Give Your Heart Some Love During Heart Health Month

Between work, social activities and taking care of a family, it may be easy to forget to take care of yourself.  However, it’s important to make sure your heart’s health is top-notch, especially if you’re the heart of the household.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Many of those at risk may not even realize there is a problem.  Since February is American Hearth Month, it serves as a reminder that there’s never a bad time to make sure your heart is in good condition and avoid being one of those people who is putting their health on the line.

Your Life, Your Heart, Your Choice:

While various heart problems may be inherited, many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices.  Having a poor diet, excessive alcohol use, smoking, stress and physical inactivity are all lifestyle choices that put people at a higher risk for heart disease.  These factors lead to high blood pressure, which thickens arteries and narrows blood vessels.  Obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, diabetes and other risk factors can also lead to high blood cholesterol levels, which can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries.  If that information doesn’t get you to change your habits, consider this: about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack every year.

Know the Warning Signs:

Chest discomfort and pain in your left arm aren’t the only warning signs that something is wrong with your heart.  Nausea, feeling lightheaded, and pain in the throat or jaw could also be signs of trouble too.  Also, if you’ve developed an annoying cough that produces white or pink mucus, check with your doctor.  When the heart can’t keep up with the body’s demands, this causes blood to leak back into the lungs.  Another sign something is up could be if your legs and feet are swollen.  Blood can get backed up in the veins and cause bloating when the heart can’t pump fast enough.

Take a Test:

If you’re worried about your heart health, take just a couple of minutes to visit your nearest Any Lab Test Now location and see if everything is OK.  The Lipid Panel, which is just $49, includes tests to measure if a patient has abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.  The C-Reactive Protein Test measures the amount of protein in your blood that indicates inflammation.  The test will let you know if inflammation has damaged arteries, thus increasing the chances of a heart attack.  The Lipoprotein Particle Profile Test is the most advanced test available to predict heart disease risk.  Low Density Lipoprotein cholesterol, LDL, is also known as the “bad cholesterol.”  High numbers of small, dense LDL particles can cause plaque buildup, and ultimately cardiovascular disease.  The Lipoprotein Particle Profile Test measures the particles directly.

American Heart Month is the perfect time to show your heart some love.  After all, it does so much for you!  Visit your local Any Lab Test Now to get started.

Stay Heart Healthy This February!

Walk into any retail location and you’ll see red, pink and purple hearts of all shapes and sizes. February is the month of love, and the heart represents this feeling for many people. Did you know, however, that February is also Heart Health Awareness Month?

This year, celebrate your heart by making healthy lifestyle changes and taking action to prevent chronic conditions like heart disease. Heart disease kills more American adults than any other cause of death, including cancer, accidents and diabetes. For this year’s Heart Health Awareness Month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want Americans to focus on one healthy behavior they can make into a habit to take control of their heart health.

After all, your heart health influences your daily life and everything you want to do. From how often you get sick to how much activity your body can handle, a healthy heart makes your whole body run right. Symptoms of heart disease can be unique for everyone, but will often include fatigue, shortness of breath, angina or pain in the chest, nausea and swelling of feet or ankles (also known as edema). Your heart never rests — and your heart health influences your quality of life even when you’re asleep, so it’s critical that it remains healthy.

Heart disease can be difficult to detect on its own, which is why it’s so important to use laboratory testing and regular visits to your primary care physician to keep yourself on track. To find out what your risk is and begin your journey to a healthier heart, you should schedule a Cardiac Risk Panel at Any Lab Test Now this month. Getting a laboratory test entails a simple, one-time visit that will allow you to see your levels of blood cholesterol, C-reactive protein and homocysteine. These levels are an indication of how hard your heart is working and how much inflammation is in your body. Any Lab Test Now also offers a variety of other heart health related tests to consider, like cholesterol testing.

Once you have your results, you can take them to your doctor to discuss your lifestyle and how you can improve your habits, one step at a time. Suggestions may include dietary changes, increasing the consistency with which you take prescription drugs, increased exercise or quitting smoking.

Your cardiovascular system is important for your quality of life, so make February the month you take charge of your habits and make an improvement in your health. For more information on how to use Any Lab Test Now’s laboratory testing to determine your risk, visit our website!

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.

What are the Differences between a Lipid Panel, VAP® Test and PLAC Test?

So you’ve been told you may need to have some cholesterol tests done.  Or, maybe you are getting ready to get in shape and eat right, and want to set a baseline to measure what’s going on inside. Getting tested is the first step to becoming a healthier, happier you. Any Lab Test Now is here to help you Take Control of your Health® with the Lipid Panel, VAP Test or PLAC Test – three different tests to measure your cardiovascular health. But which test is right for you? Read on to learn more about each of these tests.

Lipid Panel
A Lipid Panel is used to determine if you have abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. These measurements can help your doctor determine if you are at risk for heart disease or other coronary illnesses. A Lipid Panel includes five tests: Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, HDL/LDL ratio and triglycerides. When evaluated together, these tests can help your doctor determine if you would benefit from a cholesterol maintenance medication. You are required to fast for at least eight hours prior to the tests. A Lipid Panel costs only $49 at Any Lab Test Now.

VAP Test
A VAP Test, or Vertical Auto Profile test, is used to provide an extremely accurate picture of an individual’s potential for heart disease and diabetes. Not only does this test include the basic cholesterol tests seen in the Lipid Panel, but it also gives a detailed report of individual lipoprotein subclasses and apolipoprotein subclasses. It identifies any cholesterol abnormalities that may be a precursor to heart disease or diabetes and can help your doctor provide the proper care to prevent future heart attacks. Best of all, you are not required to fast for this test so can come in anytime during the day. A VAP Test costs $79 at Any Lab Test Now.

PLAC Test
A PLAC Test measures the increase of an enzyme present when your arteries are inflamed. This test can help your doctor better assess your risk for heart attack and stroke, as well as determine any necessary medication or lifestyle changes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration uses this test to assess the risk of coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke, associated with atherosclerosis. The PLAC Test is usually an “add on” to other tests, and no additional blood work is necessary if done with another blood test or panel. You are not required to fast for this test. A PLAC Test costs $139 at Any Lab Test Now.

Ignoring it won’t make it better!  If you haven’t had your cholesterol checked lately, now is the time to do it – for you and your family.

February is American Heart Month. Take Care of Yours.

Did you know that approximately 600,000 Americans die from heart disease every year? Reported to be the leading killer in both men and women, heart disease currently accounts for 1 in every 4 deaths. While it is a major threat to the health of many, there are actions you can take to prevent it from becoming a threat to yours.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines the following steps to take in planning for prevention of cardiovascular disease:

  • Receive an annual checkup to get tested for high blood pressure and diabetes; two common conditions linked to the disease.

  • Take part in daily physical activity to help you manage your weight and keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check.

  • Maintain a healthy diet by avoiding foods high in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. By having a well-balanced meal plan consisting of protein, fruits and vegetables, you can lower your risk of developing high blood pressure and becoming overweight; an additional risk factor associated with heart disease.

  • Limit your alcohol use to avoid an increase in your blood pressure. The CDC recommends that men should have no more than two drinks per day and women have no more than one.

  • If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely and talk with your healthcare team about treatment options.

Visit your local Any Lab Test Now® to see if you may be at risk of heart disease. Receive a Heart Health Panel to understand your overall heart health or choose a test specific to your personal risk factors such as one of our Cholesterol Tests or Diabetes Lab Tests. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you Take Control of Your Health®.