Are You Getting a Good Night’s Rest?

Whether you like to be curled up under a pile of blankets, buried under a mountain of pillows, or free from constrictive bedding, a good night’s sleep is essential to your health. In fact, quality sleep is as critical as proper diet and exercise. It is a key factor in immune function, metabolism, memory, and learning; yet, more than a third of United States adults do not get enough sleep.

 

Insufficient Sleep

Insufficient sleep is on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) radar and has been labeled a public health concern. So, what constitutes a successful night of slumber? The CDC recommends at least seven hours per night for adults and even more for teens and children. In a 2014 survey, only 65 percent of Americans reported a healthy sleep duration. Incredibly, 12 percent reported sleeping less than five hours and 23 percent reported only six hours per night.

Sleep Quality

While the number of hours of sleep is important to restoring and revitalizing your body, the National Sleep Foundation’s new report presents sleep quality differently. It recommends that you strive for these four bedtime accomplishments:

  • Sleeping 85 percent of the time you spend in bed
  • Falling asleep in 30 minutes or less
  • Waking up no more than once a night
  • Falling back asleep within 20 minutes

Impacts of Too Little Sleep

Too little sleep negatively impacts both your physical and mental health. Lack of sleep can contribute to a variety of serious medical issues, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. In the immediate future, it can also contribute to motor vehicle and other accidents because you are not as alert as you would be if you were well rested and may have impaired judgement. Additionally, long-term sleeplessness can contribute to forgetfulness, depression, and anxiety.

At Any Lab Test Now, there is an option to help you determine if you are suffering from insomnia. The Sleep Balance Take Home Hormone Kit can help find the possible causes of disturbed sleep. The kit is a simple urine test that measures melatonin and cortisol. Melatonin is the hormone that helps to regulate when the body should be asleep vs. awake. Cortisol is produced in response to stress to keep your body on-guard, but should naturally decline at night: if it does not, your body can have trouble calming itself. As the test helps you better understand what is preventing a restful slumber, you can work with your doctor to mitigate these issues.

Talk to our experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn more about the test and how to improve your sleep cycle for optimal health and wellness.

Get Tested During Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Have You Been Tested for Colon Cancer? If Not, Should You Consider It?

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and despite this yearly designation, many people still don’t know about the dangers of colon cancer. A cancer diagnosis is always scary, but if found early, colon cancer is one of the most treatable cancers out there. With screening and early detection, colon cancer patients can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they have a 90 percent chance of survival, and that number is increasing every year. But if all this is true, why is colon cancer the second-leading cause of cancer death in those aged 50 and older?

Early Detection Saves Lives!

Colon cancer is one of the most treatable cancers in the U.S. today, yet it remains the second-leading cause of cancer death in U.S. adults aged 50 and older. This is because nearly a third of adults are skipping their recommended screenings. These screenings are vital to your health, as finding colon cancer early will significantly increase your chance of survival and recovery. Even adults under 50 years of age should consider this screening if they have a family history of colon cancer.

It’s important to pay attention to your risk factors to assess if it’s a good idea to get tested. Risk factors for colon cancer include:

  • Being over 50 years of age
  • Having a family history of polyps or colon cancer
  • Having a personal history of cancer
  • Having a condition that causes inflammation of the colon, such as Crohn’s Disease
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • High fat and low fiber diet

If you identify with any of the risk factors above, even just being over 50 years of age, it’s time to consider your options for colon cancer testing.

Getting Tested at Any Lab Test Now

Any Lab Test Now is partnering with Colon Cancer Alliance to help stop colon cancer deaths for good. During Colon Cancer Awareness Month, we urge those over 50 years of age and those with a family history of colon cancer to get tested. That’s because the best way to beat colon cancer is to find it early through testing. Testing could save your life.

To make testing easier and more discreet, Any Lab Test Now offers the Colorectal Cancer At-Home Screening Test. The test evaluates stool samples that are collected at home and sent in to the lab. The lab then determines if there is any blood in the stool that may signal colon cancer.

Help us beat colon cancer by taking charge of your health! Knowing your risk factors, knowing your family history and talking with your physician about the right time to be screened is your best, and easiest, tool for preventing colon cancer.

Contact the experts at Any Lab Test Now today to learn what testing options are right for you.

How Can You Help?

Help us raise money for colon cancer research by hearing our personal story and donating to the MICHELLE FIELDS TRIBUTE PAGE. All proceeds go to the Colon Cancer Alliance.

Donate today: www.anylabtestnow.com/donate

 

Understand the Impact of Nutrients on Your Body

Understand the Impact of Nutrients on Your Body

Do you know what’s happening in your body when you eat? What you eat and how well your body digests it can have a far-reaching impact on your health and everyday wellbeing, so it’s important to know what’s happening internally. There’s a lot of information that can be revealed when you take time to be tested for nutrient absorption, which is why nutritional testing at Any Lab Test Now is important.

What is Nutritional Testing?

By analyzing blood chemistry, these tests reveal more than simple digestive trouble. The cellular composition of your blood, including levels of hemoglobin, red and white blood cells and platelet counts, can give you helpful hints about health conditions you might be experiencing. Nutritional testing can also examine levels of vitamins, minerals and enzymes in your blood and compare these to normal levels to find any deficiencies. Finally, the density of many of the components of your blood can tell you if your organs are functioning properly and if you’re getting enough fluids.

Nutrition-Related Health Concerns

Nutrition plays an important role in keeping your body balanced and full of energy. When not properly balanced, your body can experience a variety of discomforts and long-term health issues. A few examples include:

  • Fatigue
  • Achy, weak or crampy muscles
  • Low hormone levels
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Organ malfunction
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Anemia
  • Memory loss

Micronutrients

Micronutrients are vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Unlike nutrients like calcium and potassium, these are only needed in small amounts, yet being deficient in one or more of these nutrients can also be harmful to your body. To gather even more information about your digestive health, try tests like the micronutrient test and the comprehensive male or female panel. These tests will give you a better picture of how well-balanced your diet is. Too little of a certain micronutrient may lead to long-term health issues, such as poor organ function, poor immune function or any number of chronic diseases.

Nutrition is the backbone of your physical health, so it makes sense that you would need to check up on it every once in a while. By getting a nutritional panel at Any Lab Test Now, you can answer any questions you might have about your nutrition, as well as potentially find solutions to nagging health issues. So walk-in to your local Any Lab Test Now to see how a Nutritional Panel can help you stay healthy!

Is Your Cortisol Level Under Control?

Fight or flight. We’re sure you’ve heard of it, and that you know it’s your body’s instinctual reaction to a stressful situation. In modern times, stressors in your life aren’t always a result of the presence of physical danger, such as a grizzly bear who wants you to be its next meal. Most people nowadays feel these reactions when everyday life gets a little stressful — if you have a tight deadline at work, if you have a big fight with your spouse or if you realize you forgot to pay that bill on time. All of these situations can result in the same stressed-out feelings  — an increased heart rate and a burst of energy, to name a few — which are famously caused by a hormone called adrenaline.

But what you may not know is that during a stressful situation, another hormone is at play: cortisol. Cortisol is released to help your body deal with stress, but if your cortisol level is out of control, it can do more harm than good.

Cortisol

Cortisol, or hydrocortisone, is a hormone that is released into the body in response to stress. It helps your body respond to stressful situations by increasing your blood sugar, enhancing your brain’s use of glucose and increasing the availability of substances that repair tissues. Additionally, cortisol suppresses body functions that would be nonessential in a fight-or-flight situation such as your immune system response, digestive system and reproductive system. All of these responses are intended for survival, but what happens when your cortisol levels don’t return to normal after the stressor is gone, or if you don’t have enough cortisol in the first place?

Too much cortisol in the body can cause a number of dangerous conditions including:

  • Hyperglycemia
  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Decreased bone density
  • Compromised immune and inflammation responses
  • Increased blood pressure and damage to the heart
  • Cushing Syndrome

While it is most often caused by chronic stress, the overproduction of cortisol can also be a result of  long-term use of corticosteroids, a tumor on the pituitary or adrenal gland, or cancer.

Too little cortisol in the body can be problematic as well, causing:

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Loss of consciousness

All of these can be very serious problems, and dangerous to your health. If you are experiencing any of the issues listed above, but don’t know why, it’s time to find out what’s really going on. Take the first step towards better health by testing your cortisol level. Any Lab Test Now offers several options for cortisol testing:

Contact the experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn which test is right for you.

Frequent Heartburn? Your Health Could Be at Risk

You know it well: that burning sensation you feel in your chest after a big meal, while laying down or sometimes for no apparent reason at all. This frequent and fiery grip on the center of your chest is known as heartburn, and millions of Americans suffer from it every year.

Even though heartburn seems nearly as commonplace in America as a burger and fries, it is certainly not something to ignore when you experience it yourself. That’s because frequent heartburn is more than just a little uncomfortable — it can cause lasting damage to your body and your health. In fact, the condition of frequent heartburn is considered to be a disease — gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD for short, is diagnosed when heartburn interferes with a person’s daily life. While heartburn can be temporarily dealt with using over-the-counter antacid medications, it is important for your health to determine the cause of the heartburn so you can take the necessary steps toward preventing it in the future.

If left untreated, frequent heartburn can cause a number of painful and even dangerous health conditions such as:

Esophageal Strictures, which cause difficulty swallowing as a result of scarring and narrowing of the esophagus due to frequent exposure to stomach acid. This can result in pain when swallowing, as well as difficulty eating and drinking.

Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition caused by long-term exposure of the esophagus to stomach acid through acid reflux. This is a pre-cancerous condition that occurs in about 1 in 100 people who have experienced chronic heartburn for ten years or more.

Esophageal Cancer, which can develop when the esophageal cells become so damaged by stomach acid over time that the cells become cancerous. Even if found early, the survival rate for esophageal cancer is only around 40 percent.

If you suffer from frequent heartburn, it’s time to find out why so you can begin to recover before it’s too late. Any Lab Test Now’s Heartburn Panel includes three tests intended to give you a comprehensive look at why you may be suffering from frequent heartburn or GERD:

A Complete Blood Count will test for blood disorders that can show signs of leukemia, anemia and blood clotting.

A Chemistry Panel will evaluate your blood sugar levels, liver and kidney function, renal function and electrolyte levels.

And an H. Pylori Test will determine the presence of a destructive stomach bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. This bacterium can cause ulcers, heartburn and even stomach cancer. If discovered, an H. pylori infection is easily treated with antibiotics. An H. Pylori Rapid Result Screen is another option to test only for the presence of H. pylori.

The sooner you know what’s wrong, the sooner you can start taking the steps towards better health. Talk to the experts at Any Lab Test Now today to learn what testing options are right for you.

Stay Heart Healthy This February!

Walk into any retail location and you’ll see red, pink and purple hearts of all shapes and sizes. February is the month of love, and the heart represents this feeling for many people. Did you know, however, that February is also Heart Health Awareness Month?

This year, celebrate your heart by making healthy lifestyle changes and taking action to prevent chronic conditions like heart disease. Heart disease kills more American adults than any other cause of death, including cancer, accidents and diabetes. For this year’s Heart Health Awareness Month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want Americans to focus on one healthy behavior they can make into a habit to take control of their heart health.

After all, your heart health influences your daily life and everything you want to do. From how often you get sick to how much activity your body can handle, a healthy heart makes your whole body run right. Symptoms of heart disease can be unique for everyone, but will often include fatigue, shortness of breath, angina or pain in the chest, nausea and swelling of feet or ankles (also known as edema). Your heart never rests — and your heart health influences your quality of life even when you’re asleep, so it’s critical that it remains healthy.

Heart disease can be difficult to detect on its own, which is why it’s so important to use laboratory testing and regular visits to your primary care physician to keep yourself on track. To find out what your risk is and begin your journey to a healthier heart, you should schedule a Cardiac Risk Panel at Any Lab Test Now this month. Getting a laboratory test entails a simple, one-time visit that will allow you to see your levels of blood cholesterol, C-reactive protein and homocysteine. These levels are an indication of how hard your heart is working and how much inflammation is in your body. Any Lab Test Now also offers a variety of other heart health related tests to consider, like cholesterol testing.

Once you have your results, you can take them to your doctor to discuss your lifestyle and how you can improve your habits, one step at a time. Suggestions may include dietary changes, increasing the consistency with which you take prescription drugs, increased exercise or quitting smoking.

Your cardiovascular system is important for your quality of life, so make February the month you take charge of your habits and make an improvement in your health. For more information on how to use Any Lab Test Now’s laboratory testing to determine your risk, visit our website!

Tests to Consider for the New Year

This time of year, many people are making resolutions to change their lives for the better. Resolutions give people a sense of new beginnings for themselves, and a chance to look forward to the progress they will make toward becoming a healthier, happier individual. Most people who make a New Year’s resolution are thinking of their health – they want to make positive changes in their appearance and overall livelihood.

But what many people don’t realize when they’re staring in the mirror is that good health starts on the inside. To appear healthier on the outside, you must first make healthy, internal changes. If you’re looking to make a change, but don’t know where to start, Any Lab Test Now has several tests that can help you accomplish your resolutions for 2017:

Sensitivity and Intolerance Tests

One great way to make a healthy change is to finally find out what’s been causing your unexplained ailments or discomfort. Often, people with a food sensitivity or intolerance don’t realize what is causing their health issues. That’s because it’s hard to isolate just one food as the cause of your pain. This is where Sensitivity and Intolerance Tests can help! These tests can help you determine any food sensitivities or intolerances you may have, letting you get to the bottom of what is causing your health problems.

Sexual Health Lab Tests

If you are sexually active, it is important to make sure you are healthy and disease-free. Most people know they should get tested for STDs, but continually put it off. The thing is, by putting off getting tested, you’ll continue to feel that nagging worry in the back of your mind – “Do I have a disease?” Give yourself peace of mind by finding out for sure in 2017, and taking care of your health from head to toe. Any Lab Test Now’s Sexual Health Lab Tests will help you check off that big “to-do” item lingering in your thoughts.

Diabetes Lab Tests and Cholesterol Lab Tests

Before you can look healthy on the outside, you must address the issues going on inside your body. If you are concerned you might have high cholesterol, diabetes or pre-diabetes, it’s time to get tested and find out for sure. Dangerous complications can arise from having these conditions, including a higher risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Make 2017 the year you take control of your heart health, starting with a Diabetes Lab Test and Cholesterol Lab Test.

Get started on your 2017 New Year’s resolution to be healthier by getting some much needed answers to your nagging health questions. Once you better understand your health today, you can start taking steps towards achieving better health this year. Talk to the experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn what testing options are right for you, and take the first step towards a healthier, happier you.

Five Recommended Tests for the New Year

Each January, people across the country resolve to get fit and improve their health. From increasing exercise and reducing stress to taking vitamins and eating right, people understand the importance of taking care of their bodies and minds. Taking care of oneself is a goal that has positive impacts on every area of life.

Of course, any time you set a goal, it is important to figure out how you will track your progress and measure the impact of the actions you take to reach the goal. When it comes to goals related to good health, there are tests that can help you evaluate where you are today and what your personal areas of focus should be.

In 2017, the top five suggested tests for men and women are:

Basic Check-Up Panel – This grouping of tests helps you evaluate your overall health. From liver function to blood pressure, this panel gives you a high-level view of your health today so that you can better pinpoint what is working well, what isn’t, and identify areas for improvement.

Comprehensive Female Panel – This is the most comprehensive panel for women. Not only does it evaluate your overall health, as in the Basic Check-Up Panel, but it also measures hormone levels, nutrition status and thyroid function.

Male Panel – Like the Basic Check-Up Panel, this gives you a good overview of your health. In addition, however, it evaluates adrenal functions that are specific to men and testicular health.

Nutritional Panel – Often, health and wellness issues can stem from having too much or too little of a nutrient in one’s body. Evaluating and monitoring the level of various nutrients in your body is a good first step to making sure your body has what it needs to perform at its best.

Cortisol Total Test – Cortisol is the hormone your body releases in response to stress. When cortisol levels are too high for an extended period, they can contribute to health issues. Monitoring your cortisol level is a good starting point if your goal is to reduce stress.

When it comes to good health, making the decision to take control is step one! Step two is learning about how healthy your body is today so that you can find specific areas for improvement. From there, you can establish a plan that meets your personal health needs. Then, when 2018 rolls around, you are sure to find yourself fitter and healthier!

The 5 Best Tests to Use Your FSA On

altn-dec-newsletter-sized-fsaHSA and FSA accounts can help you budget for your healthcare, and ensure you always have the money you need to pay for any unexpected health events. But if you still have money in your FSA, it will expire at the end of the year. Instead of letting your money vanish, put it to use by getting some testing or immunizations you’ve been putting off. Wrap up lingering health concerns now so you can start fresh in the new year.

Allergy Test
The holidays coincide with peak cold and flu season, but if your sniffles won’t go away, you might look into allergy testing. Up to 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. If you experience emotional or physical reactions after you eat, or if you frequently have symptoms like a stuffy nose or trouble breathing, you might have an allergy to something you ate. The Allergy Test goes through as many as 45 different foods and 45 environmental triggers to identify the root of your symptoms.

Intolerance Test
If you’ve been noticing symptoms that aren’t associated with an allergic reaction, then you might have a food intolerance. If you experience fatigue, gas or diarrhea, depression or anxiety, weight gain or a general chronic discomfort, you may want to get a food intolerance test. This becomes especially important as you grow older, because you can develop new food sensitivities or intolerances later in life.

Blood Cortisol Test
If your stress levels are through the roof, the holiday season will likely only make it worse — it can seem like your to-do list never ends! To see if your stress is starting to cause problems for your body, get a blood cortisol test. High levels of cortisol are dangerous, because over time they can lead to high blood pressure, inflammation, compromised immune response and weight gain.

Thyroid Test
The holiday meals sure are delicious, but do you know what isn’t so great? The holiday pounds. If your weight gain tends to stick around a bit too long after the holidays, you should get your thyroid tested. Your thyroid controls metabolic activity, which is vital for maintaining a healthy weight. Poor thyroid health is associated with symptoms like fatigue, short attention span, weight gain and numbness or cold intolerance. Thyroid disorders can also cause conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease.

Proof of Immunizations
Are you traveling for the holidays or early next year? The first thing on your list should be to make sure your immunizations are up-to-date, which you can do by getting a proof of immunization test. These tests ensure that you have gotten the immunizations you need and provide valid paperwork to prove that you are immunized, which can be helpful if you’ve lost any documentation.

Don’t wait for the new year to address your lingering health concerns. If you have an FSA that is going to expire soon, get the important lab tests you need before 2017! For more information, visit your local Any Lab Test Now.

Everyday Stress or Something More?

An attractive young woman leading a fitness class

Sometimes when you wake up in the morning, it can be hard to lift your head from the pillow. You hear that alarm going off and can barely reach over to hit the snooze button. When you finally make it out of bed, coffee is the first thing on your mind. It has been a busy week: you are worn out and having trouble concentrating on the day ahead!

This feeling of being worn out is your body’s way of healing during times of stress. Your body is clamoring for more rest, because in order to restore itself, the body needs to sleep. As your body begins to heal, mornings become easier and your focus improves.

But, what if it doesn’t? What does it mean if you continue to feel lethargic and drained week after week? What if your brain feels fuzzy all of the time and you find that you are constantly forgetting things because you’re so tired? At this point, there may be something more than day-to-day stress causing your fatigue. Exhaustion, either physical or mental, should not last for weeks at a time.

Fortunately, a Fatigue Panel or Adrenal Health/Stress Profile will test for a variety of potential causes. Causes of fatigue are varied. In some people, it can be caused by a disease, such as Lyme disease or mononucleosis. In other people, it can be triggered by hormone or blood sugar imbalances. And, others may discover that fatigue is a result of conditions like anemia or low iron levels.

With so many causes of fatigue, the first step to regaining your energy is knowing why you feel drained. From there, treatments that include medication, diet, exercise and lifestyle changes can be used to help you recover. Of course, resolving your fatigue won’t completely get rid of sleepy, coffee-filled mornings, but it will certainly help you restore the energy and focus that it takes to make the most of your time from morning until night.

If you have been fatigued for more than two weeks, stop in to your local Any Lab Test Now location and ask for the Fatigue Panel. Keep in mind that this test does require fasting for eight hours prior to the sample being collected. You can also inquire about our Adrenal Health/Stress Profile. Both tests are a quick, simple way to help you start the process of recovery.