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Mid-Year Resolution: Stick to Your Goals 

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.

National Cholesterol Education Month

Back in 1913, researchers first discovered the detrimental role cholesterol plays in our health. Despite advancements in cholesterol-busting medications, it continues to be linked with high rates of cardiovascular disease in the United States and across the world. 

To raise more awareness and educate the public about cholesterol and the best practices for cardiovascular disease prevention, September is deemed National Cholesterol Education Month.

Nearly one in three American adults has high cholesterol. Many of them don’t even know it. 

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found naturally in the blood and, believe it or not, is vital for the normal functioning of the body. Cholesterol is essential for maintaining a healthy body. However, when the cholesterol level in your blood becomes too high, it can cause serious and life-threatening problems.

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol: This is considered the “bad cholesterol” — it carries cholesterol from the liver into the bloodstream, where it can stick to the blood vessels.

HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol: This is the “good cholesterol” that, on the other hand, carries the cholesterol in the blood back to the liver, where it is broken down.

Research has indicated that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:

  • Heart attack
  • Strokes
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Transient ischemic attacks
  • Peripheral arterial disease

Cholesterol is predominantly produced in the liver, but it can also be found in foods such as red meat, high-fat cheese, butter, and eggs.

Cholesterol Busters

Some of the risk factors, such as age, family history, or other health problems, can’t be controlled, but there are numerous ways to reduce the risk of having high cholesterol. They include:

Diet – There are two types of fats in food, saturated and unsaturated. Avoid foods containing saturated fats, as they will increase the levels of “bad cholesterol” in the blood.

Foods that are high in unsaturated fat and reduce the risk of high cholesterol include:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oily fish
  • Oats
  • Fruits and vegetables


  • Exercise – Moderate physical activity can help raise levels of “good cholesterol” in the blood. Adding exercise to daily routines, even for short intervals, will help make a difference. Good examples include swimming, cycling, and walking.
  • Stop smoking – Smoking stops HDL from transporting fatty deposits to the liver, leading to high cholesterol and narrowing of the arteries. This can increase the risk of suffering from heart attacks and strokes. The benefits of stopping smoking appear early too. In fact, within a year of quitting, the risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker.

Get Tested

High cholesterol has no signs or symptoms. The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is to take a simple blood test. The Centers for Disease Control recommends adults aged 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked every five years. Testing should be done yearly if there is an established history of high cholesterol. 

Total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high, and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered too high.

The Cholesterol (Lipid) Panel offered by Any Lab Test Now is a convenient way to discover cholesterol levels and track them on a regular basis. A doctor’s order is not needed, so there is no need to take the extra step of going to a primary care physician to get a prescription for blood work. No appointment is necessary at Any Lab Test Now — walk-ins are always welcome. Test results are back within 24–72 hours. Then, they can be shared with a physician who can determine the best course of action, which may include medication and some of the cholesterol-busting actions outlined above. 

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, including determining cholesterol levels. 

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 190+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus pandemic. We are here to help. 

For more information about Any Lab Test Now, and the tests we offer, visit us at

Summer Season Foods That Help Keep Your Cholesterol in Check

Summer apparently does a body good! Research shows cholesterol levels seem to fluctuate significantly with the seasons. Our craving for fatty comfort food increases in the winter, which raises cholesterol levels. On the other hand, the lowest levels of the dangerous substance register in the summer months. It’s not so much about the heat; it’s what we eat, or don’t eat, when the weather warms up.

Before we get into the summer diet changes you might want to adopt to keep your cholesterol in check  year-round, it is important to know the facts about cholesterol.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in all the cells in your body. Your liver makes all the cholesterol you need. Yes, need. Your body needs cholesterol to build cells and make vitamins and hormones. The extra cholesterol in your body comes from foods you consume – such as meat, poultry, dairy products, and tropical oils. Some of those foods are high in saturated and trans fats, which cause your liver to make more cholesterol than it should.

You may have heard that there are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is bad, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is good. Too much of the bad kind, or not enough of the good kind, increases the risk cholesterol will slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain and lead to serious health issues such as a heart attack or stroke.

Experts say you should not shrug off the potential health effects of the seasonal fluctuations in your cholesterol levels. In fact, it might be a great idea to consider adding a bit of summer all year long when it comes to your eating habits.

Here are some summer-season foods that can help lower your cholesterol levels.

Apricots – This fruit is a great source of fiber. Fiber allows the body to get rid of cholesterol. The high beta carotene content in apricots also helps prevent LDL cholesterol (the bad one) from oxidizing and clogging arteries. Fresh apricots are in season during late spring and throughout the summer. You can easily import this healthy fruit into your winter diet by eating dried apricots, which will provide the same health benefits.

Raspberries – Also a fantastic source of cholesterol-busting fiber, these little berries are packed with tons of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin B2, folate, niacin, magnesium, potassium, and copper. While considered a summer staple, raspberries are grown and distributed across the country well into November.

Avocados – While popular in summer salads and side dishes like guacamole, this green goodie is usually available all year round. Research suggests that adding an avocado a day to a heart-healthy diet can help improve LDL cholesterol levels in people who are overweight or obese.

Asparagus – This high fiber vegetable also contains compounds called saponins, which have repeatedly been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Their intake has also been associated with improved blood pressure, improved blood sugar regulation, and better control of blood cholesterol levels. If you can’t find fresh, you can substitute canned or frozen asparagus.

Of course, you can’t lower your cholesterol levels by eating one or two of these foods on a random basis. Health experts recommend following a balanced diet combined with regular exercise.

Check Your Levels

Regular testing is an easy way to keep track of your cholesterol levels. Any Lab Test Now® offers the most advanced cholesterol panel available. The Lipoprotein Particle Profile Plus (LPP+) measures the size and density of your LDL cholesterol to provide you with the clearest picture of your cardiovascular risk.

You don’t need a doctor’s order to get your cholesterol checked, and you can walk in for same-day testing at any of our locations. Once you have your results, you can consult with a physician to find out if treatment is necessary. To learn more about the LPP+ screening, click here.

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, including determining your cholesterol levels.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 190+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus pandemic. We are here to help.

Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at

Back to the Basics on Cholesterol

When it comes to your health, it can be easy to get caught up in the latest headlines about what’s “good” or “bad.” We can get so caught up in the headlines that sometimes the basics get pushed back and forgotten. But the basics are the bedrock of your health, so let’s talk about cholesterol.

You could be suffering from high cholesterol and not even know it. It doesn’t have any signs or symptoms. It puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the United States. Any Lab Test Now makes it easy to know your cholesterol levels. We can also help you manage the disease. It all starts with knowing your risks… and your numbers.


Believe it or not, some cholesterol is not only good to have… but necessary. Blood cholesterol is made by your body’s liver and it helps your body perform important jobs, such as making hormones and digesting fatty foods. Your body makes all of the blood cholesterol it needs, which is why experts recommend that people eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible. Dietary cholesterol is found in stuff like meat, seafood, poultry, eggs and dairy products. Your diet can be a huge risk factor when it comes to your chances of developing high cholesterol.


When it comes to risk factors associated with high cholesterol, there are some things you can control and some that you can’t. For example:

Certain health conditions increase your risk. Obesity is a well-known risk factor, but so is having Type 2 diabetes.

Your age and gender play a role. As we get older, our bodies can’t clear cholesterol from our blood as efficiently, so just getting older increases your risks. Men tend to be at a high risk, no matter what age.

Genetics can be your friend or your foe. If you have a family history of high cholesterol, you are more likely to have it. Couple that with an unhealthy diet and you’re in for a double whammy!

Your lifestyle plays a huge role. When it comes to lifestyle risk factors, consider the big three — diet, exercise, and smoking. If your diet is high in unhealthy fats, your risk goes up. If you aren’t exercising, you can gain weight, which puts you at an increased risk. Smoking makes an already bad situation even worse by damaging your blood vessels, making them more likely to collect cholesterol’s fatty deposits!

Understanding your risks could make regular cholesterol testing an important part of your life. Any Lab Test Now offers a wide range of cholesterol testing designed to help you know exactly where you stand and whether your efforts to get your cholesterol under control are working.


Our most basic panel is the Cholesterol (Lipid) Panel. This simple test will help you determine if you have abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. With one blood draw, we can provide you with some serious health information that can truly make a huge difference in your life. You don’t need an appointment, but you do have to fast for this test for 10–12 hours prior, so it does take a small amount of planning. It’s worth it!


Now that you know your numbers, you and your doctor can make an informed decision about moving forward. You might start with simple lifestyle changes involving your diet and exercise habits. If those efforts don’t work or if your numbers are too high, your doctor may consider putting you on cholesterol-lowering medication. Our Cholesterol Medication Maintenance Panel checks your current cholesterol levels, so you’ll know if your treatment is effective. And since some medications have possible side effects, the panel also checks liver functions.

Any Lab Test Now is constantly updating and reviewing the top-quality tests that we offer. We work hard to strike a balance between keeping up with the latest breakthroughs, but also remembering the basics of good health. If you’re at an increased risk of developing high cholesterol, come in and talk with one of our lab experts. We’re here to help you take control of your health.

Cholesterol? What Cholesterol? My Internal Battle

Every time I turn around, there are news blurbs and health blogs about high cholesterol.  Heck, is there anything that won’t make us susceptible?  Well I know a few things that will!

  • My fave – French fries
  • Age (I really don’t want to hear that word right now…)
  • My parents and their parents – an easy excuse – genes
  • Back to my bad eating habits of fast food
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking (not my habit, just one of those things I know about)

I’m at that “give and take” part of my life. I’m going to have to give up some of the “good stuff” like Twinkies, Little Debbie Swiss Rolls and Coconut Fudge ice cream to save myself from the “bad stuff”, heart disease.

I fear pain.  I am a bit of a wimp.  I cannot even imagine what a heart attack feels like.  I will give my bags of chips up any day and will even climb on the dusty elliptical trainer sitting in the corner of my living room rather than having to deal with that issue.  That is, if I really need to…  That’s the problem – willpower, and knowing!  You can’t see or feel those waxy globs of fat in your system, so I’m taking a risk with the occasional late-night snack while reasoning with myself why I deserve it.

So, I finally got smart.  I got my cholesterol tested.  It gave me something real to look at.   Sorry snack cakes, you are going to have to go on vacation.  The numbers are reality, and reality reminds me of my biggest fear.  Knowing my cholesterol level is more motivating than hiding in the closet and hoping the grim reaper of blood gunk will pass me by.   So, I encourage all my readers to get your cholesterol tested and know your reality today.