Imagine if you could know whether your new year's resolutions are actually making you healthier or not?
Well, guess what? You can. With LetsGetChecked, you can measure a full suite of biomarkers that are indicative of good or poor health.
In this article, LetsGetChecked talk you through the most common health resolutions that people are making this year, as well as steps you can take to make them happen with at home personal health testing.
A survey published by Inc. which asked 2,000 U.S. adults what their 2019 new year's resolutions are this year has found that women are more likely to make health-focused resolutions whereas men are more likely to focus goals on related to their career or consuming less alcohol.
According to the Inc survey, 50% of reported resolutions are directly related to better health management.
First things first, how can we ensure that we stick to our goals? The brain is wired to choose routine over novelty, even if that routine is unhealthy. Routines are also known as habits. A habit is defined as a settled or regular tendency that is difficult to give up.
We are less likely to fail if we set “outcome-based goals”. Outcome-based goals are those that are observable with measurable end results. Measuring your biomarkers is the only way to fully know your health through with the outcome-based goal approach.
An example of an “outcome-based goal” is dedicating a month to losing two pounds each week. If you have lost 8 pounds at the end of the month, you have achieved what you set out to do.
We at LetsGetChecked want to give you the best chance of smashing your goals up until the 31st of January and thereafter. With our testing options, you can monitor the progress of your goals through tracking biomarkers that are associated with health changes and habits. Let’s make it happen.
- Make It Happen: Diet Or Eat Healthier
- Make It Happen: Exercise More
- Make It Happen: Quit Smoking
- Make It Happen: Drink Less Alcohol
- Make It Happen: Sleep
- Make It Happen: Be Proactive
The study by Inc. reports that:
- While saving money is one of the top 5 health resolutions, it is also the most common new year’s resolution to fail.
- Over 50% of the sample group will “fail” their resolution before the 31st of January.
Often people do not succeed in their health resolutions because how they subjectively feel hasn’t changed, many become disheartened by the fact that they don’t feel better in their physical or emotional health.
We often focus on the marathon as opposed to the sprint and give up when we haven’t lost the weight in two days, we can’t run 10K after three trips to the gym or we are still having cigarette cravings after throwing the last box into the bin, for the millionth time!
2019 could just be your year but it all starts with your wish to succeed and with a helping hand from your own personalized physiological data.
Diet, Eat Healthier Or Lose Weight
Whether you are changing your diet completely to a popular regime that promises to help you lose weight in a short space of time or you are hoping to engage with a long-term diet that promises overall health benefits, it is important to keep an eye on your vitamins and minerals during this period to ensure that you don’t face fatigue, brain fog and feel demotivated by the fact that you are not noticing immediate or positive side effects of the new regime soon after you start.
One of the most common reasons to give up a diet is often connected to the fatigue you may feel in the first few days or weeks of your diet. The most common cause of fatigue and brain fog is linked to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
So, how can you monitor your vitamin levels and smash your goal to eat healthier?
Good For People Who Want To Cut Down On Meat
Vitamin deficiencies range from person to person but often those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet are more prone to experience vitamin B12, vitamin D and folate deficiencies. In saying that, it doesn’t mean you will definitely experience these deficiencies if you decide that you want to cut down on meat or go plant-based, and it doesn't mean that eating meat will guarantee that you are not vitamin deficient either.
You should take the Essential Vitamin Test if you want to rule out what may be causing chronic fatigue or brain fog, you want to have a better understanding of your overall health or you want to follow a plant-based diet.
So what is the Essential Vitamin Test measuring?
...plays a part in brain function, producing genetic material and generating red blood cells around the body.
...plays a part in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, strengthening the immune system, maintaining your heart and lung health and regulating your mood.
...controls the production of DNA and RNA which sets out the building blocks for overall physical growth and development especially during adolescence and pregnancy.
Good For People Who Want To Understand Why They May Be Tired All The Time
Feeling tired all the time is the most common symptom of iron deficiency. Iron deficiency may cause a condition known as anemia in which the body cannot generate a sufficient number of red blood cells. Iron also plays a role in regulating your metabolism. Your metabolic rate plays a huge role in healthy weight loss and maintenance.
If you are lacking iron in your diet, you are likely to feel tired, weak, cold and experience pale skin, dizziness, and brittle nails and skin. Iron rich foods include meat, eggs, leafy greens like spinach and fortified cereals.
So what is the Iron Test measuring?
...transports oxygen around the body and regulates your metabolism.
...stores iron in the body.
...transports iron around the body.
Total Iron-Binding Capacity (TIBC)
...transports iron around the body
Good For People Who Want To Know How To Eat For Good Health
“Fat” is often a fear-mongered term in most dieting arenas, excluding the Keto or Paleo regime, but there are a lot of benefits associated with fatty acids. Fatty acids prevent irregular heartbeats, reduce the risk of clotting in the blood, protect the walls of blood vessels and help to improve your naturally occurring cholesterol levels in the blood.
The Omega 3 & 6 Test will help differentiate between the “good” and “bad” fatty acids, offering you more insight into whether your omega 3 and 6 levels are optimal.
So what is the Omega 3 & 6 Test measuring?
...protects your heart against heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and rheumatoid arthritis.
…may cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.
Losing weight is a health resolution that seems to always be on the to-do list but how do we ensure that we take it from something that’s forever on the back-burner to something we can proactively manage in a healthy and happy way?
Time after time, we associate losing weight with hunger, monotony, routine and sometimes as a practice that can actually get in the way of having fun with friends and family. Losing weight shouldn’t be something we dread because it could change our life, making us feel more energetic, confident and adding years to our life.
Good For People Who Want To Understand How Inflammation Impacts Your Weight
Inflammation is your body’s defense against threatening stimuli including damaged cells, irritants or pathogens. Inflammation plays an important role in understanding your weight loss. Additionally, it has been shown that weight loss has been proven to reduce inflammation in the body.
Do you feel bloated all the time? It could be related to your diet, the volume of food you eat, a sedentary lifestyle or a food allergy.
CRP, also known as C-reactive Protein is a protein that circulates in your blood. CRP is produced and expelled by the liver. CRP is often released by fat cells in response to stimuli that are seen as an invader.
So what is the CRP Test measuring?
- C-reactive Protein (CRP)
...measures the volume of CRP in your blood which is indicative of how much inflammation you are experiencing in the body and other conditions including obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, autoimmune disorders and coronary heart disease.
Good For People Who Want To Understand How Stress Can Hinder Weight Loss
How your body perceives day-to-day stressors can have a significant impact on your overall health. Whether you feel emotionally stressed out or physically run down.
Your cortisol levels may be the biomarker that is hindering your weight loss, in fact dieting is a proven player in increasing cortisol and pushing your body into starvation mode which causes your metabolism and decreases fat burn.
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone or your “fight or flight” hormone. It is released by the adrenal glands in response to a stressor stimuli. This release impacts your body’s regulation of glucose or blood sugar, slowing down weight-loss or causing weight gain, particularly in the abdomen.
Excess cortisol may also cause fatigue, depression, irritability, poor sleep and a weakened immune system which also act as a barrier to you reaching your nutrition and exercise goals for weight loss.
So what is the Cortisol Test measuring?
...is responsible for regulating the metabolism, regulating blood sugar and blood pressure, acting as an inflammatory, cognition and the ensuring the healthy development of a fetus in the womb.
The prospect of going back to the gym may be enough to cause an overwhelming feeling of dread after the holiday period. We know. It’s hard. Often we put too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to going back to our generally healthy lifestyles.
Whether you’re a gym junkie or you’re someone who doesn’t know your lunges from your burpees, it is often hard to visualize yourself getting (back) into shape, the whole thing can totally psych you out before you even go into the gym.
The biggest issue for people who want to get into shape is that they don’t see results immediately so they stop thinking of exercise as a day-to-day thing to do to feel good and instead focus on aesthetic results, this often translates to a lack of consistency which then in turn leads to giving up on getting into shape.
The BMI has been proven to be an outdated method of determining your health status as it generalizes without taking muscle mass or body proportions into account.
Have you ever thought of what could happen if you stopped weighing yourself? Yes that may seem shocking but studies report that regular self-weighing does not lead to enhanced weight loss.
Instead, why not think about what exercise is doing for your overall health, and instead of focusing on body weight, you focus on biomarkers?
Exercise has been shown to significantly improve cholesterol levels, especially low-density-lipoproteins (LDL) also known as “bad cholesterol”. LDL cholesterol is the most common cause of heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death worldwide.
Good For People Who Want To Ditch The Traditional Way Of Measuring Health
The cholesterol test can indicate your risk of developing heart disease by looking at the volume of lipids in your blood, that are broken up into good and bad cholesterol. Early detection will not only provide better clinical outcomes if you are at a higher risk.
The cholesterol test will also act as a new way of measuring how your new exercise regime is positively affecting your overall health with the goal of lowering bad cholesterol and increasing the volume of “good cholesterol” in your blood, also known as HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein)
So what is the Cholesterol Test measuring?
HDL (High Density Lipoprotein)
...transports excess bad cholesterol to the liver to be expelled by the body.
LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein)
...transports excess bad cholesterol to high risk areas of the body such as the heart.
...are what causes “excess fat” on the body in the form of stored fat cells from calorie, alcohol and sugar intake into the body.
...is the waxy lipid produced in the liver and in every cell of the body.
HDL % Of Total Cholesterol
...is the ratio of good to bad cholesterol in the body.
A Match Made In Heaven When Taken With The Cholesterol Test
Another useful test for monitoring how exercise affects your biomarkers is the Diabetes Test which we will describe under the "Quit Smoking" resolution. You should note that exercise postively affects blood sugar by reducing blood pressure and acting as a detox system for built up toxins, however, if you over-exercise or don't take suitable precautions as a diabetic, you can become hypoglycemic. The Diabetes Test taken in conjunction with the Cholesterol Test is a match made in heaven for understanding the volume of lipids and glucose in your blood before and after you begin your regime.
It is reported that quitting smoking is as difficult as giving up illicit drugs including heroin and cocaine.
It might surprise you to know that smoking can disrupt a biomarker that is traditionally associated with nutrition. That biomarker is hemoglobin A1c, also known as glucose or blood sugar. With LetsGetChecked, you can monitor the positive impact that not smoking is having on your health.
Diabetes Test Good For People Who Want To Give Up Smoking
One study reports that smoking cigarettes causes your blood sugar to rise 15, 30 and 60 minutes after smoking a cigarette, it may also cause your blood sugar to become unregulated in the long run.
Additionally, smoking may make your body resistant to insulin. Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to type 2 diabetes, kidney function failure, heart disease and stroke.
During the primary withdrawal stage of giving up smoking, blood sugar will plummet. This is most noticeable during the first three days of giving up smoking when people crave sugar or unhealthy snacks.
By monitoring your blood sugar in the months following your decision to quit you will be able to see the immediate effects that giving up smoking is having on your overall health.
So what is the Diabetes Test measuring?
% of Hemoglobin A1c
...refers to the red blood cells that have glucose attached to them. The % of hemoglobin A1c tells you how what your blood sugar has been for the previous 3 months to taking the test.
Drink Less Alcohol
Cutting down on alcohol consumption has numerous emotional and physical health benefits. According to the studies out there, the majority of us don’t know how much alcohol we should be drinking each week, we also don’t know how to categorize binge drinking or the difference between a blackout and amnesia.
The above isn’t a scolding for consuming alcohol but a salutation for deciding to take your health into your own hands by controlling your alcohol consumption.
Often, we simply base our health decisions on how we feel. With the liver test, you can get a full work-up on the biomarkers associated with alcohol consumption which will offer you full insight into how alcohol affects your health on the hole.
Good For People Who Want To Fully Understand What Alcohol Does To Their Body
The Liver Test can offer you the perfect level of motivation to stay on track with your goal to drink less alcohol. Liver function, regardless of how much alcohol you drink on a weekly basis is affected as the liver is responsible for the processing and expulsion of excess alcohol from the body.
So what is the Liver Test measuring?
...is the total volume of albumin and globulin, this ratio is illustrative of whether you have experienced liver scarring or cirrhosis.
…are a group of proteins that play an important role in blood clotting and fighting infection. Low globulin is illustrative of liver disease.
Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)
...is an enzyme that is responsible for breaking down proteins in the body. ALP is illustrative of how your liver and gallbladder are performing, as well as measuring bone strength.
Alanine Transferase (ALT)
...is an enzyme that is produced in response to damage to the liver or heart.
...is an enzyme that is responsible for nourishing tissues and transports essential components such as hormones, vitamins and drugs throughout the blood.
...is an enzyme that is responsible for the normal breakdown of red blood cells.
...is an enzyme found in liver cells that is indicative of alcohol abuse, liver and bile duct disease
Sleep may not have featured as a top resolution with the Inc. survey but it should be at the top of your list.
A failure to get enough sleep on a regular basis is connected to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular disease and depression.
It might also surprise you to hear that sleep disruption on a regular basis may cause or be caused by hormonal imbalances.
Let's have a look at some of the ways that sleep and hormones are interlinked:
Estrogen is a sleep-maintaining hormone.
Progesterone regulates the nervous system and promotes good sleep. Progesterone decreases naturally during the menopause which is why you may experience poor quality sleep.
Low testosterone is linked to insomnia, sleep apnea and snoring, while poor sleep quality and duration is linked to lowering your natural testosterone levels.
Thyroid hormonal imbalances are linked to insomnia and sleep disturbances.
Good For Women Who Want A Full Picture Of Their Hormonal Health
So what is the Female Hormone Test measuring?
...regulates sexual function and the development of secondary sexual characteristics. Oestradiol decreases in the body as we age.
...is responsible for thr production of breast milk.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
...is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
...is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle.
Good For Women Who Want To Understand Their Symptoms Associated With Poor Sleep
So what is the Progesterone Test measuring?
...stimulates the thickening of the uterine lining during the menstrual cycle. Progesterone decreases in the body as we age.
Good For Men Who Want To Understand Sleep Apnea, Snoring Or Insomnia
So what is the Male Hormone Advanced Test measuring?
...is a well-known male hormone that regulates the development of secondary sex characteristics, fertility, muscle mass and red cell production.
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG)
...is a protein that transports testosterone throughout the body.
...is responsible for testosterone secretion and the devlopment of mature sperm.
...regulates erectile function, libido and the development of mature sperm.
Free Androgen Index (FAI)
...is a ratio used to determine the development of mature sperm.
There has never been a better time to be proactive when it comes to your health. We cannot wait to be given the magic key to good health and longevity, which is why we need to make our well-being a priority.
It might have never crossed your mind to undertake cancer screening, but why not make 2019 the year that you know for sure? We have the necessary screening tools to get the process started.
The recommended screening age for colorectal cancer is 45 years of age. This is subject to change if you meet some of the criteria of "risk factors".
So, what is the Colorectal Cancer Test measuring?
- Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)
...detects hidden blood in the stool that is secreted by the lower intestines. This test is indicative of whether you require a colonscopy.
The recommended screening age for cervical cancer is 21 to 65 years of age. HPV screening is reccommended every 5 years
So what is the HPV Test measuring?
...detects the strains of HPV, which contains over 100 viral strains that are a cause of warts and tumours.
The recommended screening age for PSA testing is 50 years of age. This is subject to change if you meet some of the criteria of "risk factors".
So what is the PSA Test measuring?
Total Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
... is the total volume of PSA in the blood.
Calculated Prostate Specific Antigen Ratio
...is the volume of total PSA levels versus free PSA.
Free Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
...is the amount of PSA in the blood that is not bound to other proteins, the level of free PSA is divided by total PSA to obtain the calculated prostate specific antigen ratio.
Don't wait any longer. You can make it past the 31st of January if you put your mind to it. Starting a new health journey can be daunting but with the right tool box, you can make it happen.
Track, monitor and improve with LetsGetChecked. It's Good To Know.
Written by Hannah Kingston, Approved by Medical Director Dominic Rowley