Do you remember back in the day when we brought our report cards home? A's and B's were fine, but a C, well, that indicated you didn't try very hard; you did just enough to get by. Your parents always had to sign off on the report card so there was accountability.
The difference between a B and a C is merely one point, but that point was important.
Numbers matter, especially when it comes to your health. Yearly screenings, early detection of health conditions save lives. It is all about diagnosing and treating in the early stages of the disease.
We care about you and have come up with a few early screenings we feel are essential for health and longevity. Let's face it; we want to be around when our precious grandchildren get married and start their lives one day. We need to be accountable to one another!
Growing up, a favorite summertime adventure was to float down the Susquehanna River on an innertube. I could never join friends in this fun adventure because my skin would sunburn and blister after a day in the sun.
Today we have sunscreen available, and thankfully I can prevent burning to my skin. Yet years of sun exposure have played their toll on my skin, and I have had several precancerous lesions removed over the years.
Shockingly, one in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by 70. If detected early, it is curable. This is the crucial part, early detection; like most cancers, you need to be on top of your screening.
It is recommended you visit your dermatologist once a year for a skin exam.
Early detection, good outcomes. Schedule your checkup today!
Protect your skin,
Let's face it no one enjoys going to the doctor & getting on that silly thing we all hate: the scale! I am often surprised to hear friends postpone appointments because they don't like their "body image". Is that an excuse or what? If any one of our family members or our grandchildren postponed their doctor's appointments due to what they weigh, we would drag them into their appointments because we care and love them so very much.
The same is true with ourselves: we need to care enough, not only about ourselves, but about those we love to go in yearly to get our annual check ups. There's the dentist, eye doctor, primary care doctor, mammograms & colonoscopy (if you are 45 or older) to name a few. It can be overwhelming but these are important appointments.
If you have not received a blood lipid panel, talk to your primary care physician about getting one done. What is a lipid panel you ask?
A lipid panel is a blood test that measures the amount of certain fat molecules called lipids in your blood. In most cases, the panel includes four different cholesterol measurements and a measurement of your triglycerides.
Having too many lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) in your blood can lead to buildup in your blood vessels and arteries, which can cause damage and increase your risk of cardiovascular problems. Because of this, healthcare providers use lipid panels for both children and adults to evaluate the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart disease, heart attack (myocardial infarction) and stroke.
Other common names for a lipid panel include:
Coronary risk panel.
Fasting lipid panel or non-fasting lipid panel.
What are the five tests in a lipid panel?
A lipid panel measures five different types of lipids from a blood sample, including:
Total cholesterol: This is your overall cholesterol level — the combination of LDL-C, VLDL-C and HDL-C.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol: This is the type of cholesterol that’s known as “bad cholesterol.” It can collect in your blood vessels and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol: This is a type of cholesterol that’s usually present in very low amounts when the blood sample is a fasting samples since it’s mostly comes from food you’ve recently eaten. An increase in this type of cholesterol in a fasting sample may be a sign of abnormal lipid metabolism.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol: This is the type of cholesterol that’s known as “good cholesterol.” It helps decrease the buildup of LDL in your blood vessels.
Triglycerides: This is a type of fat from the food we eat. Excess amounts of triglycerides in your blood are associated with cardiovascular disease and pancreatic inflammation.
While these are the main measurements in a standard lipid panel, some versions of the test may include other measurements. Chat with your provider.
Most of the healthcare providers have portals that keep all your tests online and that is important; however, it is a good thing to print out your test results, know your numbers and compare them yearly. No one will be more diligent about your health than you!
Here's to a New You!!
34 million Americans, have Diabetes. That is 1 in every 10 people and 90 to 95% is type 2. Living a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and regular exercise can help prevent Type 2 Diabetes. However, your risk increases as you get older and it is important to know your numbers to see if you might be at risk.
Some risk factors are:
High blood pressure
Past or present smoking habit
History of gestational diabetes (Diabetes while pregnant)
Family history of heart disease, diabetes or both
45 years and older or 19 - 44 if you are overweight or obese
Some of the symptoms include :
Extreme thirst, hunger or fatigue
Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
Tingling, pain or numbness in your hands or feet
Several tests may be necessary to get an accurate diagnoses. Talk with your doctor to see which tests might be right for you.
Some test include:
BMI (Body Mass Index) to determine if you are overweight
A1C - indicates your average blood sugar level for the past 2-3
months and gives you a percentage reading.
6.5 or higher - Diabetes
5.7-6.4 Pre diabetes
5.6 Healthy A1C
Fasting Plasma Glucose - requires fasting and measures blood sugar
that is floating free in the blood at the time of the test.
Oral Glucose Tolerance - measures how your body processes sugar
Diabetes can lead to even more negative health issues so you need to be aware and take action to prevent it if you can.
Let's get healthy together!
January is a great time to not only make, but also follow through on our 2022 health goals. And, in order to help me obtain the best information to meet those goals I’ve found and started using this Body Analyzer Digital Scale from Vanity Planet! We all know that health is about more than your weight and this scale helps you measure and track your full body composition, which ultimately helps you maintain a healthier lifestyle. Having a starting point and knowing your numbers using an at-home system is a great way to help you reach and maintain whatever goal you’ve set for yourself. I love that this scale not only measures my weight but also my body fat percentage, body water percentage, bone mass, and muscle mass.
I definitely don’t obsess over my numbers, because that would take all the fun out of me trying to stay committed to my health goals. However, I do a weekly assessment so I can adjust my workouts or diet accordingly and be more diligent in reaching my goals and staying on track.
As we age, I personally think it’s imperative to be knowledgeable in regards to our numbers so we can be at our very best for not only ourselves, but for our spouse, children and precious grandchildren for years to come! So, for 2022 as I think about being “intentional” that includes knowing my numbers, getting my yearly mammogram, annual physical which includes blood work and skin screening. Regular preventive care is one of the best ways to identify and treat health issues before they can worsen and help keep you progressing towards your health goals!
It’s never too late to work towards being the healthiest you and if we can just be 1% better than we were yesterday, then those small changes eventually add up to big results! Remember this, take the mindset that progress is progress no matter how small. This positive approach will increase how you adhere to your goals and success!
When is the last time you had your vitamin D level checked? Did you know that according to this study from the NIH, having optimal levels of Vitamin D can support your immune system to fight off viruses like Covid 19 and help with the severity of the illness?
According to Life Extension, an online organization founded by doctors and nutritionists specializing in living a long and healthy life, optimal vitamin D levels should be between 50 and 80 ng/mL. My wellness doc has advised me to be around 55 ng/mL. What does this mean? Well, most labs will only indicate a deficiency under 20 ng/mL, but one point above deficient does not equal optimal. If you want to get a test without a prescription, you can order one through Life Extension here.
In addition, maintaining healthy Vitamin D has many other benefits according to this from Dr. Josh Axe.
Contributes to bone health
Helps manage blood sugar and prevent or control diabetes
May help protect against cancer
Helps fight heart disease
Helps hormone regulation
Helps with concentration, learning and memory
Supports skin health
Make sure to get tested and work with your health provider to determine how much to supplement with if you’re not getting enough in your diet from fish, eggs, and dairy. The older you are, the more likely you will need to supplement at higher amounts until your number is better. Then you can lower the dosage to maintain. Most experts suggest 5,000 IUs per day for postmenopausal women, but get tested to be sure. I tend to run very low, so my doctor has me on a weekly prescription of 50,000 IUs once per week.
—make sure to take vitamin D3 (the type our bodies naturally make)
—take it with a meal or some fat which makes it more absorbable
—combining it with vitamin K has benefits for bone and cardiovascular health
Vitamin D is available everywhere, even in your backyard. Go get yourself some of the sunshine vitamin to stay healthy.
Follow us on social media:
Facebook @ Gigi Connection
Instagram @ gigiconnection_
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
*As always consult your physician before taking any supplements or beginning an exercise routine.