Know Your Health Numbers
Knowing your health numbers is one of the most important things you can do to maintain and improve your overall health. Below is a list of health numbers that everyone should know and discuss with a primary care provider.
- Blood Pressure: Guthrie recommends that blood pressure screening take place as part of an annual well visit for those with blood pressure less than 120/80 mm Hg. Individuals with blood pressure readings higher than normal may be required to be screened more frequently.
- Blood Glucose: Blood glucose or blood sugar is carried in the blood to provide energy to cells and is made from the foods you eat. Blood glucose levels are monitored to ensure that your body is regulating the levels of sugar in your blood to stay healthy. Having levels that are too high or too low can indicate that there is a problem with the way your body regulates sugar. Talk to your primary care provider about your blood glucose levels at your next well visit.
- Cholesterol: Total cholesterol measures the levels of HDL and LDL in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high cholesterol can be unhealthy. Discuss your good cholesterol (LDL) and bad cholesterol (HDL) levels with your primary care provider.
- Percent Body Fat and Body Mass Index (BMI): The healthy range for body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI) depends on a person's age and gender. Discuss these important numbers with your primary care provider at your next meeting.
Your first source of advice should be your primary care provider. Additional information can also be found at: