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Take Control of Your Health During Allergy Season

Kick hay fever to the curb by learning your triggers to stay healthy when pollen counts are high.

As the leaves sprout and flowers bloom, millions of Americans start sneezing. Up to 50 million Americans, including millions of children, suffer from allergies. At least one in five Americans has an allergy, and more than 26.1 million have seasonal allergies. An allergy is your immune system’s response to a trigger, such as pollen. In people with allergies, the body produces antibodies against common environmental substances and foods that create the typical allergy symptoms, such as itchy eyes and skin, sneezing, nasal congestion, wheezing, and rash. The antibodies produce histamine, which causes the allergic response. Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, affects 6.1 million children and 20 million adults, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports.

While seasonal allergies can make people feel miserable, they are mostly not life-threatening. Allergies to food and insect bites are more likely to cause anaphylactic shock and death in severe cases. The number of people who have severe allergies has risen dramatically in the past 20 years.

Seasonal allergies send employee productivity spiraling, according to a study of 600 people conducted by Ohio State University. The study revealed that workers on average missed an hour of work per week during the peak allergy season; or 4 million workdays annually. Study participants cited lack of sleep and a negative impact on their overall health as the two main reasons for missing work due to seasonal allergies. Ohio State University experts recommend allergy testing and proper treatment to reduce sick days during allergy season.

Know Your Seasonal Triggers

Understanding the triggers that cause your nose to run and your eyes to water is essential for conquering pollen season. Some of the most common seasonal allergy culprits are tree, grass, and weed pollen, according to the AAFA. Avoiding the allergy is the best way to manage the problem, Mayo Clinic reports. Testing can help you learn the correct treatment for your allergy. An easy way to learn the cause of your seasonal stuffy nose is to visit Any Lab Test Now and order the Basic Allergy Panel.

You can access a simple blood test to determine what you are allergic to and prevent a severe allergic reaction or save money on only the allergy shots you need. Any Lab Test Now offers a Basic Allergy Panel that tests for 32 different environmental substances as well as foods.

  • Eight common grasses and weeds, including ragweed
  • House dust mites. Pet dander for cats and dogs
  • Seven common fruits and vegetables
  • Three dairy products including cow’s milk, soft cheese, and eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Grains including wheat and soybeans
  • Meats including tuna, beef, and chicken
  • Sugar and chocolate

When the body experiences an allergy to a substance, it produces antibodies that are specific to the allergen, called immunoglobulin E, or IgE, which Any Lab Test Now’s laboratory partners can measure to determine what’s triggering your symptoms.

Treating Your Allergy
There are a variety of treatment options for seasonal allergies. Your doctor will advise you on the best treatment, depending on your trigger. Some of the common treatments for seasonal allergies are:

  • Oral or nasal antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Prescription eye drops
  • Allergy shots
  • Sublingual allergy therapy — small amounts of the allergen are placed under the tongue to develop an antibody response over time.

Natural Ways to Combat Allergies
If your allergy panel reveals you may have some allergies, there are natural steps you can take to prevent a runny nose and itchy eyes.

Close the window. Stopping unfiltered outdoor air from entering your home can prevent pollen from coming into the house.

Take a shower. When you enter your home at the end of a long day, you are bringing in allergens, like pollen, attached to your clothes. Taking a shower and putting on clean clothes can help reduce the severity of your reaction.

Eat healthy and drink water. Consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables and hydrating can reduce allergy symptoms, according to reports.

Irrigate. Using a nasal rinse, like a Neti Pot, can remove excess mucus and may help improve symptoms.

Any Lab Test Now offers testing that can help you take control of your seasonal allergies. Visit an Any Lab Test Now near you to stop your sniffles today.

When Food Becomes The Enemy; Why Proper Testing Is Important

Can you imagine living in fear of a bread crumb?

It sounds crazy, but it is a sad reality for millions of Americans. One in every 133 people suffers from celiac disease, and most of them haven’t even been properly diagnosed. That can lead to long-term health complications.

Researchers are working on vaccine therapy to help those with celiac disease, but the first step is spreading awareness and getting a proper diagnosis. Any Lab Test Now can help with that. The Celiac, IBS, Crohn’s Test can help you determine if you have celiac disease or some other gastrointestinal disorder so that you can treat your symptoms properly.

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is NOT an allergy — it’s an autoimmune disorder that’s triggered when a sufferer eats gluten. That culprit is a protein that you’ll find in a lot of foods and in some other very unexpected places. It’s found in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains, so people most often think of breads, dough, cakes, pasta, and cereals. But celiac sufferers have to be real detectives! That’s because gluten can be found in a wide range of ingestible stuff, like medications and toothpaste — even lipsticks and envelope glue! 

When someone with celiac ingests something with gluten, their body overreacts and their intestines are ground zero. They’ll often experience stomach pain and nausea, but the reaction can also include: 

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headaches and fatigue
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Heartburn
  • Itchy rashes
  • Anemia
  • Mouth ulcers

What’s happening inside your small intestine is slow to develop, but devastating over time. The villi that line your small intestine are damaged with every reaction. Eventually, they won’t be able to absorb nutrients from your food.

The damage to the undiagnosed.

For the millions of people walking around with undiagnosed celiac disease, the damage is growing. The Celiac, IBS, Crohn’s Test (sometimes referred to as the CICA Test) measures your gut health on the genetic, antibody, and cellular levels, taking these often hard-to-diagnose diseases down to the most in-depth levels so you can get to the bottom of your symptoms. The CICA includes the following tests:

  • Genetic – HLA Typing for Celiac Disease (HLA-DQ2.5 AND HLA-DQ8; ATB16L1 + N0D20) – The genetic testing portion of the profile determines the likelihood that what you are suffering is celiac disease, as opposed to gluten intolerance. 95 percent of people who have either the HLA-DQ2.5 OR HLA-DQ8 genes will have celiac disease.
  • Antibody/Serological – This test will indicate whether specific antibodies are missing and others have developed. This could cause damage to the small intestine and can indicate the presence of celiac disease as well as differentiate between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, both of which have similar symptoms to celiac disease.
  • Total Serum IgA
  • Tissue Transgluatminase Antibody (tTG) – IgA and IgG
  • Deamidated Gliadin Peptide  (DGP) Antibody – IgA and IgG
  • Anti-Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Antibody (ASCA)

You don’t need a doctor’s order to take the test, but if your CICA Test comes back indicating celiac disease, it’s a good idea to share those results with your doctor so you can get professional guidance on how to best move forward.

What you don’t know can hurt you.

Celiac disease can develop at any age. If you leave it undiagnosed and untreated, you could leave yourself open to some additional serious health problems down the road. These include:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Epilepsy
  • Migraines
  • Intestinal cancers

If you’re suffering from abdominal discomfort or have a family history of celiac disease, it may well be worth considering the Celiac, IBS, Crohn’s Test at your nearby Any Lab Test Now. There may not be a cure, but with a proper diagnosis, there can be relief. 

Don’t Let Food Reactions Dampen Your Spirits This Holiday Season

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. The holidays roll around and it’s time for the three F’s of the calendar year: fun, family and food. Lots of food. There’s the roasted turkey, the mashed potatoes, the green bean casserole… so many options to choose from! But wait! What’s this that Aunt Nancy brought? It looks good, but what the heck is in it? No bother, it’s the holidays, let’s give it a taste! And while we’re at it, we’ll try a bit of this, a bite of that and, before you know it, you feel miserable.

The holidays are definitely a time for overindulgence, but have you ever stopped to consider that maybe it’s not how much you eat, but WHAT you eat that makes you feel so miserable after a holiday meal? The holidays and other large family food gatherings are prime time for food issues to rear their ugly heads. They can leave you feeling “ugh” for the rest of the day, or even needing emergency care!

Any Lab Test Now® wants to keep you healthy and happy this holiday season, so we want to remind you that if you’ve ever left the holiday table feeling less than festive, now might be the best time to consider Allergy and Sensitivity Lab Testing.

Let’s start with the basics: Is it an allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance? There are big differences, and the right lab test can give you the answers you need and let you know what to avoid. Adverse food reactions can be immune system related or digestive system related.

Food Allergies are the biggie. That’s because the body can react to a food allergy with a wide range of ills. It can be as simple as a stuffy nose or as dangerous as anaphylaxis! Food allergies involve an immune response in which IgE antibodies are formed. The most common test for these types of allergies is IgE tests, which can detect immunoglobulin “E” traces in your blood and can then pinpoint the offending food! Some of the most popular IgE allergy tests available at Any Lab Test Now include the Basic/Pediatric Panel, the Expanded Food Panel, and the Comprehensive Combination Panel.

Sometimes you can be allergic to a food, but your reaction is cumulative instead of immediate. The most common test for these types of allergies is IgG lab tests. These tests look for traces of immunoglobulin “G” in your blood. The most common IgG tests offered by Any Lab Test Now include the Expanded Food Panel III, the Comprehensive Combination Panel I/III, and the Super Combination Panel.

Food Sensitivities are also immune related. The difference is, they do not involve IgE antibodies. Instead, food sensitivity occurs when a trigger food hits your small intestine. That’s where the offending particle passes into your bloodstream and your white blood cells are less than welcoming! It can sometimes feel like the flu, with symptoms like a headache, body aches, and serious digestive complaints.

Food Intolerances can take you from the party directly to the bathroom. They usually occur when your body lacks a certain enzyme needed to break down a food properly. Intolerances don’t involve an immune response, but your body is going to let you know by way of your digestive system. Symptoms usually include gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

With both food sensitivities and intolerances, ALCAT testing is recommended. Some of Any Lab Test Now’s most common ALCAT tests include the Pediatric Wellness Panel, the 200 Foods Panel, and the Comprehensive Platinum Panel.

Any Lab Test Now is also proud to now offer the CICA test — the Celiac, IBS, and Crohn’s Array. The CICA test measures gut health on the genetic, antibody, and cellular levels and could help pinpoint the cause of chronic discomfort.

Keep the holidays happy and healthy by pinpointing allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances now so you’ll know what to avoid later. You can use our easy Testing Road Map to determine which tests would work best for you, or you can check with one of our experts at your nearest Any Lab Test Now location.

Trigger warning! Seasonal allergies ahead

Don’t worry! There’s nothing offensive ahead…unless you find weeks of sneezing, sniffling and congestion offensive. We didn’t interview every one of them, but it’s a safe bet that most of the 50 million Americans suffering from seasonal allergies would all agree that allergies are something they could do without!

Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. They’re big business too! According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), the annual cost of allergies in America is in excess of 18 BILLION dollars. Save your sick days and your sneezes for another day. Any Lab Test Now can help you find out what triggers your seasonal allergies so you can fight the good fight…before you get KO’d.

The ACAAI says the most common seasonal allergy triggers are mold spores and pollen from trees, grass and weeds. And while you might think you know that pollen is causing your sufferings, other substances may be involved as well. The key here is to know the source of your suffering and stop it, and not just treat the symptoms. Any Lab Test Now can help you pinpoint your problems. One of these tests might help:

  • Basic Allergy Panel – This is a simple blood draw that can look for the specific antibodies to hundreds of substances…using only one needle! It tests for allergies to 32 environmental substances and foods.
  • Regional Environmental Panel – This panel tests for allergies to 39 grasses, weeds and trees, including bluegrass, fescue, ragweed, oak, willow and sycamore. It also tests for allergies to animal dander and dust mites…all with a single blood draw.

Any Lab Test Now also offers the Comprehensive Combination Panel which tests for potential allergic reactions to more than 130 common substances. Check with the experts at your local Any Lab Test Now location to decide which test works best for you. And remember: gone are the days when allergy testing meant hundreds of needle pricks. All of the seasonal allergy testing done by Any Lab Test Now is done by a blood test, which means one simple blood draw can test for sensitivity to a wide variety of possible allergens.

With results in hand, a trip to your doctor or allergist should be your next step. What can you do in the meantime? The ACAAI has some tips:

  • Monitor pollen and mold counts. There are any number of apps that can help make this easier than ever.
  • Keep your windows and doors shut at home and in your car during allergy season.
  • Stay inside during peak pollen hours.
  • If you must be outside, wear a filter mask.
  • Take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes after you’ve been working or playing outside.

Seasonal allergies don’t have to be totally miserable. Check out your local Any Lab Test Now location before your triggers take you out.

Use Your FSA On These 5 Tests

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a tax-advantaged account, to be used for medical expenses only. An FSA is different from a Health Savings Accounts (HSA) in that the money must be used within the calendar year. Unused funds left at the end of the year are returned to your employer, who can use it to offset the inevitable costs of administering benefits or may simply split it amongst the employees in the FSA plan.

This means that, if you have money left in your account, now is the time to put it to good use. Any Lab Test Now offers a variety of tests that can provide insightful information about your health and family history.

Allergy Tests

If you find yourself suffering from itchy eyes, blotchy skin or a stuffy nose, you may have allergies.  Some common allergens are pollen, grass, house dust and pet dander. At Any Lab Test Now, you can get tested and determine what is causing your allergies to act up. With test results in hand, you can get the proper medications and start making lifestyle changes to ease your symptoms.

Food Sensitivity and Intolerance Tests

If you experience a scratchy throat, hives or body swelling after eating, you may have a food sensitivity or intolerance and should be tested. Even if you did not have any food allergies as a child, it is possible to develop them later in life. Intolerance to things like lactose or gluten can have a negative impact on your digestion. By getting tested, you’ll learn how you need to adjust your diet to live more comfortably.

Vitamins, Minerals & Nutrition Lab Tests

Constantly tired, worn down or lethargic? You may suffer from a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Put your FSA to good use and learn more about your body. At Any Lab Test Now, you can talk with a qualified professional to determine which test is most appropriate for your diet and lifestyle. From a B-12 deficiency test to a potassium test to weight management take-home hormone kits, there are a variety from which to choose.

Cholesterol Tests

High cholesterol often runs in families. If you have a family history of less-than-stellar cholesterol counts, it is a good idea to get checked! Oftentimes, high cholesterol doesn’t come with any symptoms. In many cases, it goes completely undetected until an emergency event such as a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol can lead to plaque building up in your arteries, which will eventually cause damage to your body. Lifestyle changes and proper medication can help reduce the risks, so get tested today!

DNA Tests

Love history? Curious where your family came from or which relatives share a common maternal or paternal ancestor? Ancestry and lineage testing can tell you which family member is on your mother or father’s side, where your family line originated, and how you came to be. It’s a fascinating process that analyzes your mitochondria or, in men, the Y-chromosome, depending on the specific test you choose.

Those are just a few of the tests offered at Any Lab Test Now. There are many more tests, such as blood tests, drug and alcohol tests and thyroid lab tests, that may be beneficial for you. Any Lab Test Now is committed to providing patients with a top-of-the-line experience, so stop in today to talk more about what test is right for you. Available tests may vary between locations, so find your nearest Any Lab Test Now location at AnyLabTestNow.com.

 

Foods to Avoid During the Holiday Season

It’s time to deck the halls, light candles and visit with friends. From fancy cocktail affairs to cozy kitchen gatherings, people from coast to coast are getting together and bringing out their favorite fare during this season. While a little bit of nibbling can be okay for most people when done in moderation, overdoing the treats can cause serious health concerns.

What Foods to Avoid

Consumed mindlessly or in large quantities, any food can wreak havoc on your health. However, during the holiday season, these seem to be more frequently available than at other times of the year:

  • Tempting beverages. Alcoholic beverages, in general, can cause a variety of health concerns, such as cirrhosis of the liver or increased blood pressure, and alcohol consumption increases during the holiday season. Beyond concerns about over-consumption, seasonal favorites like eggnog, buttered rum and mulled cider tend to have significant amounts of fat and sugar that should be avoided.
  • Fatty meats. Prime rib, pot roast and the darker cuts of turkey will weigh you down with their high saturated fat content. (And this doesn’t even take the gravy into account!)
  • Rich, creamy sauces. Drenching mashed potatoes and topping green beans, these sauces certainly add appeal to your veggies, but they also increase the amount of fat, sodium and sugar in the dishes.
  • Extra candies. Candy canes are traditional sweets, but they are simply loaded with high fructose corn syrup that rubs up against your teeth, so be aware! And, there are other sugary culprits too: bowls of peppermints, Grandma’s fudge, and Auntie’s peanut brittle pop to mind.

From avoiding cardiac issues to maintaining hormone balance, food plays a critical role in your overall health and well-being. That’s why it’s important to become more aware of what you’re eating during this festive season.

How to Stay Holly Jolly

Of course, being careful doesn’t mean that you should skip out on all the fun! Instead, try these suggestions for taking part in the festivities without sacrificing your overall health.

  • Pick your favorites. Have a taste of the favorites you crave, but limit it to just a bite or two and be selective about which you choose.
  • Select healthier options. Grab a few nuts instead of heavy hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy a salad instead of the green bean casserole. Try gingerbread or pumpkin pie at dessert time instead of pecan pie or cheesecake.
  • Drink water. Before you leave for the festivities, drink a glass of water. This will help to control your appetite so you don’t over-graze.
  • Investigate alternatives. Instead of butter in baking, consider apple sauce. Instead of heavy cream, use low-fat milk. Try whole-grain rice instead of mashed potatoes. A quick search online will offer plenty of alternatives to help you cut down on fat, sugar and sodium in your cooking.
  • Try tracking. Since this time of year can be so hectic, consider keeping a food log or using a calorie counter app. Using one can help you become more aware of the choices that you’re making at each gathering, and help you remember all the fun items you’ve already nibbled on.

Know Your Body

While most people can sample a sweet treat or delve into a fatty dip once in a while, there are cases where a stricter diet is still advised. For instance, people who are managing their diabetes or have specific food sensitivities may need to bring extra caution to their diet as they join in the fun! If you want to know where you stand as the holiday season approaches, walk into your local Any Lab Test Now for a screening. Doing so will allow you to indulge a little bit while still knowing that your body can handle the impact of the food you’re enjoying.

Remain at the Top of Your Game – Athletic Testing is Here for You!

With back-to-school announcements approaching quickly, so is the kickoff to the fall athletic season. Sports teams will begin tryouts, mandatory practices and, soon enough, be in full swing for the season. We know that, as a parent, you want your child to remain competitive and healthy while playing the sport they love. Yet there’s always a chance that a young athlete’s immune system and overall performance may fall vulnerable to numerous internal and external factors. Fortunately, Any Lab Test Now offers a timely and convenient method of obtaining the lab tests you need to help take control of your child’s health.

Benefits of Athletic Testing Services

All student athletes are required to have an updated physical on file prior to competing. In addition to a basic physical, you may want more in-depth knowledge on your child’s health so that they can continue to perform at their peak. Any Lab Test Now offers a wide range of lab tests with results typically available in 72 hours or less. No appointment or insurance is necessary for the tests. Not to mention, lab tests are still the most cost-effective approach to uncovering and preventing disease.

After testing, your athlete will receive the information they need, within a prompt time frame, to report back to their primary physician. Whether your soccer star has been struggling to catch his breath on the field and you’re worried about allergies or your cross-country runner is more tired that normal, Any Lab Test Now can help you uncover hidden issues that may be impacting your child’s health and physical performance.

Common lab tests to help monitor an athlete’s overall health, include:

Allergy Tests

Vitamins, Minerals And Nutrition Lab Tests

Anemia Panel

Sickle Cell Anemia Screen

Preventing Injury and Improving Performance

It’s crucial for young, competitive athletes to remain attentive to their body’s needs during such a pivotal time in their growth and development. Sometimes, this can be a challenge as ambitious athletes want to focus their full attention on improving their performance on the field, court or track. Fortunately, the variety of tests offered at an Any Lab Test Now location can ensure athletes accomplish both.

Lab tests supply detailed information on specific processes happening within the body. By locating the origin of a problem, an athlete can learn more about their body and educate themselves on how to stay healthy when playing at a competitive level. Preventing long-term injury and/or internal imbalances are pivotal for an athlete’s achievement.

Lab tests also provide scientific data that can set a baseline of where an athlete stands in comparison to the status quo. This allows them the opportunity to set personal health goals and improve their fitness. The smallest change in an athlete’s diet or training could make all the difference in shredding a few seconds off a mile-time or scoring an extra goal.

Competing at the high school level, on travel teams or in front of college recruiters requires dedication to overall fitness and wellness. Ensure your child’s health is on the right track by addressing any sign of potential injury and helping them stay educated about their bodies. If you want immediate answers regarding your young athlete’s health, visit your convenient Any Lab Test Now location to get them tested today.

SPRING IS IN BLOOM; SO ARE SEASONAL ALLERGIES

If you’re a seasonal allergy sufferer, you don’t need a calendar to tell you when winter is over; your nose probably will. Spring came a little early this year and it took many seasonal allergy sufferers by surprise. If you can’t stop and smell the roses because you’re too busy sneezing and sniffling, then it’s probably because you suffer from seasonal allergies. Luckily Any Lab Test Now is here to help arm you with information to ease your suffering.

Why Spring Means Suffering

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), allergies are a major cause of illness in the United States, with as many as 50 million people having allergies of some type. Allergy symptoms occur when your immune system overreacts to a trigger found in your environment. Usual symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes and/or nose
  • Runny nose

The usual culprits? Grass, pollen and mold are common triggers! All the things that make spring so special. Of course, no season has the market covered when it comes to allergies. Some people can sail through the bloom and get caught in the fall with woodsmoke, or in the winter with holiday decorations pulled down from a dusty attic.

How to Manage Your Seasonal Allergies

According to the ACAAI, the most important step to managing your seasonal allergies is to know your triggers. The most common tests for these types of allergies are IgE tests. These tests detect immunoglobulin “E” traces in your blood, and can pinpoint the allergen. That’s where Any Lab Test Now can help. Some of the most popular IgE allergy tests now offered by Any Lab Test Now include:

One of our medical assistants can help you decide which test is best for you; or you can try our easy to use Road Map of Symptoms to help guide you to the most appropriate option.

What to Do After You Know Your Trigger

You’ll want to check with your doctor to decide on the best treatment for you, but there are many medications available both over the counter and by prescription that can help. Some patients find that immunotherapy helps. There’s even promising research on probiotics. And, reducing your exposure to your allergy triggers is always a good idea.
At Any Lab Test Now, we want you to fall back in love with spring and all that it has to offer. Understanding your seasonal allergy triggers is the first step to feeling more comfortable at this time of year, so walk in to your local Any Lab Test Now to talk with a medical assistant about the test that’s right for you.

The Top 5 Things To Avoid This Holiday Season

What do you do when your food won’t treat you right? From causing digestive problems or headaches to giving you long-term health concerns, sometimes the simple act of eating what we love can make us feel horrible. And while there are about 40 foods that are known to cause reactions for people, the five on this list are the most notorious trouble-makers. If you don’t feel so hot after consuming some of these foods, you might want to avoid them over the holidays. And if you’re not sure what food is making you feel ill, visit your local Any Lab Test Now for an ALCAT test that will pinpoint your food sensitivity!

Dairy

Dairy foods are notoriously hard to process. According to Medline Plus, a division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, about 30 million Americans have some degree of lactose intolerance by the time they reach age 20. The most common symptoms of lactose intolerance are gas, bloating, diarrhea and cramping, beginning within 30 minutes of consuming dairy. You can work around lactose intolerance by consuming different types of dairy products, by consuming them in smaller amounts or by consuming products made with soy or nut milks. You can also use supplements of the enzyme lactase to help you digest dairy more easily. The ALCAT panel offered by Any Lab Test Now can help you pinpoint whether your digestive distress is caused by lactose intolerance.

Food additives

Food additives can be any substance, natural or man-made, that brings about a certain change to taste, texture or nutritional content. These can include vitamins and minerals, flavorings, colors, preservatives and chemicals that change the acidity or texture of foods. The adverse effects of food additives can be as varied as the additives themselves. Eight additives are responsible for most adverse reactions: sulfites, parabens, nitrates, BHT and benzoates, which are preservatives; monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame, which are flavor enhancers; and tartrazine, a yellow dye. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, some symptoms of adverse reactions can be hives, difficulty breathing, digestive troubles and nausea.

High saturated fat

Foods that are high in saturated fat can contribute to high cholesterol and heart disease. High cholesterol is a gradual, chronic condition that makes your heart work a lot harder to pump blood throughout your body, but doesn’t present very many noticeable symptoms at first. But foods with high saturated fat contents can also cause some immediate digestive distress if you’re sensitive to it. Inflammation is a likely result of eating too many foods high in saturated fat, because they irritate your stomach as you digest them. You can experience heartburn, coughing and even shortness of breath after eating these foods. Foods like butter, fatty meat products, lard and full-fat dairy products, and foods made with any of those products, are all foods you might be sensitive to. In addition to the ALCAT panel, which will let you know if these foods irritate your digestive system, the lipid panel or Lipoprotein Particle Profile at Any Lab Test Now can show you your risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.

Wheat

A growing number of people are being diagnosed with wheat sensitivity or celiac disease. Celiac disease is a relatively recent discovery in the field of digestive health, and many who have struggled their whole lives with confusing symptoms are finally getting the answers they’ve sought. According to Beyond Celiac, while about 3 million Americans suffer from celiac disease, it is estimated that six times that amount have some form of gluten sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity involves an immune response a few hours or days after eating gluten and the symptoms can include confusion, joint pain, numbness of the arms, legs or fingers, and headache.

Red Wine

Some people have reactions when they drink alcohol that go beyond the typical symptoms of drunkenness. Experiencing anything from trouble breathing to flushing and headaches, people with a sensitivity to alcohol do not enjoy a night of drinking as much as some others might. The sensitivity could be brought on by the alcohol, or by a specific drink, like red wine. Additionally, the alcohol could simply be triggering a food sensitivity, rather than causing the reaction itself. The only way to know for sure is to get tested!

The holidays are a time for fun, family and of course, lots and lots of food. This holiday season, don’t let your food sensitivities make mealtimes a pain. Visit your local Any Lab Test Now for a lipid panel and ALCAT food panel to find out what foods don’t sit right with your body!

Spring Is Right Around the Corner, and So Are Allergies

Prepare Yourself for Spring Allergies

Birds chip, flowers bloom, trees bud and little bunnies appear. It’s spring! As the days grow longer and warmer, people spend more time outdoors, and windows slide open to let in a breath of fresh air. It’s a time for picnics, long walks in the woods and cleaning up the yard from winter’s mess.

Unfortunately for some people, spring can be an uncomfortable time of year. People with seasonal allergies find themselves rubbing at itchy eyes and battling a continuously running nose. They may experience wheezing, if allergies trigger an asthma attack. They may also suffer from headaches or see dark circles under their eyes. These people feel like they have a cold that won’t ever go away!

While various foods, mold or pets can trigger allergy symptoms, the cause of springtime allergies is typically pollen. With so much new plant growth this time of year, pollen wafts through the air and settles on every surface. When someone with a pollen sensitivity or allergy inhales the pollen, the body perceives it as a threat and releases antibodies to protect itself. Antibodies are the same mechanism the body uses to fight off a cold, which is why allergy sufferers experience symptoms that are similar to colds.

Fortunately, general allergy testing for adults and kids is much simpler now than in years past. Years ago, testing involved hundreds of needle pricks to determine the allergy cause. Today, testing only requires a simple blood sample to determine which pollens, foods or other triggers are causing the allergy symptoms. To further help springtime allergy sufferers, regional environmental allergy tests can help identify which area plants may be triggering an allergic reaction, making allergy control simpler.

While seasonal allergies can encroach on one’s quality of life, they are not typically severe enough to be dangerous. They can, however, impact your ability to sleep, contributing to a loss of productivity and mood disorders, so attending to the symptoms is important. In addition to both over-the-counter and prescribed medicines, there are a variety of lifestyle changes that can help minimize symptoms, such as:

  • Wearing a mask while mowing the lawn or doing yard work.
  • Closing the windows and using air conditioning.
  • Avoiding outdoor activities early in the morning when pollen is at its worst.
  • Washing your hands when you come in contact with pollen or other allergens.
  • Changing your comfort system’s air filter regularly.
  • Taking your shoes off to avoid tracking pollen through the house.

Once you have taken your seasonal allergy test, you’ll be better able to identify the cause of your symptoms. From there, you can put a plan in place to start minimizing your exposure to the allergen and start feeling better so you can enjoy the beauty of the spring season!