Thursday, May 23, 2024

We Want To Know: What Do Those Lab Numbers Mean?

Question: Why is it important to know my lab numbers and how can I use them to benefit my overall health?

Dr. Elaine Chin: Information is power. If you’re looking for a picture of your true total health and what the future may hold, it’s all in your numbers.

What numbers? Your health numbers revealed by simple tests – many of which you can do at home on a regular basis. Once you know your numbers, you can put that knowledge to work to achieve optimal health.

Dr. Elaine Chin

For the first time in history, there are more citizens over age 65 than under the age of 15. The “grey tsunami” has arrived. Early in my practising career (30 years ago), I realized that many patients in long-term care facilities didn’t know how to take better care of themselves throughout their adult lives. This lack of knowledge resulted in disability and disease in later life.

Today, however, we have the knowledge and diagnostic tools to be proactive. Many healthcare challenges are manageable if we adopt proven low-cost, healthy lifestyle behaviours to reduce our chances of getting sick.

How to monitor your numbers

From traditional devices, such as scales, glucose metres and blood pressure cuffs available in pharmacies, to smart and wearable devices to track and analyze your heart rate, breathing and lifestyle behaviours in real time, there are plenty of ways to track and monitor your own numbers.

Using at-home kits – I have a comprehensive product called Health in a Box, however there are many kits available online – you can test your blood, saliva and urine to measure blood sugar levels, hormones, nutrient levels and even discover genetic predispositions.

Using your precise medical data, you can then create a personalized health plan with help from healthcare professionals.

You can live healthier and longer. It’s up to Doctor You.

3 steps to stay healthy

  1. Monitor your metrics
    • physical measures
    • lab diagnostics
  2. Track your numbers
    • your metrics
    • lifestyle: activity, diet and sleep
  3. Take action
    • act on improving numbers
    • get a health coach

The Case for Home Health Tests

In Canada, many people are sun deprived. This can result in vitamin D deficiency, which is associated with depression, bone pain and muscle weakness. Testing is not usually included in routine medical screening, so it’s easy to miss. Measuring your level of vitamin D through at-home testing helps determine whether you need a supplement, especially during the winter months.

POP QUIZ 139/89 – high or low blood pressure?

READ: Understanding Blood Pressure By the Numbers: What Do Yours Mean?


Dr. Elaine Chin is a practising medical doctor, health coach and bestselling author of Lifelines: Unlock the Secrets of Your Telomeres for a Longer, Healthier Life. She’s passionate about helping people live longer, more rewarding, and disease- and disability-free lives.Visit her blog:

Originally published in Issue 01 of YouAreUNLTD Magazine.

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