Big Three Target Numbers, Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar Level

Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar Level

Taken From The Arizona Republic 6-22-2012
Here are the Big 3 of health numbers, ~what they mean and’ what you can do to reach the targets by Gnld Distributors

In recent years, readings between 120/80 and 139189 have been labeled as prehypertension, “a warning that’ the numbers are creeping up and you need to make lifestyle modifications,” says physician Gregory Johns, a Phoenix internal-medicine specialist.  Readings of 140/90 or higher are considered high ‘blood pressure, or hypertension. (Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury.)  WHY THEY MATTER: “High blood pressure is probably the biggest risk factor for stroke, the consequence) people are most concerned about,”

Johns says.  Sustained high blood pressure makes the heart work harder and can damage heart muscle, and it’s a risk factor for congestive heart failure, heart attack and peripheral artery disease.  It also can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, greatly increasing risk for kidney failure in people who also have diabetes, he says.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: “High blood pressure is extremely common,” Johns says, “but most people have no symptoms. You have to see your doctor on a regular basis to get a blood-pressure check or you won’t know until it may be too late.”  Control blood pressure. by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising for 30 to 45 minutes four or five days a week –::enough to elevate your heart rate – and fOllowing a healthful diet, he says.

In a trial, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan -low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetable .and low-fat dairy products -lowered hypertensive patients’ top blood-pressure number an average of 11.4 points and bottom number an average of 5.5 points. Lower salt intake improved results, too.  If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medicine.


Less than 200. HDL (GOOD) CHOLESTEROL: 40 or higher for men, 50 or higher for women; 60 or higher is considered protective against heart disease.
LDL (BAD) CHOLESTEROL: Less than 100.
TRIGLYCERIDES: Less than 150.
RATIO: Less than 5 when the total cholesterol number is divided by the HDL number.

Hilts of DiabeVita Medical Center sets more ambitious goals: HDL of at least 45 for men and 55 for women, and triglycerides of less than 100. ‘ Anti she’d add another target number: fewer than 1,000 LDL particles, as measured in a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) lipid profile: Most cardiologists order the NMR ‘routinely, she says.  With other doctors, you might have to request ‘it. ” ,

WHY THEY MATTER: Cholesterol and triglycerides are measured in milligrams per deciliter as part of a lipid profile to assess heart health. The NMR lipid profile measures the size and  number of  particles.  “For preventing or reversing heart disease,” Hilts says, “the most important (goal) numbers are high HDL, low triqlycerides and low LDL particles.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Researchers “are’ looking very hard for medicines to raise HDL cholesterol, but they haven’t got one yet,” she says. “The best way to raise it now is through exercise:” – , Take good-for-the-heart fish-oil supplements and keep blood sugar at safe levels. High blood sugar sticks to cholesterol molecules, she says, and makes them more likely to clog blood-vessel walls ..  A low-carbohydrate diet “will raise HDL’a little and lower triglycerides a lot,

” Hilts says. “And it shifts the population of your LDL from the small; dense kind,
bad, to the light, fluffy kind, which is good.”

If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medicine. .

HEMOGLOBIN A1C: 5.6 or lower three-month average ..
For people with diabetes’ (and not pregnant), numbers indicating good control of the disease are 80 to120
fasting, below 150.non- , fasting and below 6.5 hemoglobin A1c.

WHY THEY MATTER: Hitting the first target number, measured in milligrams per’ deciliter in a fasting glucose test, means you’re avoiding the high blood sugar that damages blood vessels.  “The higher the numbers, the higher the risk o~complications that can happen with diabetes,” ‘says Dr. Chandana Mishra of Endocrinology
Associates in Phoenix.  Microvascular complications involve the kidneys, eyes and peripheral nervous system; the latter sometimes leading to amputations, she says.  Microvascular’complications cause heart attacks and stroke.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: “Diet and exercise give tremendous benefits,” Mishra says.  A Diabetes Prevention Program study found that 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity and a 5 to 10 percent weight loss reduced . the risk of developing.type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.  If more help is needed; your doctor may prescribe pills or
insulin to control glucose levels. People with diabetes can avoid complications and hospitalizations by closely monitoring their blood sugar, Mishra says.

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