Did you know you have the power to know, track, and monitor your important health numbers to take control of your health? It's true! By knowing the important lab values you should be tracking and monitoring, and what to look for and discuss with your physician, you take an active role in your health and wellness.
So what important numbers should you be tracking? See the graphic for a list of the top values you pay attention too! If we were speaking functionally, I would add more to this list, but to keep it basic for the average person, this is a good starting point!
Let's break it down so you understand what to look for and why it's important to your health and wellness...
Total Cholesterol: 150-220 mg/dL (optimal 130-200mg/dL)
LDL - "bad" cholesterol
optimal: <100 mg/dL
near optimal: 100-129 mg/dL
borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL
high: 160-189 mg/dL
very high: 190+ mg/dL
HDL - "healthy/good" cholesterol
Optimal: 60 mg/dL
Elevated risk: 40-59 mg/dL
High risk: 0-40 mg/dL
If cholesterol is too high, you risk developing fatty deposits in your blood vessels which can cause blockages which can lead to heart attack, or clots which can lead to stroke.
If cholesterol is too low, you risk developing depression, mood disorders, changes in sleeping and/or eating patterns, Hemorrhagic stroke (too much blood in the brain), or even cancer.
Homocysteine - an amino acid that (with the help of Vitamins B12, B6, Folate) get broken down to create other necessary chemicals for your body's cellular functions.
Normal: 5 - 15 mcmol/L
Too high, could be from a vitamin deficiency and can damage inside of arteries leading to a greater risk of dementia, heart disease, and stroke.
Too low, could be a sign of oxidative stress which can be addressed through diet and lifestyle support.
C-Reactive Protein - an inflammatory marker that increases when there is inflammation in the body.
Normal: < 10 mg/L High: = or > 10 mg/L
If high, investigate where inflammation is coming from, get to root cause!
Hemoglobin A1C - average of blood sugar levels in blood over 3 months
Normal: below 5.7% Prediabetes: 5.7 - 6.4% Diabetes: 6.5% or greater
Diabetes is primarily a lifestyle disease and Hemoglobin A1C can be directly affected by lifestyle and nutrition support; prediabetes is reversable! Type 2 Diabetes can go into remission!
Fasting Blood Glucose - measures blood glucose after an overnight fast
Normal: < or = 99 mg/dL Prediabetes: 100 - 125 mg/dL Diabetes: = or >126 mg/dL
High levels of fasting blood sugar means the body is not able to lower it on its own and is suffering from insulin resistance, inadequate insulin production; possibly both.
Urinalysis - values measured should be pH, color, odor, volume, specific gravity, uric acid, glucose, bilirubin, ketone, blood, protein, urobilinogen, nitrite, leukocytes in urine.
Normal pH: 4.7 - 7.7 (average = 6.0, acidic) Too alkaline can be altered with nutrition.
Normal color: pale to darker yellow Too dark could mean dehydration.
Normal odor: faint smell A fruity/sweet/acetone odor could mean diabetes.
Normal volume: 1200-2000mL Average volume: 1400mL Extreme volume: 600-3600mL
Increased urine output could be a symptom of infection or kidney function.
(If any aspect of urinalysis is out of range, work to discover the root cause and address.)
Blood Pressure - measures the function of heart health
Normal: <120 AND / <80
Prehypertensive: 121-129 AND / <80
Stage 1 Hypertension: 130-139 OR / 80-89
Stage 2 Hypertension: =/>140 OR / =/>90
Hypertensive Crisis: >180 AND/OR >120 (Call 🤳911!)
Too high = hypertension causes damage to tiny blood vessels in your hippocampus - part of brain responsible for memory - greatly increases risk for developing Alzheimer's or other types of dementia, as well as heart attack or stroke.
Too low = hypotension causes decreased blood flow to your brain and also increases risk of Alzheimer's or dementia; severely low bp can damage heart and brain.
*BMI - calculate by dividing weight in pounds by height in inches squared, times 703
example: 200 lbs / 4900 (5'10" = 70" x 70') = .0408163265 x 703 = 28.69 BMI
Healthy Weight: 18.5 - 24.9
Overweight: 25 - 29.9
Obese: 30.0 or higher
BMI too low can lead to weakened immune system, chronic fatigue, malnutrition & anemia, fragile bones. BMI too high can lead to higher risks for heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, gallstones, cancers, breathing issues. *BMI measurements are only one factor and can vary depending on physical activity, muscle mass, and bone structure.
Waist to Hip Ratio - important to know this measures the fat volume on the body and within the same section of the body, internally on those organs.
Waist/hip = ratio
.80 low risk .95 low risk
.81 - .85 moderate risk .96 - 1.0 moderate risk
.85+ high risk 1.0+ high risk
The higher the ratio, the higher the risk, the greater the chance of developing heart disease or Type 2 Diabetes.
Eye and Hearing Exams are more important than you think! As seen on the graphic, eye and hearing exams can lead to the detection of other malfunctions in the human body. It's important to review your exam results and ask questions if confused.
By getting annual exams, you and your physicians are able to detect changes, even if slight. By keeping your exam/lab results handy, you can track if things are progressing in the right or wrong direction and work with your medical team to make changes that could potentially spare you from a chronic condition, autoimmune disorder, or even save your life!
Need support in lifestyle and nutrition modifications to affect positive change on your labs and improve your health and wellbeing? Gain support by adding a well-trained Health and Wellness Coach to your healthcare team! You don't have to go this alone, getting support and having someone in your corner to help you advocate for yourself in your own healthcare environment is a positive step to taking control of your health. Your health is mostly due to your diet & lifestyle. Change is possible. The power is in knowing your numbers and then doing something about it when needed!
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