Saturday, February 27, 2010

$#|+!!! I'm Not As Healthy As I Thought I Am

As you know, I'm thinking about getting term life insurance. As part of the application process, I'm supposed to undergo a blood test to see what rates I qualify. When I requested my quotes, I assumed I'm super healthy and used the "preferred rates" vs. "standard rates."

After all, although my weight has been steadily increasing the past couple of years (I'm currently 5'1" and 116 lbs), my BMI is 21.9, which is normal. My blood pressure is also generally good -- my systolic (upper number) is usually under 100 and my diastolic (lower number) is usually under 70.

I knew my waist-to-hip ratio wasn't all that great (I'm an avocado shape at 0.77 ratio), I didn't think this was a big deal since, again, my BMI is normal.

Although I do occasionally binge eat, I generally try to eat healthy. I've started incorporating more veggies into my diet and I take a multi-vitamin everyday.

The worst part of my lifestyle, though, is that I'm generally sedentary and rarely work out. I hate physical exertion, but since I'm not overweight, I figured my sedentary lifestyle is still okay.

Anyhow, I decided to go to my local pharmacy to get a cholesterol/blood glucose test for $25 before I submit my term life insurance application. I could've asked my primary physician to do the test under my health insurance plan, but I kind'a wanted to know what my numbers are before any insurance company does. I'm glad I did, since my numbers weren't as good as I thought they would be.

The Good
My total cholesterol was 188. The benchmark is to keep it under 200 mg/dl, so I'm good here.
My triglycerides was 101. The benchmark is less than 150 mg/dl.

The Ugly

My HDL ("Good Cholesterol") was 39. For women, the benchmark is greater than 50 mg/dl. 39 is considered "poor."

My LDL ("Bad Cholesterol") was 129. I'm supposed to keep it less than 100 mg/dl.

I guess I'm going to have to start exercising regularly and with greater intensity. Before, my only motivation to exercise was to lose weight. Now, it seems like my health is at risk. Oy gevalt!


me in millions said...

I didn't know you could get cholesterol/blood glucose tests at the drugstore. I really should check that out. I hate to sweat, so I try to keep to low key exercise like yoga. Maybe some sort of less intense exercise like that would be good for you?

Anonymous said...

Eh, all they really care about with the blood test for insurance is that you are HIV negative.

If they cared about the other stuff that you just had tested, they'd give you the same instructions your doctor does: fast for 12 hours prior to having blood drawn - nothing but water. Because recent consumption can affect all those numbers. In other words, you might indeed be as healthy as you thought.

Revanche said...

Would you consider retaking the cholesterol test after fasting to double check those numbers?

paranoidasteroid said...

We took a bunch of those health tests at work, but one of the nurses told me that the numbers didn't really count because we hadn't fasted before taking the test. If you ate anything before going to the drugstore, those numbers might have been falsely elevated. Definitely go see your doctor!

Money Beagle said...

It's been over a month, where ya been?