Personal Health Indicators

I mentioned about the various indicators I received during a health check in 2017.  I pushed for a checkup as my biggest fear was that I would follow in my parents footsteps and become diabetic as I move into my 50s.

Had a whole load of blood work done, was called into the docs in Oct to discuss at which point he took my blood pressure (several times).   Summary from that meeting was…

  • I was not diabetic at all, my HbA1c normal
  • My “Cholesterol” was on borderline high
  • I had high blood pressure
  • I had a Vit D deficiency

An ECG showed that my heart was healthy, so we agreed to see what I could do in terms of lifestyle changes in 6 months.

In the following 6 months I began to read up on the issues and soon realised that “high cholesterol” is not quite what it seems, so I parked any concern around this until my next blood test.

I started cutting back on my carbs at the turn of the year, and went full low carb (<30g/day) [+beer] at the end of Feb.

Went back to see the GP to request more blood work, including a more comprehensive one for cholesterol (he suggested a fasting lipid one).  Blood pressure was still high, so he wanted me to wear a monitor for 24 hours – which showed…. high blood pressure.

Got my blood work back and my LDL had gone up, but so had my HDL and my trigs were very low, so inputting these figures into cholesterolcode.com showed that I was in the lowest risk profiles – so nothing to worry about.  I was called in to talk to the nurse about my high cholesterol, and to her credit, once I explained I was low carb, she said that the figures make sense and keep at it, but suggested we check again in a few months.

I could now start focusing on my blood pressure – there are so many opinions on what to do, less salt, more salt, cut out coffee, cut out wine, lose weight etc.

Well, I was losing weight at a steady rate (apart from when I went on hols and turned into a carb junkie again) and I was being mindful of my salt intake, so I decided to start my n=1 experiment by switching to decaf and cutting out the red wine.

The chart below shows my progress.

BP

I have now re-introduced both coffee and wine and am seeing a slight rise in BP, so still keeping tabs on this, but my thinking now is that it was more likely weight related.

Speaking of which… this chart shows my progress on that side of things.

weight

See if you can guess when I went on holiday 🙂

So, in 6 months, all my health indicators are heading in the right direction.

  • HbA1c has fallen,
  • Cholesterol no longer an issue when looking at all available indicators
  • Blood pressure normalised
  • Vit D boosted by supplements (and the rather fab summer we have had in the UK this year)
  • Significant weight loss, feeling great.

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