The difference between 1 and 2 can be the difference between illness and health.
You have made the brave decision to embark on the challenging journey to better health and wellness by pursing healthy eating habits and a more active lifestyle. The scale gives you an indication of your dropping numbers at every weigh-in, but do you know the other numbers that may have a very real and significant affect on your life, health, wellness and your family’s future?
Weigh-Less now encourages you to pay further attention to your health by knowing your numbers and your associated risk of developing conditions that may be avoided with lifestyle changes or medical attention. Test your blood sugar (glucose) levels, cholesterol levels and blood pressure to equip yourself with the knowledge required for you to get your health under control and win your battle, not only with the scale, but also with disease and ill health. These numbers will show a trend rather than an absolute number as you move from dangerous, to nearly normal, to normal numbers.
Health screening helps you find out if you have a particular disease or condition even if you do not exhibit any symptoms or signs of disease. Early detection, followed by treatment and good control of the condition, can result in better outcomes and lowers the risk of serious complications. It is therefore important to get yourself screened even if you feel perfectly healthy.
It is recommended that you screen blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure levels as early as the age of 20. This is particularly relevant for people at risk of lifestyle diseases and who are overweight/ obese, have a family history of disease, have had previous abnormal cholesterol/ blood sugar/ blood pressure readings and those who are smokers. People within the normal range should be re-screened every five years, until the age of 35. Thereafter screening should be done more routinely (every 1 to 2 years).
Thankfully, there is a system of “numbers” we can use to tell us how we
compare to a healthy state. By knowing your numbers, you can take action in making positive lifestyle changes that will help prevent and manage chronic health conditions that contribute to heart disease, diabetes and strokes. These numbers are outlined on the back of this intervention card.
Although you do inherit some risk of these diseases from your family, the lifestyle we lead particularly increases our risk of chronic diseases – specifically linked to smoking,
Any doctor, clinic sister or nurse can perform these tests – in fact, they should be part of most routine check-ups. Most pharmacies and health care centres can measure these numbers at a minimal charge.
Anyone whose numbers are above the recommended range should monitor change every six months. Even if your numbers are in the recommended range, it is still important to monitor them every six months as an increased age is a very high risk factor. Based on your individual risk profiles, your medical practitioner will advise you on how often and when these tests should take place.
It is also important to monitor change when following a healthy eating plan as even modest weight loss (5-10%) can have a significant effect on your numbers. Seeing these health improvements can become a crucial reminder as to why it is essential to follow a long-term healthy lifestyle. Your individual circumstances and your numbers will dictate how often you should get tested, so speak to your doctor, pharmacist or clinic sister.