DOs and DONTs to Help Cope with Having Arthritis

Achiness, stiffness, and swelling in your joints may be a sign of arthritis, a group of diseases that cause inflammation of the joints.

Often thought of as an old person’s disease, arthritis affects more than 50 million adults of all ages and an estimated 300,000 children. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.

Symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe and can progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities, and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs.

Many people believe the pain associated with arthritis is something they must live with.  But there are some do’s and don’ts you can follow to reduce your discomfort.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking, while not recommended, can really have an adverse effect on an arthritis sufferer. It slows cartilage cell production and raises the levels of blood toxins, which leads to cartilage loss. Smoking also increases carbon monoxide levels in the blood, which could indirectly affect cartilage repair.

Do Low-Impact Exercises

Even though it may be uncomfortable at first, get up and get moving. Choose exercises that strengthen the muscles supporting your knee and boost flexibility. Yoga, walking, swimming, and resistance exercises help strengthen these muscles.

Don’t Be Sedentary

Believe it or not, too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen joint pain. Simple stretches and walking around the house can help flex those muscles and help beat the pain.

Do Watch Your Weight

If you are overweight, the extra weight will add to the strain on your knees. Losing weight and keeping at a healthy weight will help prevent and ease the pain.

Don’t Wear the Wrong Shoes

Select comfortable footwear that reduces stress on your back and knees. Ladies, this means it may be time to retire the high heels. Shoes with cushioned insoles can help. Some doctors will also recommend orthotics — custom-made insoles — which can reduce the ill effects of your condition.

Do Eat to Avoid Pain

There are certain foods you can add to your diet that are proven to reduce inflammation, thus reducing the pain and swelling of arthritis. These foods include:

  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Green tea
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Green vegetables

Testing for Arthritis

While pain and swelling in your joints will alert you to a potential issue, there is more to knowing if you have arthritis than you may think. A blood test is required for you to know for certain. Any Lab Test Now® offers the  Arthritis Screening Panel, which can determine whether you have arthritis or some other related health issue.

The screening includes the Rheumatoid Factor (RF) test, which is primarily used to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis and other conditions that cause joint pain, inflammation, stiffness, and others. It is commonly ordered with other tests like the CRP (C‐Reactive Protein) and a CBC.

Unlike most blood testing, no appointment or doctor’s prescription is needed. Once you get the results, you can share the details with your primary care physician or seek out the care of a rheumatologist who specializes in treating arthritis.

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 testing for arthritis.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 190+ stores are 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


Quit Stalling:  It’s time to finally get your annual checkup!

The annual checkup. It is a staple in our medical history. But thanks to COVID-19, most of us have probably put off having this essential exam. Due to the novel coronavirus disease, virtually all in-person outpatient visits were canceled in many parts of the country between February and May 2020.

In late April, primary care visits were still down by as much as 60 percent. While there has been a slight rebound recently, the numbers are still down — indicating many of us may still be a little leery about going back into a doctor’s office and being exposed to someone with COVID.

Rather than put it off your annual exam for another six months, you can take your medical health into your own hands. There are five tests every doctor orders during a routine physical. You can get all of these tests done without a physical exam and without a doctor’s order.

Any Lab Test Now offers an Annual Check-Up Panel. It is the same set of tests typically ordered by a physician during an annual physical exam.

This is the panel that establishes your baseline, including your blood counts, kidney function, liver function, electrolytes, total cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar status, and thyroid function values. By knowing these levels, you can begin to manage your own health to see if they fluctuate over time.

After all the stress and lifestyle changes during the pandemic, it’s a good idea to find out what’s happening with your health.

Let’s take a look at the tests.

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

The CBC is a group of tests that evaluate the cells that circulate in the blood, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The CBC can evaluate your overall health and detect a variety of diseases and conditions, such as infections, anemia and leukemia.

Cholesterol Lipid with Ratio (Lipids Panel)

A lipid panel measures fats and fatty substances our bodies use as a source of energy. Lipids include cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

This panel measures:

Total cholesterol level.

Triglyceride level.

HDL cholesterol – the “good” cholesterol.

LDL cholesterol – the “bad” cholesterol.

Lipids are found in your blood and are stored in your body tissues. They are an important part of cells, and they help keep your body working normally. Lipid disorders, such as high cholesterol, may lead to life-threatening illnesses, such as coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack, or stroke.

If your doctor finds a lipid disorder, treatment may be started to help lower your blood lipid levels. Your treatment could include medicines, diet changes, weight loss, and exercise.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

TSH is produced by the pituitary gland, a small organ located behind your sinus cavity. TSH stimulates the thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped gland located inside your neck in front of the trachea, also known as your windpipe. This releases the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) into the blood. This test measures the amount of TSH in the blood.

T4 and T3 help control the rate at which the body uses energy.

If the thyroid releases too much T4 and T3, you may experience symptoms associated with overactive thyroid, known as hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include rapid heart rate, weight loss, nervousness, hand tremors, irritated eyes, and difficulty sleeping.

If there is not enough thyroid hormone production, this is called hypothyroidism. If your thyroid is underactive, you could experience symptoms such as weight gain, dry skin, constipation, cold intolerance, and fatigue.

If abnormal levels of thyroid hormones are detected, your doctor will prescribe a medication to bring the levels back into normal range.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)

A CMP is a test that measures 14 different substances in your blood. It provides important information about your body’s chemical balance and metabolism. A CMP is used to check several body functions and processes, including liver and kidney health, blood sugar and protein levels, acid and base balance, fluid and electrolyte balance, and metabolism.

A CMP includes tests for the following:

Albumin – a protein made in the liver.

ALP (alkaline phosphatase), ALT (alanine transaminase), and AST (aspartate aminotransferase) – different enzymes made by the liver.

Bilirubin – a waste product made by the liver.

BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and Creatinine – waste products removed from your blood by your kidneys.

Calcium – a mineral essential for proper functioning of your nerves, muscles, and heart.

Glucose – a type of sugar and your body’s main source of energy.

Total protein – measures the total amount of protein in the blood.

Sodium, potassium, carbon dioxide, and chloride – electrolytes which are electrically charged minerals that help control the amount of fluids and the balance of acids and bases in your body.

Abnormal levels of any of these substances or combination of them can be a sign of a serious health problem.

Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1C)

Called an A1c test for short, this test measures the amount of blood sugar (glucose) attached to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. The test shows what the average amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin has been over the past three months. It’s a three-month average because that’s typically how long a red blood cell lives.

If your HbA1c levels are high, it may be a sign of diabetes, a chronic condition that can cause serious health problems.

Annual Check-Up Panel

 Getting your annual check-up panel is easy, thanks to Any Lab Test Now. It involves a simple blood test. You will have to fast for 10 to 12 hours before the test to ensure accuracy. Results take between 24 to 72 business hours after your blood is collected. Once you get the results, you can make a virtual appointment with your doctor to review any concerning outcomes.

See test information at

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 an annual check-up panel.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 185+ 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 outbreak. We are here to help.