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We’re at the halfway point to 2022 – can you believe it? It feels like each year gets faster, as life gets busier. As we prepare to take on the second half of the year, now is a good time to reflect on the first half. Did you meet your goals? What are you most proud of? What can you do better? Many people’s New Year’s resolutions have fizzled by now, and if that’s you, you aren’t alone! According to one survey, of the 41% of Americans who make resolutions, only 9% are successful in keeping them. 

Now, while that can be quite a discouraging number, there are a few reasons why, despite this, it’s considered a good thing to set New Year’s resolutions. Having resolutions sets intention with how you want to grow and develop in the coming year, it sets a tone of hopefulness and optimism, and you can start the year with a fresh sense of responsibility that hopefully flows in the months to come. It’s inherently a positive thing to strive for and has encouraging effects for yourself and those around you. 

Statistically, taking strides in your health, whether that means exercise or mental health, is one of the most popular resolutions. Each month, our blog highlights different health topics that may impact your life and provide a recommended blood test to bring awareness to the topic.

 

Cholesterol (Lipids) Panel 

This month, we want to emphasize the importance of cholesterol testing with our Cholesterol (Lipid) Panel®. The Lipids Panel can determine your cholesterol levels, which is important because this will tell you if you’re at risk for heart disease or any other heart issues. 

According to the CDC, nearly 94 million United States adults, 20 or older, have high cholesterol. There are two types of cholesterol, the good and the bad. The good absorbs the cholesterol and carries it back to the liver, and the liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of this type can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. 

The bad makes up most of your body’s cholesterol, and high levels of this type can raise your risk for heart disease and stroke. The Cholesterol (Lipid) Panel® tests for both to determine whether you’re at risk or not. 

Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels can increase your risk of heart disease. With high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. This makes it difficult for blood to flow through your arteries and can cause a heart attack or stroke. 

There are no symptoms. A blood test is the only way to know if you have it. 

With the Cholesterol (Lipid) Panel®, you’ll have your test results between 24 to 72 business hours. It’s recommended you fast before the test to ensure it’s accurate. Once you have your results, we encourage you to talk with your primary physician about the next steps.

Take Back Your Health

The overproduction of bad cholesterol can come from a variety of reasons. A lot of times, an unhealthy lifestyle is a huge contributor to producing more of the bad cholesterol. Some things to keep in mind are:

  • Unhealthy diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke 
  • Hereditary 

To be 100% sure of your cholesterol status, start with one simple blood test at any of our neighborhood Any Lab Test Now® locations.


Renal Function Panel® 

Now is a great time to double down on your kidney health. Our Renal Function Panel® is a group of tests used to evaluate kidney function. According to the Mayo Clinic, some signs to look for if you think you’re experiencing kidney issues are:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Urinating more or less
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Swelling 
  • Dry, itchy skin

The signs and symptoms of kidney issues are often nonspecific and could also be the source of a different issue altogether. However, it’s worth getting tested; simply because the damage from leaving your affected kidneys untreated can be irreversible. 

For this test, fasting for about eight hours prior to the blood draw is preferred. Your results will be ready between 24 to 72 business hours after the test.

Hepatic Function Panel® 

For this comprehensive panel, the Liver Function Panel®, or Hepatic Function®, measures the blood levels of seven tests that see how well your liver is working.

This test is also encouraged if you’ve been exposed to the hepatitis A, B, or C virus. High or low levels in one of the seven tests may indicate you have liver damage or liver disease is present. Some general symptoms, according to Healthline, include:

  • Yellow skin (Jaundice)
  • Dark urine
  • Pale, bloody, or tarlike stool
  • Swollen ankles, legs, or abdomen 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Bruise easily
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Itchy skin

Something to keep in mind about this test and the one above is that anyone who is regularly taking medications can potentially benefit from these tests, as they’re typically required as a regular workup for anyone taking medication long-term.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

The perfect test to have performed as a mid-year checkup is the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel®. This includes 14 essential tests that are part of a routine checkup or annual physical. It gives your doctor an overall picture of your health. 

Let’s talk about what’s looked at in this panel.

Your sodium, potassium, chloride, and carbon dioxide are all measured. Irregular values in these “electrolytes” can indicate trouble with your body’s salt/water or acid/base balance. Some common causes are dehydration, vomiting, medication, and kidney problems. 

Next are albumin, alkaline phosphatase, aspartate transaminase, and alanine transaminase. These are proteins and enzymes found in your blood; and can indicate liver damage or liver disease.

Lastly, your blood urea nitrogen, calcium, creatinine, and glucose are tested. This checks for a range of problems that affect your kidneys.

As one of the most common tests, it provides a plethora of information on your health.

Resolution Fatigue? Change Them!

If you’re feeling down because you aren’t meeting the goals you set at the beginning of the year, there is no shame in changing them for something more attainable. It can be something as simple as getting a blood test to check your cholesterol, liver function, kidneys, or more before the kids head back to school because we know that’s right around the corner! 

With more than 200 locations across the country, you can make an appointment by phone or just walk in. we make it our priority to provide a convenient, safe, and confidential space for you to tackle your health. 

Click here to find the location closest to you.