Some Vital Number To Track For Good Health

When it comes to health, we often think if there’s no indication of high blood pressure or high blood sugar, then we must be pretty healthy. But, we need to take some other numbers into account for an overall picture of our health. You can have normal blood pressure and low blood sugar. Or you can have high cholesterol and it hasn’t led to high blood pressure, yet.

Knowing all of your numbers can give you and your doctor a better picture of your overall health. What numbers should you know?

Cholesterol – Cholesterol is a fatty substance in your blood that your body needs to function properly. Don’t let the word fatty scare you too much. We do need healthy fats. However, bad fats and bad cholesterol can cause a heap of problems.

When it comes to cholesterol, there are two kinds, HDL and LDL. HDL is a high level density cholesterol. This is your good cholesterol, so you want that number higher than your LDL, which is the bad stuff, or low density cholesterol.

The overall number for the two combined should be below 180 mg/dl. mg stands for milligram, which is one thousandth of a gram. The dl part of the number is a deciliter or one-tenth of a liter. In that ratio, the amount of cholesterol in your blood should be very small.

BMI – Body Mass Index measures your body weight in regards to your height. You want your total BMI to be below 25. If the number is over 25, it indicates you are overweight. A reading over 30 indicates you are obese.

The normal range is between 18.5 to 24.9. These numbers indicate you’re at a healthy weight range. If the number is below 18.5 it indicates you are underweight.

If you don’t know your BMI index, here is a nifty calculator to give you an idea:

However, you may want to check with your doctor if your results fall into the overweight or obese measurements. Being overweight can lead to other problems.

Blood Sugar – The goal for your blood sugar level is below 130 mg/dl. Normal is considered to be between 70 and 130. The best way to test your blood sugar levels are first thing in the morning after an overnight fast. If you make an appointment to have these numbers checked by your doctor, they will try to schedule you as early as possible with the instructions  not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

Blood Pressure – Your blood pressure should be 120/80. That’s read and stated as one-twenty over eighty.

Blood pressure is measured with two numbers, systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the measure of force your heart is using when pumping blood out to your body. Diastolic is the measure of the heart resting between beats.

When reading your blood pressure numbers, the top number is the systolic measurement. Anything over 120 for the top number means your heart is working too hard, especially if you are sitting or lying down. This number will rise if you’ve been active, but it should return to normal relatively fast after you’ve stopped moving around.

If the bottom number, or the diastolic reading is over 80, this means your heart isn’t getting the rest it needs between beats.

When you get a yearly checkup, if your doctor is not measuring the numbers above, be sure to request that all of them are checked. To measure cholesterol and blood sugar levels, a simple blood test is all that’s needed to get both numbers checked at once.


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