Health Watch — Health Management: Critical Numbers

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about how you can work with your doctor to better manage your own health. You trust your doctor to run tests to evaluate your health, but how much do you know about the results?

Dr. Shawna Nesbitt, a blood pressure expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says there are several critical numbers patients need to be aware of so they can manage their health. You need to have this information to know if you’re moving in the right direction and so you can make a plan for improvement. You should know your blood sugar, your blood pressure, your LDL and HDL cholesterol levels and your body mass index. When your doctor does tests to determine these numbers, ask about the results and what they mean. Talk to your doctor about what you can do to improve any of these numbers if you’re in a danger zone. Knowing where you stand in these important areas empowers you to take a role in your own care.

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May 2008

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