Know Your Stats
Did you collect baseball cards as a kid? If so, you probably memorized your favorite players’ statistics, like home runs and RBIs. You may not be a pro ballplayer, but there are some important personal stats you should keep track of.
High blood pressure raises your risk for heart disease and stroke. The only way to know if you have it is to measure your blood pressure.
To determine whether your blood pressure is normal, your doctor examines your systolic and diastolic pressures, which the gauge measures in millimeters of mercury (abbreviated as mmHg).
The normal range is:
- Systolic: less than 120 mmHg
- Diastolic: less than 80 mmHg
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medication and lifestyle changes:
- Diet. Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt, fat and cholesterol.
- Be active. Take a brisk, 10-minute walk three times a day, five days a week.
- Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.
There are several types of blood-sugar tests to determine if you have prediabetes, Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Normal blood glucose readings are between 70 and 140 milligrams per deciliter.
If you're diagnosed with diabetes, a diabetes educator can help you:
- Develop a healthy eating plan.
- Learn to test your blood sugar and record the results.
- Recognize the signs of high or low blood sugar and what to do about it.
- Monitor your feet, skin and eyes.
- Manage stress and deal with diabetes care.
Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. BMI does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that BMI is moderately correlated with more direct measures of body fat.
A high BMI can indicate high body fat. BMI can be used as a screening tool, but it does not diagnose body fat or health. Even if two people have the same BMI, their level of body fat may differ. Athletes may have a high BMI because they are more muscular, not because they are fat. The standard BMI weight ranges for adults are:
BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal or Healthy Weight
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese
Another thing to watch out for is colorectal cancer. Colorectal is the third most commonly occurring cancer in men and the second leading cancer killer in the U.S. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so they can be removed before they become cancer. If you are 50 years or older, get screened now. Ask your doctor which test is right for you and how often to get tested.
Lower Back Pain
Something else you may need to take care of is lower back pain. If you suffer from lower back pain, your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription medication. Physical therapy is another treatment option. A physical therapist can use treatments such as heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and muscle-release techniques to reduce pain.
Make sure you know your stats. Your doctor can perform appropriate assessments to evaluate your health status and risks. Need to find a Primary Care Physician (PCP)?