- Could it have been prevented?
- Why didn’t my doctor warn me?
- Is there a family history I did not know about?
These are all questions I ponder with my clients and work through on a day-to-day basis. When a client comes in for an initial appointment, I ask for a copy of their blood work.
At least 50% of the time I find something that was not addressed by another medical professional – it might be benign or it might be something that needs to be addressed immediately.
This blog is about being your own health advocate.
When you have your yearly check-up, get a copy of your lab results. Look to see where your levels are and compare them to the previous year.
Chances are your doctor is busy and may check to see if they are in normal range, but are those values normal for you? How did your values shift within the range? And are some values just slightly out of range that need attention?
Here are some common findings:
Glycosylated hemoglobin A1C – this number is normally 4-5.6 and is a measure of what your average blood glucose is over the previous 3 months. It your value is between 5.7-6.3 it means you are in pre-diabetes range and if your value is over 6.4 you are technically diabetic.
If I were to count how many times a patients has come to me with an A1C over 7 thinking they were pre-diabetic I would be a rich woman. Ask your physician to add this value to your yearly blood work and monitor it since diabetes is on the rise, and is so preventable with diet and exercise.
Research shows early intervention is the key with respect to diabetes.
Vitamin D – fortunately more physicians are checking vitamin D values, but may not be addressing supplementation. Although normal values are between 30-100, optimal values for prevention of cancer, diabetes and heart disease are over 50. You may have normal values but if your level is between 30-50 consider taking a supplement.
Optimizing your vitamin D takes time and even taking a daily supplement may take months to improve the value so ensure you are taking enough and have your values re-tested within 3-6 months.
Triglycerides – most individuals know that checking their cholesterol is important but have no knowledge of what their triglycerides are.
Triglycerides are the storage form of fat and associated with carbohydrate sensitivity in the body. An ideal value is less than 100 ng/dl. If your triglycerides are over this level, consider lowering your level of carbohydrate in the diet, especially starchy and processed carbohydrates.
Having a high triglyceride level is associated with impending diabetes, heart disease, and stroke so this is one not to take lightly.
The above findings are very fixable and preventable with diet, exercise, and a supplement for the vitamin D – and they can help prevent many disease processes so take action now.
Familiarize yourself with normal levels veresus those getting close to a dangerous value – and save yourself from becoming a statistic.