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Suffering from COVID-Somnia? Help Could Be One Test Away

You can call it “Covid-Somnia.” Americans have been losing sleep over the pandemic — literally. Even before the coronavirus crisis, millions of people suffered from insomnia — the inability to fall or stay asleep. The pandemic has added even more challenges to getting some shut-eye — even for people who previously had no sleeping problems.

Our frontline and essential workers are probably most affected — working longer hours and taking on more shifts to help take care of the rest of us. But the disruption to our daily lives and fear of being exposed to the virus is taking a toll on every one of us — and it is showing up in our sleep, or lack thereof.

Pandemic Panic

According to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 4 in 10 American adults had developed symptoms of depression or anxiety by the end of 2020. Both are known to have the potential to cause sleeping issues.

Concerns about the pandemic have not slowed down. People worry about catching the virus themselves or infecting others, including older family members who might be at high-risk because of pre-existing conditions. Isolation and lack of social interaction are also contributing to the problem.

Economic concerns, including job loss, are adding to the strain, as well as uncertainty about when life will return to normal, keeps minds racing and the body tossing and turning.

Fatigue is a public health problem. A lack of sleep can lead to impaired reaction times, affect judgment and vision, create difficulty with processing information and short-term memory recall. This constant state of weariness is very unhealthy. Sleep is crucial to our health and well-being.

  • Sleep rejuvenates our immune system. Studies have found that a lack of sleep can make some vaccines less effective.
  • Sleep impacts our mood, and the feeling of weariness can worsen depression.
  • Sleep gives our brain a rest so we can think and learn better.
  • Sleep also contributes to our mental health. A lack of sleep is often linked to many mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Sleep can also impact metabolism. Not enough sleep can lead to insulin resistance, which causes weight gain.

Settling Sleep Issues

Any Lab Test Now® offers a Sleep Balance Kit to help make sure you are getting the rest you need and measure any impact your current sleep patterns are having on your health.

The Sleep Balance Kit does not even involve a blood draw — just a simple series of urine tests to determine key levels of two important hormones: melatonin and cortisol.

  • High cortisol results in insomnia, anxiety, sugar cravings, feeling tired but wired, and increased belly fat.
  • Low melatonin results in excessive fatigue, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

The Sleep Balance Kit is available in-store or for purchase online. The sample collection is conducted in the privacy and comfort of your own home. You do not even need a doctor’s order.

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work or purchasing an at-home kit.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 190+ 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 pandemic. We are here to help.

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Could It Be Low Testosterone?

Testosterone is a male hormone that helps to maintain muscle mass and strength, bone density, sex drive and sperm production in men.  Often described as “Fuel for Men” testosterone levels begin to decrease at an approximate rate of 1% every year after a man turns 40.  New studies are showing an increased number of men in their 30’s with decreasing testosterone levels.

Low testosterone is signified by levels that fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) which leads to hypogonadism and even andropause, the male version of menopause.  Though women experience a drastic decrease of estrogen levels during menopause, a decrease in testosterone in men can sometimes be so gradual that it goes undiagnosed and untreated.  It’s been reported that the number of men taking part in testosterone replacement therapy has tripled since 2001 proving that men are no longer living with what was formerly thought of as natural signs of aging.  What is most important before beginning therapy is that men are properly diagnosed to avoid any underlying health risks that they are not aware of.

How do you know when it is time to get tested for low testosterone?  If you are a man aged 35 or older and you experience a combination of more than 1 or all of the following, it’s time to get tested.

  • Low Sex Drive – a drastic drop noticeable by a man and his partner
  • Erectile Dysfunction – difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection
  • Loss of Hair – not just male patter baldness, but also facial and body hair
  • Fatigue – low energy despite getting enough sleep or lacking motivation for physical activities
  • Low Sperm – noticeable decrease in amount of semen during ejaculation signifying a decrease in sperm count
  • Loss of Muscle Mass – a noticeable decrease in muscle mass and strength, especially in arms, legs and chest
  • Increased Body Fat – especially around the belly and chest area
  • Decreased Bone Mass – leading to osteoporosis, and easily damaged bones
  •  Mood Changes – experiencing depression, irritability or lack of focus

If you recognize any of these symptoms, it may be time to see a physician but before you go, ANY LAB TEST NOW® can help you Take Control of Your Health® by getting the correct testosterone test.  Many doctors have a hard time diagnosing low testosterone not only because again, the symptoms are often viewed as natural signs of aging, but also because most doctors only test for total testosterone levels.  Though total testosterone is a small part of the picture, knowing your free (bioavailable) testosterone levels are also important along with knowing estradiol, Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) and thyroid levels in order to receive a proper diagnosis.  Having a good understanding of these levels before you begin therapy is the best way to determine if testosterone replacement therapy is a safe option.  Monitoring your levels during therapy is also important for making sure that replacement therapy is effective and to insure that you do not suffer from the unwanted side effects and health risks associated with too much testosterone.

ANY LAB TEST NOW® exclusively offers two comprehensive tests designed to make sure testosterone replacement therapy is right for you.  To find out more about our Pre-Testosterone Therapy Panel and our Continued Testosterone Therapy panel visit and search testosterone for a list of applicable tests and their benefits.

Cortisol and Stress: How the Body Reacts

Cortisol has been termed as the “stress hormone” and it is usually increased under stressful responses when the body is experiencing a “fight or flight” response. Cortisol is a hormone that is released by the adrenal gland. The following functions are involved with normal levels of cortisol release; proper glucose metabolism, blood pressure regulation, immune function, and inflammatory response.

Normally, cortisol is higher in the morning and at its lowest at night. In our new modern day culture of sitting in the car during rush hour, lack of exercise and economic distress, the cortisol levels in our bodies are elevated for an extended period of time without having the chance to return to normal. This is known as chronic stress, which can contribute to blood sugar imbalance (hyperglycemia), decreased bone density, high blood pressure, metabolism imbalance and decreased immune system.

Having an increased cortisol level can be either physiologic or pathologic. Having a cortisol test done can measure your stress hormone levels throughout the day to see if you are having an abnormal spike of your cortisol at a certain time of the day, or a continuous increase of cortisol levels. Stress can be a contributor to a multitude of disease states. Cortisol level testing would be a great add on to any of our tests or panels offered through Any Lab Test Now.