Knowing Your Health Numbers Is Key
Keep track of your numbers
Individuals with pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes are likely to also have high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. These individuals are also likely to be overweight/obese. These factors can play a major part in developing cardiovascular disease and other serious health conditions as time goes by.
But let's say you're just a normal, everyday person who isn't experiencing pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. You might ask yourself, why is monitoring these numbers important for me? Well for starters, there are no symptoms for people with pre-diabetes and in most cases, diabetes may be in the severe stages before there are any warning symptoms. Likewise, people have no way of knowing if they have high cholesterol or blood pressure without being tested first.
The next time you go to your healthcare provider, be sure to ask for your critical health numbers to be screened and develop a plan, which may include diet, exercise and medication to manage or prevent any symptoms or diseases.
Main numbers to consider having checked include:
- Blood Sugar (The amount of sugar/glucose in the blood)
- Blood sugar is also measured by the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in your blood. An HbA1c test gives you a picture of your average blood sugar control for the past 2 to 3 months and provides you with a better idea of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working.
- Blood Pressure (The force of blood against the arteries when the heart beats and rests)
- Blood pressure is typically measured by an automatic cuff. Systolic pressure (top number) is the peak pressure in the arteries, and diastolic pressure (bottom number) is the lowest pressure. Get more information here.
- Blood cholesterol (A waxy substance produced by the liver)
- Because cholesterol is unable to dissolve in the blood, it has to be transported to and from the cells by carriers called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein (or LDL) cholesterol, is known as "bad" cholesterol; high-density lipoprotein (or HDL) cholesterol, is known as "good" cholesterol. For more information about cholesterol, click here.
- Body Weight
- A person's ideal body weight varies by gender, age, height, and frame. Your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference provide good indicators of whether you are at a healthy weight.
So even if you are the healthiest person alive, it is a great idea to make a plan with your healthcare provider and make sure you know where you stand with your health and know your numbers.