Using Your FSA Dollars Wisely With Any Lab Test Now

If you are using a Flexible Spending Account — often termed an FSA — then you’re already showing a healthy respect for your bottom line. Using pre-tax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses just makes good sense. Making sure you use every cent of those dollars is the smartest move you can make. As the year winds down, the clock is ticking on those FSA dollars that you either need to dole out or ditch. So what’s a smart money shopper to do? Any Lab Test Now® offers you several of our best options. These tests will provide you with comprehensive, vital information that will help you take control of your health — and spend your money wisely!

1.ANNUAL CHECK-UP PANEL

The Annual Check-Up Panel is the perfect panel for evaluating your overall health. That’s because it helps you establish a baseline for a number of very important tests, including your blood counts, kidney function, liver function, electrolytes, total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL, and thyroid function. Fluctuations in these could signal problems. If you weren’t able to make it to your doctor for an annual physical and blood work, this is the test for you.

2. BASIC NUTRITIONAL PANEL

As more and more of us adopt alternative eating lifestyles, nutritional deficiencies are going to increase. Add that to nutrient shortfalls caused by common medications and you end up with an otherwise healthy person who is malnourished! This panel will test for a variety of nutrients and vitamins, including iron and vitamins B12 and D, three of the most common deficiencies in the United States.

3. WEIGHT MANAGEMENT TAKE HOME HORMONE KIT

According to the CDC, 39.8 percent of adults in the United States are obese. Much of the blame is placed on over-eating and sedentary lifestyles, but many of us are not aware of the strong connection between our hormones and our weight. If you are struggling with obesity and just can’t seem to lose weight, then you owe it to yourself to determine if your hormones are playing a part. The test identifies specific hormonal imbalances that contribute to excessive weight gain and obesity.

Any Lab Test Now is cost-effective and convenient. If one of our “best buys” above doesn’t suit you, take a few minutes to browse through our list of hundreds of quality lab tests available. From allergy testing to DNA, Any Lab Test Now offers you quality and convenience. With all the options we have to offer, you’ll get the most out of your FSA dollars!

The skin you’re in – and the role your hormones play

When you think about your skin and how it looks, chances are you think externally. You probably think about things like:

  • Products that can cause acne
  • Sun damage from lack of sunscreen
  • Lines and wrinkles associated with aging

You should definitely consider all of these issues and take them seriously, but we also need to be aware of what is occurring INTERNALLY. Many people aren’t aware of the huge role your hormones play on your skin’s overall health.

Looking Good; Feeling Confident

Any Lab Test Now realizes that feeling confident about your appearance can play a huge role in your mental health. All you have to do is turn on a television set or open a magazine, and you’ll see how much an attractive and youthful appearance is valued. If you feel you aren’t looking optimal, it can begin to eat away at aspects of your self-esteem. That’s why it’s important to consider the role your hormones play in your appearance.

The Beauty of Balance

Having the proper balance of hormones is critical to the health and vitality of your skin. Your skin is the largest organ you have, and hormones affect a wide range of skin issues. We’re talking about things like collagen content, skin lipid levels, elasticity, moisture content — even wound healing, facial hair and acne.

As we age, our hormone levels change (Think teenage acne!). Low hormone levels can mean dry and thinning skin that is losing its elasticity and increasing the appearance of wrinkles. Low thyroid hormones can mean increased hair loss. On the flip side, high levels of hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, can contribute to dark, blotchy patches on the skin. Too much testosterone can mean adult acne, male pattern baldness or even unwanted facial hair.

Better Skin Begins at Home

Knowing the role skin health can play in helping you look and feel your best, Any Lab Test Now offers an option that will help you and your dermatologist have a better understanding of your hormone health. The Skin Vitality Take Home Hormone Kit can provide you with the information you need to get to the bottom of any unusual changes in your skin, by providing you with information about your body’s levels of seven key hormones and one skin-tastic vitamin.

The Skin Vitality Take Home Hormone Kit

  1. Estradiol (E2)
  2. Estriol (E3)
  3. Progesterone (Pg)
  4. Testosterone (T)
  5. DHEA-S (DS)
  6. Diurnal Cortisol (Cx4)
  7. Thyroid Stimulating Hormones (TSH)
  8. Vitamin D (D2, D3)

Knowing the levels of these specific hormones can help you and your doctor understand and better treat conditions like dry, blotchy skin or oily, acne-prone skin. There are many topical hormone therapies that can help relieve skin conditions. And remember, understanding your hormone levels can help to uncover hidden deficiencies or issues that impact not only the health of your skin but your overall health as well.

Take Control of Your Health

The Skin Vitality Take Home Hormone Kit doesn’t require any fasting. It starts with a simple dried blood spot test that will accurately measure your thyroid hormones and vitamin D levels. There are also four saliva tests that will need to be performed throughout the day; these tests will reflect the highs and lows of steroid and adrenal hormone production. The Skin Vitality Take Home Hormone Kit will help you identify hormonal imbalances that are contributing to skin problems and will help you and your doctor take control of your health and determine the best treatment. To find the nearest Any Lab Test Now location to you, click here. It’s the first step to looking and feeling your best in “the skin you’re in”!

Hormones Can Wreak Havoc On Your Health

Imagine for a moment that your body is basically a factory. Everything — each part of your body, from your brain to your skin — has a job to do. The foreman on the job: your endocrine system. “The glands of your endocrine system send out hormones that tell each part of your body what work to do, when to do it, and for how long. Hormones are vital to your health and well-being,” according to the Hormone Health Network, from the Endocrine Society.

Hormones — Your Body’s Taskmaster

Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers, traveling in your bloodstream to tissues and organs to help them do their work. They are responsible for all types of processes including:

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism
  • Sexual function
  • Reproduction
  • Mood

That means that if something goes wrong with your hormones — if they get out of balance — they can create all sorts of trouble. Any Lab Test Now offers a wide variety of hormone tests. One of the easiest and most informative is the Saliva Hormone Test.

A Test to Trust

The Saliva Hormone Test is the best non-invasive method for discovering any type of hormone imbalance in either males or females. This important hormone test will provide you with an overall picture of where you stand with your hormone levels. Never think for one moment that hormone issues don’t exist… or that they’re not important. Even the slightest dysfunction of your hormones can result in weight gain, fatigue, mood changes, or sleep disturbances.

Your Key to Good Health

As the name suggests, this particular test uses a sample of your saliva to analyze your hormone levels in five key areas:

  1. Testosterone – In men, an irregularity of testosterone within the body may contribute to decreased bone density, decreased muscle strength, and decreased libido. In women, too much testosterone can lead to irregular periods and excess body hair. Not enough can lead to loss of muscle tone, poor concentration, and lack of libido.
  2. Progesterone – This hormone is strongly linked to menstruation and fertility in women. Women who have low levels can struggle to conceive, and if they do manage to conceive, they are at an increased risk for miscarriage.
  3. Estradiol – This is a type of estrogen predominant during a woman’s reproductive years. Too little can cause menstrual problems, hot flashes, and mood swings, while too much can cause weight gain, fibroid tumors, and even depression. Men produce small amounts of estrogen as well. Low levels can cause excess belly fat and low sex drive while too much can lead to gynecomastia and infertility.
  4. DHEA-S – High and low levels of this hormone can impact both men and women. In women, too much can cause excessive body and facial hair and acne. In men, it can lead to male pattern baldness. Low levels are associated with diabetes, dementia, and even lupus. NOTE: It is normal for your levels to lower as you age.
  5. Cortisol – Often called the “stress hormone” it actually does a lot of jobs in your body, including control of blood sugar levels, metabolism regulation, inflammation reduction, memory functions, and even blood pressure.

The Saliva Hormone Test will help you and your doctor by providing a “big picture” and get you on your way to feeling better and more like yourself. Not sure where to begin? A visit to your local Any Lab Test Now will introduce you to one of our helpful lab assistants that can guide you down the path to better health.

Hormones and Weight Gain: Understanding the Connection

Are you one of the thousands across the country that are struggling with your weight? If you answered yes, you are definitely not alone. The unfortunate truth is you have a lot of company. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey:

  • More than one in three adults were considered overweight.
  • More than one in three adults were considered obese.
  • About one in six children or teens ages 2 to 19 were considered obese.

Those are some pretty sobering numbers. The fact is, obesity is costing Americans — costing us our health and costing us our savings. Most of the blame goes toward our unhealthy lifestyles: too much food and not enough exercise. But for some people, the cause lies within.

THE HORMONE CONNECTION

There is a strong connection between our hormones and our weight. As we age, hormone levels adjust. But if something happens to disrupt that, the resulting hormonal imbalance can lead to weight gain, obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and even diabetes. Your estrogen, testosterone and cortisol levels can all leave you suffering and sick, despite a healthy diet and exercise. That’s why your local Any Lab Test Now offers the Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit.

ONE TEST: LOTS OF ANSWERS

The Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit provides you with a lot of information and it’s simple enough to perform in the privacy of your own home. The kit consists of a dried blood spot test and a saliva test. With that information, Any Lab Test Now can measure bioavailable hormone levels that might help you and your doctor understand unexplained weight gain, obesity, abdominal fat and low metabolism. The Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit is really nine tests in one. It’ll provide you with information on the following:

  • Estradiol – measures the amount of estrogen in your blood. Yep! Men have it too.
  • Progesterone – measures the amount of progesterone in your blood. Knowing this level can also help diagnose problems with the adrenal glands.
  • Testosterone – measures the amount of testosterone in your blood. Yep! Women have it too.
  • DHEA-S – measures your dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels, a natural steroid hormone associated with stress response.
  • Diurnal Cortisol – provides information on adrenal stress hormones. Might help explain fatigue and sugar cravings.
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – can help you screen for hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
  • Vitamin D – measures your levels of vitamin D, which interacts with and regulates more than 200 genes in the body.
  • Insulin – having too much or too little insulin is not a good thing.
  • Hemoglobin A1c – this is a valuable measure of your overall blood glucose levels.

Armed with all of this information, you’ll be able to take control of your health. You and your doctor will be headed in the right direction to getting you healthy.

What You Need to Know

The Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit does require that you fast for 12 hours prior to the blood draw. The best thing to do is to contact your local Any Lab Test Now and let them know you are interested in the Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit and the experts will guide you from there. The knowledge you receive from this test, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, will be the first step to healthier and happier you!

Resolution #1…A More Balanced YOU!

Resolution #1…A More Balanced YOU!

Ellie loved the jolly jingle of the holidays; and making warm and wonderful memories for her family. She hasn’t enjoyed the stress, weight gain, and lack of energy that ushered in the new year though. Truth be told, she’s been battling those feelings, and a host of other “issues” for some time, but chalks it up to a busy life, not enough exercise and a less-than-ideal diet. She’s determined that her New Year’s resolutions THIS year will change all that. But wait. Could there be more to Ellie’s feelings of an imbalanced life? It is possible fluctuating hormones are the culprit.

Hormones affect everything, from sleep quality to hair loss to libido. Hormone health is very important and an imbalance can wreak havoc in every area of your life. Hormone imbalances can occur at any time in a woman’s life — especially during puberty, menopause or perimenopause. A good first step in achieving balance and ensuring your hormones are working in harmony is to find out what you are dealing with.

Any Lab Test Now knows how important women’s health is and how often women care for themselves LAST. That’s why we offer Take Home Hormone Kits that can be picked up at Any Lab Test Now and completed at your convenience. Return shipping and materials are included, and results are received in days.

  • Dry, Discolored or Wrinkled Skin?
    Loss of elasticity, collagen and moisture can take the luster off your skin. The Skin Vitality Take Home Hormone Kit is a simple dried blood spot and saliva test that can get fast results. If you discover an imbalance, it’s possible that topical hormone therapies may be just what the doctor ordered to restore your skin’s gentle glow
  • Disturbed, Fitful or No Sleep?
    Try the Sleep Balance Take Home Hormone Kit. Melatonin and cortisol should be working in concert to help you sleep and wake on normal cycles. If that’s not the case, this simple dried urine test determines if your levels of either are out of whack. Test results can help you make the lifestyle changes you need to catch more ZZZs.
  • Stressed, Tired, Wired and Anxious?
    Adrenal is the “master stress” hormone and if yours is not at optimal operation you could experience allergies, anxiety, irritability, infertility, sugar cravings, decreased energy — the list goes on and on. Results of the Adrenal Stress Take Home Hormone Kit, a simple saliva test, can be used to begin relieving your symptoms and reducing long-term disease risks.
  • Lethargic, Gaining Weight, Depressed?
    Try The Elements-Thyroid Take Home Hormone Kit. An estimated 60 percent of people with thyroid disease don’t realize it. This dried blood spot and dried urine test measures thyroid hormone levels and tests for deficiencies of beneficial elements as well as the presence of toxic elements. With your results, you can work with your physician to restore optimal thyroid function.
  • Persistent Weight Problems and Low Metabolism?
    Sadly, the U.S. ranks as the fattest nation in the world with the highest prevalence of obesity among adults over 40. If you struggle with maintaining a healthy weight, the Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit, a dried blood spot and saliva test, measures hormones, vitamins and insulin. Your results will help you and your physician create a roadmap for achieving a healthy weight and avoiding long-term health risks.

Armed with information these tests provide, you are empowered to feel better, think better, and live your best life. Make your New Year’s resolution a more hormonally-balanced YOU!

Call or visit your Any Lab Test Now location to ask about getting a Take Home Hormone Kit today.

Do You Know What’s Up?

Since 1995, National Health Education Week has been celebrated during the third full week of October. It is hosted by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), and its purpose is to increase national awareness on major public health issues while promoting a better understanding of the role of health education. This year, October 16 – 20 marks National Health Education Week.

The week’s theme celebrates “Scaling New Heights: Health educators know what’s up.” It aims to get people talking about how the role of a public health educator is changing and how modern-day public health professionals impact community health issues. From Tuesday’s Twitter discussions (Interested? Follow #NHEW at 1 PM EDT.) to Wednesday’s webinar on the importance of advocacy, the week is packed full of information and online events. Professionals are also encouraged to create and promote local events that are tied to National Health Education Week.

At Any Lab Test Now, we’re doing our part to spread the word about contemporary health issues and how health education specialists work to solve them by raising awareness on topics such as teen drug testing, increased levels of cholesterol and hormone imbalances. Like health professionals with other areas of focus, Any Lab Test Now strives daily to be a dependable and convenient resource for your health and wellness education.

We’re here to help you Take Control of Your Health®. Any Lab Test Now offers testing that will allow you to establish a health baseline through our precise lab analysis. The tests will help you uncover “what’s up” with your own health so that you can work with your doctor to feel your best each day.

We offer health solutions specifically tailored to your needs:

Women’s Health: You keep the household running on all cylinders, but are you taking care of your health? At Any Lab Test Now, we offer lab tests you need to monitor your health, including but not limited to Hormone Tests, Vitamin D Levels, Menopause Screening Panel and Hemoglobin A1c.

Men’s Health: We get it: The doctor’s office isn’t your preferred hangout spot. Any Lab Test Now takes pride in getting you in and out as efficiently as possible. Our testing includes Diabetes Screening, Testosterone Test, Micronutrient Test, Thyroid Panel and so much more.

In addition to personalized testing, Any Lab Test Now recognizes that many of our customers are faced with having no insurance or high deductibles. Our lab tests are both affordable and transparent — you know what you must pay up front instead of receiving a surprise bill later.

This October, join us in recognizing National Health Education Week by stopping in to your local laboratory testing center to discover “what’s up” with your health. It’s for the betterment of the community and the environment, as well as you and your family!

Hormones and Your Health

The Connection Between an Imbalance and Weight Gain

The statistics concerning adult obesity in the United States are alarming. According to the most recent data, adult obesity rates now exceed 20 percent in all states. A diet high in fat and sugar, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, is usually to blame. But for some people, both men and women, there is no obvious reason for the additional pounds. These people are eating healthy and getting exercise, yet they still seem to be gaining weight. In that case, there is a possibility that hormones are to blame.

Hormonal Havoc

As we age, hormone levels adjust and can cause hormonal imbalances. This can lead to a number of issues including:

  • Weight gain
  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes

Testing your hormone levels can help explain persistent weight problems and help you avoid the associated medical issues. The first step is to purchase the Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit at your local Any Lab Test Now location.

Taking the First Step

The Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit is the first step to getting answers and it can be done in the comfort of your own home. You’ll have to fast for 12 hours for the results to be accurate. It consists of a simple dried blood spot test and a saliva test. Using these, the test measures bioavailable hormone levels. The kit is wide-ranging, testing in nine critical areas:

  • Estradiol (E2) – this is basically a form of estrogen. It is present in both women and men.
  • Progesterone (Pg) and Testosterone (T) – these are hormones that are found in both men and women that help regulate gender and the associated sexual functions.
  • DHEAS (DS) – helps in evaluating your adrenal gland function.
  • Diurnal Cortisol (Cx4) – helps determine your level of cortisol, a steroid hormone released by your adrenal gland.
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – checks your body’s production of TSH, which helps regulate how your body uses energy.
  • Vitamin D (D2, D3) – low levels of this vitamin may lead to weight gain according to some studies.
  • Insulin (In) – this measures your insulin production. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and used by the body to transport and convert glucose into usable energy.
  • Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) – checks your blood glucose levels and can detect pre-diabetes.

If you’ve experienced unusual weight gain, are struggling with obesity, or are having difficulty losing weight, the cause could be hormonal havoc.

Results Put You in Control

Test results will usually take between five to seven business days after you return your specimen to the lab. Your results will pinpoint specific hormonal imbalances that can contribute to excessive weight gain and obesity. The comprehensive report also matches your tested hormone levels with reported symptoms so you and your doctor can determine what steps to take so you can achieve optimal health. It’s time to take your health into your own hands with the help of Any Lab Test Now.

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.

 

Are You Getting a Good Night’s Rest?

Whether you like to be curled up under a pile of blankets, buried under a mountain of pillows, or free from constrictive bedding, a good night’s sleep is essential to your health. In fact, quality sleep is as critical as proper diet and exercise. It is a key factor in immune function, metabolism, memory, and learning; yet, more than a third of United States adults do not get enough sleep.

 

Insufficient Sleep

Insufficient sleep is on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) radar and has been labeled a public health concern. So, what constitutes a successful night of slumber? The CDC recommends at least seven hours per night for adults and even more for teens and children. In a 2014 survey, only 65 percent of Americans reported a healthy sleep duration. Incredibly, 12 percent reported sleeping less than five hours and 23 percent reported only six hours per night.

Sleep Quality

While the number of hours of sleep is important to restoring and revitalizing your body, the National Sleep Foundation’s new report presents sleep quality differently. It recommends that you strive for these four bedtime accomplishments:

  • Sleeping 85 percent of the time you spend in bed
  • Falling asleep in 30 minutes or less
  • Waking up no more than once a night
  • Falling back asleep within 20 minutes

Impacts of Too Little Sleep

Too little sleep negatively impacts both your physical and mental health. Lack of sleep can contribute to a variety of serious medical issues, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. In the immediate future, it can also contribute to motor vehicle and other accidents because you are not as alert as you would be if you were well rested and may have impaired judgement. Additionally, long-term sleeplessness can contribute to forgetfulness, depression, and anxiety.

At Any Lab Test Now, there is an option to help you determine if you are suffering from insomnia. The Sleep Balance Take Home Hormone Kit can help find the possible causes of disturbed sleep. The kit is a simple urine test that measures melatonin and cortisol. Melatonin is the hormone that helps to regulate when the body should be asleep vs. awake. Cortisol is produced in response to stress to keep your body on-guard, but should naturally decline at night: if it does not, your body can have trouble calming itself. As the test helps you better understand what is preventing a restful slumber, you can work with your doctor to mitigate these issues.

Talk to our experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn more about the test and how to improve your sleep cycle for optimal health and wellness.

Is Your Cortisol Level Under Control?

Fight or flight. We’re sure you’ve heard of it, and that you know it’s your body’s instinctual reaction to a stressful situation. In modern times, stressors in your life aren’t always a result of the presence of physical danger, such as a grizzly bear who wants you to be its next meal. Most people nowadays feel these reactions when everyday life gets a little stressful — if you have a tight deadline at work, if you have a big fight with your spouse or if you realize you forgot to pay that bill on time. All of these situations can result in the same stressed-out feelings  — an increased heart rate and a burst of energy, to name a few — which are famously caused by a hormone called adrenaline.

But what you may not know is that during a stressful situation, another hormone is at play: cortisol. Cortisol is released to help your body deal with stress, but if your cortisol level is out of control, it can do more harm than good.

Cortisol

Cortisol, or hydrocortisone, is a hormone that is released into the body in response to stress. It helps your body respond to stressful situations by increasing your blood sugar, enhancing your brain’s use of glucose and increasing the availability of substances that repair tissues. Additionally, cortisol suppresses body functions that would be nonessential in a fight-or-flight situation such as your immune system response, digestive system and reproductive system. All of these responses are intended for survival, but what happens when your cortisol levels don’t return to normal after the stressor is gone, or if you don’t have enough cortisol in the first place?

Too much cortisol in the body can cause a number of dangerous conditions including:

  • Hyperglycemia
  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Decreased bone density
  • Compromised immune and inflammation responses
  • Increased blood pressure and damage to the heart
  • Cushing Syndrome

While it is most often caused by chronic stress, the overproduction of cortisol can also be a result of  long-term use of corticosteroids, a tumor on the pituitary or adrenal gland, or cancer.

Too little cortisol in the body can be problematic as well, causing:

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Loss of consciousness

All of these can be very serious problems, and dangerous to your health. If you are experiencing any of the issues listed above, but don’t know why, it’s time to find out what’s really going on. Take the first step towards better health by testing your cortisol level. Any Lab Test Now offers several options for cortisol testing:

Contact the experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn which test is right for you.