Cheers to Men’s Health Month!

Women often joke that getting a man to go to a doctor is almost as difficult as getting him to ask for directions when he’s lost. In both situations, men tough it out until they feel better or gotten where they are going, even if it took twice as long as it needed to. When it comes to their health, that stereotype isn’t always wrong. According to the CDC, women are 100 percent more likely than men to visit the doctor for annual exams and preventative services.

To help address this, June is Men’s Health Month. It’s a good time to take a look at some of the risks you may not even realize you’re taking. There are some simple things you can do to be healthier. Any Lab Test Now can help you see places you need to make changes, and you can do it without even needing a doctor’s appointment.

Heart Disease

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in men. Many of the risk factors for it are things that we can control. If you smoke, drink too much, eat a diet high in saturated fat (think: cheeseburgers and fries), lead a sedentary lifestyle and are overweight, you can change those things. Hey, no one said it would be easy! Stress can also be an important factor in heart disease.

Your cholesterol numbers are also a factor. Cholesterol is fat produced by your liver. You also get it from the foods you eat. Low levels of HDL (sometimes called “good cholesterol”) and high levels of LDL (sometimes called “bad cholesterol”) are the opposite of what you’re after. Any Lab Test Now has a Lipid Panel available that screens for HDL, LDL, the ratio of the two as well as your triglyceride levels. The result will let you and your doctor see if your cholesterol levels need attention.

Diabetes

Your chances of having a heart attack are also greater if you have diabetes. Diabetes is easy to ignore because at first you feel just fine. But the disease affects other organs: your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Left unchecked, the long-term complications can be disabling or even life-threatening. In addition to heart disease, diabetes can cause blood vessel damage, kidney damage, eye damage, foot damage, hearing loss, and possibly increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The symptoms develop slowly — often a person has type 2 diabetes and doesn’t know it. Symptoms include: increased thirst and frequent urination, increased hunger, weight loss despite eating more, and fatigue. If you think you might have diabetes, or if you have diabetes and want to get a check on your blood levels, you can use the Diabetes Maintenance Panel at Any Lab Test Now.

Underlying Causes

Heart disease and diabetes aren’t embarrassing to talk about. But two men’s health issues that can lead to both of those can be uncomfortable to discuss —  prostates and testosterone. After you hit the age of 40, your prostate starts to grow. The symptoms you notice are a slower urinary stream or the sudden urge to go. But an enlarged prostate is also linked to metabolic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Another issue men face as they age is a drop in testosterone. The symptoms are a decreased sex drive, erectile difficulty, mood changes and even memory problems. Low testosterone increases the risk of developing diabetes and hypertension. You can find out what your levels are with a simple testosterone test from Any Lab Test Now.

Men, it’s time to take control of your health and well-being! The first step in leading a healthier lifestyle is knowing what changes you need to make. Along with your local Any Lab Test Now, it’s easy to find out what areas you and your doctor can focus on as you make a roadmap to follow for better health.

Avoid Hormone Chaos with Testosterone Testing

Having low testosterone as a man can throw your whole body into chaos. Your body’s systems rely on hormones to tell them what to do, so if your hormones are not giving your body the right signals, you might notice changes in everything from your digestion and energy level to your sex drive and physical performance. If you have been suffering from unexplained changes in your body, testosterone testing might be the right answer for you.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, about four in every 10 men over the age of 45 experience low testosterone. The condition rarely occurs in men younger than 45, but when it does, it can be both unexpected and frustrating. It is natural for a man’s testosterone level to decrease as he ages, but if it dips too far below the normal threshold, uncomfortable symptoms can begin to occur and affect that man’s quality of life.

Symptoms can include:
an increase in body fat,
decrease in muscle mass,
calcium loss,
loss of bone density,
poor erections,
low sex drive, or
anemia.

The symptoms of a hormone dysfunction are unpleasant, but can be eliminated or reduced through proper treatment. Knowing the source of a hormone imbalance can give your doctor the information he or she needs to resolve your issue. Typically, treatment is managed through testosterone replacement therapy. Using a gel, shots, long-acting pellets, pills or patches, doctors can prescribe testosterone supplementation that restores a man’s testosterone to normal levels and alleviates his symptoms.

A carefully-administered test in a certified and safe laboratory environment is the only way to assure valid results for a testosterone level test. This is important, because treating a man who does not have low testosterone with hormone supplementation can have an adverse effect, and will not address any symptoms he might be experiencing. Supplementing a man’s testosterone when it’s not needed can actually lower a man’s sperm count and fertility.  Some of our other panels that you also might want to consider are our Comprehensive Male Panel or Pre-Testosterone Therapy Panel.

Low testosterone can be more than unpleasant. This hormone is necessary for many of the functions in the male body, and lower levels of the hormone can throw the body’s systems out of whack. To resolve the discomfort and confusion, men who have found the aging process to be more frustrating than expected should consider testosterone testing to determine if a testosterone level disorder is the cause. Find your local Any Lab Test Now to schedule a test today!

Last Minute Gift Ideas — Take Home Hormone Kits

ALTN Hormone Kits OnlyThe world is full of balance — Yin and Yang, day and night, good and evil. Without balance, we have chaos and unpredictability. And just as the world needs balance, so does your body in order to thrive. Many people have a hormone imbalance in their body and don’t even know it — all they know is that something just feels…off.

They may feel like they’ve been battling unexplainable skin ailments, and that nothing they do seems to work. Or maybe they suffer from insomnia and just can’t achieve a restful, relaxing night’s sleep no matter what they do. Perhaps they struggle with overwhelming levels of stress, anxiety, allergies or even illnesses. They may struggle with maintaining a healthy weight, or even experience sudden weight gain despite every effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle. All of these problems can seem vastly unrelated, yet they all have one thing in common: they may be caused by a hormone imbalance.

If someone in your life is experiencing these or other unexplainable health issues, they may be suffering from a hormone imbalance. This holiday season, consider helping your loved one finally take control of their health, once and for all, with a Take Home Hormone Kit from Any Lab Test Now. Show your loved one that you’ve been listening to their concerns, and that you care about their health and happiness.

Give the gift of good health with any of these hormone testing kits available at Any Lab Test Now:

The Skin Vitality Take Home Hormone Kit is perfect for the loved one who feels betrayed by their own skin. Imagine the happiness they will feel when they can finally understand why they have been suffering from excessive dryness, wrinkling, discoloration or acne.

The Sleep Balance Take Home Hormone Kit is ideal for the loved one who just can’t get a good night’s rest. Bring joy to their holiday season by helping them finally learn why they are suffering from insomnia, and giving them the help they need.

The Adrenal Stress Take Home Hormone Kit is the perfect gift for the loved one who feels overwhelmed by stress and unexplainable health problems, from anxiety to allergies and even infertility.

The Elements-Thyroid Take Home Hormone Kit is a great option for those who are wondering if they are experiencing undiagnosed thyroid disease or dysfunction, which can present itself in many different symptoms.

The Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit is a wonderful choice for the loved one struggling to maintain their ideal weight, despite every effort to do so. Show your loved one you care about their concerns by helping them take the first step toward a real solution and a happier life.

This holiday season, help your loved ones start feeling better all year long. Contact the experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn which hormone testing kits are right for you.

The 5 Best Tests to Use Your FSA On

altn-dec-newsletter-sized-fsaHSA and FSA accounts can help you budget for your healthcare, and ensure you always have the money you need to pay for any unexpected health events. But if you still have money in your FSA, it will expire at the end of the year. Instead of letting your money vanish, put it to use by getting some testing or immunizations you’ve been putting off. Wrap up lingering health concerns now so you can start fresh in the new year.

Allergy Test
The holidays coincide with peak cold and flu season, but if your sniffles won’t go away, you might look into allergy testing. Up to 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. If you experience emotional or physical reactions after you eat, or if you frequently have symptoms like a stuffy nose or trouble breathing, you might have an allergy to something you ate. The Allergy Test goes through as many as 45 different foods and 45 environmental triggers to identify the root of your symptoms.

Intolerance Test
If you’ve been noticing symptoms that aren’t associated with an allergic reaction, then you might have a food intolerance. If you experience fatigue, gas or diarrhea, depression or anxiety, weight gain or a general chronic discomfort, you may want to get a food intolerance test. This becomes especially important as you grow older, because you can develop new food sensitivities or intolerances later in life.

Blood Cortisol Test
If your stress levels are through the roof, the holiday season will likely only make it worse — it can seem like your to-do list never ends! To see if your stress is starting to cause problems for your body, get a blood cortisol test. High levels of cortisol are dangerous, because over time they can lead to high blood pressure, inflammation, compromised immune response and weight gain.

Thyroid Test
The holiday meals sure are delicious, but do you know what isn’t so great? The holiday pounds. If your weight gain tends to stick around a bit too long after the holidays, you should get your thyroid tested. Your thyroid controls metabolic activity, which is vital for maintaining a healthy weight. Poor thyroid health is associated with symptoms like fatigue, short attention span, weight gain and numbness or cold intolerance. Thyroid disorders can also cause conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease.

Proof of Immunizations
Are you traveling for the holidays or early next year? The first thing on your list should be to make sure your immunizations are up-to-date, which you can do by getting a proof of immunization test. These tests ensure that you have gotten the immunizations you need and provide valid paperwork to prove that you are immunized, which can be helpful if you’ve lost any documentation.

Don’t wait for the new year to address your lingering health concerns. If you have an FSA that is going to expire soon, get the important lab tests you need before 2017! For more information, visit your local Any Lab Test Now.

Introducing Any Lab Test Now’s Take Home Hormone Kits!

ALTN Hormone Kits OnlyHormones are natural chemicals that direct most of your body’s functions such as moods, sleep, hunger and your response to stress. When the body has too much or too little of a particular type of hormone, it creates a hormone imbalance, and it can cause problems that negatively impact your quality of life. People suffering from hormone imbalances often struggle to feel their best. When an imbalance is suspected, it’s important to do all you can to get to the bottom of what you’re feeling because time spent feeling ill is time you can never get back.

Any Lab Test Now understands the importance of living each day to the fullest and wants to help you understand what’s going on in your body. We are happy to introduce our new convenient Take Home Hormone Kits! These simple take home kits can evaluate your hormone levels overall or can target specific issues that you may be having, including those related to:

Why do you need hormone testing? It is important to remember hormones trigger numerous vital body processes. This means that a hormone imbalance can have a myriad of symptoms. Sleep and wake cycles, metabolism, brain function, sexual and reproductive health are all controlled by the activity of these hormones.

Hormones affect both men and women. Men and women typically experience hormone imbalances differently. For men, their testosterone levels tend to decline slowly as they grow older, which can lead to a loss in muscle mass, a decrease in energy and low libido. For women, their varying levels of testosterone and progesterone, the two primary sexual hormones, can cause symptoms that mimic menopause. These women report experiencing hot flashes, lethargy, bone loss or an increase in body hair. Doctors typically treat hormone imbalances through dietary changes, vitamin and mineral supplements, changes in physical activity and hormone supplements.

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance, consider a Take Home Hormone Kit today. All you have to do is purchase a kit at your local Any Lab Test Now, complete the test at home at your convenience, and put the kit in the mail. Postage and shipping materials are even included with the kit!

At Any Lab Test Now, we can help you find the answers you need to finally address your troubling symptoms and live your best life!

Celebrating Men’s Health Month!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do You Know The Signs and Symptoms of Low T?

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 2.38.28 PMMore men than ever are realizing that getting older doesn’t have to mean losing your energy, vitality and fitness. Thanks to increased diagnosis of a condition known as low testosterone, or low T, men who have been struggling with low energy, depression or loss of muscle mass now have treatment options that can help them stave off what most people used to think were the natural signs of aging. Low T can be a tough condition to deal with on your own, but for many patients, it can be completely reversed. Read on to learn the symptoms and treatment methods for low T, and find out if you should get your testosterone levels tested!

Low T occurs when levels of testosterone produced in the body are too low to maintain its necessary functions. This can occur in males or females and in children or adults. However, the condition is most common in men who are older than 30. Testosterone levels are supposed to peak during development in the womb and during adolescence, with levels beginning to decrease about one percent per year after age 30. But sometimes they drop faster than that, or the drop begins to seriously impact a man’s daily life, and that’s when low T needs to be treated.

Low T can cause a wide range of symptoms, because it’s involved in so many processes in the body. Most people know it as the primary male sex hormone, responsible for the development of sexual organs and the response to sexual stimuli. While that is its primary function, testosterone also acts as an anabolic steroid, fueling muscle growth and maintaining bone density. It also regulates energy and mood, and can even influence how well you sleep. So even if you haven’t experienced erectile dysfunction or other directly sexual symptoms, you still could be suffering from low T.

To treat low T, doctors usually recommend some form of hormone replacement therapy. For most men, either gels or patches can provide a sustained increase in testosterone. For men struggling with fertility, a doctor might recommend testosterone injections, which quickly increase sperm motility. Doctors also recommend that men alter their diets to include more fresh produce and unprocessed foods, because the complex processes that influence hormone production are easier for your body when it has the proper fuel.

If you think you’re struggling with low T, help is just a quick hormone test away! Any Lab Test Now offers the Comprehensive Male Panel, which can tell you if your exhaustion, loss of muscle or low libido are the result of low T. Contact your local Any Lab Test Now to start taking control of your health, and be one of the men who doesn’t accept that aging means losing out on quality of life.

Testosterone: A Man’s AND Woman’s Hormone

The other day, a woman came in because she had been having trouble concentrating lately. She had been distracted at work and had a hard time getting through simple tasks. It scared her because she was only in her mid-40s and thought that she was already starting to show signs of aging. Her doctor suggested that she have her testosterone levels tested. She learned she did have low testosterone, and that this could be contributing to her symptoms.

People are often surprised when a woman talks about issues related to testosterone, because people commonly think of testosterone as a male hormone. In reality, testosterone exists in both men and women.

Testosterone in Men

In men, testosterone is the driving force behind puberty. Levels peak at that point in a man’s life, allowing the body to change into an adult. Adam’s apples develop. They grow facial and body hair. Their penis and testes become larger. Following puberty, testosterone levels gradually begin to fall.

Even as testosterone naturally tapers, the body still relies on this hormone to regulate things like sex drive, red blood cell production, weight distribution and sperm levels. Because of this, low levels of testosterone (low T) in men contribute to a variety of issues. Men can experience a loss of interest in sex, erectile dysfunction, depression, difficulty concentrating, disruption to the sleep cycle, loss of muscle mass, decrease in body hair or loss of bone density.

Testosterone in Women

Testosterone levels are naturally lower in women than in men. In fact, normal levels for an adult female are about 1/10th of a man’s testosterone level. With women, however, changes in hormone levels can be experienced more dramatically.

If a woman has too little testosterone, she may experience symptoms that mimic those of natural aging. These include trouble concentrating, as well as fatigue, exhaustion, difficulty losing weight, sudden weight gain, decreased interest in sex, vaginal dryness, mood swings, depression, anxiety or hair loss. It is also possible to have a testosterone level that is too high, leading to increased acne, a deepening of the voice or an irregular menstrual cycle.

Are My Testosterone Levels OK?

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, keep in mind that there are several medical causes for these symptoms in both men and women. Don’t dive right into a treatment program without finding out if you really have a problem with testosterone!

There are several tests that can be done to help you identify if testosterone, or other hormone imbalances, are contributing to your current symptoms. The most common lab test used by physicians to check a person’s testosterone level is the Testosterone (Free/Total).   If you think you may have a hormone imbalance, including testosterone, a Saliva Hormone Test may be more appropriate, and provides a comprehensive overview of a variety of hormone levels.  If you are male and want to check your overall health, including your testosterone level, then an excellent choice would be the Comprehensive Male Panel.  Information is power, and will provide you and your doctor more information to better pinpoint the root of the symptoms you are experiencing.

So, what if you find you have low testosterone?  Definitely visit with your physician first.  He or she may suggest testosterone replacement therapy.  You’ll need to first get a series of lab tests to ensure you are healthy enough to start the program, known as our Pre-Testosterone Replacement Therapy Panel.  Keep in mind, however, that it is important to continue monitoring your health during treatment with our Continued Testosterone Replacement Therapy Panel. This helps you determine if treatment is effective and monitors your body for negative side effects.
After testing, the female customer who came in was relieved to learn about her lower testosterone level, as well as a few other hormone imbalances. She, too, had thought that only men needed to be concerned with testosterone. She had no idea that it could cause such fluctuations in her own moods and physical health. Testosterone affects the physical and emotional health of both men and women, so don’t live with the symptoms above; have your hormones tested and get back to living a more vibrant life.

Okay, Gentlemen. It is Time To Get Tested

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

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

Comprehensive Male Panel

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

  • coronary heart disease

  • stroke

  • liver and kidney failure

  • blood disorders

  • prostate cancer

  • thyroid conditions

Men’s Heart Health Panel

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

  • cardiovascular heart disease

  • low blood count and electrolyte levels

  • kidneyand liver conditions

  • cholesterol abnormalities

  • diabetes

Continued Testosterone Replacement Therapy Panel

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

  • prostate cancer

  • blood clots

  • stroke

  • sleep apnea

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

Men, Learn To Take Control of Your Health

“Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue,” said Congressman Bill Richardson in 1994. That statement today is still as relevant as it was in the 90’s because of the continuous decline in men’s health.

Men’s Health Month was created to highlight preventable health issues and encourage early detection of disease among men of all ages. It’s important as men, to proactively maintain your health. You can do so by establishing a health baseline, ensuring regular visits with your doctor and getting to know how your body works. Ranging from heart health, testosterone levels and various cancers, it’s extremely important to know what’s going on inside of your body. Check out the wide range of tests that are offered for men.

How will you encourage the people in your life to take control of their health during men’s health month?