Did You Know Some Employers are Now Testing for Nicotine? Here’s Why

Today’s labor market is competitive, and employers are constantly looking for ways to differentiate potential employees who may otherwise be practically identical. These tactics range from test questions to personality quizzes, but some companies are taking things a step further and asking future hires to take a nicotine test. Hospitals, transportation companies and utility services are leading the way in testing employees’ saliva for tobacco and tobacco-product use, and other substances to help make hiring decisions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It costs the nation billions in health care expenses, and smokers are expected to die about 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. There isn’t an organ in the body that smoking doesn’t damage in some way. Despite this, many choose to continue smoking. Public health experts are beginning to feel that if a person’s health isn’t enough to motivate them to quit, maybe they can be incentivized by money. For workers everywhere, the penalties for not quitting, and the rewards for quitting, could soon be hitting you in the wallet.

Many employers, faced with rising health insurance costs for smokers and the higher rates of chronic diseases in employees who smoke, are offering carrot-stick bargains — either quit smoking and receive a small bonus and free smoking cessation tools, or continue smoking and lose a small percentage of your paycheck each month; or in some cases, lose out on the job offer. Being tobacco-free makes a job applicant a more natural choice for an employer trying to save money on insurance costs and promote a healthy office environment.

Testing for illegal drugs has been a pretty widespread practice for years, but with the relative ease of oral fluid testing, employers can now ask a candidate for a swab and know whether the applicant smokes, dips or chews. The payout for the employer can be twofold: they can offer new potential employees smoking cessation tools to help them get healthy, and they can potentially receive a federal insurance subsidy for testing their employees. It’s been demonstrated time and again that the healthier the workforce, the more productive it is, so having a group of employees who are entirely tobacco-free could increase productivity dramatically, while reducing insurance costs.

The oral swab test, or even a urine specimen test, offered by Any Lab Test Now identifies the amount of cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine, in the bloodstream. This substance sticks around for an average of three days — longer in heavy smokers — so going cold turkey for the day isn’t going to cut it. By offering a quick, inexpensive way to test for cotinine, Any Lab Test Now is making it easier for employers to make hiring decisions based on important health criteria. Companies now realize that an investment in the health of each employee is an investment in the business itself, and the advantages of nicotine testing far outweigh the costs.

Latest Drug Trends Parents Need to Know About

Your teen is at a party. They told you the parents would be home and that it’s just a small get-together. But even a small party can be a toxic pool of peer pressure for a growing teenager. Do you actually know what your teen is doing at that party? Will there be drinking or even drugs? While it’s important to have a trusting relationship with your teenager, it is also important to know when it’s time to step in and take charge of their activities. New drug trends can pop up fast, and before you know it, your teen may be in a dangerous situation at a social event. But you can take action just by staying in-the-know about drug trends and being aware of the warning signs that your teen might be abusing drugs. With the right information, you can better monitor your teen’s activities and behaviors. You don’t want to find out too late.

Here are a few of the drug trends for 2015 you should know about:

Molly: Commonly known as Molly or ecstasy, the official name for this drug is MDMA. It has been steadily gaining popularity since the late 2000s, and it is certainly a drug to watch out for among teenagers. Molly is considered a club drug and is typically used in pill form at raves and other kinds of parties. It is a synthetic psychoactive drug that produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth toward others and distortions in sensory and time perceptions. Because it is lab-created, Molly is an unpredictable drug that can vary greatly in strength, composition and dosage — you never know what you’re going to get. It can result in a rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, blood vessel constriction and sweating, and the inability for the body to regulate temperature. It has also been known to cause panic attacks, psychosis, seizures and extreme dehydration.

Flakka (or Gravel): Flakka, also sometimes called Gravel, is a new and highly dangerous drug trend that has recently been seen emerging in Florida but is spreading to other areas as well. The drug is a combination of crystal meth and bath salts, giving it a gravel-like appearance. It can be eaten, snorted, injected or vaporized in an e-cigarette or similar device and can cause a condition called “excited delirium” that involves hyperstimulation, paranoia and hallucinations that can lead to violent aggression and self-injury. It has been linked to fatalities from suicide and heart attacks, and it can raise body temperatures to dangerous levels, leading to kidney damage and kidney failure.

K2 (or Spice): K2 is a particularly tricky drug to look out for as a parent because it can be obtained legally and is sold in gas stations, head shops and on the Internet. It is a synthetic cannabinoid of herbal mixtures that is chemically similar to THC, the active ingredient found in marijuana. However, the effects of this drug are much more powerful than marijuana and can include anxiety and agitation, nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, shaking and seizures, hallucinations and paranoia, and violent behavior. Recently, there have been increasing instances of hospitalizations due to overdoses of K2.

Adderall: Adderall (and other stimulant medications like Ritalin and Concerta) is the dangerous drug your teen might be getting right out of a friend’s medicine cabinet. Typically prescribed to people with ADHD, Adderall has recently become a heavily abused drug among young people, especially students. People with prescriptions can easily give or sell it to others, usually those seeking the ability to focus better while studying. The problem? When abused or taken without a prescription, these drugs can be highly addictive. This type of drug suppresses the appetite, increases wakefulness, and increases focus and attention. It can also produce feelings of euphoria and is often abused for recreational purposes as a result.

Fentanyl: This drug is an opioid twice as potent as heroin and has been increasing in popularity across the nation since 2013, causing hundreds of overdoses and deaths. An opioid overdose can stop a person’s breathing, and fentanyl can cause this to happen very rapidly. In some cases, people have been unknowingly taking fentanyl in what they believed to be pure heroin, though a growing number of people are intentionally seeking out the stronger drug. Fentanyl produces a state of euphoria and relaxation.

Any Lab Test Now partners with the Partnership for Drug Free Kids and their Medicine Abuse Project to help educate parents about the problem of teen drug abuse, as well as share tools to help them talk to their teens. Be sure to talk to your teenager about the dangers of drug abuse and how to get help if something happens. If you think your teen may be abusing drugs, you may want to consider bringing them in for a drug test through our Trust But Verify teen drug testing program. Talk to our experts at Any Lab Test Now to find the right test for you and your child’s needs.

Why Becoming A Bone Marrow Donor Is So Important

September is National Blood Cancer Awareness Month, and this means it’s time to start thinking about what you can do to help the thousands of people every year who suffer from this disease. Every three minutes in the United States, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer — more than 175,000 new cases each year. More than 55,000 people will die from blood cancer in this year alone. A bone marrow transplant is many of these patients’ best hope for survival, but only about 30 percent of patients are able to find a matching donor within their families. The other 70 percent have to rely on donations from strangers, and sometimes there just aren’t enough to go around. Around 3,000 people die each year while waiting for a match. By donating bone marrow this month or becoming a part of the bone marrow registry, you could save someone’s life.

Blood cancer encompases all malignancies of the blood, bone marrow or lymph nodes that affect normal blood cell production or function. As the diseased blood cells multiply, they cause life-threatening damage to the immune and circulatory systems. There are many different types of blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Patients with any of these types of blood cancer require bone marrow transplants for the best chance of beating the disease.

Any Lab Test Now is proud to support Delete Blood Cancer in its mission to provide help to those suffering from blood cancer. We have partnered with Delete Blood Cancer to encourage our local communities to become a part of the bone marrow registry, and we encourage you to do the same. We also collect specimens on behalf of Delete Blood Cancer and hold Swab Parties periodically throughout the year to build awareness of the need for bone marrow donors.Did you know that it only takes a simple swab from the inside cheeks of your mouth to be entered into the registry?  Yes, it is that simple.  And, did you know that about 75% of bone marrow donations are through a process similar to collecting platelets? With just one donation and a few hours of you time, you could give someone suffering from blood cancer an entire lifetime.

Are you concerned about your own health? At Any Lab Test Now, we have several cancer screens that may help you get the answers you need. Talk to your doctor or our experts at Any Lab Test Now to find out which test is right for you.

Signs of Menopause and Tests to Tell if You’re There

As women get older, they are faced with the inevitable — menopause. The average age for a woman to go through menopause is 50, but it can begin as early as her 30s or as late as her 60s. This can be an alarming time for some women, full of changes and new things to get used to, but it doesn’t have to be scary. There are many ways to help cope with the challenges of menopause, as well things to be excited about as you enter a new phase of your life. If you think you may be approaching menopause, here are some signs to look out for:

Probably the most obvious sign of menopause is beginning to have irregular periods once you reach a certain age. Once a woman hits menopause, her periods will stop altogether; so during the time before menopause (perimenopause), periods will become lighter and less frequent — only occurring once every few months. However, it is still possible for a woman to become pregnant during perimenopause. If you are approaching menopausal age and haven’t had your period in several months, you may want to take a pregnancy test, just to be sure.

Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are the most common symptom of a woman entering menopause. Hot flashes are sudden feelings of warmth, typically centered around the face, neck and chest. They may also cause redness of the skin and profuse sweating, leaving you chilled afterward. In some women, hot flashes can occur only a few times a day, and for others, they can happen several times an hour.

Night Sweats and Trouble Sleeping
Women entering menopause may also experience night sweats, which are essentially hot flashes that occur during sleep, causing excessive perspiration. Additionally, some women experience insomnia around the time of menopause due to changing hormone levels as well as other age-related sleep disturbances, such as an increased likelihood of sleep apnea.

Mood Changes
Many women approaching menopause experience mood changes. This can include feelings of moodiness, depressed moods, anxiety, stress or a decreased sense of well-being. This may be the result of changing hormones, significant feelings of stress due to other perimenopausal symptoms or any number of reasons in an aging woman’s life.

Weight Gain, Thinning Hair and Dry Skin
A few other signs that you are entering the menopausal stage of your life are weight gain due to a slowed metabolism, thinning hair and dry skin. However, these things can sometimes be seen in aging people regardless of gender or menopause. If you are experiencing these signs in addition to any of the ones listed above, you may want to get your hormone levels tested to find out for sure if you are approaching menopause.

At Any Lab Test Now, we have several tests that might help you to determine if you are entering menopause. Our Menopause Screening Panel is your best resource for discovering if you are going through menopause. You may also consider getting a Saliva Hormone Test, which can help determine if you have any hormone imbalances that could be affecting your daily life. Taking steps to manage a hormone imbalance can be a huge relief to a woman during menopause, especially if she is experiencing any severe symptoms. Once you have the answers you need, you can finally have some peace of mind about what is happening to your body and start to enjoy this new phase of your life!

Did You Know Lyme Disease And Other Tick-Borne Illnesses Are On The Rise?

Late summer and fall seems the perfect time for camping, hiking and enjoying the outdoors. Heading out to revel in the cooler evening temperatures and fall color, though can be hazardous to your health. Ticks have become more numerous especially in areas known for outdoor activities. Twenty years ago ticks were confined to certain regions in the Midwest and Northeast and if you weren’t going there, you knew that you didn’t need to worry. A couple years ago the CDC raised the expected number of cases of Lyme disease from 30,000 per year to 300,000 and they have redrawn their map of Lyme disease hot spots, including an increase from 69 to 260 counties in the northeast.

 

You may scoff at climate changes as not real, but some theorize that these changes are real and can be seen in the increase in ticks in areas they hadn’t been and in the exponential increase in tick-borne diseases.  Lyme disease is not the only disease that these pests carry, but it is the most well-known. And although it is well-known, many people do not realize that the disease can be deadly. The focus is usually on the fever and headache that is typical of the disease, but Lyme disease can also cause long term symptoms including vision problems, inflammation of the joints similar to rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation of the heart leading to “heart block”, an interruption of the heartbeat, which could cause sudden cardiac death.

 

In addition, some cases of Lyme disease are not caught early and may not respond well to antibiotics causing symptoms known as post treatment Lyme disease syndrome, often referred to as “chronic Lyme”. 10-20% of those infected have a cluster of lingering symptoms such as fatigue, trouble concentrating and muscle or joint aches after treatment. It is unclear whether the symptoms are due to an infection that was not eradicated with antibiotics or to damage that remains from the original infection.

 

The tick’s mechanism of biting ensures that they are often not felt. In a study conducted by Georgia Southern University, out of 258 students who had been bitten, only 4% of them were aware of the bites. Since only half of those who contract Lyme disease from a tick bite develop symptoms, many people carry Lyme disease around untreated for months or even years before realizing that this is causing their long term symptoms. Stories abound of people who contract Lyme disease but spend years trying to get a diagnosis, often because they don’t recall being bitten.

 

As if Lyme disease isn’t bad enough, ticks also carry other severe illnesses including babesiosis, a parasitic infection, sometimes called “America’s Malaria”, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, rickettsiosis (also known as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever) and a newly discovered infection that hasn’t even been named yet. Prevention is the best plan and as a whole, we need to get better at it:

 

  1. Check to see if ticks are prevalent, or becoming prevalent where you will be.
  2. Wear light colored clothing so that you can see ticks crawling on you.
  3. Tuck your pants into your socks.
  4. Use bug spray containing DEET or permethrin to deter them from attaching.
  5. Check your body and clothes for ticks when you come back inside.

If you suspect that you have been bitten, or have been in a tick heavy area, watch for symptoms including fever, headache and a rash around the site that resembles a bullseye. If you develop symptoms, get tested to determine if you have the antibodies to Lyme disease. The sooner you know that you have been infected the sooner you can start on a course of antibiotics to prevent long term side effects and illness. If you are dealing with post treatment Lyme disease syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis triggered by Lyme disease, treat it like chronic fatigue with good sleep and exercise habits as well as treatment for depression if needed.

PSA Testing – Why You Need To Get Checked

You feel young and healthy; you’re in your 30s or 40s and still in the prime of your life. You get regular medical checkups, but anything more comprehensive than that hasn’t really crossed your mind. You’re too young to be thinking about special screenings and tests. After all, 40 is the new 30, right? Well, you might want to think again. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men. But the good news is it’s 100 percent treatable if caught early. Most men don’t think about getting tested before the age of 50, and while Medicare and other insurance plans cover screenings for men 50 and up, the younger guys are left out in the cold. And for some, getting tested earlier could have saved their lives.

The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test is the best way to catch prostate cancer in its earlier stages. In a nutshell, PSA is a substance made by the gland cells in the prostate (both normal cells and cancer cells). The PSA blood test will measure your PSA levels, and if they are elevated, it may indicate prostate cancer or prostatitis (an enlarged prostate). Most men have a PSA level under 4 nanograms per milliliter when they are healthy. However, the risk of prostate cancer increases as your PSA level increases. If your PSA level is about 4 but below 10, you have about a one in four chance of having prostate cancer. But if your PSA level is above 10, your chances increase to around 50 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.

Here are a few reasons why men should consider being screened earlier for prostate cancer:
You Have a Family History. Like many other forms of cancer, prostate cancer tends to run in families. If you have a father or a brother with the disease, your chances of developing it are almost double. Actually, if you have a brother who developed prostate cancer, your chances are even higher than if your father had it. Your risks go up the more family members you have that had or have prostate cancer. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, you should definitely be getting tested early and regularly.

To Establish a Baseline. No matter what age you are, all men should get a PSA test. It’s important to establish a PSA “baseline,” so that you can, over time, monitor any changes in your PSA levels. Get tested even if you are below the age of 40 so you know what your normal PSA level is. Then doctors can use that for comparison in the future. Proactive blood testing like this can help you monitor your levels and possibly detect and treat disease before it’s too late.

For Continual Monitoring. Since the exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown, there are no current guidelines for preventing prostate cancer. You may be thinking, “If I can’t be proactive in preventing prostate cancer, what can I do?” The answer is simple; you need to keep an eye on the situation with regular testing. The probability of finding prostate cancer early is high because the disease usually progresses very slowly. If you are at a higher risk, start getting regular tests at the age of 40. If you are at a lower risk, start getting regular tests at the age of 50. Get tested every year after the age of 40 if you have more than one risk factor for prostate cancer or your PSA levels naturally sit a higher level.

Not only can prostate cancer be caught early, but it has amazing survival rates when you do catch it early. For those who catch the disease while it is still in the prostate, the five-year survival rate is 100 percent. Even if you catch the cancer after it has spread to the surrounding areas of the prostate — but before it spreads elsewhere — the five-year survival rate is still 100 percent. However, if the cancer isn’t caught until it travels to distant parts of the body beyond the prostate, the five-year survival rate drops to just 28 percent. So, if you’re above the age of 40 and have one or more risk factors, it’s important to get tested regularly to keep an eye out for the beginnings of prostate cancer.

Talk to our medical assistants at Any Lab Test Now about getting a PSA Test today! Now is the time to take control of your prostate health. If you wait, it could be too late.

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.

World Hepatitis Day is July 28

More than 400 million people worldwide are living with hepatitis, and of those 400 million people, 1.4 million die from the disease every year. Sadly, all of those deaths could be prevented with the right medical treatment and better awareness of how to avoid contracting the virus in the first place. Hepatitis is a completely preventable and treatable disease, and every year on July 28 we celebrate World Hepatitis Day to help bring awareness to people around the world about what they can do to save lives and eliminate hepatitis for good.

Hepatitis is a viral disease that causes infection of the liver. There are five types of hepatitis, the most common of which are hepatitis B and C. Hepatitis B, C and D are spread mainly through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids while hepatitis A and E are typically contracted by consuming food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person. It is possible to spread hepatitis B through sexual contact, sharing needles and other drug paraphernalia, improperly sterilized tattoo needles, blood transfusions, working in a health care profession, or even from sharing certain hygiene items, like razors and toothbrushes.

Hepatitis C is blood-borne and is most common among those who have injected drugs through shared equipment, though it is possible to contract it in any situation in which you are exposed to infected blood. It is even possible for mothers who have certain strains of the disease to pass it to their children during childbirth. Hepatitis is not just a disease for drug addicts and third world countries, though; if you have used intravenous drugs or shared needles, you should definitely get tested. Anyone can get the virus, and it’s important to know how to prevent it as well as what to do if you are exposed.

Hepatitis does not typically exhibit any symptoms and can even lie dormant in your system for years before making an appearance. When they are present, symptoms of certain hepatitis strains can include fatigue, pain around the area of the liver, fever, nausea and loss of appetite. If left untreated, certain strains of hepatitis can lead to organ failure, liver cancer and even death. This is why getting vaccinated and tested is so important. With the proper knowledge, preventing hepatitis is easy. There are vaccinations for both hepatitis A and B, as well as effective treatments for the most common types of hepatitis, should you contract the disease.

If you think you might have hepatitis or might have been exposed to it, talk to your doctor about getting tested. If you have not had the vaccination, talk to your doctor about getting that as well. Make sure to know the risks and use safe practices when engaging in any activity that may expose you to the disease. With just these simple precautions, you can help bring the world one step closer to being hepatitis-free.

What Your Feet Reveal About Your Health

Our feet have a full-time job. They hold us up all day long, day in and day out. They constantly support us no matter what we are doing — except when we’re sitting, of course. But what you may not know is that our feet can actually do so much more for us. They can be a signal for you when something is wrong somewhere else in your body. Are you ready to start feeling like your best self? Take a look at your feet. All you have to do is know the signs and pay attention.

Hairless Feet or Toes

Have your friends always marveled at your completely hairless feet and toes? This may seem like a dream come true for some, but you may want to pay a little more attention to those smooth steppers. Completely hair-free feet could be an indicator of poor circulation, which in turn can be a sign of vascular disease. But how can you know for sure? If the pulse in your ankles feels weak or you can’t feel it at all, it may be time to talk to your doctor.

Spoon-Shaped Toenails

If your toenails turn upward at the ends, forming a concave spoon shape, this may be a sign that you have iron-deficiency anemia. This occurs when there is not enough hemoglobin in the blood, which helps transport oxygen throughout the body. Other symptoms may include fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath and headaches. If your toenails appear spoon-shaped, and you exhibit any of these other symptoms, it is recommended that you get tested for anemia.

Numbness

If your feet feel numb a lot — and not just from sitting for too long — there could be some more serious issues at play. Tingling or the inability to feel your feet at all could mean there is damage to your nervous system. This could be a warning sign of diabetes, so be sure to consult your doctor if you experience this symptom.

Cold Feet

Cold feet? It might not just be the temperature. This could be a sign of many things, including poor blood circulation and anemia. The most serious indication, however, is hypothyroidism. Other symptoms of an improperly functioning thyroid include dry skin, fatigue and weight gain. While the most immediate relief will come from bundling up those toes, hypothyroidism is best handled by a medical professional. If any or all of these symptoms sound familiar, it might be time to get tested.

A Swollen Big Toe

Has your big toe suddenly become red, sore and twice its usual size? This is a pretty sure warning sign that you have gout, a form of arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the body. At lower temperatures, uric acid crystallizes, and your outer extremities, especially your feet, tend to have the lowest temperatures of any spot in your body; hence, the swelling in your big toe.This can be a painful condition, so if you are showing signs of gout, it is best to talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

So what are you waiting for? Check out those toes! What are yourfeet tellingyou? What they have to say just might help you improve your health in the long run.

Vitamin D – Do You Know If You’re Getting Enough?

What do sunscreen and obesity have in common? You may be surprised to find out that they may both be leading to osteoporosis, auto-immune diseases, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Skin cancer has reached epidemic proportions even though we are all aware of the risk of tanning beds and smearing our skin with body oil for that perfect “glow”. The use of sunscreen, hats and sunprotectant clothing is on the rise, and is necessary if the goal is cancer prevention. Obesity is also increasing as more and more of us turn to fast food, either for convenience, taste or financial reasons, and we continue to find our entertainment on the couch.

Something many of us may not know is that both being obese and blocking the sun can prevent our bodies from absorbing Vitamin D. Because our main source of vitamin D is the sun, vitamin D is often called the “Sunshine Vitamin”. Avoiding the sun completely may be good for our skin, but it isn’t doing us any favors in the vitamin department. Sunscreen with 30 SPF can reduce the body’s ability to synthesize vitamin D by 95%. Obesity and gastrointestinal disorders decrease the ability to absorb vitamin D from foods.

Ideally, we would all be getting plenty of vitamin D from sitting outside at lunch and eating vitamin D rich foods like eggs, fortified milk, and fish including sardines, salmon and herring. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes of sun on bare skin to reap the benefits and absorb enough vitamin D to keep levels adequate. Those who are homebound, stay inside, have darker skin or live in northern climates are also at a higher risk of not being able to get their daily dose of sunshine.

A long term deficiency of vitamin D can lead to numerous serious health problems.
Symptoms of a deficiency are subtle ornonexistent but could be bone pain, muscle weakness, low energy and depression. The list of possible health problems includes the obvious: osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, but may also cause high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, severe asthma and other lung diseases, and an increased risk of cancer, specifically of the breast, colon, prostate and pancreas. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to Type 2 Diabetes and autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Crohn’s disease. There is even evidence that deficiency could lead to cognitive impairment in older adults and is associated with a larger amount of belly fat!

Vitamin D plays a critical role in the processing of calcium, which can’t be used by the body without the right level of vitamin D. Research has shown that adequate levels of the sunshine vitamin in healthy people hasa significant impact on the biological pathways that govern illnesses, cancer, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, and infectious disease. It has may be involved in weight loss: Vitamin D levels in the body at the start of a low-calorie diet predicted weight loss success, suggesting that vitamin D may play a role in weight loss.

If you aren’t sure whether you’re getting enough vitamin D, a simple Vitamin D 25-hydroxy test, or a Micronutrient test to assess levels of all vitamins and minerals in the body, can give you the right information to help you decide whether you need to make lifestyle changes, such as getting outside more, losing weight or taking vitamin supplements to keep you at your best, today and long into the future!