Useful Healthcare information
1. Blood pressure readings are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and
usually given as two numbers. For example, 120 over 80 (written as 120/80 mmHg).
- The top number is your systolic pressure, the pressure created when your
heart beats. It is considered high if it is consistently over 140.
- The bottom number is your diastolic pressure, the pressure inside blood
vessels when the heart is at rest. It is considered high if it is consistently
Either or both of these numbers may be too high.
Pre-hypertension is when your systolic blood pressure is between 120 and 139
or your diastolic blood pressure is between 80 and 89 on multiple readings.
If you have pre-hypertension, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure.
2. A simple blood test checks for high cholesterol. Simply knowing your total
cholesterol level is not enough. A complete lipid profile measures your LDL
(low-density lipoprotein [the bad cholesterol]), total cholesterol, HDL (high-density
lipoprotein [the good cholesterol]), and triglycerides-another fatty substance
in the blood. Government guidelines say healthy adults should have this analysis
every 5 years.
3. You know from the name that the test measures something called A1C. You
may wonder what it has to do with your blood sugar control. Hemoglobin is found
inside red blood cells. Its job is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all the
cells of the body. Hemoglobin, like all proteins, links up with sugars such
You know that when you have uncontrolled diabetes you have too much sugar in
your bloodstream. This extra glucose enters your red blood cells and links up
(or glycates) with molecules of hemoglobin. The more excess glucose in your
blood, the more hemoglobin gets glycated. It is possible to measure the percentage
of A1C in the blood. The result is an overview of your average blood glucose
control for the past few months.
4. A fecal occult blood (FOBT) test finds blood in the stool by placing a small
sample of stool on a chemically treated card, pad, or cloth wipe. Then a special
chemical solution is put on top of the sample. If the card, pad, or cloth turns
blue, there is blood in the stool sample.
An FOBT may be done to check for some intestinal conditions or colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer affects the large intestine (colon) and the rectum. Blood
in the stool may be the only symptom of colorectal cancer, but not all blood
in the stool is caused by cancer.
5. The thyroid gland is the biggest gland in the neck. It is situated in the
anterior (front) neck below the skin and muscle layers. The thyroid gland takes
the shape of a butterfly with the two wings being represented by the left and
right thyroid lobes which wrap around the trachea. The sole function of the
thyroid is to make thyroid hormone. This hormone has an effect on nearly all
tissues of the body where it increases cellular activity.