Sunday, February 12, 2012

Two Tests You Need!

I have a birthday next month, and it is hard to believe that I am getting older.  I finally decided to get my health and weight under control.  So, in October 2011, I joined Weight Watchers.  I am determined to change the way I eat and not to return to my bad eating habits.  I went for a complete check-up and found that not only my blood pressure is high but my cholesterol was elevated.  This made my getting my diet under control even more important.  In just four months, I have lowered my cholesterol from 237 to 204.  The doctor told me I no longer have to go on cholesterol medication.  I still am controlling my blood pressure with medication, but once again determined to get that under control with diet and exercise.  I have lost 25 pounds and looking forward to losing 25 more. 

Below are some interesting tips from an article in the February 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping magazines about checking your cholesterol and blood pressure. 

Cholesterol Check
How often should you have your cholesterol check?  At least every five years, more frequently if you're over 50 (45 for men)  or have any heart risk factors like a family history of the disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, being overweight, or smoking.

Make it reliable - While you can pop over to a local health fair, you may get only your total reading, not the breakdown of bad LDL and good HDL cholesterol levels or triglycerides.  Also, even if you're given a breakdown, your LDL and triglyceride readings may not be reliable if you haven't fasted for the previous nine to 12 hours.

Blood Pressure Measurement
How often should you take your blood press?  At least every two years, and more frequently if your pressure goes above 120/80.

Make it more reliable and take it yourself.  Then discuss your readings with your doctor before starting any treatment.  In a recent Spanish study of 8,295 patients, more than one-third of those thought to have hard-to-treat high blood pressure were actually suffering from "white-coat hypertension," pressure-raising anxiety triggered by the medical surroundings. 


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