Monday, May 22, 2006

My health stats (pretty long)

I guess that's what I should call this post. I went to the doctor last week and wanted to post my test results so that I can see if they change as I change my eating and exercise habits. The nurse said that everything came back "normal." I'm going to post then research and I'll determine whether or not it's normal or cause for concern; my mother died of heart disease, I can't mess around.

  • Blood pressure - 128/76
  • Blood sugar - 83
  • Cholesterol - 163
  • Ferritin - 46.4
  • Iron - 108
  • Thyroid 0.35
So that's that. Let's see what it all means, shall we?

1) Blood pressure (128/76).

Still, for most of your waking hours, your blood pressure stays pretty much the same when you are sitting or standing still. That level should be lower than 120/80. When the level stays high, 140/90 or higher, you have high blood pressure. With high blood pressure, the heart works harder, your arteries take a beating, and your chances of a stroke, heart attack, and kidney problems are greater.

2) Blood sugar (83). From , I guess my blood sugar level is normal. I would only have to be concerned if it reached 100 or higher.

3) Cholesterol (163; HDL 47, LDL 101):

If your total cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dL, your heart attack risk is relatively low, unless you have other risk factors. Even with a low risk, it's still smart to eat foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and also get plenty of physical activity. Have your cholesterol levels measured every five years — or more often if you're a man over 45 or a woman over 55.

Now HDL and LDL? I am waiting for the nurse to call me again because I forgot to ask about these. But the AMA site says

Your HDL cholesterol level
In the average man, HDL cholesterol levels range from 40 to 50 mg/dL. In the average woman, they range from 50 to 60 mg/dL. HDL cholesterol that's less than 40 mg/dL is low. Low HDL cholesterol puts you at high risk for heart disease. Smoking, being overweight and being sedentary can all result in lower HDL cholesterol. If you have low HDL cholesterol, you can help raise it by:

  • Not smoking
  • Losing weight (or maintaining a healthy weight)
  • Being physically active for at least 30–60 minutes a day on most or all days of the week

People with high blood triglycerides usually have lower HDL cholesterol and a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Progesterone, anabolic steroids and male sex hormones (testosterone) also lower HDL cholesterol levels. Female sex hormones raise HDL cholesterol levels.

Well, she just called me back. My HDL (good cholesterol, needs to be above 35, she said) is 47. My LDL (bad cholesterol, needs to be between 0-130, she said) is 101. The AMA site says

The key point to remember is, the lower your LDL cholesterol, the lower your risk. Your doctor may prescribe a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, regular exercise and a weight management program if you're overweight. If you can't lower your cholesterol with these efforts, medications may also be prescribed to lower your LDL cholesterol. Check these categories and the goals for treatment that can lower your risk of heart attack.

Your LDL cholesterol level
Your LDL cholesterol level greatly affects your risk of heart attack and stroke. The lower your LDL cholesterol, the lower your risk. In fact, it’s a better gauge of risk than total blood cholesterol. So I'm only a little above optimal (less than 100 is Optimal), and I'm OK with that. Ok, so Cholesterol is taken care of.

4) Ferritin/Iron. The doctor tested my iron because I complained about being tired all the time. Well, my iron was normal at 108 with my Ferritin at 46.4. Can't find much on that. I'm content with the nurse saying my levels are "normal."

5) My thyroid (.35). Now, I asked the doctor to test this because I've been feeling depressed again and exhausted all the time. My result, a 0.35, again "normal," so let's see what that means. says that it should be between .3 and 3, so I guess I just made it.

So those are my health stats. I may be obese (FOR NOW), but I'm HEALTHY!!!!! All I have to do is make sure I MAINTAIN my health status. So my diet and exercise changes are about more than just losing the weight, it's about maintaining my health status.

I can do this!!!!


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