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It’s Time to Get Macho About Men’s Health

 It’s not just a month to celebrate Dad’s day. It’s a month to celebrate men’s health. Do you know a man who never gets sick? Who is invincible? Who thinks he can beat back any ailment through sheer force of will? Maybe it’s a husband, son or brother. Or maybe it’s you? Men are notorious for not wanting to go to the doctor. Whether it’s to project a manly macho image, or maybe out of fear of needles or tests, many men are prone to neglecting their health. In fact, men make half as many prevention visits to physicians as women.

Need convincing? Consider this:

  • Men live five years fewer than women, on average.
  • Men have a higher death rate for most leading causes of death (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, suicide).
  • One in two men will develop cancer.
  • Thirty-thousand men die in the U.S. each year from prostate cancer.

Although prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among men in the U.S., death from prostate cancer is nearly 100 percent preventable if it is detected while it is local or regional to the prostate. This makes early detection key. Don’t wait until urinary symptoms surface (loss of bladder control, pain/burning during urination, blood in urine, painful ejaculation or pain/swelling in legs or pelvic area) to get checked out.

No matter what age, all men should get a PSA Test (Prostate Specific Antigen). If that PSA substance – which is produced in the prostate gland – is elevated, it can indicate prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate. Establishing a PSA “baseline,” when you are healthy allows you to monitor any changes in your PSA levels over time and possibly detect and treat a disease before it’s too late.

The American Cancer Society just released new guidelines about colon and rectal cancers, another leading cause of death from cancer. With more colorectal cancers appearing in younger adults, men and women alike, the recommended screening age has been lowered from 50 to 45. The Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a simple at-home test that tests for blood in the stool and helps to ensure good colon health.

Awareness. Prevention. Action.

We know men are more likely than women to be uninsured. Fortunately, the direct access lab testing available at Any Lab Test Now gives them the opportunity to monitor their health and screen for a host of diseases without a doctor’s order. It just takes action!

Focusing on health instead of illness will ensure men live longer, healthier lives. That’s macho. And that’s what Men’s Health Month is all about.

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.

 

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.

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!

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.

Could It Be Low Testosterone?

Testosterone is a male hormone that helps to maintain muscle mass and strength, bone density, sex drive and sperm production in men.  Often described as “Fuel for Men” testosterone levels begin to decrease at an approximate rate of 1% every year after a man turns 40.  New studies are showing an increased number of men in their 30’s with decreasing testosterone levels.

Low testosterone is signified by levels that fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) which leads to hypogonadism and even andropause, the male version of menopause.  Though women experience a drastic decrease of estrogen levels during menopause, a decrease in testosterone in men can sometimes be so gradual that it goes undiagnosed and untreated.  It’s been reported that the number of men taking part in testosterone replacement therapy has tripled since 2001 proving that men are no longer living with what was formerly thought of as natural signs of aging.  What is most important before beginning therapy is that men are properly diagnosed to avoid any underlying health risks that they are not aware of.

How do you know when it is time to get tested for low testosterone?  If you are a man aged 35 or older and you experience a combination of more than 1 or all of the following, it’s time to get tested.

  • Low Sex Drive – a drastic drop noticeable by a man and his partner
  • Erectile Dysfunction – difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection
  • Loss of Hair – not just male patter baldness, but also facial and body hair
  • Fatigue – low energy despite getting enough sleep or lacking motivation for physical activities
  • Low Sperm – noticeable decrease in amount of semen during ejaculation signifying a decrease in sperm count
  • Loss of Muscle Mass – a noticeable decrease in muscle mass and strength, especially in arms, legs and chest
  • Increased Body Fat – especially around the belly and chest area
  • Decreased Bone Mass – leading to osteoporosis, and easily damaged bones
  •  Mood Changes – experiencing depression, irritability or lack of focus

If you recognize any of these symptoms, it may be time to see a physician but before you go, ANY LAB TEST NOW® can help you Take Control of Your Health® by getting the correct testosterone test.  Many doctors have a hard time diagnosing low testosterone not only because again, the symptoms are often viewed as natural signs of aging, but also because most doctors only test for total testosterone levels.  Though total testosterone is a small part of the picture, knowing your free (bioavailable) testosterone levels are also important along with knowing estradiol, Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) and thyroid levels in order to receive a proper diagnosis.  Having a good understanding of these levels before you begin therapy is the best way to determine if testosterone replacement therapy is a safe option.  Monitoring your levels during therapy is also important for making sure that replacement therapy is effective and to insure that you do not suffer from the unwanted side effects and health risks associated with too much testosterone.

ANY LAB TEST NOW® exclusively offers two comprehensive tests designed to make sure testosterone replacement therapy is right for you.  To find out more about our Pre-Testosterone Therapy Panel and our Continued Testosterone Therapy panel visit www.anylabtestnow.com and search testosterone for a list of applicable tests and their benefits.