Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Let's get physical! physical! physical!

I get an annual physical because I'm big on preventative maintenance. It's easier to fix something early than to fix it later is my opinion. I know people who hate going to doctors because "they always tell you what's wrong with you." Well, yeah. But then you can fix it. Not knowing doesn't mean it's not wrong! That being said I'm very anti-medicine. Medicines have such long lists of side effects. I don't want them.

Three months ago my physical said I was pre-diabetic, had decreased kidney function, and higher than he was comfortable with cholesterol.

So I started doing things differently in my diet. I went on a low carb diet and dropped soda almost completely. I increased my fiber intake with fiber supplements. Last week I went back to the doctor for a follow up physical to see how things were going with my experiment on myself.

  • The kidney function was good.
  • Blood sugar was good. A1C was good (that'd gone further back than 3 months and is better now.)
  • My BMI & weight are better than they've been in years.

My cholesterol is what I was most worried about due to my diet. You hear if you eat a lot of meat your cholesterol goes up. You know how it works. You eat cholesterol your cholesterol goes up. Just like when you eat the heart of a lion you get braver. (That was sarcasm by the way.) My cholesterol was getting better. Good cholesterol was going up (That's the fish I think) and the bad cholesterol was going down (That's the fiber I think). But it still wasn't where my doctor wanted it. Dietary changes are slow to impact the body. With my family history of heart issues he wanted to know if we had time for me to do it with diet so he had me do a CT Scan to get my Cardiac Calcium Score.

The Cardiac Calcium Score measures the hardened cholesterol plaque in the arteries of the heart. (Arteries carry blood away from the heart.) Higher scores are indicative of blockage and are a good indicator of a possible heart attack because of that stuff. My score came back today and was zero. That's the best the score can get.

That means I don't have hardened arteries. Now, it's possible I've got soft build-up in my arteries that isn't showing up on the CT scan. I'm young yet for it to be hard. I get that. But I have time now to manage my diet and exercise to get my blood syrum cholesterol numbers better without worrying that I'm pumping cholesterol laden glop through rapidly narrowing arteries.

None of these issues were giving me any symptoms at all. I felt fine and any of them, diabetes, kidney damage, and high cholesterol could result in my dying early. By finding them early and managing my diet and exercise while they weren't problems I'm avoiding having to take medicines or worse. I'm anti-medicine because of all the side-effects that go along with them. I'm not anti-eating though so I'm learning how to eat and what to eat. I'm eating healty and MUCH less processed food than before. I'm doing more cooking and trying to be aware of everything I eat. has been a huge help for tracking my diet and helping me stay on top of what I'm eating.

Please! Get a physical. Find out if there's anything you need to know about and give yourself a shot at fixing it yourself. Do it for yourself. Do it for the ones you love. They'd like you to be around longer.

All proceeds from the sale of my book Jump/Drive for the month of November are going to Hurricane Relief. Do me a solid and buy/review my book while you're helping out the victims of super-storm Sandy. If you're on the fence about it go read the reviews already there. So far they're going well!
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