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Understanding Diabetes

When Karyn Wofford, the implementation manager at Any Lab Test Now, was 12 years old, what she thought was a case of homesickness at summer camp wound up being a life-threatening illness. She was at cheer camp when she suddenly dropped weight and became thirsty and irritable. While she was at camp, she chalked it up to wanting to get home. But, once she was home and even on a family vacation, her symptoms only got worse. Had it not been for her mom’s maternal instincts and quick thinking, Karyn’s outcome could have been much different.

Her mom took her to the doctor where she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes — an autoimmune disease that can be deadly if not properly managed. They found out that while at cheer camp, Karyn was experiencing DKA or diabetic ketoacidosis. Her body wasn’t producing insulin properly, and she could have lapsed into a coma or even death.

She experienced many of the typical symptoms you might expect to see with type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms:

  • Comes on suddenly
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Thirsty all the time
  • Frequent urination
  • Irritability
  • Feeling tired and weak
  • Blurry vision

What You Need to Know

Karyn’s story is important to understand. As a parent, being aware of these symptoms is crucial for the health of your child. Often, especially in children, symptoms of diabetes can be misdiagnosed as flu or other common ailments.

Type 1 diabetes was once called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes because it is typically diagnosed during childhood or adolescence, but it CAN develop in adults. Diagnosis means your pancreas makes little or no insulin — a hormone needed by your body to allow sugar, or glucose, to be used for energy. 

There is no cure, but careful management allows type 1 diabetics to lead a normal life. Karyn, for example, uses a monitoring system to check her glucose level and has an attached insulin pump to continually regulate her blood sugar. The idea is to keep it at an acceptable level and not dip too low or soar too high. While she has had a few scares over the years, she has been living with type 1 diabetes for 20 years because she is very careful about what she eats and has a heightened awareness of her health.

Type 2 Diabetes

There is a second kind of diabetes, often referred to as adult-onset or type 2 diabetes. Unlike type 1, symptoms develop more slowly.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and neck

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and typically occurs in middle-aged or older people. It occurs when your blood sugar or blood glucose is too high. Again, glucose is vital to provide energy for your body, and cells get glucose from the food we eat. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, is needed to give the body that energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make or use insulin well. There’s too much sugar in the blood and not enough in the cells that need it.

Differences in Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes Causes:

  • Autoimmune response
  • Can be genetic
  • Can be caused by a virus

Type 2 Diabetes Causes/Risk Factors:

  • Family history
  • Overweight
  • High blood pressure
  • American Indian, Black or African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander

Looking Out for Your Health

Karyn’s type 1 diabetes could not be prevented, but type 2 can. If you feel like you or a family member may be symptomatic or have certain risk factors, or if you want to take preventative measures to decrease your risk, the American Diabetes Association recommends the best medical test for diabetes is a glucose test through blood work.

Any Lab Test Now® can provide the answers you are looking for. We offer a Diabetes Maintenance Panel, which effectively tests diabetics and those who want to find out if they have diabetes. There are four tests in this panel, including:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) – may show infection or anemia
  2. Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  3. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1C) – can detect pre-diabetes, diagnose, or see how well controlled it is
  4. Diabetic Urinalysis – will determine if there is protein in your urine, indicating improper kidney function.

Any Lab Test Now® is also a great resource for glucose testing.  We can conduct the Glucose (Serum) Test, also known as the Fasting Blood Glucose Test. This is the most common test used to diagnose hyperglycemia (higher than normal levels of blood sugar), hypoglycemia (lower than normal levels of blood sugar), and diabetes.

This test will determine if your blood glucose level is within a healthy range. It will also screen for, diagnose, and monitor pre‐diabetes, diabetes, hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia.

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes, whether type 1, like Karyn’s, or type 2, is more prevalent than you might think. There are an estimated 37 million Americans who have some form of diabetes. Numbers show that one in every three Americans, or 96 million people, have a condition known as pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes means your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Over time, if uncontrolled, you could develop type 2 diabetes.

Education and Prevention

Being aware of the symptoms and risk factors of diabetes is a great first step to taking charge of your health. Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to complications with other body systems and organs,including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys.

Not only can you change your diet and exercise to live a healthier life and possibly prevent type 2 diabetes, but it’s important to understand your body and put your wellness first. Utilizing the screenings at Any Lab Test Now® will provide the answers you need — whether that’s giving you peace of mind, alerting you to a problem that may need further evaluation from your physician, or providing a diabetes monitoring system — we are able to serve your needs.

You may choose to discuss your results further with a healthcare professional to give you guidance about medications or diabetes management, but you do not need an order from your doctor to have testing done. We provide the doctor’s orders!

Call now to schedule an appointment at a location near you to take back your health.

Eating Your Way Through The Holidays? You Might Want to Check Your Sugar Levels First

‘Tis the season — the season of eating, that is! We all get excited about our favorite foods when the holidays come around. There’s just something special about sharing a meal with family and friends, often with beloved family recipes that have been passed down through the generations. And there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a special meal with loved ones. The problem comes when these meals are high in unhealthy fats, added sugars and other not-so-good-for-you ingredients. Not to mention the fact that the spirit of the season has come to include a tradition of rampant over-indulgence in our favorite holiday treats. (Seconds, anyone?  Leftovers tomorrow?) This time of year is especially difficult if you have diabetes or prediabetes. You may want to reach for that pumpkin pie, but it is imperative to your health that you keep your sugar levels under control. So how can you enjoy the season and all the delicious foods it has to offer while keeping your health in check? Knowing your sugar levels ahead of time will help you decide what is safe to eat and what you should avoid.

Why should you check your sugar levels?

If you have diabetes or prediabetes, you know how important it is to keep your sugar levels down. Insulin is a hormone that helps get glucose (sugar) to your cells to use as energy. With diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without insulin, the glucose remains in your blood, raising your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Having high blood sugar can cause a number of serious problems to your health including, damage to your eyes, kidneys and nerves as well as heart disease, stroke and even the need for amputation.

One of the best ways to keep your blood sugar levels in check is to stick to a diabetes-friendly diet that limits foods high in sugar, fat, salt and carbohydrates. Everyone’s body is different, and it’s best to consult with a dietician to find a meal plan that’s right for you. But before you can know what you can and can’t eat, you need to know your blood sugar levels. This will give you an idea of how well you are managing your diabetes or if you are in danger of becoming diabetic.

The best way to know your sugar levels? Get tested!

If you are unsure of your blood sugar levels and you are concerned about your health, it is best to get tested before that big holiday dinner. When you are aware of your health, you can be proactive about preventing any serious problems. Would you rather have that second helping of sweet potato casserole or keep your left foot? It may sound extreme, but this is the situation you could be facing if you don’t keep your sugar levels under control as a diabetic or prediabetic. But if you want to take control of your health, you’re in luck! Any Lab Test Now has several testing options to help you monitor your blood sugar levels quickly and easily, no appointment necessary!

The Hemoglobin A1c Test is a valuable measure of the overall blood glucose levels over a period of time (two?three months). This test can be used to help detect prediabetes and diagnose diabetes. If you’re diabetic, this test can help determine if your disease is under control.

The Glucose (Serum) Test, also known as the Fasting Blood Glucose Test, is the most common test used to diagnose hyperglycemia (higher than normal levels of blood sugar), hypoglycemia (lower than normal levels of blood sugar) and diabetes. Diabetics self conduct this test multiple times a day to monitor their blood glucose, which is conducted as a finger stick and measured with a home glucometer. This test will determine if your blood glucose level is within a healthy range. It will also screen for, diagnose and monitor prediabetes, diabetes, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

The Diabetes Maintenance Panel is an effective panel for both diabetics and for those who want to see if they have diabetes. This panel includes four tests: The Complete Blood Count (CBC), the Fasting Glucose, the Hemoglobin A1c and the Diabetic Urinalysis. The information gained from the four tests in this panel will give you and your physician the necessary information to help monitor and/or adjust your diabetic medications.
Talk to our experts at Any Lab Test Now to find out which test is right for you! The sooner you know your blood sugar levels, the sooner you can take control of your health this holiday season.

The ABC’s of Diabetes

If you are a diabetic, knowing your Diabetes ABC’s is one of the most important steps you can take in managing your health and lower your chances of having other diabetic problems like a heart attack or stroke.

A is for the A1C Test.

This blood test measures your average blood sugar level over the past three months. If continuous high blood sugar is not monitored, you can be at risk of damaging your blood vessels, kidneys, feet, eyes and heart. For most diabetics, their A1C goal is below 7.

B is for Blood Pressure.

Your blood pressure is the level of force your blood uses to push against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, blood is pumped into your blood vessels. The higher the blood pressure, the harder your heart is working. This scenario can also cause heart attacks, strokes and severe damage to your kidneys and eyes. The blood pressure goal for most diabetics is below 140/90.

C is for Cholesterol.

LDL and HDL are the two kinds of cholesterol in your blood. LDL is known as the “bad” cholesterol because of it’s ability to build up and clog your blood vessels which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol because it helps remove your HDL. Goals for cholesterol numbers vary among all diabetics.

Take control of your diabetes by learning what your A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are now. Visit an Any Lab Test Now ® nearest you to get started. Our trained medical professionals will administer the tests you need and provide you with clear, quality results for you and your doctor to review. Based on your diabetic history and your current lab tested numbers, your doctor will then be able to determine what ABC goals are reachable for you.

Diabetes. Are You at Risk?

It’s rare for someone to seek medical advice on a health condition unless they are noticing relative symptoms, right? For example, a person who thinks they may have the flu will schedule a time to see their doctor only after they’ve been experiencing ailments like a runny nose or frequent coughing.

The difference with diabetes is that there are no immediate outwardly physical symptoms like a high fever or runny nose to help you know that you could be at risk. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that 27.8% of people with diabetes are currently undiagnosed. That’s 8.1 million people. Living a life with diabetes and being unaware of it is extremely dangerous and the longer it takes to get diagnosed, the greater chance you have of developing other serious health problems.

Through educating yourself on the disease and taking precautionary measures, you can help prevent yourself from becoming a part of the 8.1 million. Here are a few factors that could help you determine if you’re at risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

You could be at risk if…

  • 45 years of age or older

  • Overweight

  • Have a parent with diabetes

  • Family background is African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian, Asian-American, or Pacific-Islander

  • Had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a baby weighing 9 lbs. or more

  • Physically active less than three times a week.

If you think you may be at risk of diabetes, let Any Lab Test Now ®  help you. Our Diabetes Maintenance Panel consists of four thorough, effective tests that will provide clear and quality results for you and your physician.

Diabetes. What Does it Mean to You?

Did you know that right now, there are nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States alone that suffer from diabetes? Another 36 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Odds are most of us probably know at least one diabetic, but unless you are a diabetic yourself, you may not know just exactly what being a diabetic fully means.

A person is diagnosed with diabetes when their blood glucose (blood sugar) level is too high. It sounds like a simple definition and one you would think could be easily cured.  However, this disease is extremely serious and is a major cause of other life-threatening health issues like nerve damage, kidney failure, gum disease, loss of eyesight, heart disease and stroke.

It is important to examine your health and learn if you are at risk for developing diabetes. For those who have already been diagnosed, it is imperative that you educate yourself on ways to manage your diabetes and lower your risk for other potential health issues. That is why this November, Any Lab Test Now® will be showing our support of National Diabetes Month by using our blogs and in-store promotions to raise awareness on diabetes, the seriousness of the disease, how to help prevent a future diagnosis and how to manage it if already diagnosed.

For more information on National Diabetes Month, visit the American Diabetes Association and National Diabetes Education Program. Throughout November, stay up-to-date with our diabetes awareness blogs by visiting our Any Lab Test Now ® blog site.

How Can You Prolong Your Life? Know Your Blood

It’s simple. Each of us desire to live long, happy lives. The question is how can we guarantee it? Although the answer’s not simple, it does not require us to spend endless hours searching for the fountain of youth. Rather, take one blood testTake a few.

Did you know that your blood contains secrets about your health that could potentially add years to your life? Even better, maybe even save your life? Picture your blood being a strand of clues. With just one drop of your blood under a microscope, your physician (a.k.a. the detective) can use those clues to pinpoint the exact steps you can take into prolonging your life.

For example, a rise in your blood sugar could signify potential diabetes, increased risk of heart disease and stroke. A drop in your blood levels could indicate future hyperthyroidism. These are all examples of “silent warning signals” that are hidden in your blood. The advantage you have is clear. Be proactive. Get to know your blood. The sooner you can understand what your blood represents, the sooner you and your physician can develop a strategic, preventive health plan to prevent your future diagnosis from becoming a reality.

Life Extension Magazine reported 10 important blood tests that adults over 40 should get annually in order to get a true gage on what their lifespan currently looks like and what measures could be taken to extend it.  Below is a list of those exact tests.

1. Chemistry Panel & Complete Blood Count

2. Fibrinogen

3. Hemoglobin A1C


5. Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) (Men Only)

6. Homocysteine

7. C-Reactive Protein

8. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

9. Testosterone (Free)

10. Estradiol

Take charge of your current and future health in the most simplest way.  Any Lab Test Now offers an array of blood tests including the ones listed above.  Schedule an appointment with us today and let us begin to help you live the long and healthy life you desire.


Measure Your Resolutions For An Even Happier New Year

ANY LAB TEST NOW® works hard to help you reach your goals. One of the ways we can do so, is by guiding you through which lab tests you can take to measure the results of your resolutions.

Kick off the new year with our recommended baseline tests to help you manage your New Year’s Resolutions.

The Basic Check-Up Panel tests include a complete blood count (CBC), chemistry panel, lipid panel, urinalysis, and TSH lab tests as well as a blood pressure check*. This is a great lab testing panel for evaluating your overall health and is commonly ordered by a physician during a routine or annual check up. This will help establish a measurable baseline for your health resolutions in the new year.

Is your resolution focused on better managing your diabetes?  Check your blood sugar levels with the Glucose (Serum) Blood Test or Hemoglobin A1c. These are pretty common lab tests and are helpful when establishing a baseline.

The C-Reactive Protein test, the VAP (Vertical Auto Profile) test and the PLAC test are also suggested to measure your standard heart health and to assess your resolutions. What about your cholesterol level?  Did those holiday goodies increase your numbers?  A Lipid Panel will let you know where your cholesterol level is now, and can be measured again in 3 to 6 months to reflect your hard work related to diet and exercise changes.

Check out other tests and use our test finder to search which ones will help you effectively meet your goals this new year!

*Not available at locations in the State of Florida

Diabetes & the Holidays

It has been reported that diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the US alone. Out of these, 18.8 million people are diagnosed and 7 million go on undiagnosed.  As diabetes awareness month comes to a close and the holiday season kicks off, living with diabetes can be a little tougher than usual. With such a high number of people with diabetes everything that comes with the holiday season besides family time can become a form of temptation for a diabetic.

During the holidays we love going for round 2 of that amazing turkey with the stuffing and all the goodies around the table. We also love to indulge in that glass of wine for the holiday toast.  Sometimes there are multiple toasts, and some stay true to the saying ‘it’s rude if you don’t drink after a toast!’. When you have diabetes, indulging in these events can cause serious consequences to your health.  So what are you to do this holiday season with all these temptations all around you?

In terms of indulging in that glass of wine or champagne for your New Year’s toast, studies have shown that it is okay if you indulge in that one glass for your toast. However, more than one can seriously increase your blood sugar levels lasting up to 24 hours. As for your trip to the delicious goodies table, there are two myths attached to the diabetes diet. The first myth is that you have to give up your favorite holiday foods. Studies have shown that if you simply modify the way in which the meal is prepared and reduce the serving size, your diabetes will not get out of control. Nevertheless, Round 2 of those mouth-watering pies, cakes, frosting-covered cookies and figgy pudding is not advisable. The second myth is that you absolutely have to give up desserts, again not true! Portion control and choosing healthier desserts such as fresh fruit and yogurt can help you give in to your sweet tooth without affecting your blood sugar levels.

Living with diabetes is all about monitoring your levels. ANY LAB TEST NOW® can be the monitoring partner you need. Our Diabetes Maintenance Panel will help you and your physician monitor your glucose levels and/or adjust your diabetic medications accordingly. This holiday season Take Control of Your Health® and visit an ANY LAB TEST NOW® near you.

Diabetes: Are You Paying Attention?

Diabetes continues to be a problem for Americans and managing diabetes once you have developed it is not easy.  According to the American Diabetes Association over one third of all Americans will develop type 2 diabetes by the year 2050 unless radical changes are made in our lifestyle and eating habits.  Over 57 million people have pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome with a very high risk of developing diabetes and over 24 million children and adults already live with type 1 diabetes.  The difficulty lies not only in managing your blood sugar to prevent serious, life-threatening side effects, but keeping your health insurance to cover you if any serious complications arise.  If you have diabetes and you aren’t paying attention to your glucose levels every day, you could be setting yourself up for severe problems.  Not getting to the doctor and the high cost of medical services shouldn’t be an excuse. 

For those who don’t have diabetes, of either type, it sounds like an easy process: eat the right foods, check your blood sugar and use insulin, if necessary.  But it’s not easy!  There are so many things that can affect your blood sugar.  If your pancreas is working just fine, your body handles daily, small changes without any active intervention from you.  Stress, lack of sleep, skipping a workout, a little too much salt, and obviously the wrong amount of sugar in your diet can interfere with balanced blood sugar.  What if you have a stressful job or get a poor night’s sleep from stress or a sick child?  Most of us deal with these little surprises every day and just plow ahead.  If you have diabetes the small change in blood sugar caused by these little “inconveniences” can be enough to raise your blood sugar consistently.  Over time, the imbalances can cause nerve damage leading to blindness and amputations.  Insurance companies see people who do not manage their blood sugar well as high risk, making it difficult to get health insurance or raising the chances of losing it.  As if the disease and the stress of trying to manage it isn’t bad enough, now you don’t have health insurance either.  Talk about piling on the stress and making matters worse!

There is an alternative to expensive doctors’ visits for monitoring your diabetes.  ANY LAB TEST NOW® can fill the gap between doctor’s appointments by providing quick, inexpensive testing to track blood sugar levels and diabetes maintenance.  Heart disease is a serious complication of diabetes and maintaining your blood sugar level over time can reduce this risk.  The Diabetes Maintenance Panel looks at your Hemoglobin A1c which is a measure of your average blood sugar for the last 2-3 months.  In combination with a Complete Blood Count (CBC) test, a fasting glucose serum test and a Diabetic Urinalysis to look at kidney function, diabetics can utilize the information to make adjustments to their diet and/or activity level.  Watching for stressful situations, which no one can avoid completely, and then making changes to account for fluctuations in glucose levels can mean the difference between saving your sight and limbs and being eligible for health insurance if things do get out of whack due to large surprises.

Diabetes is not a disease to be taken lightly.  It requires serious attention, EVERY DAY, and can’t be ignored.  Don’t be another statistic, get tested and get your facts straight so that you are the one in control…not your diabetes!

Can We Stop the Obesity Epidemic and Halt Diabetes?

You probably know someone with diabetes or with prediabetes, also known as metabolic syndrome.  Maybe it’s your mother or father or, as we get older, your best friend or brother.  The rise in type 2 diabetes which is largely preventable is astronomical.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of new cases rose to nearly 26 million last year from 23.6 million in 2008!  Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke, a leading cause of kidney failure and blindness, and is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.  The total cost of diabetes, both diagnosed and undiagnosed was $218 billion in 2007 and continues to grow.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that being obese or overweight is a leading cause of the disease.  Studies have shown that people with prediabetes who lost weight and increased their physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and in some cases return their blood glucose levels to normal.  During the ADA’s Diabetes Prevention Program study, losing weight and increasing physical activity reduced the development of type 2 diabetes by 58%.  The number was even greater among adults 60 and older at 71%.  Although there is a medication that can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, research shows that lifestyle changes are more cost-effective than medications.

In an attempt to control the obesity and overweight epidemic, the Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have updated their Nutritional Guidelines for Americans.  For the first time, in addition to suggesting what we need to be eating, the guidelines also recommend what not to eat and to balance food intake with activity levels.  For many Americans, this balancing act doesn’t come easy!  34% of adult Americans are obese and 68% are overweight.  Our inability to control our voracious appetites is costing us, both with more disease and higher medical costs.

With millions of people heading towards a lifetime of medication, greater risks for stroke and heart disease, kidney problems, potential limb amputations or blindness, what can we do to halt this progression?  It’s time for us to be more proactive with our health, and specifically with our weight.  It’s easy to say, “Eat less”, but how do you get started?  Establishing a habit of eating better has been shown to be the best, most long-lasting course of action.  Choosing a lifestyle change in diet that transfers easily to long term habits is an excellent place to start.  Adding physical activity into your life is another critical piece of the prevention puzzle.  Start by walking a bit further each day.  Do you walk your dog for a quick 10 minutes?  Make it 15.

The only person who can take the first step is you .  ANY LAB TEST NOW® offers tests that look at diabetes indicators.  Are you already at risk for diabetes?  Changing your attitude toward your daily choices will save you money, prevent long term disabilities and serious health problems.  Is that extra piece of cake really worth it?  Do something different today, contact ANY LAB TEST NOW® to see how we can help.

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