The Importance of Health Screenings
Health screenings can identify and assess the following health risks: diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, overweight and obesity, osteoarthritis, cancer, heart disease, chronic inflammation, depression, etc.
Dr Arien herself is an example of why regular health screenings are so important. A very unpleasant surprise awaited her when she did her annual health screening beginning of March 2015! Her fasting blood sugar was sky high and so were her blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides with low HDL cholesterol – together with increased weight circumference, classic metabolic syndrome! This happened despite a very healthy lifestyle. At the moment she is adapting to an even more disciplined regime: she is exercising (interval and resistance training) twice a day for 10-15 minutes per session instead of an hour doing water aerobics 3-4 times times a week (to restore insulin sensitivity, blood sugar balance and energy levels more effectively); she is doing intermittent fasting (last meal at 6pm, next one only at 10am) – emphasis on high quality protein and vegetables with low GI highly nutritious carbs (e.g. barley, sweet potato, quinoa); she is taking four times the maintenance dosage of blood sugar lowering remedies; increased her antioxidants and trace minerals (esp. chromium); she now keeps a journal, and does longer sessions of deep relaxation and meditation to lower her stress levels. We invite you to join the Healthy Living Space Facebook Group for more information and health tips as Dr Arien’s follows her own advice!
1) Health Risk Assessment
Total cholesterol on its own is not recommended – rather do a complete lipid profile (even finger prick test available of total, LDL-, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides).
Total Cholesterol – is a soft, fat-like, waxy substance found in the bloodstream and in all of your body’s cells.
- Cholesterol is an important part of a healthy body because it is used for producing cell membranes, some hormones and serves other needed bodily functions
- High cholesterol levels in your blood can build up in your arteries (forming plaque) and can eventually increase your chances of developing heart disease
HDL-cholesterol – known as the ‘good’ cholesterol, because higher levels of HDL can protect against heart disease.
- Experts believe HDL carry cholesterol away from the artery walls, removes excess cholesterol from arterial plaque (atherosclerosis), slowing down its buildup
- Higher HDL is desirable
- Lower HDL may increase risk for heart disease
LDL Cholesterol – known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol, is a thick hard deposit, or ‘plaque’ that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible (atherosclerosis). Blocked arteries in the heart can increase your risk for heart attack, and in the brain, stroke.
Triglycerides – a form of fat the body uses to store energy.
- Elevated triglyceride levels in the blood can be due to the following:
- Being overweight/obese
- Physical inactivity
- Cigarette smoking
- Excess alcohol consumption
- A diet very high in carbohydrates.
Glucose – a type of sugar that travels through the bloodstream and is the primary source of energy for your cells.
- Glucose levels that remain high over time may be indicative of diabetes which can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels
- Very low glucose levels is known as hypoglyceamia and should be reviewed by your health care provider
Body Mass Index (BMI) – a relationship between weight and height.
- BMI is associated with body fat and health risk
- A high BMI is associated with an increased risk for many diseases and health conditions incl. cancer, diabetes, or heart disease
Blood Pressure – the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as the heart pumps blood.
- Systolic pressure – when the heart contracts, it sends a surge of blood through the blood vessels and pressure increases
- Diastolic pressure – when the heart relaxes between beats, blood pressure decreases
- High blood pressure indicates that your heart is working too hard, putting a strain on your heart muscle and arteries. The extra workload can lead to serious health problems.
Cardiac Age (CA) – based on the Framingham Heart Study
- CA is calculated by using gender, biological age, total cholesterol, HDL, blood pressure, smoking and a history of diabetes
- Desirable to have a CA that is the same or younger than your biological age
The InBody is an accurate Body Composition Analiser that reflects accurate body composition status, using the four main components that constitute total body weight; namely water, protein, mineral and fat. It clearly indicates why body weight alone is not a good measure of body fat. The InBody is based on the worldwide standard using Direct Segmental Multi-frequency Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (DSM-BIA). This is an excellent way to find out what body composition really is. Teh Inbody also gives a fitness score and so much more. It is a very effective tool to measure progress when doing an exercise, fat loss and healthy eating program. Click here to read more
3) Live Blood Analysis (LBA)
Live blood analysis can identify underlying imbalances that contribute to a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, high stress levels, weight problems, digestive problems, sleeplessness, headaches, allergies and many more. This test helps to take the guesswork out of choosing the correct natural program and combination of supplements for you. By analyzing a single drop of blood, we can uncover many hidden imbalances. Click here to read more
4) Fitness Screening
Fitness screenings are important to determine fitness level and also to measure progress with any exercise and healthy eating regime. Our fitness screenings include body measurements with a measuring tape, flexibility and fitness tests (measuring strength and cardiovascular fitness). Click here to read more