Tired of feeling tired all the time?

It’s easy to feel tired all the time in today’s world. With the stress that comes from trying to balance work and family as well as the disruptive influences of technology on our sleep environments, feeling tired all of the time may seem like part of the human condition. But if you are one of the millions of Americans who complain about exhaustion, the problem might not be your lifestyle — it might be your blood.

Understanding Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency isn’t hard to understand. You are considered iron deficient if you aren’t getting enough of the mineral iron in your diet. Any Lab Test Now can help you find out this critical information. It’s important to know because if you aren’t getting enough iron, then a chain reaction starts:

  1. Lack of iron means fewer red blood cells.
  2. Fewer red blood cells mean less hemoglobin.
  3. Less hemoglobin means less oxygen in your body.
  4. Less oxygen means your body isn’t working properly.

If you’ve reached this point, you might have iron-deficiency anemia.

What is Iron Deficiency Anemia?

It’s estimated that as many as 3 million people in the United States suffer from anemia. That “feeling tired all the time” that we talked about at the start? That’s the most common symptom, but there are a host of others including headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness, rapid heartbeat or palpitations, and even paleness. The National Institutes of Health special Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute even says to watch for brittle nails, swollen or sore tongue, or strange cravings for nonfood items like dirt or paint! Even Restless Leg Syndrome may be linked to iron deficiency. The degree of your deficiency determines just how severe your symptoms are, so if you have a mild case you might not even notice!

A Warning About Self-Diagnosis

So what can you do? Well, self-diagnosis is not recommended because taking iron supplements when they aren’t necessary can cause some unpleasant side effects of their own. Your local Any Lab Test Now can help you get a proper diagnosis and get you on the track to better health with the Anemia Panel.

The First Step to Feeling Better

The Anemia Panel is a comprehensive panel that includes a CBC, Ferritin, Folates, Total Iron Binding Capacity with Iron, Reticulocyte Count, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid. That’s a lot of test but it will provide you with a lot of important information. The CBC (Complete Blood Count) looks at important parameters of your blood including hemoglobin level, white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. The Ferritin, Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity tests all work together to indicate if you have an iron deficiency. The Reticulocyte Count can help determine if you are producing enough red blood cells, which in turn will help determine the cause of your anemia. The Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid levels will show if there is a deficiency there.

Any Lab Test Now; the First Step to Feeling Better

A lot of different factors come in to play when you start talking about complications surrounding your anemia caused by iron deficiency. They can be simple quality of life issues, like the constant fatigue in mild cases. They can be more serious, like unchecked internal bleeding if your iron deficiency anemia is caused by some underlying unknown condition. That’s why it’s important to pinpoint the problem…then get to the root cause. Any Lab Test Now can be your first step in that process. The information our test provides will put you and your doctor on the right track to helping you feel better.

Iron Deficiency

About three million of us suffer needlessly from a condition that seriously and negatively impacts our quality of life. But it doesn’t need to be that way.

The condition is called anemia. It is when your body lacks enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues. Anemia can sound frightening because it involves your blood. Yet the treatment can be as easy as changing what’s on your plate for dinner. And finding out if you are anemic can be done quickly and easily with a simple test from Any Lab Test Now! The answer to the test can help you and your doctor put you back on the path to feeling better.

Anemia Symptoms

The symptoms can often be so mild that they go unnoticed or seem like they are just “part of life.” Do any of these things sound familiar? Fatigue, weakness, pale or yellow skin, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness or lightheadedness, chest pain, cold hands and feet, headache, irritability — these symptoms of anemia are often dismissed or ignored. Often, the fatigue becomes overwhelming. Dr. Allen Nissenson, nephrologist and professor of medicine at UCLA, says it doesn’t have to be the norm for the millions with anemia.

Nutrition and Anemia

In order to make enough healthy red blood cells, your body needs an adequate supply of iron, folate and vitamin B-12. Of course, not everyone consumes the right quantity of these nutrients. For this reason, the most common type of anemia is caused by poor nutrition, according to Dr. Nissenson. Our increasing obsession with diets — and the growing number of strict vegetarians and vegans — is adding to the problem. That’s why the Anemia Panel from Any Lab Test Now checks not only your blood count, but also your iron, folate and vitamin B-12 levels.

Whether the anemia is iron deficiency anemia or vitamin deficiency anemia, the treatment is likely as simple as supplements and a change in diet. The best sources of iron are meat, poultry and egg yolks. To a lesser extent, you can get iron from eating green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, dried beans and peas, and enriched whole-grain cereals and bread. You need to also eat foods rich in Vitamin C, like citrus fruits, to help your body absorb the iron. The dark green leafy veggies are also your best source of folic acid. You’ll only get vitamin B-12 by eating animal foods — especially meat, fish, eggs and milk. That’s a real challenge to those following a strict vegan diet.

Who is at Risk?

Your diet isn’t the only thing that can put you at risk of an iron deficiency. You may eat all the right foods but have an intestinal disorder — like Crohn’s disease or celiac disease — that keeps you from properly absorbing the nutrients you eat. Other causes of anemia include:

  • Significant blood loss
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Possible reactions to birth control
  • Kidney disease

Importance of Treatment

Anemia may not sound threatening, but there can be complications if you don’t treat it. In addition to severe fatigue, anemia can cause pregnancy complications. And if left unchecked too long, it can eventually lead to heart problems because the heart needs to pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the blood. That can ultimately lead to an enlarged heart or even heart failure.

Finding out if you have an iron deficiency takes just a few days. The professionals at your local Any Lab Test Now location can help you find out if you need to take the next step with your doctor to boost your iron and change your health for the better.

Tired of Feeling Tired?

The fast pace of life can leave you dragging your feet. It’s normal to feel worn out at the end of a busy day. When you’re shuttling between the responsibilities of work, home, busy kids or aging parents, it should come as no surprise that you’re left feeling exhausted. But what if every day leaves you feeling this way?

When does sick and tired become just sick? While there are a number of medical issues that can leave you feeling fatigued, one common cause is an iron deficiency.

Iron = Energy

Iron is a mineral found in every cell of the body. It’s considered essential because your body needs it to make the proteins hemoglobin and myoglobin which carry oxygen through your body. Hemoglobin is a part of your red blood cells while myoglobin is found in your muscles. With that basic information, it’s easy to see why a lack of iron means a lack of energy.

You can get iron from food sources including:

  • Dried beans
  • Dried fruits
  • Eggs
  • Lean red meat

But not everyone is able to get enough iron naturally.

Low levels of iron over an extended period of time can cause problems. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns that a lack of iron may cause iron deficiency anemia. Along with shortness of breath and dizziness, extreme fatigue and weakness are the big red-flag warnings of an iron deficiency.

Boost Your Energy

Fortunately, it’s easy to be proactive and take control of your health. In fact, Any Lab Test Now offers testing that can pinpoint if an iron deficiency is draining your energy. The Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) is a non-fasting test that measures the amount of iron in your blood.

If you want to dig a little deeper, you can opt for the Fatigue Panel. The Fatigue Panel is a series of tests designed to help you get to the root of your exhaustion. It includes the Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity Test, along with the following:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Chemistry Panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Mononucleosis
  • Epstein Barr

While iron deficiency is a common cause of fatigue, many health factors can affect your energy level. This comprehensive panel checks a broad range of factors to provide you with as much information as possible.

If it does turn out that an iron deficiency is the cause of your fatigue, work with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan. More than likely, this will include dietary changes to increase the amount of iron you are consuming, as well as the amount of vitamin C you are eating since this nutrient helps with iron absorption. If that isn’t effective, or if you are severely iron deficient already, there are other alternatives that you can discuss.

Of course, starting with knowledge about your current situation is step one, so walk in to your local Any Lab Test Now to identify the cause of your fatigue and put yourself on a path to increased energy.

Keeping Mom Healthy

Mother’s Day is around the corner, on May 14th. We usually give Mom a card or maybe take her to brunch. This year, you can do a little more to show your mom that you love her and want to spend many more Mother’s Days with her by talking to her about her health.

Navigating a Checkup

In fact, it’s a good idea to do an annual check-in with Mom before her annual checkup. Write down any of your mom’s questions so she can take them with her. Visit Any Lab Test Now to help provide answers she wants, quickly and easily. These will help her identify what she needs to talk about with the doctor.

Talk About Healthy Basics

Some basics to good health remain the same no matter what our age! Talk with your Mom about:

  • eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables,
  • maintaining a healthy weight,
  • exercising 30 minutes a day,
  • getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night,
  • not smoking,
  • wearing a seatbelt and
  • not texting while driving.

These are all good reminders when it comes to living a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle. To add even more encouragement, perhaps you could tackle one or two of these together or create a challenge with the whole family.

Changing Vitamin Needs

There are some things that do change as Mom ages. Not all of them are things we’d think about. Did you realize the vitamins you take should change as you age? A mom in her 30s still needs to be sure to take folic acid every day, whereas a mom who is older and has gone through menopause doesn’t.

Once a woman has reached 65, she should be sure to add vitamin D into her daily regimen. Along with exercise, adequate levels of vitamin D can help prevent falls. If you aren’t sure that your mom is getting enough, you can suggest she have the simple Vitamin D Test done at Any Lab Test Now! Getting enough Vitamin D can be tough — especially if you follow a strict vegan diet. Other than fortified milk, not many foods have it.

Why is Mom Tired?

Being worn out and tired is just par for the course of motherhood, right? Not necessarily. Instead of letting Mom think that she has to spend 18 (or more) years exhausted, make sure there isn’t an underlying nutrient problem, such as iron deficiency anemia. In fact, the most common symptoms of this are fatigue and weakness. A woman who has anemia is tired because her blood isn’t getting enough oxygen to her body.

Any Lab Test Now has an Anemia Panel that can determine if Mom has an iron deficiency. Then, she and her doctor can come up with a plan to have her feeling more like herself again. The solution is usually a combination of iron supplements and adding iron-rich foods into her diet. No, she isn’t going to put liver on your dinner plate. Lentils, tofu, green leafy veggies and dried fruits are all great ways to get more iron in your diet.

Your mom spends a lot of time taking care of you. This Mother’s Day, take a little time to take care of her. Help her take charge of her health care needs and get the answers she seeks so that she can continue spending happy, healthy days with you and the family.

Understand the Impact of Nutrients on Your Body

Understand the Impact of Nutrients on Your Body

Do you know what’s happening in your body when you eat? What you eat and how well your body digests it can have a far-reaching impact on your health and everyday wellbeing, so it’s important to know what’s happening internally. There’s a lot of information that can be revealed when you take time to be tested for nutrient absorption, which is why nutritional testing at Any Lab Test Now is important.

What is Nutritional Testing?

By analyzing blood chemistry, these tests reveal more than simple digestive trouble. The cellular composition of your blood, including levels of hemoglobin, red and white blood cells and platelet counts, can give you helpful hints about health conditions you might be experiencing. Nutritional testing can also examine levels of vitamins, minerals and enzymes in your blood and compare these to normal levels to find any deficiencies. Finally, the density of many of the components of your blood can tell you if your organs are functioning properly and if you’re getting enough fluids.

Nutrition-Related Health Concerns

Nutrition plays an important role in keeping your body balanced and full of energy. When not properly balanced, your body can experience a variety of discomforts and long-term health issues. A few examples include:

  • Fatigue
  • Achy, weak or crampy muscles
  • Low hormone levels
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Organ malfunction
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Anemia
  • Memory loss

Micronutrients

Micronutrients are vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Unlike nutrients like calcium and potassium, these are only needed in small amounts, yet being deficient in one or more of these nutrients can also be harmful to your body. To gather even more information about your digestive health, try tests like the micronutrient test and the comprehensive male or female panel. These tests will give you a better picture of how well-balanced your diet is. Too little of a certain micronutrient may lead to long-term health issues, such as poor organ function, poor immune function or any number of chronic diseases.

Nutrition is the backbone of your physical health, so it makes sense that you would need to check up on it every once in a while. By getting a nutritional panel at Any Lab Test Now, you can answer any questions you might have about your nutrition, as well as potentially find solutions to nagging health issues. So walk-in to your local Any Lab Test Now to see how a Nutritional Panel can help you stay healthy!

The Types of Food Sensitivity You Need To Know

It’s estimated that 15 million Americans have a food allergy, according to Food Allergy Research and Education. Furthermore, it’s estimated that food intolerance is prevalent in approximately 5 to 12 percent of the population. With so many people undiagnosed currently, you would be right to worry about whether you have a food sensitivity. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a food allergy?

This is an immune system response in your body that reacts to the introduction of a specific food as if it were a threat. This response can take place within minutes or hours, but it happens relatively quickly after you consume the food. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and they can even be life-threatening if the reaction leads to anaphylaxis. Watch out for these symptoms:

  • Itching in your mouth or swelling
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal cramps and pain
  • Hives or eczema
  • Tightening of the throat and trouble breathing
  • Drop in blood pressure

What is a food intolerance?

This occurs when you have difficulty digesting a certain food. You might be able to eat a little bit of the food without symptoms, or you might not be able to eat it at all. Unlike a food allergy, symptoms take longer to develop. They start a few hours after consumption of the food and can last hours. Since food intolerance deals with digestion, symptoms tend to be relegated to the digestive tract. Watch out for these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Irritable bowel
  • Fatigue and general sick feeling

How can you know for sure if you have a food sensitivity?

A lab test can tell you if you have a food allergy or a food intolerance. But the tests for these two conditions are different. Therefore, it’s crucial to get the right lab test.

If you think you have a food allergy …

IgE and IgG tests can accurately inform you whether you have a true allergy to a substance. However, you must have been exposed to the irritant recently in order to detect the antibodies. These tests are commonly performed with exposure to the suspected allergen on the skin, but blood tests can be performed as well.

If you think you have a food intolerance …

An ALCAT test can detect intolerances and sensitivities accurately and regardless of recent exposure to the irritant. Essentially, the blood sample(s) taken are exposed to suspected or common irritants, and the cells’ reactions are studied to determine the body’s reaction. Any Lab Test Now is equipped to handle a wide range of ALCAT tests to help you determine if you have a food sensitivity.

The first step is testing. Then you can talk to your doctor about possible treatment options. Knowledge is key to know the proper treatment, and Any Lab Test Now can help you gain that knowledge!

Understanding the Causes of Anemia and How it Affects Those Who Have It

Anemia Photo

Everyone feels run-down at times. Sometimes, this is simply a matter of getting too little sleep, having the sniffles or battling too much stress. When you can’t identify a reason for your fatigue, however, there could be an underlying cause for it. One such cause is anemia.

Anemia is a fairly common condition, affecting approximately 3 million Americans each year. There are several types of anemia, but the common thread among them is that either the body’s red blood cell count is lower than normal or the hemoglobin level within the cells is lower than normal. Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen through the blood to the body’s tissues. If there aren’t enough blood cells containing hemoglobin, or hemoglobin levels are too low, oxygen is not being transported throughout the body efficiently.

When our bodies aren’t getting enough oxygen, we become fatigued. Certainly, this means that the body may feel weak and tired, but it can also mean that you experience:

  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Chest pains
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Cognitive problems

When you first begin to suffer from anemia, the symptoms may not be severe; if left untreated, the lack of oxygen will cause the symptoms to worsen over time.

Each of the different types of anemia has a different cause. Some types are caused by low iron levels or vitamin deficiencies. Others, like sickle cell anemia, are inherited and are the result of misshapen blood cells. Still others stem from chronic diseases or diseases of the bone marrow, a tissue in the body that creates red blood cells.

The only definitive way to know if you have anemia is to have a blood test. Tests like the anemia panel can evaluate the components of your blood and related vitamin levels to determine if they are within normal ranges. Also, the sickle cell screen can determine if you are at risk for the inherited form of anemia.

Until such a test is performed and the type of anemia is established, treatment can’t be provided. Because each form of anemia has a different cause, each needs to be addressed differently. Treatments range from simple solutions, like getting more vitamins in your diet, to more complex medical procedures, like blood transfusions.

If you’ve been feeling fatigued or have been experiencing any of the other symptoms associated with anemia, come in to Any Lab Test Now to request your blood test and start learning how to regain your lost energy.

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.

Do You Have an Iron Deficiency?

Iron is an essential element needed for a number of highly complex processes. One of its most important roles is to aid in the transportation of oxygen throughout the human body. It does this by producing hemoglobin, a protein that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to tissues. If a person has a decreased number of red blood cells in their body, they are said to have an iron deficiency, the most common form of anemia.

Iron deficiency is known to be the most prevalent nutrient deficiency in the United States and those greatest at risk are women. According to the Center for Disease Control, about nine percent of females, varying from 12-49 year olds, deal with iron deficiency. Although women and young children are much more likely to be diagnosed with this condition, men are not immune to it.

Here are a few common signs and symptoms of iron deficiency:

  • Fatigue

  • Heavy menstrual cycle in females

  • Unusually pale skin

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Hair loss

  • Difficulty catching your breath

  • Restless leg syndrome

Here at Any Lab Test Now®, we offer a comprehensive anemia panel. It includes a complete blood count, iron and total binding capacity numbers, and more. The Ferritin, Iron and total binding capacity tests work together to indicate if the patient has an iron deficiency. Be proactive with your health today and get your test results in as little as 1-3 days. Let us help you monitor your health by contacting your local Any Lab Test Now® today.