This morning, I volunteered at a health fair to promote wellness in downtown KCMO. At the fair we offered health screenings, rapid HIV testing, diabetes screening and kidney function tests. For hours I talked with people struggling with weight problems, congestive heart failure and the like. The fair was about being proactive, being accountable for your health and most importantly being AWARE. It was frightening that after 33 rapid HIV tests, four individuals tested positive. By the end of the event around 100 people had been tested, and screened. After discussion, we determined that high cholesterol and high blood pressure were of the most common conditions in the area and were most typically as a result of obesity as the primary cause. A lot of the volunteers were shocked, but I was ashamed to admit I wasn't. In fact, I could relate. I had been there.
I wish I had my lab results from 2008, but this year I'm happy to report the following:
Total Cholesterol: 151
HDL Cholesterol: 41
TC/HDL Ratio: 3.7
Glucose: 92 non-fasting
Blood Pressure: 122/77
What does all that mean? Here's a brief rundown, skim and skip as needed
♥What is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells. It performs important functions in a healthy body; however, high cholesterol levels indicate an increased risk for heart disease. Desirable total cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dL, HDL often termed good cholesterol is optimal between 40-50mg/DL and TC/HDL Ratio should be less that 5.0.
♥What is Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)? The HbA1c test measures the amount of blood glucose chemically attached to a specific portion of the hemoglobin molecule carried by red blood cells. As a red blood cell travels in the bloodstream it picks up glucose. The higher your blood glucose, the more your red blood cells will accumulate. The HbA1c result reflects your average blood glucose level for the previous 2-3 months. Normal HbA1c levels for people without diabetes is less than 6%.
♥What is Glucose? Glucose is referred to as blood sugar, and is the main source of energy from living organisms. Glucose levels rise after a meal. Levels may remain abnormally elevated in people with diabetes. The desirable fasting adult blood glucose level is less than 100 mg/DL. Two hours after a meal, the normal blood glucose level range for a non-diabetic adult is between 140-199 mg/DL
♥What is Blood Pressure? Blood pressure readings are given in two numbers. The first number is the systolic pressure, which is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is contracting. The second number is the diastolic and is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest. Normal blood pressure is around 120/77 mmHg
♥Ya'll know what BMI is, but just in case a normal BMI is between 18-24.
Are you in charge of your health?
Why or Why not?
Part VI of 12DoGA: Winter throw-away gloves that benefit breast cancer research.
Comment with ONE THING that you've done this week to be accountable for your health, winner will be drawn tomorrow.