Monday, July 9, 2012

Know Your Numbers

A part from emergency numbers like 911,there are few numbers that you should know to track your health. When a diabetes patient or heart patient visits a physician, physician recommends a blood test.As a patient it is your right to know what is wrong with your reports and how does a normal report look like. Elderly people(50years and up) are highly recommended for complete health check once in a year. Through this blog I would like to share my knowledge on few numbers that are essential to track your health.Normal reports look as following.

Complete blood count: This test is done to learn about your blood components.Difference in this blood components indicates your illness.For example if your hemoglobin % is less than normal, it indicates you are anemic. If your WBC count is high, it indicates you have an infection in your body.
  • White Blood cell Count(WBC): They are measured in thousands(K) per cubic milliliter(uL) - 3.3-8.7 K/uL.
  • Red Blood cell Count (RBC): They are measured in Millions(M) per cubic milliliter(uL)- 3.93-5.69 M/uL
  • Hemoglobin(HGB): This is measured in Gram(g) per deciliter(dL)-12.6-16.1 g/dL
  • Hematocrit (HCT): This is measured as percentage of red blood cells to your total blood volume-38-47.7%
  • Platelets: These are measured in thousands per cubic milliliter-147-347 K/uL
  • Neutrophil Count: Neutrophil count indicates number of infection fighting cells in your blood.They range should be between 2500-6000.If you have1000 or fewer Neutrophils, it indicates your are at risk of infection.
Cholesterol test: This test is done to know if there is any excess cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol is important component of cell. If it is excess in blood, there is serious threat of clogging your arteries with blood cholesterol. So, it is very much important to maintain your cholesterol levels with in normal range.

  • Total serum cholesterol : Less than  200mg/dL-Desired, 200-239 mg/dL- Border line high, 240mg/dL High blood cholesterol.
  • High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)(Happy cholesterol)-More than  60mg/dL- very good, Less than 50mg/dL for women and less than 40mg/dL in men- Risk of heart disease.
  • Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) (Lousy cholesterol) less than 100 mg/dL- Optimal, 100-129 mg/dL Near or Above Optimal, 130-159 mg/dL Borderline High, 160-189 mg/dL- High, More than190mg/dL- Very High.
  • Triglyceride level: Less than150mg/dL-Normal, 150-199 mg/dL-Borderline high, 200-499mg/dL- High, More than500mg/dL-Very High.
Ideal Blood Glucose levels for Type 2 Diabetes patients: This test is essential for type 2 diabetic patients to maintain their normal blood sugar levels. But for a elder people(50 years and above) frequent check up of blood glucose levels is important. Because early detection of pre-diabetes condition helps to avoid the onset of type 2 diabetes.

  • HbA1C-7%
  • Pre prandial plasma glucose(Before meals)- 70-130 mg/dL
  • Post prandial Plasma glucose (After meals)-<180mg/dL.
  • Fasting blood glucose levels for Prediabetes-110-120mg/dL.
  • Fasting insulin -5-10 IU/dL.
 C-reactive protein-<1mg/L. Chronic inflammatory disorders like arthritis are identified by amount highly sensitive C-reactive protein.
Thyroid Stimulating hormone(TSH): This hormone levels helps us to know if you have any thyroid problems. Normal range is around 1-2 mIU/L.
Free T3(Thyroxine)-3-4.2 pg/dL
Free T4(Triidothyronine)-1-1.5 ng/dL.
Below normal levels of T4 and high levels of TSH indicates low functioning of thyroid. Similarly Low levels of TSH and high levels of T3 indicates over active thyroid.
Total Serum Protein:
This test is done to know if your liver and kidney are functioning properly. Any abnormal results indicate you are prone to some illness.They range from Malnutrition low serum albumin to multiple myeloma (blood cancer)with high globulin levels.Normal range is as follows.
Total protein : 6.4-8.3g/dL or 64-83 g/L
Albumin : 3.5-5.0 g/dL or 35-50g/L
Alfa-1 globulin :0.1-0.3g/dL or 1-3g/L
Alfa-2 globulin: 0.6-1.0g/dL or 6-10g/L
Beta globulin: 0.7-1.1g/dL or 7-11g/L
These are some of the major test performed regularly to track your overall health. Know your numbers and make small lifestyle changes to keep your numbers in normal range.


1. Patient Education, understanding your complete blood count(2008), Clinical center, National Institute of Health(NIH).
2.What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean, (Dec 2,2011).American Heart Association.