Health Matters

LIFESTYLE

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By Cara Ayala, RD, CPT, CHC

When was the last time you had a health screening? Was it more than a year ago? Yearly visits to the doctor with blood draws are extremely important to your health. Not only can it help identify major illnesses, but also can be a good way to evaluate your overall health status. Here are some important numbers to know on a yearly basis:

  • Lipid panel: this includes triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. These numbers are related to heart health and can be negatively affected by a diet high in saturated fat.  

  • Glucose: fasting glucose is an important indicator of how well your body processes sugar. With diabetes on the rise it is important to monitor your blood glucose levels yearly. By monitoring fasting glucose levels you can reverse signs of prediabetes by establishing healthy eating habits.

  • Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can lead to numerous medical issues, but can be improved by physical activity, healthy eating, healthy sleep habits and stress management. It is a good idea to check your blood pressure regularly.

  • Cancer screens: yearly cancer check-ups, such as prostate, mammograms and cervical screenings are crucial because there are better outcomes when detected early.


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