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The start of a new year is a great time to make some much-needed changes in your life. Perhaps you’ve resolved to making your health and wellness a top priority in 2023. If that’s the case, a good place to begin is with some testing to figure out your health baseline. This measurement is a good comparison tool for the future and will determine your next steps.

At Any Lab Test Now® we prioritize the health of you and your family. We provide hundreds of accurate and effective tests that you can utilize to gain better perspective of any potential health issues. Improving your health literacy by having a clear understanding about these tests will serve you well and empower you as you take control of your health.

When it comes to testing—there are three basic types: screenings, diagnostic and risk assessment.

Screening

Initially, you will want to have some screening tests done. This is your starting line. Think of a screening like you are in fact just taking a snapshot of your current health. The screening is a valuable tool to detect any possible red flags when it comes to your health. Screenings are quick, easy, and informative but typically, not definitive.

You may begin with a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel made up of 14 tests giving you an overall picture of your health. This is one of the most common blood tests available and it gives you a tremendous amount of information about your health. It is a great screening tool that can signal a problem area that needs to be addressed further by your provider.

Another good first check screening offered at Any Lab Test Now® is called the  Complete Blood Count or CBC. This test gives important information about the kind and the number of cells in your blood. While it’s a good screening capable of signaling abnormalities it can also be used as a diagnostic test.

For example, based on information from the American Society of Hematology, a CBC goes next level from screening test to diagnostic test. Depending on the red blood count from the CBC, it can diagnose if you have anemia which is a condition which occurs when you do not have enough red blood cells or when your red blood cells do not function properly. It is diagnosed when the CBC blood test shows a hemoglobin value of less than 13.5 gm/dl in a man or less than 12.0 gm/dl in a woman. If your hemoglobin is below these mentioned levels, the diagnosis is that you are anemic. This is an example of a screening test becoming a diagnostic tool. Keep in mind, though, there are more than 400 types of anemia. Additional testing would need to determine which of three groups of anemia you may have.

Another example of a screening offered at Any Lab Test Now® is the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). This antigen is a substance a man’s prostate gland produces. The blood test we conduct will measure PSA levels and if elevated, it may indicate prostate cancer or prostatitis (an enlarged prostate). It’s important to note that, this is not a diagnosis of cancer. This is a measurement of reference values indicating that the screening may have shown a higher-than-normal PSA, based on a range of numbers that are considered standard measure of a healthy prostate. But elevated values, don’t necessarily mean you have prostate cancer.  As a matter of fact, any trauma could skew those numbers. Anything from recently taking a horseback ride or a bike ride, can cause PSA to elevate. Abnormal levels indicate the need for more testing to diagnose the issue.

Diagnostic Testing

An interesting diagnostic test—meaning it is not a screening for pregnancy but rather a determinate of the baby’s gender, is the Gender Reveal test provided by  Any Lab Test Now®. This test stems from technology called the harmony test- it’s a genetic test, where the mother’s blood is filtered to pull out the baby’s cells to identify the gender. This test can be offered to new moms as early as 6 to 7 weeks into gestation, but to ensure the best results 8 weeks are recommended. This non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) test has accuracy above 99%.

Risk Assessment

The last type we’re going to talk about today is risk assessment. These are screenings that you would take if you were in a risk category.  For example, the Heart Health Panel provides an overview of your heart health status. This panel can be used as a baseline assessment of your heart health and possible risk.  This is a test you may take if you have underlying health risks. Perhaps you are a smoker, or overweight or there is a history of heart disease in your family. You are at higher risk than someone who does not have these issues. The outcome of this screening is not a guarantee that you would, let’s say, have heart disease, but rather this provides awareness and valuable knowledge. It allows you to make health decisions that could perhaps combat the risk factors.

No matter what test or tests you utilize, we encourage you to have a conversation with your provider about the results. If you do not have a primary care physician, Any Lab Test Now® has partnered with Dial Care. This service helps you find a provider licensed in your state.

Start the New Year off Right

Whether you are looking for a baseline of your health, want to utilize diagnostic tests or assess your health risk factors, Any Lab Test Now® can help by providing the lab tests you need to get the answers you want. Call now to schedule an appointment at a location near you.