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Why baby boomers should care about hepatitis awareness

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has named the month of May Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19 in particular as national Hepatitis Testing Day. It’s information everyone should pay close attention to; because chronic hepatitis B and C can cause serious damage to your liver. But your local Any Lab Test Now location wants baby boomers, in particular, to mark their calendars on Hepatitis Testing Day for a very simple reason — you are most at risk.

Baby Boomers and Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is spread through contact with blood or other body fluids from an infected person. Baby boomers are five times more likely to have hepatitis C than other adults, according to the CDC. Most of them are unaware that they are infected. The reason baby boomers have such high rates isn’t completely understood, but health officials have three main theories:

  1. Health officials believe boomers are at an increased risk because they became infected from medical equipment or procedures before universal precautions and infection control procedures were adopted.
  2. Others could have gotten infected from contaminated blood before widespread screening of the blood supply was implemented. Screening virtually eliminated the virus from the blood supply by 1992.
  3. Sharing needles or equipment to inject drugs can also spread hepatitis C.

Many people will never know how they were infected, just like many never realize that they are living with a dangerous contagious disease.

Symptoms of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis, and is now the leading cause of liver cancer. The good news is, it can be cured! But you have to be aware that you have the disease and the sooner you know, the better your chances of recovery. Here’s what to look for:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

But here’s the thing: many people can live with hepatitis C for decades without symptoms or even feeling sick. That’s why testing is so critical.

Any Lab Test Now Offers Hepatitis Testing

You can find out where you stand by coming in to an Any Lab Test Now location and asking for one of our quick and easy hepatitis screening tests. There are several options to choose from.

The Hepatitis Panel screens for all variations of the hepatitis virus; that’s A, B, and C. There are three different viruses that cause hepatitis A, B, or C and this one test will screen for all three.

The Hepatitis C Test will screen only for the one virus. If your results come back positive for the virus, the time to act is now. The sooner you and your physician begin treatment, the better.

Treatment and Beyond

Doctors treat hepatitis C with antiviral medicines that attack the virus and can cure the disease in most cases. Researchers are developing newer medications, and hopefully bringing the cost of treatment down. So, if you were born between 1945 and 1965, grab a friend and make a date to visit Any Lab Test Now on May 19 for National Hepatitis Testing Day. It may not sound like the time of your life, but it could add more time to your life!

Safety First! Any Lab Test Now Offers Lab Tests for Athletes

As an MMA fighter, boxer or other combative sports competitor or athlete, you already know that achieving peak performance means taking care of your body and health first. Vitamin deficiencies, hormone imbalances and other health problems can affect your success in the ring and even put you in danger of injury. That’s why many athletic organizations go so far as to require lab testing for their athletes — to make sure they are healthy and fit to compete and won’t be placing themselves in harm’s way.

The good news is, if you need required lab testing before your competition, you can get your results quickly and easily at Any Lab Test Now. Your local Any Lab Test Now location can provide your lab results before your next big fight or other athletic event, with no appointment or insurance necessary. You’ll have your results in 72 hours or less. We are proud to be the Lab Testing Provider for MMA and other combative sports fighters, getting fighters the results they need without the wait or the hassle.

MMA, Boxing and Other Combative Sports

The Fighter Panel at Any Lab Test Now is specially designed to meet the lab test needs of MMA fighters, boxers and other combative sports athletes. To be eligible to compete, many combative sports fighters are required to present their test results to their state athletic commission. The Fighter Panel includes tests for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. These tests will ensure your immune system is not compromised and that you are ready to fight.

While certain tests are required for competition, others are simply recommended for peak health, safety and performance in the ring, including:

Make sure you’re taking care of your health first to become the athlete you were always meant to be.

Other Athletes

If you aren’t a combative sports athlete, you may not need the same required lab testing that competitive fighting requires. However, many competitive athletes will still benefit from establishing a baseline for their health and fitness goals. Your baseline will help you improve your performance and let you know what might be going on when something doesn’t feel quite right. Common lab tests for athletes looking to monitor their overall health include:

As an athlete, your health is crucial to staying safe, fit and high-performing on the field, court or fighting ring. Stay at the top of your game by taking care of your health first. Schedule a lab test appointment online or call the experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn what testing options are right for you.

 

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day! Should You Get Tested?

Understanding hepatitis can be difficult, because there are many possible triggers that can bring on the disease. Hepatitis is a blanket term that refers to inflammation of the liver, and it can be caused by ingesting certain substances, by certain illnesses that attack all body systems or by viruses that solely target the liver. Another challenge for many people with chronic hepatitis is that the symptoms are mild enough to be ignored, even as it continues to damage the liver. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that there might be as many as 5.1 million people suffering from chronic hepatitis. If you’ve noticed some concerning changes in your body and are wondering if hepatitis might be the cause, Any Lab Test Now offers simple and straightforward testing for all types of hepatitis. Here are some descriptions to help you determine whether you should get a hepatitis panel.

The liver is responsible for processing chemicals in the bloodstream and metabolizing them so they can be used or eliminated from the body. An example is the liver’s role in processing alcohol and medications; it removes the harmful byproducts of these substances from the body by sending them to the kidneys to be excreted. From the building blocks it gets from your diet, the liver also produces substances the body needs, like important proteins that form the base materials for cells.

When your liver is inflamed, it has trouble performing these functions. When symptoms present themselves, they are often fatigue, dark urine, light-colored stools, fever and jaundice. But inside your body, what is actually happening is much worse. For example, chronic, untreated hepatitis can lead to extensive liver damage, cirrhosis and liver cancer. There are vaccines for two types of hepatitis, A and B, but that leaves you unprotected from types C, D, E and G.

Mononucleosis and many autoimmune diseases can cause symptoms similar to that of the hepatitis viruses. Liver inflammation caused by one of these illnesses can be just as damaging, and needs to be treated. Only a medical exam or laboratory test can help you tell the difference between these two causes of liver damage. If you are or ever have been an intravenous drug user, or if you’ve had unprotected sex with someone who might have hepatitis, you should consider getting tested, especially because the symptoms often go unnoticed or unrecognized. Healthcare workers and people with hemophilia are also at risk of contracting viral hepatitis.

This year, World Hepatitis Day falls on July 28. To help raise awareness, and move us closer to the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030, do your part and get yourself tested. Visit your local Any Lab Test Now for a quick and easy hepatitis panel!

World Hepatitis Day is July 28

More than 400 million people worldwide are living with hepatitis, and of those 400 million people, 1.4 million die from the disease every year. Sadly, all of those deaths could be prevented with the right medical treatment and better awareness of how to avoid contracting the virus in the first place. Hepatitis is a completely preventable and treatable disease, and every year on July 28 we celebrate World Hepatitis Day to help bring awareness to people around the world about what they can do to save lives and eliminate hepatitis for good.

Hepatitis is a viral disease that causes infection of the liver. There are five types of hepatitis, the most common of which are hepatitis B and C. Hepatitis B, C and D are spread mainly through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids while hepatitis A and E are typically contracted by consuming food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person. It is possible to spread hepatitis B through sexual contact, sharing needles and other drug paraphernalia, improperly sterilized tattoo needles, blood transfusions, working in a health care profession, or even from sharing certain hygiene items, like razors and toothbrushes.

Hepatitis C is blood-borne and is most common among those who have injected drugs through shared equipment, though it is possible to contract it in any situation in which you are exposed to infected blood. It is even possible for mothers who have certain strains of the disease to pass it to their children during childbirth. Hepatitis is not just a disease for drug addicts and third world countries, though; if you have used intravenous drugs or shared needles, you should definitely get tested. Anyone can get the virus, and it’s important to know how to prevent it as well as what to do if you are exposed.

Hepatitis does not typically exhibit any symptoms and can even lie dormant in your system for years before making an appearance. When they are present, symptoms of certain hepatitis strains can include fatigue, pain around the area of the liver, fever, nausea and loss of appetite. If left untreated, certain strains of hepatitis can lead to organ failure, liver cancer and even death. This is why getting vaccinated and tested is so important. With the proper knowledge, preventing hepatitis is easy. There are vaccinations for both hepatitis A and B, as well as effective treatments for the most common types of hepatitis, should you contract the disease.

If you think you might have hepatitis or might have been exposed to it, talk to your doctor about getting tested. If you have not had the vaccination, talk to your doctor about getting that as well. Make sure to know the risks and use safe practices when engaging in any activity that may expose you to the disease. With just these simple precautions, you can help bring the world one step closer to being hepatitis-free.

Hepatitis: Understanding the Risks and Prevention Steps

First established in 2001 by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis Awareness Month continues to serve as a month-long campaign in May centered to raising awareness of Hepatitis. Defined as inflammation of the liver, Hepatitis can occur due to heavy alcohol use, intake of certain drugs or toxins, a bacterial infection and/or viral infection. There are three major forms of Hepatitis: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.  In the United States today, up to 5.3 million Americans have chronic Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C infection and about 75% of the infected population are unaware that they are infected.

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). In these cases, the liver swells and is unable to work properly. The HAV virus is most commonly spread in situations where a person has not washed their hands before preparing or eating food, has not washed their hands after using the restroom, or has eaten raw or undercooked shellfish that came from waters polluted by sewage.

Out of the three types of Hepatitis, Hepatitis A is the least serious and can be prevented through vaccination. Other ways to prevent spreading include washing of the hands before preparing and eating food, and after use of the restroom.

What is Hepatitis B?

Similar to Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus which also causes the liver to swell and not work properly. Those at risk include anyone who has come in direct contact with HBV-infected bodily fluids (through blood, semen and/or vaginal secretions).

Hepatitis B is, in general, more serious than Hepatitis A and if left untreated, can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer and liver failure. Again, vaccination is the best way to prevent this infection. Other ways to stop the spread of HBV include practicing safe sex, not sharing needles, razors, toothbrushes or other personal items, and talking with your doctor, dentist and other healthcare providers.

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is caused by the Hepatitis C virus which infects the liver. This disease is spread primarily through contact with the blood of an infected person. Compared to Hepatitis A and B, Hepatitis C is the most life-threatening disease among the three forms and is the only form yet to have a vaccine available for prevention.

Those most at risk include people who have shared needles to inject drugs, had unsterile equipment used on them when receiving a tattoo, were born to a mother with HCV, or  have had unprotected sex with multiple partners.

If you think you may be at risk of Hepatitis, we at Any Lab Test Now® are here to help. Our Hepatitis Panel tests for the three common variations of Hepatitis discussed above: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.  Upon receiving your lab test results, you and your doctor will have the information you’ll need to have a clear understanding of your current health and how to move forward. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and let us help you begin to Take Control of Your Health®.

December 1 is World AIDS Day: Know your facts!

With more than 1.1 million people in the United States living with HIV today and almost 1 in 6 people currently unaware of their diagnosis, it is imperative that people take time to educate themselves on the virus and determine if they are at risk. This is why, today, Any Lab Test Now ® stands together to recognize December 1 as World AIDS Day. First held in 1988, this day marks an opportunity where people across the globe can unite in the fight against HIV, support friends and family who are living with this disease, and/or honor loved ones who have passed from AIDS.

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is passed via infected bodily fluids and attacks the body’s immune system, making it extremely difficult for those infected to fight off viruses and other illnesses. Ultimately, this virus can progress into AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), the final stage of the HIV infection.

The symptoms of HIV vary depending on the individual and what stage of the disease the patient is in. Often times, those infected notice flu-like symptoms 2-4 weeks after HIV exposure. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever (the most common symptom)

  • Swollen glands

  • Sore throat

  • Rash

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle and joint aches, pains

  • Headache

Although these symptoms are helpful detectors, the only way to truly determine if you are infected is to get tested. Any Lab Test Now® is proud to take part in the fight against HIV and AIDS by providing quick, easy and affordable testing. If you think you may be at risk, call us to schedule an appointment where one of our trained professionals can provide you with quality testing in a confidential and friendly environment.

How To Stop Hepatitis

In 2011, there were an estimated range of 2,700 actual new cases of Hepatitis A, 18,800 of Hepatitis B and 16,500 of Hepatitis C in the United States according to the Center for Disease Control. As these numbers continue to climb, join us in taking part in Hepatitis Testing Day, today, May 19 to stop that number from increasing. We are supporting the cause and hope you do too.

May has been deemed Hepatitis Awareness Month and in light of that, the CDC and its public health partners work hard to bring awareness to the epidemic and encourage people to get tested. It’s extremely important to get tested because if Hepatitis is left untreated, it can turn into serious health issues including liver failure. Another reason getting tested is so important is because the disease can remain dormant in your body for years without causing any symptoms. Don’t let it go unnoticed if you may be affected.

Check out the ABC’s of viral Hepatitis provided by the CDC to learn more and get tested today.

Raising Awareness for Health Centers During Health Center Week

Have you ever noticed that when you get sick you always feel the need to find out what’s wrong? Who wants to go another day with a tummy ache, a sore throat or the dreaded sinus headache and congestion? Believe it or not that’s one of the many benefits provided by health centers. You might start asking yourself… “But I don’t have insurance, so how can I get service?” The good news is you have options at your disposal that will empower you to Take Control of Your Health® whether you have high deductible insurance, a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account, or if you are uninsured.

A great example of available options is ANY LAB TEST NOW®. Though ANY LAB TEST NOW® does not treat or diagnose, it does empower its customers to be proactive about managing their health by providing direct access to blood tests, DNA tests, drug and alcohol testing as well as other lab testing services.  After you get your lab test results, you can quickly call a physician with our AmeriDoc telemedicine services program.  The doctor is just a phone call a way, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can treat many non-emergent care issues by phone, video call, or chat.

According the National Association of Community Health Centers, there are around 44 million people in the U.S. that are currently uninsured with another 56 million with high deductible insurance. This often makes health take a back seat to cost, which stresses the importance of price transparency. Can you take more good news? ANY LAB TEST NOW®’s affordable, transparent prices fit into a person’s healthcare budget, providing a solution that continues to support overall health and wellness. Don’t let your health take a back seat, without it we are nothing.

During the week of August 11 – 17 the nation celebrates Health Center Week. Why not take the time during this week to stop by a health center near you, check in on your health and thank them for helping to empower you and your loved ones to Take Control of Your Health®?

To learn more about ANY LAB TEST NOW®’s lab testing options stop by an ANY LAB TEST NOW® near you or visit www.anylabtestnow.com

Creating Awareness During World Hepatitis Day

Hepatitis is a viral disease that suffers from the misconception that it only attacks individuals with specific lifestyles and certain age groups. Turns out that things like heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications and even certain medical conditions can cause hepatitis. This disease affects hundreds of millions worldwide, causing no symptoms until the liver damage is irreversible. They don’t call it the silent killer for nothing!

There are different hepatitis viruses, though they all affect your liver the transmission process of Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, as well as their effects vary slightly. Hepatitis A can cause mild to severe illness and it’s transmitted through contaminated food or water. The Hepatitis B virus can cause both acute and chronic disease; it can be contracted through sharing contaminated needles, having unprotected sex, or being exposed to infected blood from another person. Hepatitis C ranges in severity from mild illness that lasts a few weeks to a serious lifelong condition that can result in cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer and it can be spread by blood from contaminated needles during drug use or tattooing as well as by having unprotected sex. According to the World Health Organization, 1.4 million cases of Hepatitis A are reported each year worldwide, as well as 240 million cases of Hepatitis B and 150 million cases of Hepatitis C. This is why proper immunizations and screenings are performed on a regular basis in order to catch the virus with enough time to seek the necessary treatment.

This Sunday, July 28th, the world celebrates World Hepatitis Day. This is a day to take the time to educate ourselves about the various types of hepatitis, how to screen for them and most importantly how to confront them. We understand that making the decision to get tested can be scary, but your health is the most important factor in this equation. ANY LAB TEST NOW® can be the helping hand you need during this time, by providing fast and discreet lab testing for your peace of mind. Our Hepatitis Panel screens for all three common variations of hepatitis. Remember that symptom free doesn’t mean disease free!

For more information about our Hepatitis lab testing options visit an ANY LAB TEST NOW® near you or visit www.anylabtestnow.com

Allied Health Back-to-School Healthy Checklist

With the new school year around the corner the excitement of back to school shopping is here again; these days back-to-school shopping as it relates to college or technical school takes more than a new wardrobe and new supplies. Now students also need to shop for a place to get immunization confirmations along with other lab tests just to be able to enroll.  Or, you can track down that pediatrician you saw 16 – 18 years ago and see if they can pull your records quickly….

Required tests for freshman college enrollment or for healthcare professional students can include but are not limited to MMR Titers (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) and/or Varicella Titer (Chickenpox).  Some schools might require students to be tested for Hepatitis A, B and/or C; or obtain a TB screen, drug test or flu shot.  And you just thought you were finished with school shopping!

With everything on your to-do list for back-to-school, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place where you can have all the necessary lab tests done at an affordable price and that didn’t require too much of your time? ANY LAB TEST NOW® is an affordable option for back-to-school lab testing, for both incoming college students and allied health students. Working within the student’s budget while offering fast and convenient lab tests, especially if you just found out about a last-minute requirement, is important. Whether you need confirmation of immunization through titers testing, hepatitis tests, a flu shot or a drug test, ANY LAB TEST NOW® makes it fast, easy and as painless as possible.

You have too much to do to get ready for school and ANY LAB TEST NOW® can help you Take Control of Your Health® and get ready for school with something as simple as making an appointment. For more information about our allied health lab testing services visit an ANY LAB TEST NOW® near you or www.anylabtestnow.com.