How’s Your Health? Check These Key Numbers
Are you wanting to take the first steps to looking and feeling healthier, but not sure where to start? A good plan starts with understanding important health indicators, such as blood sugar, cholesterol, and other measures. Once you have an overview of your current health, it’s easier to set goals for exercise and diet.
Enlist the help of your doctor to understand your individual indicators. The next time you have an office visit, be sure to talk about these four key numbers, how often you should check them, and create a plan to manage them. Your primary care provider can also offer guidance on exercise, diet, and medication.
Four Vital Health Measures
Blood Sugar – Your blood sugar measures your risk for diabetes. A fasting blood sugar should be below 100. Anything higher indicates prediabetes or diabetes. If your blood sugar reading is high, your provider may order an A1C test, which gives a picture of average blood sugar control for the past two to three months. An A1C reading should be below 6 percent.
Blood Pressure – While the squeeze of a blood pressure cuff may feel routine, the measure tells a lot about health risks. High blood pressure often has no symptoms but can cause cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, or stroke.
The top number of a blood pressure reading, also called systolic pressure, indicates the pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood. Your blood pressure should be less than 130/80. If you need to monitor your blood pressure closely, The American Heart Association offers a blood pressure tracker.
Cholesterol – Cholesterol numbers are more tricky since there are two different types of cholesterol. LDL, known as bad cholesterol, should be under 100. A diet high in saturated and trans fat will likely lead to raised LDL cholesterol levels.
Your HDL, known as good cholesterol, should be 50 or higher. Low HDL cholesterol puts you at a higher risk for heart disease. Genetic factors, type 2 diabetes, smoking, being overweight, and being sedentary can all result in lower HDL cholesterol.
Waist Size – While no one relishes measuring their waist, it provides an important indicator of health. A waist size over 35 inches in women and over 40 inches in men greatly increases the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and more.
Meeting Your Goals
If you’re concerned about any of your key numbers, meet with your primary care provider to talk about a plan for achieving your goals. Primary care providers at LeBauer HealthCare can help you create a health plan and advise you on how often you should be checking cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar based on your individual situation. To schedule an appointment, find the LeBauer location that is most convenient for you.