Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Biometric Screening

With the recent round health care cost on the rise, companies are looking at ways to cut cost. Our health plan provider offered us the option of getting a Biometric Screening and if we accepted it, they would give us $50 off the cost of the plan per month.

Essentially, my only task involved driving over to my health care provider and giving a little blood.

Last week, I got back my results.

The results were

  • Cholesterol level was 166 – goal less than 200
  • HDL (Good Cholesterol) was 58 – goal is greater than 40
  • CALC - LDL (Bad Cholesterol) was 99 – goal is less than 100
  • NON HDL Cholesterol was 108
  • Triglycerides was 47 – goal is less than 150
  • Glucose level was 92 – goal is less than 100

Honestly, I knew only enough to be dangerous while talking about these results so I took to Google and tried to learn what these numbers actually meant. Below, is a little of what I found out.

Cholesterol is a wax substance produced by the liver and found in certain foods. It is needed to make vitamin D and some hormones, builds cell walls, helps with digestion of fat. From what I read, our livers produce 1000 mg of cholesterol per day so we don't really need to ingest any.

The three main factors in high cholesterol are weight, diet, and age. The forth is heredity. Apparently, we can affect at least two of the four areas: weight and diet. Additionally with physical activity heart disease is lowered.

Running must be making a difference in me because I watch my weight and diet. Along with it, I get plenty of exercise. I may even be getting too much. LOL.

HDL a.k.a high-density lipid "Good Cholesterol", the old saying that we are at war with our self has never been truer. Our bodies are always battling the "Good" vs. the "Bad" Cholesterol. HDL works to remove the "bad" cholesterol from our bodies. We want a high HDL number because by removing the LDL lipids, we are reducing our chances of heart disease.

Based on my research, having a HDL number above 40 is good, but having one above 60 is better. I guess I have some work to do here.

CALC LDL Cholesterol, this one appears to be nothing more than a calculation. My LDL number is my total cholesterol number minus my HDL number minus my Triglycerides divided by 5. When I do this calculation based on the numbers above, I get 98.6. I am guessing they rounded it off to the nearest whole number.

Based on their ranges, I think I am good.

NON HDL Cholesterol, I was not familiar with this number so this required some extra digging and here's what I found out.

Non-HDL Cholesterol is my total cholesterol minus my HDL "good cholesterol" level. They say it is good to know this number because it may be a better indicator of heart disease. The non-HDL number tells me all of the bad cholesterol traveling around in my blood. And it appears that not only is there LDL traveling in my blood but VLDL. Both are "bad" lipids. The recommend levels should be no more than 120 for prevention.

I'm no doctor but at 108, again I think I am good.

With the Triglyceride test, they were checking for a type of fat in my blood stream and the fat tissue. Too much of these Triglycerides can lead to hardening and narrowing of my arteries.

As a runner, I don't want any obstructions in my arteries. I want that blood going as fast as possible to my muscles. I think B+ here. I have been slowing down in recent years and I think it is all do to my blood. LOL.

The blood glucose test measured the amount of a type of sugar, called glucose, in my blood. Glucose comes from carbs and is the main form of energy in our bodies. They tested this level to check for prediabetes and diabetes. It can only be done after fasting for at least 8 hours. I had fasted for about 18 hours.

Aside from the fact that I was extremely hungry while preparing for this test, it appears as a runner my body is shoving as many carbs as normal to my muscles. A+ on this one.

Well, after all my research, I am a little wiser and I hope you are too if you are reading this blog.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

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