Checks and balance

Move along, nothing to see here!
J_
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Location: Netherlands/Austria

Post by J_ »

We all check regularly our portfolio, and study books and blogs about investing.

As our biggest asset is our body, I check regularly my health too. And study books about food.
As a real ere I check my body myself. I wonder how my fellow members out there do it.

These are my checks and frequencies:
Length (5 ft 10,5” 1.79m) once per year

Weight (174 pound 81 kg) every month (bmi 25,3)

Waist (38,1’‘ 97 cm) twice a year
blood pressure (72/112) twice a year

heartbeat/in rest (61) 4 times a year, and I measure maximum heart rate when I

do very intensive sport
As soon I detect a significant " un-balance" I take action.

How often and what do you check?


DutchGirl
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Post by DutchGirl »

J, since you have recently reached the glorious age of 65, perhaps you should also ask the doc for a check-up of your glucose and cholesterol levels, maybe also PSA. Not sure whether any diseases run in your family, but prevention is often better than having to heal :-) . If all is well, you could probably do a new test say 2-3 years from now.


J_
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Location: Netherlands/Austria

Post by J_ »

As long I feel as good as now, and have all indicators as summed up herebove ok I dont think it is necessary to go further.

The longer I can stay away from the medical industry the better.

Thanks but no thanks for you kind advise.


Meliora
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Post by Meliora »

As I am trying to invest more and more smartly in this oh-so-important asset (read: lose weight, improve overall health and strength, improve diet and so on) I check my weight and waist every month.

My heartbeat in rest is checked whenever I visit my dietitian and whenever I donate blood, which would come down to an average of once a month in total as well. When I donate blood, there's some additional health-checks as well (iron in your blood, checking for diseases, etc.)
I am at this moment trying to improve on my health by losing weight through a combination of strength-training and cardio. I am trying to support this with a healthy diet and of course, reading more about both food and health in general. Still have a long way to go, I guess. Books such as the China Study and The Warrior Diet and others are still on my to-read-list but since I am also trying to read more that should not be a problem ;)
Question: I often hear people talk about an overall check-up at the doctor. However, these are usually people from the U.S. Does anyone know if there is something similar for the Netherlands?

I can - and will - check with my own doctor of course, but I was just curious to see if there were any people (Dutch or non-Dutch) who had such a check-up and what it is like.


Dragline
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Post by Dragline »

I get a check-up once a year, including the vitals you mention and a pretty extensive blood analysis with a lot of tests I can't name off the top of my head. As long as they are normal, I don't worry. But I had a low white blood cell count a few years ago and they did a few more tests on it to verify I was not cancerous.
I try to maintain high HDL (good cholesterol) levels, because there is a correlation between high HDL and longevity. See http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/24/healt ... d=3&src=pm
Also: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/121187-overview
Its also only in recent years that its become known that the ratio of HDL to other lipids is much more important than the total.
I have also found that keeping my Vitamin D levels up makes me feel better both emotionally and physically. Could be psychosomatic on that, though. I read conflicting things.
Reducing inflammation generally is also important for general well-being. But that's mostly just fiddling around with your diet to see what makes you more or less inflamed. Excessive dairy and wheat products are often the culprits for many people.
Fasting occasionally can help with joint stiffness and other forms of inflammation.
The way I look at it, if you are not healthy, the rest of what you might be saving or planning for may be unachievable or, in the worst case, irrelevant. Personal frugality pretty much starts with being as healthy as you can be -- or at least healthy enough to keep your med bills low.


George the original one
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Post by George the original one »

Weight 188 lbs (check daily while I'm reducing to 170-175)

Height 5' 9" (hardly ever check since I'm middle age)

Waist/hip ratio 1.0 (first time I've checked, aiming for 0.95)

blood pressure 130/100 (monthly-ish, was 150/95 last year)

resting pulse 51 (monthly-ish, varies 40-60)

***

Turning 50 very soon, just visited the doctor, so I've had a blood workup:
Cholesterol levels were all pretty excellent (really?!?), with HDL not as high as would be preferable.

Total 156

Triglyceride 100

HDL 51

LDL 92
Blood cell count raised no flags, though I haven't studied what each of the measurements mean.
Hemoglobin A1c (blood sugar)... oops! 5.9% which puts me above the alert threshold of 5.7%. Hmm....
Looks like genetic predisposition is showing up as a prediabetic condition. I’m really surprised at how good the cholesterol levels are. Losing weight, staying active, and continuing with a healthy diet appear to be my best defense against high blood pressure and Type II diabetes.
UPDATE: 3 weeks later, Oct 23 - doctor requested I revisit for a blood pressure check and the result was 121/84, so looks like I get a pass!


Spartan_Warrior
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Post by Spartan_Warrior »

I used to measure my body dimensions more frequently when I was really into bodybuilding. These days I don't regularly check any of this, but only because I'm generally aware of my health level already, and most of my measures are good. So good I can't resist joining the stat-posting game. ;)
Height: 5'10" (Why check this regularly btw?)

Weight: ~150 lbs (I don't even own a scale so I rarely weigh myself; I will say I used to weigh more, and will probably weigh more again, as I was on a "cut"/diet this summer)

Waist: 29.5" (just measured now, don't do it regularly)

Chest: 39" (just measured now, don't do it regularly)

Quads: 24" (just measured now, don't do it regularly)
Blood pressure: ~110/70

Resting Heartbeat: ~50

(I measure both of these occasionally at my parents' house, my dad has one of those blood pressure cuff things; not sure how accurate it is, but my readings seem to be pretty consistent.)
I should probably have some bloodwork done at some point and some more formal check-ups, but I don't really feel like paying for it or putting up with a doctor just to find out what I already know, that I'm healthy. Am I wrong there?


JasonR
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Post by JasonR »

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Last edited by JasonR on Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

DutchGirl
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Post by DutchGirl »

@Meliora: yes, you can ask the huisarts. He/she may check lipid levels, cholesterol, blood pressure, kidney/liver function, blood glucose levels, maybe PSA, depending on age.


J_
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Post by J_ »

Height check is for detecting calcium deficits (osteoporosis)


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jennypenny
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Post by jennypenny »

LOL...the best I ever hear from the doctor regarding my bloodwork is "well, it isn't any worse." I did have my annual last month and my blood pressure is still 90ish over 60ish so that's good. I was mad about my height though. I've always said "almost 6'" but I'm definitely closer to 5' 11" now.
Jason, you started happy hour even earlier than I did tonight :)


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Ego
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Post by Ego »

When at home I check my weight every morning. I find that it is easier to catch little fluctuation and make adjustments than to recalibrate the diet/exercise level after a 5lb change.


Dragline
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Post by Dragline »

@JasonR -- there still is a thing called "TMI", even on this board! On the other hand, my doctor has been trying to talk me into a colonoscopy, but I've been resisting.
Spartan, if you are still under 40 and don't have a family history of something, you can probably get away with it as long as your vitals look the way they do. J_ is right that there is an iatrogenic problem with medicine that is not often acknowledged in Western society. But at least they don't bleed you with leeches anymore.
Jenny, with that bp, you're practically in the stand-up-and-faint category.
George, your lipids are actually pretty awesome. HDL>40 is the usual dividing line. Mine is about 80, but my LDL is higher too. I blame the sardine habit for everything.
I'm 6'3" and 195 since we are all putting it out there. And I have "executive-style" hair, which my wife says is the only basis for my success in life. See http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1992-08-27/


JasonR
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Post by JasonR »

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Last edited by JasonR on Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

J_
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Post by J_ »

My remarks about doing some standard health-checks by myself provokes comment.
The medical world makes it easy, and not too expensive, to widen the checks about one's body.

But slowly the criticism grows about regular checks to all kind of diseases but mostly ovarian and brest-cancers by woman and prostate-cancer by man.
To me it is not a financial question. To me it matters more that obvious things don't need to be measured. I have noticed that by rather intensive studying about food, I know a little bit more than the avg. doctor about the influence of food on your body. And I apply that knowledge rather rigorously on my eating.
If have read pro's and contra's about testing one's prostate on cancer. Most man get it when they come on age. Mostly it is held on check by healthy food. Sometimes a medicine can help to keep it in check. Sometimes man die on it, even when it was detected.
I write that when I detect an unbalance, I take action. That can be changing habits but can also be goiing to my gp when I think it is more apropriate. And I will reflect on testing on prostate cancer.
Thanks Jason and Dutchgirl.


bigato
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Post by bigato »

George Ohsawa, Macrobiotics founder, had some criteria for judging health:
1. Never feel fatigue

2. Have good appetite

3. Sleep soundly

4. Good memory

5. Good humour

6. Quick thinking and action
He goes into detail into each item in his book "Are you sanpaku?". He was quite demanding in his criteria. I learned to control my food from one of his students called Tomio Kikuchi.
I use this criteria to evaluate myself. See how many hours I need to sleep, how much I can fight or work before I need to take some rest, and all the other items. If something is wrong, there's something to be adjusted. You should know enough about yourself to be able to tell what needs to be adjusted in your lifestyle.


aussierogue
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Post by aussierogue »

Ok - you guys motivated me to get checked. A few issues this year. Appendix out, kidney stone, allergies.
Just back from doctors
age 41

height 176 (in shoes 178 - which makes me 5'10 - every inch counts....especially when you are less than 5'10!

weight 75 kg (Wanna be 71-72kgs - to remove minor man boobs before summer)

Hair - grey (whats left of it)
Blood pressure 121/81 (doc says thats pretty good)

Resting heart 67 (is that good?)

Had my first prostate exam (still blushing but all ok)
Going back for bloods tomorrow (cholesterol, diabetes and various other things getting checked)
Thanks for the motivating thread...


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jennypenny
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Post by jennypenny »

You guys are cracking me up with the prostate/colonoscopy thing. I guess it's the difference between men and women. Women spend their adult lives having doctors poke around their nooks and crannies. And after having a baby, the colonoscopy was a cake walk. I thought the worst part was the prep.


DutchGirl
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Post by DutchGirl »

@aussierogue: good that the doc could tell you your age :-)
Blood pressure should be between 100-140 for the higher number (systolic pressure) and 60-90 for the lower number (diastolic pressure). Lower is okay too as long as you don't faint because of it being too low.
Resting heart rate should be between 50 and 90, people who do a lot of sports typically are between say 50 and 65 for their resting rate. I heard Lance Armstrong's resting rate used to be somewhere between 30 and 40, which is due to his physical activity level. However when your heartrate is typically below 50 it can also be a symptom of a heart problem (rhytm no longer generated by the sinus node but by the ventricles) and then you should be checked out (ECG). I'm guessing Lance had some ECGs during his career so it is safe to say that his low heart rate is truly because his heart was so well-trained that sitting still was a walk in the park for it :-)


aussierogue
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Post by aussierogue »

@jennypenny - yes pap smears....my wife reminded me of that! Then my 8 year old daughter started asking questions. Interesting conversation around our dinner table last night
@dutchgirl - yes the doctor cut one of my bones in half and could tell my age from counting the circles. he was spot on.
Thanks for the extra info - seems i am doing ok. Just gave blood and urine this morning so will wait 3 days for feedback. Touch wood...


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