BLOOD-LIPID TEST MARKERS & BIO MARKERS
It is that time for many people, either at the end of one year or at the start of another …. time for your annual physical examination. These exams are fairly important, as the results can help point out various conditions or levels of substances in the body that need to be addressed and hopefully adjusted to the so-called “healthy” numbers. As we get older, the results can often seem to become more alarming, with the effects of various unhealthy lifestyle habits causing the numbers to start moving outside the recommended levels. Also, the typical (AKA “Conventional”) doctor’s recommendations seem to be the same for many of us.
For interest sake, and maybe for some additional clarity, I thought it would be illuminating to share my own results from my last four exams (not done annually), done here in Bangkok at the world-famous Bumrungrad Hospital. I will also share the doctors’ comments/recommendations, and conclude with various tests that I have added to the exam, which are usually not included in various exam packages.
From 2004: (Following typical SAD – Standard American Diet)
“Rather high cholesterol, but the pattern is still considered normal because the level of good cholesterol (HDL) is also high. However, you should exercise regularly along with low fat diet.”
From 2008: (While following a vegetarian diet)
“Cholesterol is normal. Regular aerobic exercise (20-30 minutes/time, 2-3 times/week.)”
From 2014: (After transitioning to a primal-aligned diet for 5+ years)
“Cholesterol is slightly high. LDL-C (bad cholesterol) slightly high. Exercise regularly with low fat diet.”
From 2018: (After maintaining a primal-aligned diet)
“Cholesterol high. LDL-C (bad cholesterol) high. LDL-C can be decreased by low cholesterol diet, exercise regularly, weight control. Repeat blood test for lipid profile within 3-6 months. If the result is still abnormal, consult doctor for proper management.”
( The term “proper management” very likely means a statin drug prescription, which I would not recommend to anybody! )
Regarding overall blood lipid numbers/results, there is one ratio that is not examined by the majority of conventional doctors, but which is now recognized by many medical experts to be the most important indicator for risk of heart attack and/or stroke. This ratio is Trigylcerides divided by HDL. Preferably, you would like to have no higher than a 2:1 ratio of trigylcerides to HDL cholesterol – meaning if your triglycerides are 100 mg/dl, your HDL cholesterol should be 50 mg/dl or higher. Generally, doctors recommend to keep your triglyceride number under 150 mg/dl.
For my own personal risk of heart attack or stroke, I now give utmost attention to this ratio. Here is now my numbers have changed during the past 14 years with the four physical exams:
2004 Triglycerides = 87 / HDL-C = 57; RATIO = 1.53
2008 Triglycerides = 72 / HDL-C = 55; RATIO = 1.31
2014 Triglycerides = 46 / HDL-C = 60; RATIO = .77
2018 Triglycerides = 47.7 / HDL-C = 79.7; RATIO = .60
As you can see, my Triglycerides have gone down significantly from a high of 87, down to almost my lowest level, now at 47.7; additionally, my HDL-C level has steadily increased from 57 in 2004 to the highest current level of 79.7; AND – most importantly, the indicator for risk of heart attack or stroke has decreased from 1.53 all the way to .60 in my most recent exam. This is very encouraging, giving me hope with this direct evidence of the positive effects of living an overall primal lifestyle!
Finally, other tests which I have added to my exam in recent years (2014 & 2018) includeC-Reactive Protein (CRP) and HbA1C. C-Reactive Protein is a blood test marker for overall inflammation in the body. If the number is lower than 1.0 mg/L, your risk of heart disease is low. If level of CRP is between 1.0-3.0 mg/L, this indicates a moderated risk of heart CVD (heart disease); if CRP number is more than 3.0 mg/L, there is a high risk of heart disease issues.
In my past two exams, my CRP was .35 in 2014, and then decreased all the way down to .03 – indicating very low inflammation in the body.
HbA1C refers to a hemoglobin test, which indicates your average blood sugar level over the past three months, approximately. More info from webmd website:
“For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c level is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% mean you have a higher chance of getting diabetes. Levels of 6.5% or higher mean you have diabetes.”
In my past two exams, my HbA1C was 5.7 in 2014 – a bit higher than desired; and then decreased to 5.3 – down to the normal range, in my 2018 test.
I am again very happy and encouraged with these two results also, as I attribute these positive reductions to eating a primal-aligned diet, while also exercising regularly (but not over-exercising!), and focusing on good sleep, less stress, exposure to sunshine, using my brain more, enjoying some play, while trying my best to avoid trauma and poisonous “stuff” – all basic tenets of The Primal Blueprint “The Rules of Living 10,000 Years Ago!”
Anyway, I hope the long post this week offers you some new ideas and information for your next physical examination; regarding what you can and should look for in your results.
GROK ON !