6 Important Numbers to Help You 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.
There are some important numbers that you need to know about and understand in order to properly maintain your health. Today we’re going to tell you what they are and how to keep them at healthy levels.
If you don’t already know what these important numbers are, you’re putting your health and well being at risk.
These numbers are almost magical in that they can help you prevent diseases and many health complications. The next time you go to your doctor for a check-up, don’t forget to write this information down.
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6 Important Numbers to Manage 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.
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 than that than a little higher.
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.
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 should not 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 change it can cause heart problems and even a heart attack, 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.
The third of the important numbers you’ll need to know to manage 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 using your TSH number, 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.
4. 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 healthy eating.
Prediabetes is a warning that something is wrong.
If your levels have reached the diabetic stage, do not stress, you are able to lower your A1C level by maintaining healthy eating habits and exercise. It will take some time and it requires a lot of hard work, but it is possible to lower your level.
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 are 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, he or she will 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.
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6. Waist size
Unfortunately, this number is more than just a matter of looking good. It’s been proven that large waist size is linked to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiac problems.
Your natural waist size should measure 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.
Numbers don’t lie and these numbers will help you maintain good health.