Do you know your numbers? You know…. the numbers that tell you the level of cholesterol in your blood, your blood pressure, your blood sugar levels and your weight. These are standard markers doctors use to measure our level of health. Being aware of these numbers may prevent you from developing diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and other serious illnesses if they are checked regularly and you know what they are.
Consider this hypothetical situation, during your annual physical exam your blood pressure is a little elevated but normal and you find out you have gained 5 pounds. You also get your blood work done during this time. After a few days, the doctor calls to tell you that your cholesterol and glucose levels are higher than usual but within normal range. All is well. Each year, you get a similar report plus or minus 5 pounds until one day, the doctor says, I am prescribing (some medication) for your (you pick the condition). Now you are faced with making changes quickly to regain your health.
The point of this story is this, knowing your numbers gives you the power to make changes before changes are forced on you. A hemoglobin A1C number of 5.6 is normal but 5.7 indicates an increased risk for diabetes. Knowing this allows you to make nutrition and lifestyle changes that help reduce your risk of diabetes. Aside from genetic factors that may cause higher than normal numbers, the same is true for all your numbers. Get familiar with your numbers at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Diabetes/PreventionTreatmentofDiabetes/Know-Your-Health-Numbers_UCM_313882_Article.jsp
I have met a number of people who didn’t know their numbers until they were faced with having to take medication. Medication is necessary to keep us well once a disease or illness shows up but if you can avoid the disease or illness with nutrition and lifestyle changes why not. Please know your numbers!
Michelle Carrington, MS, CNS, LDN is available for individual nutrition consults or group seminars. Contact her at [email protected].