Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blood Test & Injections

Every year almost all of us in the office would have our annual comprehensive blood test. My partner started this program since ages ago. It is a good idea because, generally speaking, not many people would actually make it a point to get their blood tested every year. From these blood tests, one is able to detect possible health problems such as high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer warnings and so on.

Typically we would have it within the first quarter of the year. This year, our sports club decided to schedule the blood test a little earlier than usual, i.e. in January. So last Tuesday, those folks from Pathlab came over first thing in the morning to draw blood samples from all of us. Since there were about 70 of us, it took a week to compile all the results.

This morning, at around 10am, our results arrived. As in the previous years, there's always the excitement and commotion when they're comparing results—who's healthier and who's not. And to some people—who's not so healthy and who's even worse.

Ignoring the fancy folder, a typical result comprises 3 pages, listing the types of test conducted, and the summary of the respective readings. Whenever something is not quite right, for example a reading is too high or too low, the lab technicians would highlight it with a yellow marker. So it has come to a common practice to ask each other how many highlighted items are found within those 3 pages. Obviously the more yellow highlights one has, the more he is in trouble with his health.

After going through several years of these annual blood tests, I have come to the conclusion that perhaps half of the staff in the office would fail their Lipid Profile tests. It has been said that women are generally protected by the female hormones, but from what I've seen so far, that is not quite true. Quite a fair number of the girls in the office—some of them still very young—have high cholesterol. And of course the guys too.

I myself didn't get a perfect score this year. I had 2 yellow highlights in my result. And yes, both are found under the heading of Lipid Profile Test. My total cholesterol count is at 5.4 MMOL/L, which is a little over the 5.2 MMOL/L range; and the LDL cholesterol count is at 3.0 MMOL/L, which is over the 2.6 MMOL/L range. However, because my HDL cholesterol is 1.83 MMOL/L against the minimum 1.04 MMOL/L recommended range, my TOTAL/HDL RATIO is at a very commendable 3.0 (recommended range less than 5.0.)

Now that the results are out, one can expect those who've failed the Lipid Profile tests to be very careful with their diet for about 2 weeks. Whenever they eat anything, they will be conscious of the cholesterol and oil contents in their foods. But this is only for about 2 weeks, mind! People forget very quickly, you see. After that, they won't be able to control what they eat. It will just have to wait till the next blood test in a year's time before they are careful of what they eat again.

Try and ask the people around you, what is the most important thing to them in life. I bet high amongst the top in their lists would be "health". Yet, it is strange that very few of them would actually put in the efforts required to maintain their health, let alone to improve their health. They would spend a lot of money on slimming products or food supplements etc, but hardly ever break a sweat to exercise. Because of course all of them simply have no time for the workout.

Oh yes, I also have a bit of an issue with my Hepatitis B antibody. According to the result, my antibody count has gone down to as low as 27 MIU/ML. Below this figure is a comment which says: BOOSTER DOSE MAY BE CONSIDERED.

Then later on, I found out that CYP's reading for Hepatitis B antibody was at 77 MIU/ML, much higher than mine, but still considered low. And of course a booster injection is also recommended for her. However, she said she's not going for a booster jab. She explained that she had in the past taken Hepatitis B immunization injections. She took the first and second injections, and then before the booster injection was due, she became pregnant. The same thing happened when she had her third child. Always when it's time for the booster injection, she would become pregnant! So that's why she's not going to even consider a booster injection now.

Perhaps it's time that I get Grace or Pat to have a serious talk with CYP. I think she's getting it all wrong. Someone really has to make her understand that it's not the Hepatitis injections that caused the pregnancies; it had a lot to do with a different kind of injections which her husband administered.

Anyway, coming back to my own result, I really need to cut down on eggs and prawns. Although my lipid profile is not very serious at the moment, it may quickly worsen if I'm not careful, and it will be extremely difficult to remedy the situation when that happens.


mimpi said...

ironically, i just conducted health check last 2 weeks and my overall cholestrol level is high at 6.5mmol and i at very early 30s!hehehe..

Cornelius said...


If you are a male, that is quite normal. Most young males these days have high cholesterol, especially those living in or near the cities. I suspect it has a lot to do with the lifestyle. But as I said above, even females are having high cholesterol problems these days. And as the rate of obesity increases, so will the rate of diabetes and heart problems.

Sarah Elizabeth said...

High cholesterol runs in my family, unfortunately.. I am "borderline" high cholesterol.. I am only 29, I run, and I eat a decent diet.. No luck for me.. I have cut down to only 1-2 eggs a week though and am hoping this helps. I used to eat 1-2 a day!!!

Cornelius said...


It all seems so unfair, huh? Some people can eat as much eggs as they like and still won't have high cholesterol. Yet people like us can apparently have high cholesterol by merely looking at the eggs.

My family is plagued with obesity and high cholesterol, and of course diabetes. And that puts me in the high-risk group. I'm just hoping that all the running can at least delay the onset of heart problems and diabetes. But I have a feeling that it's just a matter of time before it happens. *Sigh*