height to your weight. A BMI of 18.5 is considered to be very healthy. You can calculate this number using a formula found on the American Heart Association website. Knowing this number and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Remember to keep those annual wellness check-ups!!