A Lab Test As A Christmas Gift? You Bet!

When a lot of people think about getting lab testing, probably the first thing that comes to mind is health. Lab tests are for finding out if something is wrong, right? The answer to that question is a little more complex. Lab tests are for finding out information — and believe it or not, the results can be helpful AND fun.

Here at Any Lab Test Now® we’re thinking specifically about our GPS Origins Test. GPS stands for Geographic Population Structure. Basically, the test can tell you where your ancestors are from. This simple test analyzes over 800,000 autosomal markers from your DNA to pinpoint your origins. It can help identify “when” and “where” your DNA formed by matching the populations that came together to create a genetic line that eventually leads to you.

If this sounds like information worth knowing, then consider this: The GPS Origins Test is a great gift worth giving this holiday season. It can help you mark a few folks off your list.

The History Buff

There is a person in almost every family that is the “holder of the history” — the person that knows all the stories about Great-Great-Grandpa Eric. They may already have completed some work on the family tree. Imagine what having this type of information could mean to them. A simple cheek swab turns into a detailed report about where your family originated and how it migrated around the world to where you are today. This test is so advanced it may even indicate the town or village where groups of your ancestors from different cultures met. Your family historian will spend hours poring over the detailed results.

The Hard to Shop for Person

Isn’t there always someone on your Christmas gift list that seems impossible to buy for? It’s because they’ve already bought everything they could possibly want or need for themselves! The key here is to think about something they didn’t even realize they needed! That’s the beauty of the GPS Origins Test. One gift can help you answer questions about your family’s history, shed light on the origins of certain family traits, and help you better understand exactly who you are.

The Person You Always Forget — YOURSELF

Why not buy one for yourself? Learn more about your family story. Maybe you’ve always been told your people were Irish, but you have no proof. Now you can separate fact from fiction and bridge gaps in your family’s records. Getting your results will be like curling up with a good book… only the story is about YOU.

It might seem strange to start your holiday shopping at Any Lab Test Now, but we offer dozens of tests that offer useful information that will be helpful for a happier and healthier New Year. Browse through our list — or come into one of our convenient locations and let the experts help you pick something out.

Drugs And Teens

It seems like every time you listen to the news, there’s another reason for parents to be scared, particularly when it comes to drug abuse. Shocking rates of opioid addiction, prescription pain medication abuse, along with marijuana use and vaping, are in the headlines. Parents, educators, and law enforcement all do their best to warn teens about the dangers. For many families, the outcome is positive. But for those that are struggling with use and/or abuse, your local Any Lab Test Now® is there to help you confidentially and anonymously.

Move Forward With Confidence

If you suspect your child is being pressured to use drugs or has fallen in with the wrong group of friends, drug testing may help. Many parents are afraid that requesting a drug test will just push their teen away. It’s hard to know how to move forward if you don’t have solid, lab-verified facts at hand. Any Lab Test Now offers a range of lab-based drug screens in a variety of forms.

  • Hair Follicle Test – can detect drug use over a period of time (generally three months).
  • Fingernail Test – nail clippings can determine if someone has used drugs as far back as six months.
  • Urine Test – offers fast results.
  • Saliva Test – detection periods vary, depending on the type of drug.

If you’re not sure about the best way to proceed, you can speak to one of our lab experts in a confidential setting. They can provide you with guidance about drug testing so you can move forward in your efforts to keep your child on the right track.

Take Control With Information

You might want to start your research here, with a comprehensive list of drug and alcohol testing available at Any Lab Test Now. We have tests that can provide you with information in a variety of situations including:

We can even help you if you come across an “unknown substance” that you suspect of being drugs. If you find that you are still having trouble determining which of our many options works best for you and your family, help is as simple as a phone call.

Another Reason to Say NO

Any Lab Test Now is proud to offer our “Trust, But Verify” random teen drug-testing program. We know that the decision to drug test is one of the most difficult decisions a parent can make. Our program provides you with information about drug trends as well as signs and symptoms of drug use. Any Lab Test Now knows that teens can be challenging. We’re here to help.

Drugs And Teens: Give Them Another Reason To Just Say No

It seems like every time you listen to the news, there’s another reason for parents to be scared, particularly when it comes to drug abuse. Shocking rates of opioid addiction, prescription pain medication abuse, along with marijuana use and vaping, are in the headlines. Parents, educators, and law enforcement all do their best to warn teens about the dangers. For many families, the outcome is positive. But for those that are struggling with use and/or abuse, your local Any Lab Test Now® is there to help you confidentially and anonymously.

Move Forward With Confidence

If you suspect your child is being pressured to use drugs or has fallen in with the wrong group of friends, drug testing may help. Many parents are afraid that requesting a drug test will just push their teen away. It’s hard to know how to move forward if you don’t have solid, lab-verified facts at hand. Any Lab Test Now offers a range of lab-based drug screens in a variety of forms.

  • Hair Follicle Test – can detect drug use over a period of time (generally three months).
  • Fingernail Test – nail clippings can determine if someone has used drugs as far back as six months.
  • Urine Test – offers fast results.
  • Saliva Test – detection periods vary, depending on the type of drug.

If you’re not sure about the best way to proceed, you can speak to one of our lab experts in a confidential setting. They can provide you with guidance about drug testing so you can move forward in your efforts to keep your child on the right track.

Take Control With Information

You might want to start your research here, with a comprehensive list of drug and alcohol testing available at Any Lab Test Now. We have tests that can provide you with information in a variety of situations including:

We can even help you if you come across an “unknown substance” that you suspect of being drugs. If you find that you are still having trouble determining which of our many options works best for you and your family, help is as simple as a phone call.

Another Reason to Say NO

Any Lab Test Now is proud to offer our “Trust, But Verify” random teen drug-testing program. We know that the decision to drug test is one of the most difficult decisions a parent can make. Our program provides you with information about drug trends as well as signs and symptoms of drug use. Any Lab Test Now knows that teens can be challenging. We’re here to help.

It’s Time to Get Macho About Men’s Health

 It’s not just a month to celebrate Dad’s day. It’s a month to celebrate men’s health. Do you know a man who never gets sick? Who is invincible? Who thinks he can beat back any ailment through sheer force of will? Maybe it’s a husband, son or brother. Or maybe it’s you? Men are notorious for not wanting to go to the doctor. Whether it’s to project a manly macho image, or maybe out of fear of needles or tests, many men are prone to neglecting their health. In fact, men make half as many prevention visits to physicians as women.

Need convincing? Consider this:

  • Men live five years fewer than women, on average.
  • Men have a higher death rate for most leading causes of death (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, suicide).
  • One in two men will develop cancer.
  • Thirty-thousand men die in the U.S. each year from prostate cancer.

Although prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among men in the U.S., death from prostate cancer is nearly 100 percent preventable if it is detected while it is local or regional to the prostate. This makes early detection key. Don’t wait until urinary symptoms surface (loss of bladder control, pain/burning during urination, blood in urine, painful ejaculation or pain/swelling in legs or pelvic area) to get checked out.

No matter what age, all men should get a PSA Test (Prostate Specific Antigen). If that PSA substance – which is produced in the prostate gland – is elevated, it can indicate prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate. Establishing a PSA “baseline,” when you are healthy allows you to monitor any changes in your PSA levels over time and possibly detect and treat a disease before it’s too late.

The American Cancer Society just released new guidelines about colon and rectal cancers, another leading cause of death from cancer. With more colorectal cancers appearing in younger adults, men and women alike, the recommended screening age has been lowered from 50 to 45. The Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a simple at-home test that tests for blood in the stool and helps to ensure good colon health.

Awareness. Prevention. Action.

We know men are more likely than women to be uninsured. Fortunately, the direct access lab testing available at Any Lab Test Now gives them the opportunity to monitor their health and screen for a host of diseases without a doctor’s order. It just takes action!

Focusing on health instead of illness will ensure men live longer, healthier lives. That’s macho. And that’s what Men’s Health Month is all about.

The Personal Decision About PSA Testing

Men are getting new advice when it comes to prostate cancer screening. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now recommends that men aged 55 to 69 decide for themselves whether they should be screened for the disease or not. But, the task force adds, the decision should be made after educating yourself about the benefits and the risks associated with the test. For years the task force boldly recommended that no men receive PSA screening for prostate cancer. The experts at Any Lab Test Now® agree with the change in direction: taking control of your health in an educated and proactive way is a smart move!

Educating Yourself about PSA

Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The prostate is a gland that makes up part of the male reproductive system. Some men have different symptoms for the disease (difficult and/or frequent urination, pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that won’t go away).  Some men won’t have any symptoms at all. The PSA test available at Any Lab Test Now measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in a man’s blood. When a man has an elevated PSA, he could have cancer. That “could” is an important word because those elevated results could be caused by other conditions. That’s why it’s so important to talk with your doctor about your results and keep two things in mind:

  1. Your family history. The task force recommends that patients, who have a family history of prostate cancer, be aware of their increased risk of developing the disease. The CDC says men with a father, brother, or son who has been diagnosed is two to three times more likely to develop the disease himself.
  2. Your ethnicity. Researchers aren’t sure why, but prostate cancer is more common in African-American men. It also tends to start at younger ages and grows faster than in other racial or ethnic groups.

Baseline as a Lifeline

For years Any Lab Test Now has advocated that men perform the PSA test to provide a baseline, so you and your physician can monitor for any changes. Now the task force is recommending their changes, based in part on this same principle. They say there’s new evidence that shows men are using the results of repeated PSA testing as part of what they call “active surveillance”. Active surveillance has become a more common treatment choice for men with lower-risk prostate cancer over the past several years, and may reduce the chance of overtreatment – and the complications that can come along with that.

Take Control of Your Health

These new recommendations underscore the importance of taking a proactive stance when it comes to your health. It’s important for you to understand your genetic risks and talk about your concerns with your doctor so that you’re looking at the whole picture when it comes to your health. An educated patient is a smarter – and healthier- patient.

Your Body’s Response to Stress

Shot of a young woman suffering from stress while using a computer at her work desk

Remember being a child? You’d stub your toe or bring home a bad grade on your report card, and it would feel like the end of the world – for about five minutes. Then, you’d race out the door to giggle with friends or fly on the swings or shoot hoops at the playground.

Back then, there were stressful moments, but more often than not, they were short-lived. Now that you are a grownup, however, you may find it more difficult to let go of stress. Stress may be staying with you, day after day and week after week. After all, many people struggle to simply balance day-to-day responsibilities. Then, if something more severe happens, such as becoming a long-term care giver or losing a job, it becomes nearly impossible to remove stress from your life.

Your Body and Stress

The feelings you have during short-term stress are healthy, natural physical responses. When your body encounters a stressful situation, it releases a steroid hormone called cortisol. This hormone triggers the “fight or flight” response that puts your body on high alert so that you can more effectively cope with the perceived threat. When this happens, you may feel your heart racing, tummy tighten, breath quicken or even a sudden burst of energy.

You feel these things because cortisol is telling your primary systems, like your breathing and circulatory systems, to accelerate. At the same time, it tells your secondary systems, like your reproductive and immune systems, to slow down, allowing all of your energy to shift towards coping with the threat.

Once the threat has passed, your cortisol levels should slowly subside and your systems should return to normal functioning.

Too Much Stress; Too Much Cortisol

But, what happens when the stressful situation(s) never ends? What happens when your body has so much cortisol coursing through it that it remains on high alert for long periods of time?

When that happens, your systems never reset themselves. Your body may over-tax your primary systems or not restore your secondary systems to normal functioning, leading to issues like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive issues
  • Weight gain
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Decreased libido
  • Reduced energy
  • Reduced immunity
  • Muscle weakness

If you’re feeling any of these symptoms for unexplained reasons, it could be that you’ve been battling stress for too long and your cortisol levels aren’t dropping as they should. Cortisol saliva tests or cortisol blood tests can both be used to quickly evaluate your cortisol levels so that you can find out if they are at an unhealthy level.

Coping with Stress

If you find that your cortisol levels are too high, it’s important to take steps to reduce your stress and begin restoring your body to its natural functioning. Of course, talking with your doctor will provide options that fit your health status and lifestyle, but these may include:

  • Exercising
  • Learning to slow down (Think yoga, meditation, massage)
  • Keeping a gratitude journal
  • Evaluating your priorities and taking steps to remove non-necessary commitments
  • Employing self-care practices
  • Embracing your creative side

Having some stress in your life is natural, but if you start to question the impact that stress is having on your overall health and well-being, it’s time to take back control. Walk in to your local Any Lab Test Now location to get the answers you need about your cortisol level. Once you know, you’ll have one less thing to stress over!

Give Your Heart Some Love During Heart Health Month

Between work, social activities and taking care of a family, it may be easy to forget to take care of yourself.  However, it’s important to make sure your heart’s health is top-notch, especially if you’re the heart of the household.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Many of those at risk may not even realize there is a problem.  Since February is American Hearth Month, it serves as a reminder that there’s never a bad time to make sure your heart is in good condition and avoid being one of those people who is putting their health on the line.

Your Life, Your Heart, Your Choice:

While various heart problems may be inherited, many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices.  Having a poor diet, excessive alcohol use, smoking, stress and physical inactivity are all lifestyle choices that put people at a higher risk for heart disease.  These factors lead to high blood pressure, which thickens arteries and narrows blood vessels.  Obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, diabetes and other risk factors can also lead to high blood cholesterol levels, which can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries.  If that information doesn’t get you to change your habits, consider this: about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack every year.

Know the Warning Signs:

Chest discomfort and pain in your left arm aren’t the only warning signs that something is wrong with your heart.  Nausea, feeling lightheaded, and pain in the throat or jaw could also be signs of trouble too.  Also, if you’ve developed an annoying cough that produces white or pink mucus, check with your doctor.  When the heart can’t keep up with the body’s demands, this causes blood to leak back into the lungs.  Another sign something is up could be if your legs and feet are swollen.  Blood can get backed up in the veins and cause bloating when the heart can’t pump fast enough.

Take a Test:

If you’re worried about your heart health, take just a couple of minutes to visit your nearest Any Lab Test Now location and see if everything is OK.  The Lipid Panel, which is just $49, includes tests to measure if a patient has abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.  The C-Reactive Protein Test measures the amount of protein in your blood that indicates inflammation.  The test will let you know if inflammation has damaged arteries, thus increasing the chances of a heart attack.  The Lipoprotein Particle Profile Test is the most advanced test available to predict heart disease risk.  Low Density Lipoprotein cholesterol, LDL, is also known as the “bad cholesterol.”  High numbers of small, dense LDL particles can cause plaque buildup, and ultimately cardiovascular disease.  The Lipoprotein Particle Profile Test measures the particles directly.

American Heart Month is the perfect time to show your heart some love.  After all, it does so much for you!  Visit your local Any Lab Test Now to get started.

Know Your Origins

Are you especially curious about your family history? Do you find yourself eager to learn more about the origins of your family beyond faded photos and inspiring stories told by relatives? Want a key to the past, unlocking the dust-covered history and creating a deeper connection to your lineage? If so, the GPS Origins™ test offered at Any Lab Test Now locations is the perfect solution for all your ancestry questions.

 

GPS (Geographic Population Structure) Origins testing takes ancestral mapping to the next level, providing insightful information that dates back 1,000 years. The GPS Origins test provides precise information regarding your human migration pattern as well as your genetic origin percentages. Perhaps your gene pool is heavily populated in Basque country or southern France. Or you may discover significant ties to western Siberia or Fenno-Scandinavia.

The GPS Origins test shows particular geographic regions where your autosomal markers occur most frequently, shedding light on the migration routes of your ancestors. From Latvia to Denmark, and all the way to the tiny fishing village in Ireland, the GPS Origins test showcases the likely pattern your ancestors took over time.

The GPS Origins test is conducted with a quick and simple mouth swab of the inner cheek. By analyzing over 800,000 genetic markers in your DNA, the test is able to pinpoint your family origins, matching the populations that joined to create your genetic line. The test then traces the migration routes of your DNA, for both maternal and paternal lineages, painting a picture of your ancestors’ footsteps.

Your results are revealed in a convenient digital report that is easy to understand and great to share with the whole family. If you, like many others, are at all curious about your ancestral history, the GPS Origins test will help uncover your past. You may already have some written record of distant ancestors who originated from Scotland or France, but most family history prior to the late 1800s was not recorded in written form. The GPS Origins test offers deeper insight, revealing information that connects you to generations past.

Learning your own family history is a crucial element in understanding exactly who you are. It helps you shape your future, establishes a greater sense of identity, and invokes an appreciation for your cultural heritage. Confirm something you’ve always wondered or discover something you never knew. Want to know if your great-grandmother was right about distant Native American ancestors? The GPS Origins test helps answer these questions and more!

Deeper connection and understanding of your family and all its history, visit an Any Lab Test Now location to receive a GPS Origins test. It makes a great conversation piece and an even better gift.

 

 

 

 

Is Your Prostate a Problem?

Did you know prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among all men in the United States? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six percent of men over the age of 60 will develop prostate cancer before they celebrate their 70th birthday. While there is no true prevention for prostate cancer, precautionary measures such as PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing offered by Any Lab Test Now are recommended for all men to monitor risk levels and detect disease before it’s too late.

Establish a Baseline Early On

The prostate-specific antigen is a protein created by normal and malignant cells of the prostate gland, which are then released into the bloodstream. A PSA test is a simple blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen levels in the body and helps establish a PSA “baseline” for men to monitor over time. Results that reveal elevated levels of PSA in the blood could indicate signs of prostate cancer.

However, high levels may also signal a number of non-threatening prostate conditions, such as an inflamed prostate known as prostatitis or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Although there is no clear evidence that these two conditions are precursors to prostate cancer, it is possible for men to develop one or more of these conditions in addition to prostate cancer.

Am I At Risk?

Lab results are typically recorded as nanograms of PSA per milliliter (ng/ml) of blood. Men with levels of PSA that equal 4.0 ng/ml or less fall within the normal range, where men with results higher than 10.0 ng/ml are considered to have a greater risk of prostate cancer. PSA results between the normal and high range may indicate signs of benign prostate conditions.

Although the amount of PSA in the blood normally increases with age, it is important for all men to pay close attention to changes in their PSA levels over time. PSA testing is also recommended for men who undergo testosterone therapy.

The test is a simple and quick blood test with a one to three-day turn around for lab results. No more sitting in over-crowded doctors’ offices or waiting weeks on end to receive the outcome of your test. PSA testing is available at all Any Lab Test Now locations simply by walking in and requesting it.

Any Lab Test Now offers hundreds of lab tests, many specifically designed with men’s health in mind. No matter your age, PSA testing is a proactive step in taking control of your health. Whether you celebrate your 40th or 70th this new year, consider PSA testing so that you have the answers you need about your health and your future.

Give the Gift of Family History with a DNA Test

Every holiday season, there’s always that one person who is nearly impossible to find a gift for. Instead of gifting a frivolous trinket, give the gift of family history. At Any Lab Test Now, you can have access to a variety of DNA tests that will give you and your loved one a deeper insight into your family tree.

Geographic Population Structure (GPS) Origins Test

The GPS Origins test is a very popular DNA test and a great gift for the holidays. Tracing back the family tree and learning more about your family’s history has become a popular pastime for many history buffs, and the GPS origins test is a great way to learn more about your roots.

The GPS Origins Test carefully analyzes over 800,000 autosomal markers from your DNA in order to pinpoint your family’s origins. From the results, you can learn more about your genetic origin percentages and history. You can also see how your DNA matches various populations that ultimately came together to form you.

Next, the GPS Origins Test traces your migration route back to where it originated and dates the age of your DNA signature on both your maternal and paternal sides. Your results will be delivered in an easy-to-understand, detailed report.

The test is simple, painless and can be collected from an oral sample. This holiday season, let the GPS Origins Test help bring light to you family’s history.

DNA Lineage Tests

Another insightful test is the DNA Lineage Test. There are a few variations when it comes to this specific test: Y-STR (Y Chromosome) DNA Lineage Test, Mitochondrial (MtDNA) DNA Lineage Test and Dual DNA Lineage Test for Men. Each variation analyzes a different aspect of the DNA.

The Y-STR (Y Chromosome) DNA Lineage test is only available to men, as it requires the analysis a Y chromosome, which is only found in males. This test looks into the paternal lineage by examining the DNA found in the Y chromosome. That information, passed down from father to child, remains relatively unchanged for generations. That data can provide unique insight into. what family members are related through a common paternal ancestor.

If you prefer to take a deep dive into the maternal lineage, the Mitochondrial (MtDNA) DNA Lineage Test may be the DNA test for you. This test delves into the mitochondria, which is passed down from mother to child and remains relatively unchanged through several generations. Through this test, you can find out which individuals are related to you through a common maternal ancestor

The final test DNA test option is the Dual DNA lineage Test for Men. This combines the Y-STR and MtDNA tests and provides a more comprehensive insight to both parental lineages. By analyzing both parents, you’ll get a more thorough understanding of which family members you share a maternal or paternal ancestor with.

To understand who you are today, many find it’s important to understand where they came from. For that history-loving, unmaterialistic friend or family member, consider giving the gift of their family tree. For more information on these DNA tests, visit AnyLabTestNow.com.