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New Year, New Health Goals

Five tests you should have done before starting your health resolutions

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By Cheshire Que

According to researchers, 60 percent make New Year’s resolutions but only eight percent successfully achieve them. A survey conducted on 2,000 respondents showed that the top three resolutions for 2019 are health related, 71 percent on diet, second on exercise, and third on losing weight.

Since most of us aspire to be healthier this year, it’s important to quantitatively measure the improvement in our health status as a result of our efforts this year.

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To get started, remember that the foundation is always knowing your numbers. That’s why Wheatgrass CAN International shares these top five screening tests every adult should undergo in order to safeguard their health:

    • Body Mass Index – An indicator of total body fat composition and calculated solely based on weight and height. BMI gives an overview of a person’s nutritional status ranging from severely underweight to morbidly obese. BMI range between 18.5 and 24.9 is generally considered normal, however, above 24.9 is correlated with health risks for dyslipidemia, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, heart disease, stroke, and hypertension.
    • Blood Pressure – It gives an overview of cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association recommends having adults aged 20 years and older check their blood pressure at least once every two years if within the normal range (below 120/80 mmHg). On the other hand, if the blood pressure is found to be higher than normal, it is highly recommended to undergo strict monitoring by a physician as it increases the risk for heart diseases, stroke, and kidney damage if not immediately controlled and properly managed through lifestyle modification or medication.
    • Lipid Profile – A complete cholesterol test or lipid profile should give doctors a preview of your triglycerides, total blood cholesterol, high- density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol. Test result showing high values for triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol with subsequently low values for HDL (good) cholesterol means trouble for the heart and increases a person’s risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and stroke. The American Heart Association strongly recommends adults aged 20 years or older to have their cholesterol checked every four to six years.
    • Blood Glucose Test – It may include a fasting blood glucose/sugar, oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), or a hemoglobin a1c test (Hba1c). The first two tests are used to assess current blood sugar level, whereas the latter is used to give health care professionals an impression of the patient’s blood sugar control within the last three months. FBS above 100 mg/dL increases the risk for insulin resistance, prediabetes, and eventually Diabetes Mellitus. Deemed as the silent killer, late diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus leads to myriad complications such as blindness, impotence, heart disease, stroke, amputation, kidney failure, and even the increased risk of developing cancer. A strong reason the American Diabetes Association recommends regular screening for diabetes for persons aged 45 years and older to be repeated at least every three years.
    • Blood Chemistry Screening – It measures electrolytes and chemicals that open a window to the function of kidneys, liver, heart, adrenal, and other vital organs in the body.
    • Sodium and Chloride: maintain fluid balance in the body. Abnormal result may be indicative of heart or kidney dysfunction and dehydration
    • Potassium: regulates muscle contraction and relaxation. Abnormal result may be indicative of kidney failure and dehydration.
    • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and Creatinine: tests for kidney function. Abnormal values indicate kidney dysfunction.
    • Aminotransferase (ALT), Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP), Aspartate Transaminase (AST), bilirubin, albumin and total protein: tests for liver function. Slightly elevated results may be indicative of liver disease.

During this time of the year when resetting and re-focusing health goals are a priority, Wheatgrass CAN International shares the results of a study conducted by registered nutritionist-dietitians last October to December 2018 about the effects of wheatgrass on the blood chemistry results of 12 individuals with insulin resistance, prediabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Results of the clinical trial showed 83 percent of the respondents exhibited a decrease in triglycerides while 50 percent had decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol in three months. Meanwhile, 58 percent showed remarkable improvements in HDL (good) cholesterol level, potentially lowering their risk for cardiovascular diseases. 50 percent showed decreased total cholesterol. Moreover, taking Easy Pha-max wheatgrass lemon twice a day for three months also showed notable improvements in the respondents’ blood sugar level with 67 percent found to have decreased fasting blood glucose. Of the respondents, 58 percent were able to effectively improve or maintain normal Hba1c. These results show that taking wheatgrass with proper diet and exercise will go a long way for someone’s health and disease management, especially in cases of diabetes and dyslipidemia.

Start your year by having a thorough assessment to establish baseline data of numbers by which you can compare your health condition now and before the year ends or at the beginning of 2020.

cheshireque@gmail.com/Instagram:@cheshirequerdn

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