Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Knowing Your Numbers
An important first step for me in my journey to becoming healthier in 2010 was to know where I was starting from. We all know that we should get an annual physical done but even though I had one last summer, I did not know what my cholesterol, blood glucose and iron levels were. After doing a little digging, I found out that my school offered "RN Health Screenings" so I called and booked an appointment. This was one of the most informative doctor's appointment I have ever had. They performed rapid cholesterol and blood sugar testing along with a blood pressure reading and BMI calculations. I requested a rapid HIV test and STD screening so I had to have blood drawn and from that they also did a Complete Blood Count and checked my thyroid hormone levels.
They were very efficient at getting my results back to me within a few days (even though I think the RN was a little annoyed when I asked for a copy of all my test results- it is my right as a patient, isn't it?). My results were mostly okay but it reaffirmed my decision to take my weight loss seriously. The highlights were that my blood pressure was into the pre-hypertensive region (which required immediate action on my part because hypertension runs in my family), my iron was a little low (I began taking multivitamins) and my blood glucose was slightly elevated (might have something to do with the fact that I ingested a reasonable amount of GLUCOSE about 30 minutes before I had this testing done. What was I thinking???!!! Yeah, I wasn't).
The bottom line is this guys, knowing what your numbers are is the key to early detection and prevention of chronic diseases (my Public Health plug for the day :-)) So if you don't know where you stand in the above tests (and others appropriate for your age and gender) then please make an appointment with your medical provider at your earliest convenience. Make sure that you ask them to explain the results to you if you don't know what they mean, and don't forget to get a copy!