Arkansas Methodist Medical Center
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The Joint Commission

HealthWorks

For several years, Arkansas Methodist Medical Center has partnered with industries and communities in the area to bring health fairs to the residents of Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri.

Through the financial support of The Foundation, the medical center has recently redesigned their health fairs by purchasing new technology. The equipment is used to test glucose (blood sugar) and cholesterol after a small finger prick draws blood. The machines are portable and provide results within a matter of minutes. Nurse educators are also available during the health fairs to review results with participants.

Other important medical tests available during health fairs include:

Cholesterol is a fatty-like substance produced by your liver and is found in all of your body's cells.The body manufactures all the cholesterol that it needs. However, excessive amounts in the blood have been strongly linked to an increased risk of premature coronary artery disease (CAD).

HDL Cholesterol: High density lipoproteins (HDL) are particles in the blood that transport excessive cholesterol from the tissues to the liver, where cholesterol is broken down and recycled or excreted. Therefore, high levels of HDL-good cholesterol are desirable.

To improve your HDL cholesterol, stop smoking, lose or maintain a healthy weight, exercise and increase monounsaturated fats in your diet.

Cholesterol/HDL Ratio: This ratio examines the relationship between HDL cholesterol and total cholesterol and is another way to asses your risk of heart disease.

LDL Cholesterol: Low density lipoproteins (LDL) are particles in the blood that pick up cholesterol from the liver and deliver it to cells. Excess cholesterol is deposited into arteries, and these deposits can join with other substances to form plaque. Low levels of LDL or bad cholesterol are desirable.

You may lower LDL levels by losing or maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, eating less saturated fat, cutting back on high cholesterol foods and eating more foods high in soluble fiber.

Glucose is a simple sugar we get from digesting carbohydrates. It is the main source of energy for the cells of our bodies. Insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas, controls the rate at which our cells use glucose. If there is too much glucose in the blood, insulin is secreted and allows the glucose to flow from the blood into the body's cells.

High Blood Sugar: A fasting blood sugar level greater than 100 mg/dL is considered high. An elevated glucose level may be an early sign of diabetes. Diabetes can be controlled by diet and exercise.

Low Blood Sugar: Blood sugar is too low only if it is less than 70 mg/dL and is associated with symptoms such as weakness, dizziness or confusion.

For more information on hosting a health fair at your business, school, church or industry, call 870-239-8031.