Take Control Of Your Diabetes By Taking Control Of Your Health: Five Sneaky Signs

The numbers associated with diabetes are frightening. According to the American Diabetes Association, 30.3 million Americans (or 9.4 percent of the population) have diabetes.

You want to know what’s even scarier?

The 7.2 million of them that are walking around and living their life without even knowing they have a potentially fatal disease. That’s right, 7.2 million Americans are suffering from diabetes and they don’t even know it. That makes an already dangerous disease even more frightening.

Any Lab Test Now® recognizes how serious diabetes is… and how difficult it may be for some people to bring it under control. We are with you from diagnosis to management with a variety of tests designed to keep you informed and in control.

Are You Undiagnosed?

The earlier your diabetes is diagnosed the less likely you are to suffer from serious complications. There are some common warning signs for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes: excessive thirst and excessive urination, extreme fatigue, and hunger — even though you are eating. Some of these symptoms are so easy to write off that people often ignore them. But you need to watch for these five super-sneaky signs as well:

  1. Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal. Diabetes can impact your body’s defense system and encourage bacterial growth.
  2. Your vision isn’t the same. Don’t be so quick to just assume it is age-related. Diabetes can affect your eye’s lens, causing your vision to blur.
  3. Numb or tingling feet and hands. Maybe it’s the cold. Maybe it’s reduced blood flow brought on by diabetes, particularly type 2.
  4. Blotchy and darkened skin. Especially around your neck and under your armpits.
  5. Weight loss. We know what you’re thinking: “Losing weight is a good thing! Right?” and yes, it is… unless you’re not trying to lose weight and you’re actually eating more. This is often seen in people with type 1 diabetes.

If you notice these symptoms and you have a family history of diabetes, or if you’re overweight, or have a sedentary lifestyle, it could be cause for concern.

From Diagnosis to Maintenance

Any Lab Test Now offers a variety of options that can help you determine if you have diabetes and also whether you are keeping it under control. Some require fasting; others don’t. Some are best for help in diagnosing the disease; while others are better at helping you effectively manage it. For example, the Diabetes Maintenance Panel offers multiple tests including:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Diabetic Urinalysis

If you’re not sure which test is right for you, don’t worry. You can call or walk into your local Any Lab Test Now location and our experts will help you determine which choice is best for you. Once you are armed with your test results, you and your doctor can decide how best to proceed. When it comes to diabetes, being informed and in control can help you avoid dangerous complications, and helping you be informed and in control of your health is what Any Lab Test Now is all about.

Don’t let diabetes sneak up on you

Here at Any Lab Test Now, we believe you should have the ability to take control of your health. That’s the same message being shared this November for National Diabetes Month. This year’s theme: You Are the Center of Your Diabetes Care Team. Any Lab Test Now wants to make it easy for you and your doctor to not only diagnose your diabetes, but also to treat it. That’s why we offer a wide range of options that can help you and your physician in understanding if you have the disease and make sure you are managing it properly as well.

Understanding Diabetes

Let’s start with a brief understanding of just what diabetes is. Diabetes is a group of diseases that occur when your blood glucose (also called blood sugar) is too high. That’s bad because it can begin to cause all kinds of health problems, like heart disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, even blindness. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that 30.3 million people in the United States have diabetes as of 2017. An even more frightening fact: Twenty-three percent of those people don’t even know they have diabetes!

Risk Factors and Symptoms

So how can Any Lab Test Now help? Well, we can help on two fronts. The first is diagnosis. There are a number of risk factors that could lead you down the path to diabetes. According to the NIH, some are related to your genetics, others to your lifestyle. They include:

  • Family history
  • Over age 45
  • African American, American Indian, Asian American, or Hispanic/Latino
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have a low HDL level or high triglycerides
  • Are not physically active
  • Have a history of heart disease or stroke

Take all these risk factors into consideration as well as these symptoms as you start to ponder your own diabetes status.

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
  • Wounds that do not heal

It’s important to note that many people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms, or they’re so mild that people don’t notice them. That’s one of the reasons it’s important to know the risk factors as well.

Take Control of Your Diabetes

At Any Lab Test Now, we offer a total of six lab tests designed to help you and your doctor diagnose and manage your diabetes.

  1. The Diabetes Maintenance Panel includes four tests: Complete Blood Count, Glucose-Serum, Hemoglobin A1c, and a Diabetic Urinalysis. This is an effective panel for both diabetics and for those who want to see if they have diabetes.
  2. The Diabetic Urinalysis (Microalbumin) will test for the protein albumin in your urine. It’s something that the kidneys usually filter out, so if it shows up in the results, it can alert you and your doctor to potential diabetes complications like kidney disease.
  3. The Glucose Blood Test is the most common test used to diagnose diabetes. Additionally, diabetics self-conduct this test multiple times a day to monitor their blood glucose levels.
  4. The Glucose Tolerance Test is a way to check how your body metabolizes sugar. Your blood will be collected then you’ll be given a cup of glucose to drink. After that, your blood will be collected again every 30 to 60 minutes. It usually takes up to three hours to complete the test and can confirm diabetes.
  5. The Hemoglobin A1c is useful in helping diabetics determine if their disease is under control. It’s a valuable measure of the overall blood glucose levels over a period of several months. The test can also help detect pre-diabetes and diabetes.
  6. The Insulin Lab Test can let you know if your body is producing too much or too little insulin. Too little insulin, also known as insulin resistance, is often associated with type 2 diabetes. If you have pre-diabetes, this test can be used to monitor whether diet and lifestyle changes are having a great enough impact to reverse or improve your condition.

All of these tests can provide you and your doctor with the knowledge necessary to properly treat and manage your condition. Don’t let diabetes sneak up on you. Know your risk factors and your symptoms and take control of your health through walk-in testing. Your local Any Lab Test Now location can help you do that.

Hormones and Your Health

The Connection Between an Imbalance and Weight Gain

The statistics concerning adult obesity in the United States are alarming. According to the most recent data, adult obesity rates now exceed 20 percent in all states. A diet high in fat and sugar, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, is usually to blame. But for some people, both men and women, there is no obvious reason for the additional pounds. These people are eating healthy and getting exercise, yet they still seem to be gaining weight. In that case, there is a possibility that hormones are to blame.

Hormonal Havoc

As we age, hormone levels adjust and can cause hormonal imbalances. This can lead to a number of issues including:

  • Weight gain
  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes

Testing your hormone levels can help explain persistent weight problems and help you avoid the associated medical issues. The first step is to purchase the Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit at your local Any Lab Test Now location.

Taking the First Step

The Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit is the first step to getting answers and it can be done in the comfort of your own home. You’ll have to fast for 12 hours for the results to be accurate. It consists of a simple dried blood spot test and a saliva test. Using these, the test measures bioavailable hormone levels. The kit is wide-ranging, testing in nine critical areas:

  • Estradiol (E2) – this is basically a form of estrogen. It is present in both women and men.
  • Progesterone (Pg) and Testosterone (T) – these are hormones that are found in both men and women that help regulate gender and the associated sexual functions.
  • DHEAS (DS) – helps in evaluating your adrenal gland function.
  • Diurnal Cortisol (Cx4) – helps determine your level of cortisol, a steroid hormone released by your adrenal gland.
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – checks your body’s production of TSH, which helps regulate how your body uses energy.
  • Vitamin D (D2, D3) – low levels of this vitamin may lead to weight gain according to some studies.
  • Insulin (In) – this measures your insulin production. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and used by the body to transport and convert glucose into usable energy.
  • Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) – checks your blood glucose levels and can detect pre-diabetes.

If you’ve experienced unusual weight gain, are struggling with obesity, or are having difficulty losing weight, the cause could be hormonal havoc.

Results Put You in Control

Test results will usually take between five to seven business days after you return your specimen to the lab. Your results will pinpoint specific hormonal imbalances that can contribute to excessive weight gain and obesity. The comprehensive report also matches your tested hormone levels with reported symptoms so you and your doctor can determine what steps to take so you can achieve optimal health. It’s time to take your health into your own hands with the help of Any Lab Test Now.

Shortage of the Sunshine Vitamin

It’s hard to imagine it, but even in the middle of summer, there are people who aren’t getting enough sunshine in their life. There could be all kinds of reasons why, but the most likely one is because they are being wise and listening to the well-placed warnings from their dermatologist about skin cancer. So, they slather on sunscreen, suit up in long sleeved shirts and pants and basically avoid the sun when possible. But some doctors are seeing an unintended consequence to this advice: vitamin D deficiency.

What is Vitamin D

According to the Vitamin D Council, D is unlike any other vitamin. Your body can make its own vitamin D when you expose your skin to sunlight. But, your body can’t make other vitamins; you have to get them from the foods you eat.

Basically, when your skin is exposed to the sun, it produces vitamin D and sends it to your liver. Your liver then changes it to a substance called 25 OH D. When your doctor talks about your vitamin D levels you’ll basically be talking about the amount of 25 OH D you have in your blood. You can also get vitamin D from supplements or even small amounts from the foods you eat.

Vitamin D at Work

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in keeping your bones strong. Your body needs it in order to absorb calcium. If you don’t have enough, your bones can become soft, thin and brittle. In children, this is called rickets. In adults, it’s known as osteomalacia. Researchers are also looking into the role that a vitamin D deficiency plays in:

  • Cancer
  • Asthma
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Type 1 diabetes

Are You at Risk?

A lack of sun exposure due to sunscreen use isn’t the only risk factor for a deficiency. Some people are just more inclined to it. According to the Vitamin D Council, people at risk for D deficiency include:

  • People with darker skin. The darker your skin the more sun exposure you need to get the same amount of vitamin D as a fair-skinned person.
  • People who spend a lot of time indoors during the day. For example, if you’re housebound or work nights and spend the day sleeping.
  • Older people, because they have thinner skin and may not be able to produce as much vitamin D as younger people.
  • Pregnant women and breastfed-only infants.
  • People who are overweight.

The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency are so vague you might not have a clue. They can range anywhere from tiredness and general aches and pains to a pain in your bones and weakness. Some people don’t even have symptoms at all.

Testing to Know Your Levels

Testing to find out your levels of this important vitamin is as simple as going to your local Any Lab Test Now location. The test you’ll want to ask for is the Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy Test (25 OH D). It’s a simple test that requires no fasting and results generally take between 24 to 72 hours. Our experts have found that people who take the Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy Test (25 OH D) will also request one of the following relevant tests as well:

If your levels are abnormal a trip to your doctor is in order. They can talk to you about safe and sensible sun exposure and supplements. Having plenty of the “sunshine vitamin” can really be the key to feeling sunny every day!

Cheers to Men’s Health Month!

Women often joke that getting a man to go to a doctor is almost as difficult as getting him to ask for directions when he’s lost. In both situations, men tough it out until they feel better or gotten where they are going, even if it took twice as long as it needed to. When it comes to their health, that stereotype isn’t always wrong. According to the CDC, women are 100 percent more likely than men to visit the doctor for annual exams and preventative services.

To help address this, June is Men’s Health Month. It’s a good time to take a look at some of the risks you may not even realize you’re taking. There are some simple things you can do to be healthier. Any Lab Test Now can help you see places you need to make changes, and you can do it without even needing a doctor’s appointment.

Heart Disease

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in men. Many of the risk factors for it are things that we can control. If you smoke, drink too much, eat a diet high in saturated fat (think: cheeseburgers and fries), lead a sedentary lifestyle and are overweight, you can change those things. Hey, no one said it would be easy! Stress can also be an important factor in heart disease.

Your cholesterol numbers are also a factor. Cholesterol is fat produced by your liver. You also get it from the foods you eat. Low levels of HDL (sometimes called “good cholesterol”) and high levels of LDL (sometimes called “bad cholesterol”) are the opposite of what you’re after. Any Lab Test Now has a Lipid Panel available that screens for HDL, LDL, the ratio of the two as well as your triglyceride levels. The result will let you and your doctor see if your cholesterol levels need attention.

Diabetes

Your chances of having a heart attack are also greater if you have diabetes. Diabetes is easy to ignore because at first you feel just fine. But the disease affects other organs: your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Left unchecked, the long-term complications can be disabling or even life-threatening. In addition to heart disease, diabetes can cause blood vessel damage, kidney damage, eye damage, foot damage, hearing loss, and possibly increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The symptoms develop slowly — often a person has type 2 diabetes and doesn’t know it. Symptoms include: increased thirst and frequent urination, increased hunger, weight loss despite eating more, and fatigue. If you think you might have diabetes, or if you have diabetes and want to get a check on your blood levels, you can use the Diabetes Maintenance Panel at Any Lab Test Now.

Underlying Causes

Heart disease and diabetes aren’t embarrassing to talk about. But two men’s health issues that can lead to both of those can be uncomfortable to discuss —  prostates and testosterone. After you hit the age of 40, your prostate starts to grow. The symptoms you notice are a slower urinary stream or the sudden urge to go. But an enlarged prostate is also linked to metabolic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Another issue men face as they age is a drop in testosterone. The symptoms are a decreased sex drive, erectile difficulty, mood changes and even memory problems. Low testosterone increases the risk of developing diabetes and hypertension. You can find out what your levels are with a simple testosterone test from Any Lab Test Now.

Men, it’s time to take control of your health and well-being! The first step in leading a healthier lifestyle is knowing what changes you need to make. Along with your local Any Lab Test Now, it’s easy to find out what areas you and your doctor can focus on as you make a roadmap to follow for better health.

Are You Ignoring Diabetes?

altn-diabetes_novIf you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already wondered if you are at risk for diabetes. The fact is, with around 1.4 million Americans being diagnosed with diabetes every year, odds are you could be one of them. And when you take into account that more than 8 million Americans are living with undiagnosed diabetes, and another 86 million are living with prediabetes, the numbers start to become especially alarming.

Diabetes and prediabetes can be manageable — so long as you are aware of your condition. But with so many people unknowingly living with diabetes every day, there are many whose health will only worsen over time. That’s because, if left unchecked, diabetes can greatly increase your risk of:

Heart disease
– Stroke
– Kidney damage
– Nerve Damage
– Poor blood flow, leading to amputation of the toes and feet
– Blindness
– Alzheimer’s disease

… And the list goes on. The truth is, you are much better off knowing your risk for diabetes than remaining blissfully unaware — the knowledge could save your life! While no one can know for sure without getting tested, there are certain factors that could indicate a higher risk of having diabetes. Those especially at risk are:

– People who are overweight or obese.
– Adults 45 years of age or older.
– People who have an immediate family member with diabetes.
– People who are physically active less than three times per week.

If you identify with one or more of the risk factors listed above, it’s time to consider getting tested for diabetes. If you are concerned about your risk of diabetes, there are many tests at Any Lab Test Now that can help you find the answers you need. Many of the diabetes tests at Any Lab Test Now are perfect both for diabetics looking to maintain their health or those interested in finding out if they have diabetes.

Any Lab Test Now’s Diabetes Maintenance Panel includes:

– A Complete Blood Count Test to detect blood disorders such as infection or anemia
– A Fasting Glucose Test to detect hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
– A Hemoglobin A1c Test to detect prediabetes or diabetes, or see if your diabetes is under control
– A Diabetic Urinalysis to determine if your kidneys aren’t working properly

These four tests can give you and your doctor the information you need to assess your risk for and manage your diabetes.

Another helpful test for those wondering if they are diabetic, or those who have diabetes and want to keep an eye on their health, is Any Lab Test Now’s Insulin Lab Test. This test measures insulin production in your body — low levels of which can indicate that you have diabetes. This test is often used with the Glucose Tolerance Test to evaluate insulin resistance, another indicator of diabetes.

Make it your goal to take charge of your health and monitor your risk for diabetes. Talk to the experts at Any Lab Test Now to find the right diabetes testing options for your needs.

The Different Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is a harrowing disease. It occurs when your body is unable to process blood glucose, your body’s main source of energy, and starts to wreak havoc. This is because excess glucose in the blood can quickly damage the walls of the tiny blood vessels that carry blood and nutrients to and from your organs. Untreated, the oscillations in blood glucose levels caused by diabetes could gradually destroy the eyes, nerves and circulatory system.

There are three types of diabetes. The main difference between them is how your body loses the ability to process blood glucose. In a healthy individual, the body absorbs glucose using insulin produced by the pancreas. With type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks the pancreas until it is no longer able to produce insulin. People with type 1 diabetes can start seeing symptoms in childhood or even early adulthood, and the most common treatment is with insulin injections. Risks with type 1 diabetes are that the patient experiences frequent hypoglycemia (low glucose levels), or that they will suffer ketoacidosis from burning fat instead of sugar for energy.

With type 2 diabetes the body slowly loses the ability to respond to insulin, so while the body is still producing it, the insulin no longer carries glucose to your cells. This leads to high glucose levels, known as hyperglycemia. Causes include family history, poor diet, poor exercise habits, and age. Patients typically see symptoms in middle adulthood, but recently there have been cases in children. Symptoms include tingling in the hands and feet, excessive thirst, sores that heal slowly and blurry vision. These are signs that high blood glucose levels are beginning to damage the nervous system, circulatory system and eyes. Type 2 diabetes is typically treated with medication and dietary changes to slow down the progression of the disease.

The third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes, which affects pregnant women. During pregnancy, the body can release hormones that make cells more resistant to insulin, leading to a temporary form of diabetes. Women who are overweight, have poor diets or have gained more weight than necessary during pregnancy are at greater risk of gestational diabetes. Although this form of diabetes is temporary, women who have experienced it are at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, as are their children. It is usually treated with diet management, increased exercise and insulin shots.
Diabetes can lead to horrible conditions over time, such as blindness, permanent nerve damage, heart disease and loss of limbs. At Any Lab Test Now, we know diabetes can be a frustrating and confusing disease, which is why we offer the Diabetes Maintenance Panel.

Are You Pre-Diabetic? You Need To Read This: November Is Diabetes Awareness Month

With nearly 30 million people in the U.S. suffering from diabetes, it’s a problem that affects about 10 percent of the population. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 86 million people are at risk of developing the disease, and 3 million are already suffering from pre-diabetes.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that affects the body’s ability to produce insulin. Without the proper amount of insulin, the body’s blood sugar levels remain abnormally high, and you don’t get the energy you need. Pre-diabetes is the precursor to Type 2 diabetes. At this stage, blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetes.

While diabetes often presents with symptoms like excessive thirst and hunger, extreme fatigue, frequent urination, blurry vision, cuts and bruises that heal slowly, and tingling in the feet and hands, pre-diabetes often doesn’t come with any outward symptoms. The only way to truly diagnose pre-diabetes is to get tested. Tests like Hemoglobin A1c detect pre-diabetes and can also diagnose diabetes or monitor diabetes to make sure it’s managed properly.

Any Lab Test Now can help you take charge of your health by determining whether you are in a pre-diabetic state. A Diabetes Maintenance Panel can be done to monitor any existing diabetic conditions over time, as well as keep an eye on possible complications.

Without proper management, pre-diabetes may turn into Type 2 diabetes within 10 years. Diabetes increases your risk for many other health problems, including nerve damage, blindness, stroke, skin infections, kidney disease, high blood pressure and heart disease.

But it’s not all bad news. With the correct treatment and proper management of diabetes, these complications can be prevented or delayed. While diabetes is often a lifelong disease, it can be managed with medication, diet and exercise for a full, healthy life. So if you or a loved one is showing some of the signs of diabetes, these tests can help you and your doctor determine if the disease has developed or if you are at risk of developing full-blown diabetes.

This November, don’t let Diabetes Awareness Month pass without a fight.  Get tested.  Know your numbers.  Take Control of Your Health®.

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.

January is National Thyroid Awareness Month!

Although relatively small in size, the thyroid gland plays a very large role in the human body. The thyroid gland is a small gland located at the base of the neck and is responsible for manufacturing thyroid hormones, necessary for the body to run smoothly and effectively.

There are an estimated 15 million Americans living with undiagnosed thyroid issues. Some people have either an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), sending the body into overdrive, or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), slowing down bodily functions.

There are other conditions as well, including: 

In this month of January, all of us at Any Lab Test Now® aim to raise thyroid awareness to the general public because it is estimated that up to 50% those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.

Before heading to a physician, you can perform a simple neck check in the comfort of your own home. Should you have any concerns, be proactive with your health in 2015 and let your local Any Lab Test Now® help! We offer an array of thyroid tests, including a comprehensive thyroid panel. Call us today to make an appointment!