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Understanding Diabetes

When Karyn Wofford, the implementation manager at Any Lab Test Now, was 12 years old, what she thought was a case of homesickness at summer camp wound up being a life-threatening illness. She was at cheer camp when she suddenly dropped weight and became thirsty and irritable. While she was at camp, she chalked it up to wanting to get home. But, once she was home and even on a family vacation, her symptoms only got worse. Had it not been for her mom’s maternal instincts and quick thinking, Karyn’s outcome could have been much different.

Her mom took her to the doctor where she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes — an autoimmune disease that can be deadly if not properly managed. They found out that while at cheer camp, Karyn was experiencing DKA or diabetic ketoacidosis. Her body wasn’t producing insulin properly, and she could have lapsed into a coma or even death.

She experienced many of the typical symptoms you might expect to see with type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms:

  • Comes on suddenly
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Thirsty all the time
  • Frequent urination
  • Irritability
  • Feeling tired and weak
  • Blurry vision

What You Need to Know

Karyn’s story is important to understand. As a parent, being aware of these symptoms is crucial for the health of your child. Often, especially in children, symptoms of diabetes can be misdiagnosed as flu or other common ailments.

Type 1 diabetes was once called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes because it is typically diagnosed during childhood or adolescence, but it CAN develop in adults. Diagnosis means your pancreas makes little or no insulin — a hormone needed by your body to allow sugar, or glucose, to be used for energy. 

There is no cure, but careful management allows type 1 diabetics to lead a normal life. Karyn, for example, uses a monitoring system to check her glucose level and has an attached insulin pump to continually regulate her blood sugar. The idea is to keep it at an acceptable level and not dip too low or soar too high. While she has had a few scares over the years, she has been living with type 1 diabetes for 20 years because she is very careful about what she eats and has a heightened awareness of her health.

Type 2 Diabetes

There is a second kind of diabetes, often referred to as adult-onset or type 2 diabetes. Unlike type 1, symptoms develop more slowly.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and neck

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and typically occurs in middle-aged or older people. It occurs when your blood sugar or blood glucose is too high. Again, glucose is vital to provide energy for your body, and cells get glucose from the food we eat. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, is needed to give the body that energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make or use insulin well. There’s too much sugar in the blood and not enough in the cells that need it.

Differences in Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes Causes:

  • Autoimmune response
  • Can be genetic
  • Can be caused by a virus

Type 2 Diabetes Causes/Risk Factors:

  • Family history
  • Overweight
  • High blood pressure
  • American Indian, Black or African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander

Looking Out for Your Health

Karyn’s type 1 diabetes could not be prevented, but type 2 can. If you feel like you or a family member may be symptomatic or have certain risk factors, or if you want to take preventative measures to decrease your risk, the American Diabetes Association recommends the best medical test for diabetes is a glucose test through blood work.

Any Lab Test Now® can provide the answers you are looking for. We offer a Diabetes Maintenance Panel, which effectively tests diabetics and those who want to find out if they have diabetes. There are four tests in this panel, including:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) – may show infection or anemia
  2. Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  3. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1C) – can detect pre-diabetes, diagnose, or see how well controlled it is
  4. Diabetic Urinalysis – will determine if there is protein in your urine, indicating improper kidney function.

Any Lab Test Now® is also a great resource for glucose testing.  We can conduct the Glucose (Serum) Test, also known as the Fasting Blood Glucose Test. This is the most common test used to diagnose hyperglycemia (higher than normal levels of blood sugar), hypoglycemia (lower than normal levels of blood sugar), and diabetes.

This test will determine if your blood glucose level is within a healthy range. It will also screen for, diagnose, and monitor pre‐diabetes, diabetes, hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia.

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes, whether type 1, like Karyn’s, or type 2, is more prevalent than you might think. There are an estimated 37 million Americans who have some form of diabetes. Numbers show that one in every three Americans, or 96 million people, have a condition known as pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes means your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Over time, if uncontrolled, you could develop type 2 diabetes.

Education and Prevention

Being aware of the symptoms and risk factors of diabetes is a great first step to taking charge of your health. Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to complications with other body systems and organs,including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys.

Not only can you change your diet and exercise to live a healthier life and possibly prevent type 2 diabetes, but it’s important to understand your body and put your wellness first. Utilizing the screenings at Any Lab Test Now® will provide the answers you need — whether that’s giving you peace of mind, alerting you to a problem that may need further evaluation from your physician, or providing a diabetes monitoring system — we are able to serve your needs.

You may choose to discuss your results further with a healthcare professional to give you guidance about medications or diabetes management, but you do not need an order from your doctor to have testing done. We provide the doctor’s orders!

Call now to schedule an appointment at a location near you to take back your health.

The Importance of Knowing Your Family’s Health History

Ever notice every time you go to see a doctor, you’re tasked with filling out a bunch of forms about not only your health, but also your family’s health? There’s a good reason for that. Knowing the medical history of your family can improve the quality of your care.

To ensure you and your loved ones are communicating about various medical conditions that may run the family, healthcare professionals have developed National Family Health History Day. Coincidentally, this event lands on Thanksgiving Day. The idea is that while you are gathering with family to count your blessings and enjoy your turkey dinner, it’s a perfect opportunity to compare notes and discuss family health issues.

Some of the topics you should discuss include:

  • First-, second-, and third-degree relatives
  • Age for all relatives (age at time of death for the deceased)
  • Ethnicity (some genetic diseases are more common in certain ethnic groups)
  • Presence of chronic diseases

Once you’ve gathered the info, you can store it using a free software for your family’s health history, created by the Surgeon General’s office, called “My Family Health Portrait.” It’s easy to complete and make accessible to family members and your healthcare team.

Family Health = Your Health

This is important because knowing what diseases or health conditions family members may have directly connects you to being susceptible to those ailments. As the CDC describes it, since your family shares similar genes, there is a greater likelihood that you may be predisposed to certain genetic conditions. You may also have behaviors in common, such as exercise habits and food preferences. Perhaps you live in the same area and encounter similar environmental issues. Family history includes all these factors, any of which can affect your health.

See Your Board-Certified Doctor

Understanding your family’s health risks will make the questions from the doctor a whole lot easier. If you are choosing a new physician or have a trusted practitioner, many people like to know if the doctor is board-certified.

Doctors are required to have a state medical license to practice medicine. But, according to the National Institutes of Health, board certification is a higher standard that doctors may choose as an extra step, demonstrating their mastery. Board-certified doctors demonstrate their desire to practice at the top of their profession and deliver high-quality care to their patients. About 87% of American physicians are certified.

Knowledge is Power

On your next trip to the doctor, you can understand why it’s essential for your physician to have an up-to-date patient health history. It means there are essentially more tools in the toolbox at their disposal to identify your risk factors for certain diseases and take preventative measures to reduce that risk. By being aware of early warning signs you can make the necessary lifestyle changes.

Doctors are especially zeroing in on diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. If you have a family member with a chronic disease, you may be more likely to develop the disease. If there is a history of heart disease in your family, for example, your physician will encourage you to avoid risk factors like smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and a poor diet. Plus, keeping it on the radar through medical testing like preventative screenings could detect an issue and catch it early — giving you a better chance of living longer, with quality of life. Your doctor may routinely check blood pressure and do medical tests like cholesterol screenings and blood glucose testing.

Medical Testing to Improve Your Health

At Any Lab Test Now®, you can take the lead with your health and wellness by having these medical tests done on your own. You have direct access to thousands of lab tests that can screen for issues relating to family history. Like the CBC Panel, which provides a snapshot of your health, and the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel which gives a clear picture of your overall health. Plus, you could include the Lipid Panel to determine if you are at risk for heart disease.

Additionally, the Healthy Weight DNA Test is a scientifically-based weight-management test and program that identifies your unique genetic makeup and provides diet and exercise strategies specifically tailored to your genotype. Any Lab Test Now® examines your DNA and analyzes various genetic markers that are known to be associated with your weight, metabolism, and body type. These are the basic tests everyone needs because they provide conclusive answers about your health.

The benefit of using Any Lab Test Now® as your family’s health center is that you own the test results and may choose to use the results in the manner of your choosing. Perhaps you will share with your family to shed light on family health history.

As you prepare to visit your family this holiday season, don’t forget Any Lab Test Now® can help keep your family gatherings safe by providing COVID-19 testing.

Call now to schedule an appointment for any of these tests at a location near you.

The Difference Between HSA and FSA

For many of us, the end of the calendar year does not just mean it’s the holiday season — it’s also open enrollment time for health insurance. Whether you are signing up on marketplace, in your workplace, or independently — this is when many of us look ahead to determine what kind of healthcare coverage we will want to choose going into 2023.

Navigating healthcare coverage choices and terminology can be challenging. After all, most of us only worry about this stuff once a year, wait for our insurance card, and forget about it. But to help you get acclimated to this year’s enrollment, let’s review some terms, so you make good choices and get the most bang for your buck.

You’ll see the acronyms HSA and FSA come up frequently as you troll through healthcare information. There is a significant difference between the two.

What is an HSA?

Heathcare.gov describes an HSA as a type of savings account that lets you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. The untaxed funds in the Health Savings Account can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses like deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and some other expenses — resulting in lower out-of-pocket healthcare costs.

But here’s something important to note — HSAs can be used ONLY with high-deductible health plans, which is the choice for about 30 million Americans right now.

When to Use an HSA

Here’s an example of when you would use your HSA. Let’s say you break your arm. Ouch. To correct the injury, you need surgery. Even though your health insurance may cover the bulk of the surgery, your patient responsibility or co-pay might be several hundred dollars. You can use the money you tucked away in your HSA to pay that deductible.

There are some dos and don’ts when it comes to using your HSA funds. Let’s unpack one. If you travel internationally, either through work or leisure, you can use your HSA to pay for treatment in a foreign country as well as any prescribed drug you purchase and consume in another country if the drug is legal in both the other country and the United States.

There are many stipulations regarding the use of an HSA. It’s best to check what counts as a qualified medical expense based on criteria set by the IRS. If you use your HSA for an expense other than eligible medical expenses, you can subject yourself to significant IRS penalties after being flagged for an audit.

What Is an FSA?

An FSA, or Flexible Spending Account, is similar to an HSA. If you have a health plan through a job, you can use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for copayments, deductibles, some drugs, and some other healthcare costs.

A Flexible Spending Account is a special account you put money into that you use to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs without paying taxes on that money.

Sometimes an employer will make contributions to your FSA, although it’s not required, or money can be taken from your paycheck and put into the FSA.

FSA vs. HSA

Here are two very important differences between these two savings plans.

  1. Generally, you must use the money in an FSA within the plan year. An HSA, on the other hand, has no “use it or lose it” provision. HSA money is there for you to use well into the future.
  2. You own the money in your HSA. Your employer owns the money in your FSA.

Utilizing Health Accounts at Any Lab Test Now®

One of the medical expenses you can pay for with both an HSA and FSA is diagnostic lab work from Any Lab Test Now®. We have thousands of tests available to you, providing comprehensive health screenings that allow you to focus on your family’s health.

At Any Lab Test Now®, we provide clear, concise, and understandable results. You also have the option to glean additional information with our DialCare service. This allows you to consult with our provider about your results. The clarity you receive from a medical professional can affect the way you handle your health and can be lifesaving.

Remember, at Any Lab Test Now®, the lab tests we provide are confidential, affordable, and convenient. You own the results, and you choose how to proceed with them, whether that means consulting with your provider for further details or perhaps the results give you the peace of mind you were seeking.

Obtaining lab testing through blood tests is a very precise indicator of your health. It tracks your overall well-being, can detect issues with organs, or how well you are managing a disease. It is an important look at your overall wellness.

Stay on top of your family’s health by utilizing our diagnostic lab testing, which can be paid for using your FSA or HSA. Call now to schedule an appointment at a location near you.

The Facts About Fentanyl

You may be hearing a lot in the news lately about a drug called fentanyl. It is being talked about because it is a big part of the growing opioid epidemic, and it is the deadliest drug threat facing this country, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. An alarming new finding is that drug poisonings have become the leading killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45.

Keep reading because it’s important to be educated about fentanyl. This information may be lifesaving for you or a loved one.

Prescription Fentanyl

First, a little background. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was created in the 1950s as a synthetic opioid for pain management for patients experiencing extreme pain like cancer or post-surgery. It is effective because it is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is typically prescribed in the form of skin patches or lozenges, but fentanyl comes in many forms, including a powder or liquid like nasal sprays. With appropriate use as prescribed by a provider, fentanyl is safe and effective for pain relief.

Illegal Fentanyl

The problem is the illicit use of fentanyl. The CDC says the most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the United States are linked to illegally made fentanyl.

Because of its pain-relieving properties, it creates a relaxation sensation, making it highly addictive and a good candidate for illicit drug use. That’s the concern. According to the CDC, powdered fentanyl looks just like many other drugs. It is commonly mixed with drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine and made into pills resembling other prescription opioids. Fentanyl-laced drugs are extremely dangerous, and many people may be unaware that their drugs are infused with fentanyl. When it’s cut into other drugs, there’s no telling how much fentanyl is in the mix.

The problem is the potency. When fentanyl is mixed with illicit drugs on the street, the immeasurable amounts of fentanyl can be deadly. Reports indicate that just two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equal to 10 to 15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose. The relaxation properties of fentanyl slow the heart rate until it stops beating. That’s why officials say If you encounter fentanyl in any form, do not handle it and call 911 immediately. It’s just that dangerous.

Drug Overdoses with Fentanyl

According to the latest provisional data supplied by the CDC, annual drug overdose deaths have jumped 44% from before the COVID-19 pandemic, and fentanyl takes a big part of the blame.

  • In 2020 there were 76,000 deaths reported in a 12-month period here in the U.S.
  • In 2022 there are now 109,000 people that died of a drug overdose in that same 12-month period.

Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, were involved in more than two-thirds of overdose deaths in the year ending March 2022. Deaths involving synthetic opioids increased by a staggering 80% over the past two years.

Concerns about Rainbow Fentanyl

There is a new product of concern called rainbow fentanyl, which is manufactured illegally. It features bright colors and gives the appearance of candy. The purpose is to target young people and get them addicted to this powerful and deadly opioid. The concern is so great, in fact, that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration released a warning about the growing and alarming trend building throughout the country. In August of this year, the DEA reported that it and its law enforcement partners seized the brightly colored fentanyl and fentanyl pills across 18 states. The fentanyl is believed to be coming into the U.S. from two different Mexican drug cartels.

Any Lab Test Now® Can Provide Answers

Fentanyl is addictive and deadly. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, Any Lab Test Now® can assist with a variety of drug test screenings that can provide the answers you are looking for. These tests are recommended for those concerned about suspected abuse or misuse of specified drugs by a friend or family member, including teenagers. Individuals who think they may have been unknowingly given a drug should also consider these tests.

ADVANCED DRUG TEST PANEL WITH EXPANDED OPIATES AND FENTANYL

This lab-based test will identify recent use of the following:

  • Heroin
  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates (Expanded)
  • Fentanyl
  • Marijuana
  • Ecstasy
  • Methadone
  • PCP
  • Propoxyphene

FOURTEEN (14) PANEL DRUG SCREEN, INCLUDING FENTANYL, K2 ALCOHOL (ORAL FLUID)

Using a standard oral fluid sample collected, we offer rapid screening for fentanyl in oral fluid as part of a broader panel that includes 14 classes of commonly abused and misused drugs or their metabolites. Fentanyl use can be detected in oral fluid for up to 36 hours after exposure. A positive result for fentanyl is considered suggestive of use in that timeframe.

This rapid test is intended for the qualitative detection of the following:

  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Buprenorphine
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Fentanyl
  • K2 (Spice)
  • Marijuana
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone
  • PCP
  • Alcohol

TWELVE (12) PANEL RAPID DRUG SCREEN, INCLUDING FENTANYL

This panel uses a standard urine sample offering rapid screening for fentanyl as part of a broader panel that includes 12 classes of commonly abused and misused drugs or their metabolites. Fentanyl use can be detected in urine for up to 72 hours after exposure. A positive result for fentanyl is considered suggestive of use in that timeframe.

This rapid test is intended for the qualitative detection of the following:

  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Buprenorphine
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Fentanyl
  • Marijuana
  • Ecstasy
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone

You can Depend on Any Lab Test Now®

Any Lab Test Now® is a resource you can use for your family’s health and wellness. The lab tests we provide are confidential, affordable, and convenient. You own the results, and you choose how to proceed with them.

Any Lab Test Now® can help by providing the lab tests you need to get the answers you need. Call now to schedule an appointment at a location near you.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

When the calendar flips to the month of October, it’s not just pumpkins and mums that are symbolic of this month. We’ve all become accustomed to the pink ribbons seen practically everywhere representing the campaign to fight breast cancer.

Breast cancer receives global attention because it is the most common cancer worldwide, according to the Mayo Clinic, and the most common cancer diagnosed in the United States.

The Top Cancers in the United States

Breast, lung, prostate, and colorectal cancers account for almost 50% of all new cancer cases in the U.S., based on stats from the National Cancer Institute.  Lung and bronchus, colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancers are responsible for nearly 50% of all deaths.

In 2022, invasive breast cancer is estimated to be newly diagnosed in 287,850 women, as incidence rates continue to increase by about 0.5% annually. 

#FightLikeAGirl

So, when you see publicity about Pink Week, otherwise known as Breast Cancer Awareness Week (October 4–6), and Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, this campaign is designed to educate about the need for screenings and early detection opportunities that can save lives. There is substantial research funding for breast cancer which has helped create advances in its diagnosis and treatment. Thanks to growing awareness campaigns regarding breast cancer over the years, fewer American women are dying from it. Deaths from breast cancer are down 42% over a 30-year period.

However, there’s a long way to go. While many nations are seeing a significant reduction in deaths, globally, there is still a great need for preventative measures in low-resource countries. The World Health Organization says breast cancer is the most common cancer in the world, impacting an estimated 2.3 million people.

Breast Cancer Basics

The American Cancer Society defines cancer as a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells that can result in death if not treated.

Breast cancer itself can occur in the lining cells (epithelium) of the ducts (85%) or lobules (15%) in the glandular tissue of the breast.

Breast cancer most commonly presents as a painless lump or thickening in the breast. If you find a lump, see your healthcare provider. Early diagnosis can often be the key to successful treatment.

If it progresses, it can attack the surrounding breast tissue and become invasive and spread or metastasize to lymph nodes or other organs.

Early Detection Leads to Cures

Early detection is the best defense. That’s why the American Cancer Society stresses the need for a baseline mammogram for women at age 40 with annual mammogram screenings for women ages 45 to 54.

At Any Lab Test Now®, we believe strongly in blood tests used for screening purposes to improve your health. We believe our job is to educate you and your family on the prevention and management of chronic and everyday illnesses.

Any Lab Test Now® has a few very useful tools:

  • One option is the Comprehensive Female Panel, which provides a snapshot of your overall health. This panel is designed for women at all stages of their life to help them make informed decisions about their healthcare goals.
  • Another breast cancer test is a screening called the Breast Cancer Monitoring Panel. It’s important to understand this is a monitoring tool, not a diagnostic tool. It does not tell you if you have breast cancer. It provides vital information that you can use in tandem with personalized care from your physician. This is a combination of three tests. The CA 15‐3 and CA 27.29 are proteins that are normally produced by breast cells. In persons with breast cancer, the levels can increase. The protein amounts can rise with breast cancer tumor growth and fall with treatment. The carcinoembryonic antigen is a protein that may be present in people with cancer, including breast cancer. The CEA Test measures the amount of this protein in your blood. CEA is normally detected in healthy adults but at a certain range.

Take Charge of Your Health

Having routine breast screenings through mammograms or lab testing is a game-changer. Early detection means better breast cancer treatment options like surgery, radiation, or medication. These can be highly effective, especially when the disease is identified early.

Not only can you stay on top of your health through screenings, but there are also behavioral measures you can take to reduce your risk of breast cancer, including:

  • prolonged breastfeeding
  • regular physical activity
  • weight control
  • avoidance of harmful use of alcohol
  • avoidance of exposure to tobacco smoke
  • avoidance of prolonged use of hormones  
  • avoidance of excessive radiation exposure

There are more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S., including women still being treated and those who have finished treatment, proving that campaigns like Breast Cancer Awareness Month are working.

Wellness Screenings With Any Lab Test Now®

Any Lab Test Now® is a resource you can use for your family’s health and wellness. The lab tests we provide are confidential, affordable, and convenient. You own the results, and you choose how to proceed with them, whether that means consulting with your provider for further details or perhaps the results give you the peace of mind you were seeking.

Obtaining lab testing through blood tests is a very precise indicator of your health. It tracks your overall well-being, can detect issues with organs or how well you are managing a disease. It is an important look at your overall wellness.

Stay on top of your family’s health by taking charge of your wellness. Any Lab Test Now® can help by providing the lab tests you need to ensure your health. Call now to schedule an appointment at a location near you.

Malnutrition Awareness Week

For most of us, when we hear the term malnutrition, we think of undernourished or starving people. But we’re only half right. Therefore, to improve health literacy, it’s important to fully understand the term malnutrition — because it can be lifesaving.

There’s been a worldwide push to improve awareness of malnutrition so that we can combat the issue. Malnutrition Awareness Week was launched in 2012 by The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), a nonprofit organization whose members are involved in providing clinical nutrition therapies.

Healthcare professionals are tasked with the prevention, early detection, and treatment of malnutrition but it’s an eye-opening, global issue that we should all know more about.

You or your family may be malnourished, and you may not even realize it.

Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients. Understand, this refers to any time your dietary intake is not serving your body well, and that can cause a number of harmful health conditions.

Malnutrition Has Two Groupings

  1. Group 1: Undernutrition – This group can include the following conditions:
  2. Stunting or low height for age
  3. Wasting or low weight for height
  4. Underweight or low weight for age
  5. Micronutrient deficiencies/insufficiencies or a lack of important vitamins and minerals
  6. Group 2: Overweight – This group can include the following conditions:
  7. Obesity
  8. Diet-related noncommunicable diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer

Malnutrition affects people in every country. Did you realize that:

  • 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight
  • 462 million are underweight
  • 41 million children under the age of 5 are overweight or obese
  • 159 million children are stunted

Effects of Malnutrition

Plain and simple, when you are lacking the proper nutrition, your body does not function at its optimal level. It’s hard to believe this remains a problem in the 21st century, but the truth is that it is a global issue occurring in both wealthy and poverty-stricken counties. Malnutrition is problematic for several reasons.

For many families, nutritious foods are financially out of reach. Face it, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, and dairy products are expensive. It’s often cheaper to satisfy hunger with higher-calorie foods that are typically high in fat, sugar, and salt. This can cause you to be obese and lack the proper vitamins and nutrients to keep your body running efficiently.

For those with little access to food and water, or a condition that stops their body from obtaining the right balance of nutrients, their health can be severely impacted. In some cases, this can become life-threatening. It can stunt proper growth in children and cause short and long-term health issues.

For example, without proper nutrients, your body will take longer to heal wounds, and there is a higher risk of infection. A lack of vitamin A causes vision problems, and a lack of vitamin C can cause scurvy.

People who have issues with swallowing, digestive problems like nausea or diarrhea, mental health issues, eating disorders, mobility challenges, those who are socially isolated, and older adults may also have to deal with malnutrition.

There are some telltale signs of malnutrition.

Symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite or interest in food or drink
  • Fatigue and irritability
  • An inability to concentrate
  • Always feeling cold
  • Depression
  • Loss of fat, muscle mass, and body tissue
  • Higher risk of getting sick and taking longer to heal
  • Longer healing time for wounds
  • Slow development in children physically and mentally
  • Over time, heart failure

How Any Lab Test Now® Can Help

In an effort to educate you about how to best prevent and manage chronic and everyday illnesses, Any Lab Test Now® has a number of nutrition tests that help you determine if you are receiving the proper nutrients to keep your body functioning effectively. Tests look at your nutrition at two levels. First, the Basic Nutritional Panel. This panel helps you rule out malnutrition and adrenal gland disorders. It screens for the systemic or macronutrient level of nutrients the body needs in large amounts to provide energy, like carbs, proteins, and fats.

Micronutrients, on the other hand, are nutrients at the cellular level that our bodies need, but in smaller amounts, like fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. Our Micronutrient Test measures your body’s ability to absorb vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

At Any Lab Test Now®, we provide a safe and confidential environment that is convenient for you and your family to have nutritional testing done. You own the results and can choose to share them with your provider if the results show any abnormalities.

Schedule an Appointment

Malnutrition is a serious condition that may be affecting you or your family — and you may not even realize it. That’s why looking out for your health through blood work at Any Lab Test Now® is vital to you living a healthy life.

We have more than 200 locations across the country. Click here to find the nearest Any Lab Test Now® location and schedule an appointment.

Sexual Health Awareness

Focusing on your family’s overall health encompasses many aspects of wellness. For example, when we define sexual health, it’s the ability to embrace and enjoy your sexuality throughout your life. It’s an important part of your physical and emotional health. Interwoven to your sexual health is maintaining a healthy body and positive mental health.

Sexual Health Awareness Month is intended to make you cognizant of issues that may affect your sexual health. The purpose is to educate you about protecting yourself and being responsible as a sexually active person.

According to the CDC, prevention campaigns are designed to inform the public about problems related to sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs. But, based on recent data, cases of STDs are on the rise; and remain a public health concern due to their high transmissibility rate. Specifically, there has been an increase in cases of gonorrhea and syphilis.

The World Health Organization reports that more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired daily worldwide, the majority of which are asymptomatic.

Not having symptoms to know if you have a sexually transmitted illness (STI) can provide a false sense of security. If you think you’re susceptible, a blood test is the most conclusive and thorough test available.

Many people who suspect they were exposed to an STI will make an appointment with their health care provider or a clinic, which may require proof of insurance and consultation with a provider.

But there is another way to provide the utmost confidentiality for what some might consider a sensitive matter. You can go to your closest Any Lab Test Now® location, without an appointment, for a private screening. The results are yours and you decide how to proceed with the information you receive, whether that means you choose to share it with your physician or not.

If you want to be proactive and take your health into your own hands, Any Lab Test Now® can help. We are a confidential health center that can provide STD testing for a number of sexually transmitted illnesses. If you have noticed unusual symptoms, you could have an STD that can be serious if left untreated and can be spread to another person.

STD Testing with Any Lab Test Now®

  • There is a Basic STD Panel that screens for several common sexually transmitted diseases.
  • If you are concerned a sexual partner may have chlamydia, it’s a good idea for you to be tested as well. This STD is caused by a common bacterium that can result in complications if not treated. It can be a serious disease that often has minimal or no symptoms, so you may not realize you have it.
  • Trichomoniasis is a very common (STD) caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. It causes vaginal infections in women and urethral and prostate infections in men.
  • The Comprehensive STD Platinum Female Panel tests for several sexually transmitted diseases at the same time. It tests for HIV, syphilis, herpes I and II, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, Trichomonas vaginalis, and HPV (human papillomavirus).
  • Similarly, there is the Comprehensive STD Platinum Male Panel. It tests for HIV, syphilis, herpes I and II, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, Trichomonas vaginalis, and HPV (human papillomavirus).
  • The Comprehensive STD Plus is another test for several sexually transmitted diseases. It includes a urine test as well as a blood test, which test for HIV, syphilis, herpes I and II, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and Trichomonas vaginalis.
  • There are several types of hepatitis — each caused by a different hepatitis virus. In general, hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B can be contracted through unprotected sex, using contaminated needles, or other causes. You should take the Hepatitis B (STD) test if you have symptoms of an infection or have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Our comprehensive panels at Any Lab Test Now® are thoroughly conclusive. However, some who suspect they have an STD may choose to get tested elsewhere using a venereal disease research laboratory test, or VDRL, to determine if they have the antibodies that the body produces when you have syphilis. The VDRL may cause a false positive if the patient has other conditions like HIV/AIDS, therefore a full panel screening is a better option to zero-in on a specific condition.

The Importance of STD Testing

Being checked for STDs is important for your overall health because, if caught in time, there are treatments and even cures for some of these illnesses. For instance, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis are curable. Others are viral infections, which are incurable but may be treatable in many cases. They include hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus (HSV or herpes), HIV, and human papillomavirus (HPV).

If you would like to discuss the results of these or any other blood test, Any Lab Test Now® provides DialCare — a service that is useful for customers who might not have health insurance and want to consult with a provider about the results or are looking for privacy when it comes to results. Perhaps you don’t have time for a virtual or in-person appointment with your own provider, in collaboration with DialCare, Any Lab Test Now® can explain the results.

School is Back, Take Back Your Health, Too

Any Lab Test Now® makes it easy to prioritize your health. As we round the corner with the start of a new school year, it’s important to be on top of your family’s health, whether that means coming in for COVID-19 testing or answers to health concerns.

Having bloodwork done provides options, whether that’s peace of mind or a direction toward healing, it is a great step in ensuring you’re doing all you can to safeguard your family.

Any Lab Test Now® is safe, confidential, and convenient for you and your family. We have more than 200 locations across the country. For the best way to start the school year, click here to find your nearest Any Lab Test Now® location.

Health Literacy Month

When was the last time you received a prescription and weren’t quite sure about the dosing instructions? Or maybe you were taking your child to the pediatrician and did not understand a consent form for treatment. Perhaps you couldn’t make sense of health insurance deductibles. Sound familiar? These scenarios all tell us about our level of health literacy. If you struggle with understanding health matters, you’re not alone. Health literacy here in the United States is alarmingly low. Based on a study conducted by Pfizer, only 12% of American adults have proficient health literacy.

What Does It All Mean?

According to the CDC, personal health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to make informed health-related decisions for themselves and others.

Nearly nine out of 10 adults struggle with health literacy. Even people with high literacy skills may have low health literacy skills in certain situations. This involves more than just reading, it’s about comprehension and application. It’s about being informed about a condition you have, like a food allergy, and fully understanding that you need to, for example, check labels before you consume food.

Poor health literacy can cause big health problems. Face it, if you don’t understand care, treatment, or other instructions, you may exacerbate a health problem, maybe miss appointments, or take the wrong medication.

There are some factors that can influence an individual’s health literacy, including living in poverty, education, race/ethnicity, age, and disability. But really, most of the population is unclear about matters of health.

What’s Being Done To Combat The Problem?

Through public health initiatives, experts are trying to bridge the gap by advising healthcare workers to keep their messaging clear and concise to improve health literacy. The goal of public health is to promote and protect the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work, and play. Much of the work public health workers do is setting standards for prevention and promoting wellness by encouraging healthy behaviors. Public health saves money, improves our quality of life, helps children thrive, and reduces human suffering.

This runs the gamut from teaching the public about the need for vaccinations and nutritious school lunches to air quality and the prevention of diseases. You can only imagine how busy public health officials are with matters like COVID-19, seasonal flu, and ongoing health issues like the risks of alcohol and tobacco.

With October being Health Literacy Month, Any Lab Test Now® is dedicated to ensuring that you are informed about your family’s health. Our goal is to improve your family’s wellness. We do that by providing direct access to thousands of lab tests ranging from the CBC panel, which provides a snapshot of your health, to the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, which gives a clear picture of your overall health. Plus, we recommend including the Lipid Panel to determine if you are at risk for heart disease. These are basic tests everyone needs because they provide conclusive answers about your health.

Getting lab testing done with Any Lab Test Now® is only part of the equation. We want to improve your health literacy by not only providing clear, concise, and understandable results but also empowering you to glean additional information with our DialCare service. This allows you to consult with a provider about your results. The clarity you receive from a medical professional can affect the way you handle your health and can be lifesaving.

Remember, at Any Lab Test Now®, the lab tests we provide are confidential, affordable, and convenient. You own the results, and you choose how to proceed with them, whether that means consulting with your provider for further details or perhaps getting the peace of mind you were seeking.

Obtaining lab testing through blood tests is a very precise indicator of your health. It tracks your overall well-being, can detect issues with organs or how well you are managing a disease. It is an important look at your overall wellness.

Stay on top of your family’s health and improve your health literacy by taking charge of your wellness. Any Lab Test Now® can help by providing the lab tests you need to ensure your health. Call now to schedule an appointment at a location near you.

Any Lab Test Now® — The More You Know… Lab Testing for Every Need

Prostate Screening

So often, we hear the term “early detection” and how important it is for treating certain health conditions. This is very true when it comes to prostate cancer. Here’s why, prostate cancer often goes undetected for years because often symptoms don’t appear until the disease has advanced. But early detection through screening leads to more effective treatments given early on to increase survival rates.

Research shows the earlier prostate cancer is detected, the more likely it is to get successful treatment. The overall prognosis for prostate cancer is among the most hopeful of all cancers.

Approximately 80% to 85% of all prostate cancers are detected in the local or regional stages, which represent stages I, II, and III. Many of those diagnosed and treated at the local or regional stages will be disease-free after five years, which is why early detection is very important.

What is the Prostate Gland?

The prostate gland itself is located below the bladder and surrounds the top portion of the tube that drains urine from the bladder (urethra). The primary function of this gland is to produce the fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. The gland often enlarges with increase in age.

For Americans, prostate cancer is common. You may be at higher risk if you fall into any of these categories:

  • Aged 50 and older
  • Most common among African Americans, followed by Hispanics and Native Americans.
  • If there is a family history of prostate cancer, you are more likely to develop it
  • The risk of prostate cancer may be higher for people who eat high-fat diets.

Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Some signs and symptoms to look out for, indicating trouble with the prostate gland:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Blood in the semen
  • Bone pain
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Erectile dysfunction

The PSA Test

The best safeguard is staying diligent about your overall health. So, it’s a good idea to have a prostate screening to determine any issues, usually beginning at age 40. Although there is a physical exam that your physician may choose to do called the digital rectal exam (DRE), according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the “gold-standard” test for prostate cancer screening is the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test.

The PSA test is designed to measure levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. PSA is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate. Because cancerous cells tend to produce more PSA, a spike in your PSA level may signify a problem. PSA levels under 4 ng/ml are generally considered normal, while levels over 4 ng/ml are considered abnormal.

However, a high PSA does not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer, in fact, it could mean you have an enlarged or inflamed prostate. Other reasons for elevated PSA levels are inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Prostate Screening at Any Lab Test Now®

If you want to be proactive and put your healthcare into your own hands, Any Lab Test Now® can help. We serve as your family’s health center, providing testing for many conditions, including prostate screenings.

We provide a couple of tests to determine the health of the prostate. One test available is the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Free and Total. There are two forms of PSA that exist in the blood: PSA total, which is bound to protein, and PSA free, which is not bound to protein. This test is designed to screen for the specific antigen. It is not a diagnosis of cancer. But if the levels are high, it may signify a health concern.

A second screening test conducted by Any Lab Test Now® is the more general PSA test. This blood test will measure your PSA levels, and if elevated, it may indicate an issue to discuss further with your healthcare provider.

School is Back, Take Your Health Back, Too

Any Lab Test Now® makes it easy to prioritize your health and stay on top of preventative screenings like the PSA test. As the season is changing, with kids heading back to school and summer fun coming to an end, it’s a great time to re-focus our attention on our health.

Ensure you’re taking the steps for yourself and your loved ones to stay healthy. Any Lab Test Now® provides tests for kids’ immunizations, moms’ health, mental health, preventative health screenings, and COVID-19 testing. Remember, the results you receive from our tests are yours. You may choose what to do with the results.

Any Lab Test Now® is safe, confidential, and convenient for you and your family. We have more than 200 locations across the country. For the best way to start the school year, click here to find the nearest Any Lab Test Now® location.

School is Back — Mental Health Check

As the seasons change and the kids head back to school, it’s an ideal opportunity to focus on your family’s overall health. But it’s not just their physical well-being; it has become clear, especially in the last few years, how important it is to be aware of your family’s mental health.

Many believe we have hit a critical stage with mental health in our country. The number of adults dealing with depression prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was 8.5% of the population. But depression among adults in the United States tripled in the early 2020 months of the pandemic to a shocking 27.8%. Now, according to researchers at Boston University School of Public Health, depression rates are climbing even higher, affecting one in every three American adults. 

The numbers are equally troubling for youth experiencing depression. The number of kids struggling with depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide has reached all-time highs, making suicide the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults. In 2020, more than half of teens reported very frequent thoughts of suicide and self-harm.

With September being National Suicide Prevention Month, if you or any of your loved ones are experiencing risk factors or warning signs of depression or suicidal thoughts — help is available. In an emergency, call The National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or call 911 immediately.

Risk Factors and Warning Signs of Suicide

Prevention is the key to decreasing the number of people who are at risk for suicide. Although stats indicate an overall decline in suicides, nationally, there are some disparities in those numbers. Often the warning signs are subtle or well hidden. The CDC has a comprehensive list of risk and protective factors that outline individual, community, relationship, and societal triggers that could lead to someone considering suicide.

Are you aware of some of the risk factors for suicide? They may include:

  • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Major physical illnesses
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Family history of suicide
  • Job or financial loss

Do you know some of the warning signs of suicide? They include:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated, behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings

If you or someone you love is showing risk factors or warning signs, we can help. Any Lab Test Now® is a health center, giving you direct access to thousands of beneficial lab tests to ensure wellness, including mental health. These tests are confidential and designed to provide answers to concerns that you may have and allow you to determine how to proceed. Taking these proactive measures helps you advocate for your family’s health. You may choose to share those results with your medical provider.

Tests for Mental Health

  1. Consider the Mental Health PGX Panel, a big step in putting science behind the dosing of medications for mental health issues. A total of 13 genes are analyzed, and the report indicates the response one might expect from the medications used to treat these conditions.
  2. This next test helps determine the stress someone is experiencing and whether those levels are indicative of a problem. The Saliva Adrenal Testing Kit looks at the adrenal glands to see if they are in balance to produce adequate amounts of hormones to power us through the day. These hormones impact just about every process in the body, from energy production and immune activity to cellular maintenance and repair. They are key regulators of glucose, insulin, and inflammation, and play a major role in bone and muscle building, mood and mental focus, stamina, sex drive, and sleep cycles.

This kit tests the levels of adrenal hormones DHEA-S and cortisol, the master stress hormone. When individuals experience continuous stress, not only from emotional stressors (e.g., marital, financial, and occupational) but also from physical stressors (e.g., sleep deprivation, caffeine consumption, pain, extreme exercise), it can lead to changes in adrenal hormone levels, related to disorders ranging from anxiety to allergies and irritability to infertility.

  • Sleep and the lack of it can be a big problem for our overall health. Without the proper amounts of sleep, our body and mind cannot get the replenishment needed to be restored and operate efficiently. Any Lab Test Now® has a Sleep Balance Kit, which checks hormone levels. If there are high cortisol levels it can result in insomnia, anxiety, sugar cravings, feeling tired but wired, and increased belly fat. It also checks for melatonin levels. Low melatonin results in excessive fatigue, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

To restore the vital balance of hormones, you need to start with an accurate measurement of hormone levels.

Take Back Your Family’s Health

Remember, these tests can be the first step in getting the answers you need. You may choose to discuss this further with a healthcare professional to give you guidance about medications or counseling.

If you are ready to check your family’s mental health as you head back to school, Any Lab Test Now® is the health center you’ve been looking for. Call now to schedule an appointment at a location near you to take back your health.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, call The National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or call 911 immediately.