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!

Using Athletic Testing to Monitor Your Progress

Athletic TestingWhether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting your journey to fitness, you know that the more information you have about your performance, the easier it will be to build your diet and activity to yield maximum results. The superficial information is easy enough to get — it’s obvious when there are changes in your energy levels and appearance. But to know how your lifestyle is impacting your body’s internal systems, you need more thorough testing. At Any Lab Test Now, we have a series of tests that will help you determine where your body is starting from before you begin your fitness regimen, and ongoing testing to help you see what changes are going on under the surface as you train. Here are some ways Any Lab Test Now can help you in your athletic endeavors.

There are myriad tests you should undergo if you are starting a new fitness program, especially if you haven’t exercising regularly and are looking to make a dramatic change. In addition to giving you a full picture of the impact your current lifestyle is having on your body, comprehensive athletic testing can reveal underlying health issues that might make exercising or changing your diet challenging or risky. For example, if you have heart trouble that hasn’t been addressed, strenuous exercise can cause a heart attack. You should also get detailed information on your dietary intake by testing for nutrient deficiencies. This will help you build a targeted and detailed diet plan to meet your body’s needs.

You should continue testing to monitor your progress over time. Exercise and proper diet are known to lead to a reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular problems and metabolic disorders like diabetes, so continued testing should show a decrease in those panels. The micronutrient panel should show improvements, as should the hormone test, indicating that your body’s systems are functioning better. Another reason to continue testing is to help you make course corrections during your training. By helping you catch problems while they’re still relatively minor, these tests can save you time and discomfort, and help you keep your training on track.

This might sound complicated, but at Any Lab Test Now, we make it easy to keep track of what’s going on inside your body. So don’t stay in the dark about your health! If it’s worth going to the trouble of starting a fitness program, it’s worth knowing what would serve you best in your efforts. So find your local Any Lab Test Now to take a peek at your body’s inner workings with athletic testing!

The Importance of Cholesterol Testing

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Is your heart healthy? You may think the answer is “yes”, but do you really know? If you are an American male with an average American diet and lifestyle, the odds are not in your favor. In fact, the CDC says that 73.5 million adults (31.7%) in the United States have high LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. And of those people, fewer than 1 out of every 3 adults (29.5%) has the condition under control.

You might be thinking, “So what? Who cares if my cholesterol is a little high?” YOU should care, and here’s why:

1. It can kill you. People with high total cholesterol have approximately twice the risk for heart disease as people with ideal cholesterol levels. Additionally, lowering your cholesterol can reduce your risk of having a heart attack, needing heart bypass surgery or angioplasty, and dying of heart disease.

2. Even if it doesn’t kill you, it can lessen your quality of life. You’ll suffer countless possible health problems, including chest pain, circulatory problems, digestive problems and gallstones.

So what is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that travels through your blood on lipoproteins and is necessary for important bodily functions such as making hormones and digesting fats. Everyone needs cholesterol, but certain factors like poor diet can cause a person to have too much of it, and this can be a very bad thing. When you have too much cholesterol in your body, or high cholesterol, it will start to build up in plaque deposits along the walls of your blood vessels. Over time, this build-up causes the blood vessels to become narrower and narrower, allowing less blood flow to reach your heart and other organs. This can cause angina or even a heart attack if an artery becomes fully blocked by plaque.

Even if you think you’re healthy, it’s a good idea to get your cholesterol checked so that you can establish a baseline for monitoring your cholesterol in the future. And if you have high cholesterol, the sooner you learn about it, the better, so that steps can be taken to lessen your risk of death from heart disease.

At Any Lab Test Now, there are several options to choose from when it comes to cholesterol testing.

Our Lipid Panel provides a comprehensive look at your cholesterol levels, including testing for your total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, HDL/LDL ratio and triglycerides. The Lipid Panel is a great option for establishing a baseline from which to continuously monitor your cholesterol levels.
href=”https://www.anylabtestnow.com/tests/cholesterol-maintenance-panel/”>The Cholesterol Medication Maintenance Panel
and Basic Check-Up Panel are also excellent testing options for measuring your cholesterol levels. Talk to our experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn which cholesterol testing is right for you.

Celebrating Men’s Health Month!

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 10.26.17 AMSocietal expectations promote the idea that men should be tough and self-reliant, causing many to avoid visiting their doctor for routine check-ups and screenings. This June, the Men’s Health Network is celebrating Men’s Health Month to raise awareness about preventable causes of death in men and to encourage men to seek screenings that can help them live longer healthier lives.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the top five preventable diseases that affect men are:

1. Heart disease. The number one killer of men is heart disease. Sadly, about 47% of the deaths from heart disease occur outside of the hospital. This means that men are not reacting to, or not experiencing, cardiac distress symptoms, like chest pain, nausea, cold sweats, upper body discomfort, lightheadedness or shortness of breath. So that men are better prepared to make a decision about seeking care, it is critical that they understand their heart health today and be aware of how it is changing over the years.  We recommend you consider the LPP Basic or LPP Plus Test!

2. Cancer. While men can be affected by many forms of cancer, skin and prostate cancer are the two most common. In fact, about one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Fortunately, prostate cancer is a relatively slow-growing cancer, and with early detection survival rates after five years are at 90 percent. We recommend you consider our PSA Test.

3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases. Smoking is the primary cause of chronic lower respiratory diseases. For this reason, men should quit smoking, or work with their doctor to get help in doing so. Chronic lower respiratory disease includes both chronic bronchitis and emphysema and is commonly referred to as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

4. Stroke. Every four minutes someone in the United States dies from a stroke: strokes are also the leading cause of preventable disability in the country. Strokes are caused by blocked blood vessels or from blood leaking into the brain. A health lifestyle that limits alcohol and avoids smoking may help to prevent a stroke from occurring.

5. Diabetes. Routine monitoring of diabetes symptoms is critical for living well with diabetes. By staying on top of the body’s needs, the 1.4 million people living with diabetes can help to stave off serious complications, such as nerve and kidney damage, cardiovascular problems or death. We recommend our Glucose or Hemoglobin A1C Test!

Men may feel that society dissuades them from seeking routine medical care and screenings. In reality though, by taking advantage of walk-in tests, like those offered by Any Lab Test Now, and gathering information about their health men may actually live stronger and more self-reliant lives longer.

Top Five Diseases That Affect Women’s Health

ALTN May corp(1)As women race through their days, many don’t stop to focus on their own health and well-being. For this reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health has designated May 8-14 as Women’s Health Week. This marks the 17th time the week has been recognized in an effort to encourage women to take ownership of their health.

While women’s health concerns may change as they age, five of the top health concerns faced by women include:

Heart disease. Heart disease accounts for more than 22 percent of female deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are multiple contributing factors to heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Exercise and other healthy lifestyle choices can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Cancer. The Susan G. Komen foundation shares that one in eight women who lives to the age of 85 is at risk for breast cancer. Fortunately, with early detection, survival rates can be quite high. To protect themselves, women regularly should be completing self-breast exams, scheduling routine mammograms and seeking testing to see if they have any markers that could signify malignant tumors in any area of the body.

Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases. This is often more recognizable as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and includes both emphysema and chronic bronchitis. While pollutants and chemical toxins may contribute to the development of these diseases, smokers get COPD nearly 12 times as frequently as non-smokers.

Stroke. Strokes are caused by blood clots that prevent blood from reaching the brain. According to Harvard Medical School, high blood pressure is the No. 1 risk factor for developing blood clots. Be sure to have your blood pressure checked regularly, especially if you are a smoker or using oral contraception. In addition, having a healthy lifestyle, which includes not smoking, can help reduce the chance of developing a blood clot.

Alzheimer’s disease.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Age, family history and heredity are the most common risk factors. While there is still much to learn about the disease, scientists are looking at the impact of exercise, diet and brain-engaging activities as potential ways to help keep the disease at bay.

So, ladies, celebrate Women’s Health Week by becoming more informed about the state of your own health, working with a doctor to address any issues and making lifestyle changes that will help you live your healthiest life yet!

Give Your Heart Some Love

Feb. newsletter heart smallFebruary is full of hearts. Heart-shaped candies and cards, notes from loved ones signed with hearts, red and pink hearts in advertisements — they’re everywhere you look! And with mobile technology on the rise, you’re even getting hearts in your inbox! Love is in the air, and Valentine’s Day certainly puts the heart at the top of everyone’s mind, but are you thinking about the most important heart of all?

February is American Heart Month, and it’s time to start thinking about the heart. No, we’re not talking about the cutesy Valentine’s Day hearts you’re seeing everywhere these days. We’re talking about the heart beating inside you. The heart that’s keeping you alive. The heart that we’re guessing you haven’t given much thought about this month, or ever, for that matter.

So, why should you be thinking about your heart? Because heart disease is the leading cause of death in Americans, killing more people than every form of cancer combined. One in every four deaths in America is caused by heart disease, and if you aren’t concerned by this number, you should be.

There’s a reason heart disease is so prevalent in America. The most common cause of cardiovascular and heart disease is a buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries. And this plaque buildup is in turn commonly caused by certain lifestyle choices like:

  • having an unhealthy diet
  • lack of exercise
  • smoking
  • being overweight

It comes as no surprise that with an obesity epidemic overtaking the country, heart disease is right around the corner for millions of Americans. And the fact of the matter is, most people aren’t living a perfectly healthy lifestyle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. That’s more than 78 million Americans who are at risk for having heart disease just because of their weight. Whether it’s a desk job, overly large portion sizes and unhealthy dietary choices, or maybe those hours spent watching TV every night, it is clear that something needs to change for a lot of people. But the question is, are you one of them?

How healthy is your heart? Do you really know the answer to that question? If not, you could be one of the millions of Americans with heart disease or at risk for developing heart disease. No one ever thinks it will be them, but the numbers don’t lie. There’s a possibility that you could be the one out of four who dies from heart disease unless you take the actions necessary to prevent it. The good thing about these odds, however, is that you can make the choice to actively change them. And the first step to taking control of your health is to get tested.

At Any Lab Test Now, there are lots of ways you can get started taking care of your heart! It is incredibly important to get tested if you think you could be at risk for heart disease. Once you have your results, you can begin making a plan for what you need to do to stay healthy.

The Heart Health Panel is a great option for those looking for a clear picture of their overall heart health. This panel can determine your risk for heart or cardiovascular disease by monitoring any electrolyte imbalances, and current cholesterol status in your body. It consists of four tests:

  1. VAP® (Vertical Auto Profile)
  2. Chemistry Panel (16 essential tests)
  3. C-Reactive Protein
  4. Homocysteine

If you’re interested in determining the health of your heart, you may also want to consider the C-Reactive Protein (High Sensitivity, Cardiac) test. It is a blood test that can assess your risk for cardiovascular disease, as well as your risk of having a heart problem or heart attack.

So, take some time off from thinking about all those Valentine’s Day hearts and give some love to the heart that matters most — the one inside you! It’s time to take control of your heart health and get tested so you can live your best life, for many more Februarys to come.

Eating Your Way Through The Holidays? You Might Want to Check Your Sugar Levels First

‘Tis the season — the season of eating, that is! We all get excited about our favorite foods when the holidays come around. There’s just something special about sharing a meal with family and friends, often with beloved family recipes that have been passed down through the generations. And there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a special meal with loved ones. The problem comes when these meals are high in unhealthy fats, added sugars and other not-so-good-for-you ingredients. Not to mention the fact that the spirit of the season has come to include a tradition of rampant over-indulgence in our favorite holiday treats. (Seconds, anyone?  Leftovers tomorrow?) This time of year is especially difficult if you have diabetes or prediabetes. You may want to reach for that pumpkin pie, but it is imperative to your health that you keep your sugar levels under control. So how can you enjoy the season and all the delicious foods it has to offer while keeping your health in check? Knowing your sugar levels ahead of time will help you decide what is safe to eat and what you should avoid.

Why should you check your sugar levels?

If you have diabetes or prediabetes, you know how important it is to keep your sugar levels down. Insulin is a hormone that helps get glucose (sugar) to your cells to use as energy. With diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without insulin, the glucose remains in your blood, raising your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Having high blood sugar can cause a number of serious problems to your health including, damage to your eyes, kidneys and nerves as well as heart disease, stroke and even the need for amputation.

One of the best ways to keep your blood sugar levels in check is to stick to a diabetes-friendly diet that limits foods high in sugar, fat, salt and carbohydrates. Everyone’s body is different, and it’s best to consult with a dietician to find a meal plan that’s right for you. But before you can know what you can and can’t eat, you need to know your blood sugar levels. This will give you an idea of how well you are managing your diabetes or if you are in danger of becoming diabetic.

The best way to know your sugar levels? Get tested!

If you are unsure of your blood sugar levels and you are concerned about your health, it is best to get tested before that big holiday dinner. When you are aware of your health, you can be proactive about preventing any serious problems. Would you rather have that second helping of sweet potato casserole or keep your left foot? It may sound extreme, but this is the situation you could be facing if you don’t keep your sugar levels under control as a diabetic or prediabetic. But if you want to take control of your health, you’re in luck! Any Lab Test Now has several testing options to help you monitor your blood sugar levels quickly and easily, no appointment necessary!

The Hemoglobin A1c Test is a valuable measure of the overall blood glucose levels over a period of time (two?three months). This test can be used to help detect prediabetes and diagnose diabetes. If you’re diabetic, this test can help determine if your disease is under control.

The Glucose (Serum) Test, also known as the Fasting Blood Glucose Test, 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. Diabetics self conduct this test multiple times a day to monitor their blood glucose, which is conducted as a finger stick and measured with a home glucometer. This test will determine if your blood glucose level is within a healthy range. It will also screen for, diagnose and monitor prediabetes, diabetes, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

The Diabetes Maintenance Panel is an effective panel for both diabetics and for those who want to see if they have diabetes. This panel includes four tests: The Complete Blood Count (CBC), the Fasting Glucose, the Hemoglobin A1c and the Diabetic Urinalysis. The information gained from the four tests in this panel will give you and your physician the necessary information to help monitor and/or adjust your diabetic medications.
Talk to our experts at Any Lab Test Now to find out which test is right for you! The sooner you know your blood sugar levels, the sooner you can take control of your health this holiday season.

National Immunization Awareness Month: What that Means for Your College Student

Now that August has arrived, that can only mean one thing — it’s time for your student to start heading back to school! But did you know that August is also National Immunization Awareness Month? Getting immunized against infectious diseases is important for your health, as well as the health of those around you. And with the start of the new school year just around the corner, you may need to make sure your student is up to date on all their vaccinations.

Most colleges, universities and technical programs require students to provide proof of their necessary immunizations. Our titers tests for measles, mumps, rubella and varicella are an easy alternative to tracking down your old pediatrician from 10+ years ago or finding those old medical records you promised yourself you’d get around to organizing. Instead of spending hours searching for lost records, a titers test can quickly and easily check if you are immune to certain diseases. In just one visit, we can have you tested and your results ready to send to your student’s school within 48 -72 hours of testing.

Some health care study programs may require additional tests including proof of immunization for Hepatitis B and C, a yearly flu shot or even drug testing. The good news is, we can provide these, too! Instead of going to your doctor and racking up lots of fees and sitting through several separate doctor visits, why not make it easy on yourself and get everything done at once — cheaply, efficiently and hassle-free!

We know starting the new school year can be hectic. That’s why we at Any Lab Test Now want to relieve some of your stress by offering easy and affordable solutions to all of your most pressing back-to-school health care needs. We can provide proof of immunizations, flu shots and even help you fulfill those extensive requirements for health care study programs. And there’s no additional cost for a physician’s visit — we provide the doctor’s order. So don’t run all over town. We’re your one-source solution at Any Lab Test Now.

Okay, Gentlemen. It is Time To Get Tested

This upcoming week, June 13th-19th, is nationally recognized as Men’s Health Week. Designated as a week-long opportunity to raise awareness on the responsibility men have to monitor their health, Any Lab Test Now® is challenging all of our male readers to begin to Take Control of Your Health® by learning exactly what kind of shape your current health is in and how you can start to improve it.

So, where do we fit in the picture? Our lab testing services include a wide range of men’s health specific tests. Whether you’re looking for a basic check-up or a more particular health issue test, we have what will meet your needs. Take a look at some of our men’s health-focused tests and see if there is one you could benefit from having.

Comprehensive Male Panel

This panel provides men with valuable knowledge that speaks to their overall health. After receiving this set of tests, a man will understand his current risk for:

  • coronary heart disease

  • stroke

  • liver and kidney failure

  • blood disorders

  • prostate cancer

  • thyroid conditions

Men’s Heart Health Panel

This panel will give a man a clear picture of his overall heart health. This panel will help identify a man’s risk for:

  • cardiovascular heart disease

  • low blood count and electrolyte levels

  • kidneyand liver conditions

  • cholesterol abnormalities

  • diabetes

Continued Testosterone Replacement Therapy Panel

This panel is very helpful for men who are taking androgen/testosterone replacements. The results from this panel will give a man a clear understanding of how effective his treatments are and how they are affecting his entire body. If a man taking testosterone replacements has too much of the hormone in his body, he can be at risk of developing serious health issues including:

  • prostate cancer

  • blood clots

  • stroke

  • sleep apnea

The above three tests are just a few of the many men’s health related tests that we offer. Take a look at our full list of male-specific lab testing services and give your local Any Lab Test Now® a call today to learn more about how we can help you begin to Take Control of Your Health® during National Men’s Health Week.

What Your Feet Reveal About Your Health

Our feet have a full-time job. They hold us up all day long, day in and day out. They constantly support us no matter what we are doing — except when we’re sitting, of course. But what you may not know is that our feet can actually do so much more for us. They can be a signal for you when something is wrong somewhere else in your body. Are you ready to start feeling like your best self? Take a look at your feet. All you have to do is know the signs and pay attention.

Hairless Feet or Toes

Have your friends always marveled at your completely hairless feet and toes? This may seem like a dream come true for some, but you may want to pay a little more attention to those smooth steppers. Completely hair-free feet could be an indicator of poor circulation, which in turn can be a sign of vascular disease. But how can you know for sure? If the pulse in your ankles feels weak or you can’t feel it at all, it may be time to talk to your doctor.

Spoon-Shaped Toenails

If your toenails turn upward at the ends, forming a concave spoon shape, this may be a sign that you have iron-deficiency anemia. This occurs when there is not enough hemoglobin in the blood, which helps transport oxygen throughout the body. Other symptoms may include fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath and headaches. If your toenails appear spoon-shaped, and you exhibit any of these other symptoms, it is recommended that you get tested for anemia.

Numbness

If your feet feel numb a lot — and not just from sitting for too long — there could be some more serious issues at play. Tingling or the inability to feel your feet at all could mean there is damage to your nervous system. This could be a warning sign of diabetes, so be sure to consult your doctor if you experience this symptom.

Cold Feet

Cold feet? It might not just be the temperature. This could be a sign of many things, including poor blood circulation and anemia. The most serious indication, however, is hypothyroidism. Other symptoms of an improperly functioning thyroid include dry skin, fatigue and weight gain. While the most immediate relief will come from bundling up those toes, hypothyroidism is best handled by a medical professional. If any or all of these symptoms sound familiar, it might be time to get tested.

A Swollen Big Toe

Has your big toe suddenly become red, sore and twice its usual size? This is a pretty sure warning sign that you have gout, a form of arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the body. At lower temperatures, uric acid crystallizes, and your outer extremities, especially your feet, tend to have the lowest temperatures of any spot in your body; hence, the swelling in your big toe.This can be a painful condition, so if you are showing signs of gout, it is best to talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

So what are you waiting for? Check out those toes! What are yourfeet tellingyou? What they have to say just might help you improve your health in the long run.