Four Factors that Determine Your Level of Health
Dr. Charles Hinshaw
- Insulin Resistance. If your diet is high in sugar and low fiber carbohydrates, it is likely that you have insulin resistance. When the cells in your body become “sensitized” to continued high blood insulin levels caused by high sugar and carbohydrate consumption, you eventually become resistant to the insulin and may develop type 2 diabetes. The ideal blood insulin level is below 3, and certainly below 5.
- Waist Size. This is a good indicator of how much fat you are carrying, especially around the stomach area, and it is the simplest anthropometric measurement of your total body fat. It is also a good indicator of how much fat you have around your internal organs. Waist size is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and heart disease. Ideally, men should have a waist line measuring no more than 36 inches for a man of 76 inches height, and for women, no more than 28 inches for a height to 72 inches.
- Ideal Cholesterol Ratios. We have learned that total cholesterol levels are not as good an indicator of arteriosclerotic heart disease as was formerly thought. However, the HDL/Cholesterol ratio (ideally above 24%) and the Triglyceride/HDL ratio (ideally less than 2%) remain very good indicators of heart and vascular health status.
- Iron Level. Excessive intake of iron can result in oxidative damage to heart muscle fibers, as well as oxidative damage elsewhere throughout the body, including DNA. Iron levels are monitored by measuring ferritin levels which should be in the 40 to 60 ng/ml range. Blood hemoglobin levels in the upper range of normal should lead to measurement of ferritin. Ferritin levels above 80 ng/ml cause oxidative damage to mitochondria, cell membranes, protein and DNA. The best way to lower ferritin (iron) levels is to donate at least one unit of blood per year.
Charles T Hinshaw Jr. MD, Director, BioCenter Laboratory
Measure Your Level of Health!
Give yourself the gift of health. Knowing the results of some basic lab markers can influence your lifestyle choices in many positive ways. The results from these lab tests can help you set personalized health goals for the new year.
- Blood sugar