3 Things You Should Have In Your Home To Check Your Health
In the midst of the current times, there are a lot of changes emerging in medicine. Doctors limiting patient visits, freezing elective surgeries, and minimizing family members that can visit during hospital procedures.
Let's take a look at how we can learn to take responsibility for our health and not run to the doctor's office for a sniffle or minor cut.
First of all, there are a few things that should be in your medicine cabinet. Most people have rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, gauze, antiseptic, bandages and a first aid kit. Check out www.redcross.org for first aid kits.
Secondly, there are 3 diagnostic tools that can give you a lot of information about your health and can be easily purchased at your local neighborhood store (Walmart, Target, RiteAid, Walgreens, CVS)
Checking your body’s temperature with a thermometer is an easy way to check for a fever. A fever is a rise in the body’s temperature and is usually caused by an infection. Although fevers can be uncomfortable, they are a sign that the body is fighting off infection.
What is the range for normal body temperature?
The normal body temperature is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) or 37 degrees Celsius (°C). The normal temperature will vary 1° to 2°F (½° to 1°C). A normal body temperature is usually lower in the morning and increases during the day. It usually peaks at its highest in the late afternoon or evening.
When is an elevated body temperature considered a fever?
An elevated body temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or above is considered a fever. This is often treated at home with a fever reducer medication, fluids or bath to make it more bearable or let it run its course. If the body temperature reaches 102°F (38.8°C) or higher and home treatment doesn’t lower it, call your healthcare provider right away.
Check out this chart for temperature readings as they vary by age and body location
What type of thermometer should I use to take a temperature?
A digital thermometer is the most accurate, quickest and commonly one used to take take a temperature. They are readily available at most drug stores and neighborhood stores and inexpensive, on the average of $10-15 for a digital thermometer. Always read and follow package instructions while using any thermometer for accurate readings. An oral temperature is the most commonly done.
#2 Blood Pressure Monitor
Your blood blood pressure is used to determine the state of your heart health.
How can I get an accurate blood pressure reading at home?
There are a few simple steps to help get an accurate blood pressure reading. There are a few factors that can temporarily rise your blood pressure. Blood pressure usually rises as a result of:
White coat syndrome
After a meal
A full bladder
Avoid these factors if at all possible when taking your blood pressure. Measure your blood pressure at about the same time each day or 2 times a day upon rising or at bedtime and the middle of the day.
What do the numbers mean?
Your blood pressure is expressed in two numbers. The top number (systolic) and the bottom number (diastolic), like a fraction, e.g. 120/80 mm Hg.
The top number, is the systolic pressure, which refers to the amount of pressure that is in your arteries during the contraction of your heart muscle.
The bottom number, is the diastolic pressure, which refers to your blood pressure when your heart muscle is between beats.
What is a normal blood pressure?
A normal blood pressure is considered to be less than 120/80 mm Hg, according to the American Heart Association. Numbers above these ranges can indicate health concerns that should be taken seriously. See CHART.
How do I measure my blood pressure?
The most commonly recommended blood pressure monitor by the American Heart Association is an automatic bicep cuff style. The cuff is applied to the left arm, above the bend of the elbow and supported on a flat surface with the arm at heart level, while your legs are uncrossed and feet flat on the floor.
A glucometer, also known as a glucose meter or blood glucose monitoring device, is a home measurement system that can be uses to test the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood.
What is the importance of measuring blood glucose?
Blood glucose is a sugar that the bloodstream carries to all the cells in the body to supply energy. It's important to keep blood sugar levels within a safe range to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Blood glucose monitoring measures the amount of sugar that the blood is transporting during at that moment.
Why is it important to measure blood glucose levels?
In 2018, 34.2 million Americans, or 10.5% of the population, had diabetes.
Of the 34.2 million adults with diabetes, 26.8 million were diagnosed, and 7.3 million were undiagnosed.
1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
$327 billion: Total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2017
How and when to test blood glucose numbers.
You prick your finger with a small, sharp needle called a lancet, put a drop of blood on a test strip, and then place the strip into a meter that displays your blood sugar levels. A glucometer typically costs $25- $40, which can be purchased on line or at your local neighborhood pharmacy (CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens) or neighborhood store Target, Wal-mart.
1. Test your blood sugar first thing in the morning after fasting for at least 12 hours. Drink a little bit of water just after rising, but don’t eat anything or exercise before the test. This is your fasting blood sugar level.
2. Test your blood sugar again just before lunch.
3. Eat your typical lunch. Do not eat anything for the next three hours. Test your blood sugar one hour after lunch.
4. Test your blood sugar two hours after lunch.
5. Test your blood sugar three hours after lunch.
Healthy targets for blood sugar according to the scientific literature are as follows:
Fasting blood glucose (mg/dL) <86
OGGT / post-meal (mg/dL after 1 hour) <140
OGGT / post-meal (mg/dL after 2 hours) <120
OGGT / post-meal (mg/dL after 3 hours) Back to baseline
Hemoglobin A1c (%) <5.3
Hemoglobin A1c doesn’t apply here because you can’t test it using a glucometer. We’re concerned with the fasting blood sugar readings, and more importantly, the 1- and 2-hour post-meal readings.
If your readings are out of range it's a good indication you are sugar burner and not a fat burner and continuous elevated levels puts you at risk for diabetes.
Diabetes can lead to serious complications which can impact other systems in your body. In the worst cases, diabetes can kill you! Diabetes can create a cascade of negative health consequences that include stroke, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack and heart failure.
3 home diagnostic tools that tell a lot about your health.
It may be a good idea to check your general health at least once a week, as a preventative measure. If you find elevated blood pressure and blood glucose numbers adjusting your diet with an anti-inflammatory eating plan, sleep, stress management and proper exercise can be very helpful.