June 9, 2017

The first step in making any change is a current assessment.  Fortunately, assessing the state of our current health is something most of us can do.  There are seven signposts of wellness that Dr. Joseph Mercola in his book "Effortless Healing" lists as well recognized proven markers of health:

  1. Fasting Insulin Level  (#1 $34)   
    (Blood Sample) Normal Range - Below 5, Ideal - Below 3
  2. Vitamin D Level  VITAMIN D 25-OH Hydroxy (#1 $59.00) (#3 $59.50) (Blood Sample) Optimal Level is around 50 to 70 ng/ml
  3. Waist-to-hip ratio  (Chart 1)
    Divide - Waste size / Hip size to determine Ratio. ie. 24"(W) / 36"(H) - .67   (Waist - Measure just above belly button)  (Hip - Measure Buttocks)

  4. Body Fat Percentage  (Chart 2)
    Measure percentage with Fat Caliper or Digital Fat Scale

  5. Cholesterol and HDL ratios  (#2 $22.50)   (#3 Lipid Panel $39.95)

    HDL/Total Cholesterol Ratio should be above 24% and ideally 30 or higher.  Levels below 10% are very dangerous and usually infdicate an imminent cardiovascular event, like stroke or a heart attack.  Some clinicians divide total chlesterol by the HDL.  In this case the numbers should be lower.  Greater than 4 Poor, greater than 10 having serious problems.  This number rarely drops below 2.

    Triglyceride/HDL Ratio should be below 2.. The higher this number the worse your insulin control may be,
  6. Blood Pressure
    Ideally at or below 120/80
  7. Uric Acid Level
    The ideal range for uric acid lies between 3 and 5.5 mg per dl.

The following providers accept direct orders for insulin, vitamin D, uric acid and cholesterol level testing;
Chart 1
 Chart 2

I checked the Health One website for a local lab to perform the following tests and establish my baseline and found the costs as follows:

INSULIN                               $49.95
VITAMIN D, 25 HYDROXY   $59.50
LIPID PANEL (Cholesterol)  $39.95
URIC ACID                           $19.95

                        Total           $169.35

Update June 16, 2017

Because I didn't have a couple of hundred dollars lying around to pay for these tests, nor a health insurance plan that would, I adopted the alternative (80/20) methodology Dr Mercola used to provide an estimate.  I measured #3 above and looked at Body Fat pictures #4 and recent Blood Pressure readings #6 to make a general assessment of my starting condition.  According to him, what I saw would probably be accurate within +/- 20% of what the test results would show.  

My baseline appears to be close to the border between Acceptable and High Risk, a far distance from Ideal.  

After 2 weeks on a Ketonic diet (Breakfast Ideas Post), I'm starting to observe progress, real physical changes.  And.. the diet is fantastic.  Better Health through eating.  Who'd expect it would be so easy?