maandag 8 februari 2016

Inside Tracker Update

Last summer, I did my first Inside Tracker test.  What is Inside Tracker?  Well, in brief, it’s a heath analytics company.  You buy a package, get your blood tested, and they give you the results AND tips on how to improve.  Blood Doesn’t Lie, after all.

And just a note – I paid for all of this myself and am reviewing because it’s something I like and want to share.  Zero compensation here (unless you count the high fives from their social media team)!

I initially bought two Performance level tests.  I did the first in June and then intended to do the second 6 months later.  That put me into December, when life was just crazy.  It’s not that the blood test that long, it’s that I knew my stress levels were high and my diet wasn’t great.  While it might have been interesting to see what that did to my numbers, I wanted to know how my diet and weight loss was affecting my overall health.  So I waited and finally got my test done last Tuesday. Amazingly, my results were available by Friday!  So let’s see how things are going.

My biggest concern has been my cholesterol levels.  And while I’m still not perfect, I’m super happy with the changes I’m seeing.

Cholesterol - Improved!

My total cholesterol has dropped.  I went from being borderline high to being in the “normal” range.  Not yet optimized, but I’m just happy to no longer be borderline high.
LDL, improving but high

LDL is also creeping down.  I’m still in the borderline high range, but it’s better.  It’s clearly a slow improvement, and I need to add more fish to my diet.  I admit, my diet is mostly chicken, just because it’s easy to cook.  Inside Tracker sends you an email with an indication of any issues that you should discuss with your doctor, and this was the only one listed.  Last time, this list was much longer.

HDL - Improving, but low

HDLs are still on the lower end, but better.  Again, fish.  More fish.

Triglycerides - Optimized!

This one makes me happy.  My triglycerides weren’t in a bad range, but the drop pleases me.

Vitamin D - Optimized!

Last time, I was surprised by my Vitamin D levels being so low, especially since it was summer and I was outside, though somewhat coated in sunscreen.  Either way, I got that one figured out!  Good job, self.

Glucose - Improving but low

I’m pleased by the drop in my blood sugar.  It’s not great, but I’d always trended on the high end of normal, so this is a good sign.  It’s probably a combination of diet and really working to eliminate added sugars as well as losing weight.

Sodium - Low

Here’s one that surprised me.  My sodium is low.  I worried I would be on the high end since I do add sea salt to a lot of things, specifically my evening avocado toast.  And occasionally a pinch in my oatmeal in the mornings.  (Try it, it’s good!)  But one of the biggest changes I’ve made in my diet is to eliminate processed foods (I should have bought stock in Lean Cuisine given how much of it I used to eat), and those tend to be higher in sodium.  I didn’t really think about it, since my sodium level was fine, but that’s a big change.  It also explains why I frequently end up with leg cramps while in the pool.  I don’t focus on electrolytes in my drinks while indoor training, especially on workouts lasting under 90 minutes, just because I didn’t think it was something I needed.  I’m going to try adding Osmo or Nuun to my water for my shorter workouts as well.

Calcium - Low

This one I don’t love.  Calcium is so important and mine is on a steady drop.  I’m still in a good range, but it’s falling.  I joke that since my sodium and calcium are low, I just need to be eating more salty cheese.

hsCRP - Improving

hsCRP is an interesting one and important for athletes.  My inflammation levels are in a normal zone but still not optimized, and reducing inflammation is so crucial for proper performance and recovery.  I often notice that even after a rest day, I’m still a bit sore, and I’m wondering if this has to do with increased inflammation.  I’m not scientist, but I’m going to continue to work on my diet (see that fish up there?  Yeah.) and do what I need to to get healthy.

So there you go.  You now know more about my health than you ever wanted.  Do you know more about my health than yours?  Might want to check that out.  While this was the last Inside Tracker test I have available, in a few months, I will be purchasing another to continue to track my results.  And the great thing is that I can also input tests that my doctor ordered.  While these aren’t all areas that my doctor tests at my annual physical, she will run my cholesterol numbers, so when I get those back, I will be able to input them into Inside Tracker and see where I stand.

If you try out Inside Tracker, let me know what you think!

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