For a proper understanding of your health, you must know how you stand compared to the normal, healthy condition. Here you can learn about normal blood pressure levels, blood cholesterol levels (and other lipids), and blood sugar levels (also known as blood sugar numbers).
For a proper understanding of your health, you must know how you stand compared to the normal, healthy condition. For instance, when the nurse tells you your blood pressure is "150 over 95", what does this mean; is it normal? Or if your blood sugar number is 145 mg/dL, are you diabetic? Here are some paragraphs about the most common normal numbers you should know - blood pressure, blood cholesterol (and other lipids), blood sugar, and CRP levels - taken from our Disease Digest pages.
In this article:
Two numbers are used to describe blood pressure:
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). A blood pressure reading is written like this: 120/80 mm Hg, where 120 is the systolic, and 80 is the diastolic blood pressure.
Blood pressures are now categorized as normal, prehypertension, hypertension stage 1, or hypertension stage 2. The categories are defined in this table:
|Category||Systolic BP (mm Hg)||Diastolic BP (mm Hg)|
|Normal||below 120||and||below 80|
|Prehypertension||120 - 139||or||80 - 89|
|Hypertension Stage 1||140 -159||or||90 - 99|
|Hypertension Stage 2||160 and above||or||100 and above|
There are three other types of hypertension that are of particular interest:
Lipoproteins are protein spheres that transport cholesterol, triglyceride, or other lipid molecules through the bloodstream. Most of the information about the effects of cholesterol and triglyceride actually concerns lipoproteins.
The cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins are commonly referred to as cholesterol. They comprise the low density lipoproteins (LDL), often called the "bad" cholesterol, and the high-density lipoproteins (HDL), referred to as the "good" cholesterol. The triglyceride-carrying lipoproteins are intermediate in density, and together with very-low density proteins, carry triglycerides.
Dividing the total cholesterol by the HDL cholesterol levels gives a Total/HDL ratio:
Fasting Plasma Glucose: The American Diabetes Association has recommended the sole use of the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test. It is a simple blood test taken after eight hours of fasting. In general, results indicate the following:
Glucose Tolerance Test: A glucose tolerance test uses the following procedure:First, an FPG test is done. A blood test is then taken two hours later after drinking a special glucose solution:
Glycosylated Hemoglobin: This test examines blood levels of glycosylated (or glycated) hemoglobin, also known as hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Measuring glycated hemoglobin is useful for determining the severity of diabetes. The test is not affected by food intake so it can be taken at any time. In general, measurements suggest the following:
CRP (C-Reactive Protein):
Less than 1 mg/L: low risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)
1 to 3 mg/L: normal level, average risk of CAD
Over 3 mg/L: high risk of CHD
Normal range is 5 to 15 micromol/L
Exercise may cause low blood sugar numbers or high blood sugar numbers due to an increase in metabolic demands and due to the activity of insulin. Here are some ways to help prevent low or high blood sugars in diabetics who exercise: