6 Important Numbers You Must Know to Maintain Your Health

Although your medical care provider will track your progress, it's important to understand these important numbers so you can keep track of your health at home.
6 Important Numbers You Must Know to Maintain Your Health

Last update: 08 September, 2020

There are some numbers you need to know about to maintain your health. Today, we’re going to tell you what they are. If you don’t already know the, you may be putting your health and well-being at risk.

However, remember that these numbers aren’t magical. However, they may help you prevent diseases and many health complications.Sometimes, you may think that everything “is fine” just because your body adapts to almost any situation.

6 numbers you need to know to maintain your health

1. Blood pressure

The first number you need to know to take care of your health is your blood pressure. High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” because it usually doesn’t present any symptoms until it’s already too late.

You’ll notice that your blood pressure consists of two numbers. The first is the systolic pressure and the second is diastolic.

Blood pressure.

These two values indicate the pressure with which your blood flows through your arteries. The ideal blood pressure is considered 120/80. However, it’s better for it to be a little lower (hypotension) than that than a little higher (hypertension).

If your blood pressure levels are high, start eating a diet that’s low in salt and high in vegetables. Exercise is also really important.

2. Cholesterol

Just like with blood pressure, your cholesterol numbers are composed of two figures: the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). The total of these two numbers shouldn’t exceed 200.

LDL is known as bad cholesterol and should always be lower than 100. “Good” cholesterol, or HDL, should be above 60.

When these two numbers are altered, it can cause heart problems, among other serious problems. You should go over this information with your doctor at least once a year if you’re in good health.

If your health is poor or you have a history of heart problems, your doctor will want to check these levels more often.

3. TSH

The third of the important numbers you’ll need to know to maintain your health is your TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone. It’s estimated that 1 out of every 8 people, particularly women, will encounter problems with their thyroid at some point in their life.

Additionally, thyroid problems often cause fatigue, constant weight changes, and chronic pain. However, by knowing your TSH, your doctor can work more quickly to eliminate these symptoms.

Normal TSH levels are between 0.4 and 5.6 milliunits per liter of blood (mU/L). Your doctor will usually order this test if you’re showing any of the above-mentioned symptoms and they aren’t caused by other conditions.

4. Blood sugar

A doctor measuring a patient's blood sugar.

The fourth number you need to know to stay in good health is obtained from an A1C hemoglobin test, This test measures the amount of glucose in your blood over the past three months.

There are other tests, but those usually only indicate the body’s current level of glucose. A1C is classified as follows:

  • 5.7 or lower = good health
  • 5.8 to 6.4 = prediabetes
  • 6.5 and higher = diabetes

Luckily, if your levels are in the prediabetic stage, you can prevent it from worsening by trading a sedentary lifestyle for physical exercise and a healthy diet.

If your levels have reached the diabetic stage, don’t stress. You’ll be able to lower your A1C level by maintaining healthy eating habits and exercising. It’ll take some time and hard work, but it is possible to lower your levels.

If you’re overweight, it’s really important to lose weight in order to keep your blood glucose levels under control.

5. Bone mineral density

This number is an assessment of your bone health. After about age 30, the body stops accumulating calcium and that’s when the risk of osteoporosis and fractures appears.

Bone mineral density can easily be obtained through a simple exam. The ideal density lies between 1 and negative 1. If you’re outside this range, it means that you have less bone mass than you should for your age.

As we age, this number normally decreases. However, this decrease can more or less be controlled through diet by eating foods rich in calcium.

If your doctor detects low bone density levels, they’ll want to run tests at least once a year. Luckily, if you’re not over age 30, you still have a chance to improve this number by consuming more calcium and exercising more often.

6. Waist size

A scale.

Unfortunately, this number is more than just a matter of looking good. It’s been proven that a large waist size is linked to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiac problems.

A woman’s natural waist size should measure no more than 31 inches, while a man’s no more than 35 inches.

Does your waist measure a few inches bigger? We suggest some physical exercise and changing your eating habits to eliminate abdominal fat.

Why you need to be aware of these numbers to maintain your health

Before we go, we want to clarify that these numbers aren’t always exact, since there may be small variations depending on the laboratories that analyze the samples.

In addition, in special situations, what we mentioned above may vary. Therefore, we recommend following your doctor’s advice.

All in all, without a doubt, math doesn’t lie and these numbers you need to know to maintain your health will tell you exactly what to change. Don’t leave everything in the hands of your doctor. Ask them each piece of information and keep a record. Your health will thank you!

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