OBESITY, DIETS, AND MALNUTRITION: HOW THE THREE ARE CONNECTED

We all have an image in our minds about malnutrition and what that looks like. But, malnourishment isn’t just an issue for the very poor in third world countries. It can affect all people, both rich and poor, both hungry and satisfied, in cities around the world. What connects malnutrition to all of these different groups? More and more often, we’re finding that obesity and diets share a connection. That’s why Any Lab Test Now believes it’s now more important than ever for you to be certain you are getting enough nutrition, because you certainly cannot judge by looks alone.

What is Malnutrition?

Let’s start by making sure we understand exactly what malnutrition is. According to the World Health Organization (WHO): “Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients.” It covers two broad areas. The first is “undernutrition.” Undernutrition includes underweight and micronutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies. The other is overweight and obesity. In plain speak, you can be malnourished even if you’re overweight, underweight, or even perfect weight, if you aren’t eating enough of a wide variety of nutritious foods. This can happen particularly if you are overweight or if you are on a diet or choosing a lifestyle that restricts or even abolishes certain foods.

Obesity and Malnourishment

Many people could look at themselves and think: “I can’t possibly be malnourished. I am getting more than enough to eat!” It has been said that Americans are overfed and undernourished. Diets of fast food and convenient processed products make life easier but aren’t able to provide a steady source of the nutrition our bodies need. But more and more, people are eating calorie dense/nutrient-poor diets. Evidence is mounting that despite excessive dietary consumption, obese individuals have high rates of micronutrient deficiencies which also appears to play an important role in the development of diabetes. Poverty also can play a role. Many of the cheapest foods available are often the highest in calories and the lowest in nutrition.

Diet and Malnourishment

On the flip side is our obsession with dieting and so-called “lifestyle diets.” Whatever you call it, many of these diets/lifestyles depend on the elimination of certain foods or even whole food groups! If you choose to follow one (or find that it’s medically necessary to follow one) it’s very important that you make sure you find acceptable sources to provide you with all the nutrition you need. Let’s take vegan/vegetarian as an example. Eating a plant-based diet offers health benefits, but if you do not make an effort to replace crucial nutrients found in meat, you can find yourself facing nutritional deficiencies.

Where do YOU Stand?

Take a critical look at your diet; if it includes a lot of fast foods, processed foods or if you are following a diet that includes food restriction you might want to consider a Basic Nutritional Panel from Any Lab Test Now. The Basic Nutritional Panel includes a variety of tests that can help you determine if you are getting enough nutrition, including:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  2. Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  3. Iron and Total Binding Capacity (TIBC)
  4. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
  5. Folate
  6. Vitamin D
  7. Vitamin C
  8. Zinc
  9. Ferritin
  10. Homocysteine

Remember — malnutrition may not “look” the way you expect. Some common signs are fatigue, dry hair, thin or spoon-shaped nails, dental problems, constipation, confusion or depression, and a weak immune system. The Basic Nutritional Panel offered by Any Lab Test Now can provide you with a broad picture of your health and should be considered if you are working toward a healthier diet — and a healthier self!

Also at Risk: The Elderly

It’s worth noting that our senior citizens are also prone to malnutrition for a variety of reasons. It could be because they have trouble getting to a store or a lack of money. Some seniors may feel lonely and isolated and have no desire to cook a proper meal for just themselves. Loss of appetite can also be a side effect of medications or a symptom of an illness. Any Lab Test Now encourages everyone to keep an eye on family, friends, and neighbors who may be at risk.

Remember, getting a test at Any Lab Test Now is easy. You don’t have to make an appointment and you don’t need a doctor’s orders. We are private, affordable, and convenient and there’s no better way to take control of your health.

When Food Becomes The Enemy; Why Proper Testing Is Important

Can you imagine living in fear of a bread crumb?

It sounds crazy, but it is a sad reality for millions of Americans. One in every 133 people suffers from celiac disease, and most of them haven’t even been properly diagnosed. That can lead to long-term health complications.

Researchers are working on vaccine therapy to help those with celiac disease, but the first step is spreading awareness and getting a proper diagnosis. Any Lab Test Now can help with that. The Celiac, IBS, Crohn’s Test can help you determine if you have celiac disease or some other gastrointestinal disorder so that you can treat your symptoms properly.

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is NOT an allergy — it’s an autoimmune disorder that’s triggered when a sufferer eats gluten. That culprit is a protein that you’ll find in a lot of foods and in some other very unexpected places. It’s found in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains, so people most often think of breads, dough, cakes, pasta, and cereals. But celiac sufferers have to be real detectives! That’s because gluten can be found in a wide range of ingestible stuff, like medications and toothpaste — even lipsticks and envelope glue! 

When someone with celiac ingests something with gluten, their body overreacts and their intestines are ground zero. They’ll often experience stomach pain and nausea, but the reaction can also include: 

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headaches and fatigue
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Heartburn
  • Itchy rashes
  • Anemia
  • Mouth ulcers

What’s happening inside your small intestine is slow to develop, but devastating over time. The villi that line your small intestine are damaged with every reaction. Eventually, they won’t be able to absorb nutrients from your food.

The damage to the undiagnosed.

For the millions of people walking around with undiagnosed celiac disease, the damage is growing. The Celiac, IBS, Crohn’s Test (sometimes referred to as the CICA Test) measures your gut health on the genetic, antibody, and cellular levels, taking these often hard-to-diagnose diseases down to the most in-depth levels so you can get to the bottom of your symptoms. The CICA includes the following tests:

  • Genetic – HLA Typing for Celiac Disease (HLA-DQ2.5 AND HLA-DQ8; ATB16L1 + N0D20) – The genetic testing portion of the profile determines the likelihood that what you are suffering is celiac disease, as opposed to gluten intolerance. 95 percent of people who have either the HLA-DQ2.5 OR HLA-DQ8 genes will have celiac disease.
  • Antibody/Serological – This test will indicate whether specific antibodies are missing and others have developed. This could cause damage to the small intestine and can indicate the presence of celiac disease as well as differentiate between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, both of which have similar symptoms to celiac disease.
  • Total Serum IgA
  • Tissue Transgluatminase Antibody (tTG) – IgA and IgG
  • Deamidated Gliadin Peptide  (DGP) Antibody – IgA and IgG
  • Anti-Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Antibody (ASCA)

You don’t need a doctor’s order to take the test, but if your CICA Test comes back indicating celiac disease, it’s a good idea to share those results with your doctor so you can get professional guidance on how to best move forward.

What you don’t know can hurt you.

Celiac disease can develop at any age. If you leave it undiagnosed and untreated, you could leave yourself open to some additional serious health problems down the road. These include:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Epilepsy
  • Migraines
  • Intestinal cancers

If you’re suffering from abdominal discomfort or have a family history of celiac disease, it may well be worth considering the Celiac, IBS, Crohn’s Test at your nearby Any Lab Test Now. There may not be a cure, but with a proper diagnosis, there can be relief. 

Be Prepared To Meet Your Weight Loss Goals

 Another year is winding down. Is it another year that you didn’t meet your weight loss goals? Before you beat yourself up and vow to try again, Any Lab Test Now® wants you to know that it’s important to realize that there may be something at play here that you don’t even realize. If your metabolism isn’t working efficiently and properly, then no amount of proper diet and exercise is going to work. If you’ve suffered from a lack of success before, you might want to consider some testing before you give it another try.

A good place to start is with the Basic Nutritional Panel offered by Any Lab Test Now. This panel includes a variety of tests that can give you a good idea if your body (particularly your metabolism) is functioning properly. It can reveal signs of anemia, infections, or other factors that may cause fatigue, as well as reveal deficiencies in the most common vitamins and minerals

Want to look a little deeper into your nutritional status? Our Micronutrient Test is our most wide-ranging nutritional test. From vitamins and minerals to amino acids and antioxidants, this test measures your body’s ability to absorb 32 vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients. It can be especially helpful in making sure your diet is providing everything your body needs to function optimally.

Many people don’t realize the connection between your hormones and your weight. Hormonal imbalances can lead to weight gain, obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. The Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit can provide you and your doctor with valuable information on imbalances that might be contributing to excessive weight. Too much estrogen and too little testosterone have been linked to unhealthy weight gain. The so-called “stress hormone” cortisol has been shown to lead to abdominal weight gain. This panel will test for all of those and more.

Want to take a deeper dive into your thyroid health? Then, the Thyroid Panel is recommended for you. The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating how your body uses energy. If your thyroid is underactive, you may suffer from fatigue and weight gain. The Thyroid Panel includes tests for:

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • T4 Total
  • Free T3
  • Free T4
  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO)

Thyroid imbalances can lead to more than just weight fluctuations; they can end in heart disease, infertility, or osteoporosis. That’s why it’s important to know where you stand with this important hormone producer.

Hormones and nutrition play a huge role, along with diet and exercise. Any Lab Test Now can be your partner on your weight loss and health journey. A quick trip into one of our convenient locations will help you take control of your health now… and for years to come.

Gluten-free: a diet for some, deadly for others

You’ve probably seen it in the grocery store or on a page of the restaurant menu: “Gluten Free” in bold letters. It’s a claim that for some people means a choice to help them lose weight or to live a healthier lifestyle. But for others it is truly not a choice and it can make all the difference to their long-term health. Is going gluten free a “choice” or a “must” for you? Your local Any Lab Test Now can help you decide.

Not a Fad but a Fact

For some people, the ingestion of gluten leads to a cascade of health problems that end with serious damage to the small intestine. These are the people who have celiac disease, a very serious autoimmune disorder. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, 2.5 million Americans are living with the disease undiagnosed…and are at serious risk for long-term health complications. Complications like malnutrition, osteoporosis, infertility, even certain types of cancer can occur if the disease is left untreated.

Little Protein; Big Problem

So, what happens when you have celiac disease? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has some helpful information. Basically, when a person with celiac disease ingests gluten, their body can’t digest it and it hangs around in their system triggering an autoimmune response. That’s when the body goes on the attack! Over time, that leads to the damage of the small intestine and other potential health problems. The only way to stop the damage at this point is to avoid ingesting gluten, which is easier said than done. Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye, so it shows up most often in bread, pasta, and baked treats. But this little protein is tricky! It can show up in lip balms, toothpastes, and even envelope adhesive.

Signs and Symptoms

Celiac disease is serious and you might wonder just how 2.5 million Americans can continue to live with this disease, undiagnosed? That’s because the symptoms can be so different for each person. We could fill a page with some of the different symptoms to look for in adults and children, but here are a few:

  • Anemia
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Numbness in hands and feet
  • Tiredness
  • Abdominal pain and bloating

You can take your health into your own hands if you suspect you have celiac disease. Any Lab Test Now offers tests to help you get answers:

CICA – Celiac, IBS, and Crohn’s ArrayWant to check for a wider range? Consider the CICA test, which measures gut health on the genetic, antibody, and cellular levels. This is a much deeper investigation that can point you and your doctor in the right direction.

Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity

Be aware that celiac disease is different from gluten sensitivity. If you have gluten sensitivity, you may have symptoms similar to those of celiac disease, but gluten sensitivity does not damage the small intestine. Any Lab Test Now offers the ALCAT 50 Food Panel to test for food sensitivity and intolerance. Check here to find an Any Lab Test Now location near you.

Use Your FSA On These 5 Tests

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a tax-advantaged account, to be used for medical expenses only. An FSA is different from a Health Savings Accounts (HSA) in that the money must be used within the calendar year. Unused funds left at the end of the year are returned to your employer, who can use it to offset the inevitable costs of administering benefits or may simply split it amongst the employees in the FSA plan.

This means that, if you have money left in your account, now is the time to put it to good use. Any Lab Test Now offers a variety of tests that can provide insightful information about your health and family history.

Allergy Tests

If you find yourself suffering from itchy eyes, blotchy skin or a stuffy nose, you may have allergies.  Some common allergens are pollen, grass, house dust and pet dander. At Any Lab Test Now, you can get tested and determine what is causing your allergies to act up. With test results in hand, you can get the proper medications and start making lifestyle changes to ease your symptoms.

Food Sensitivity and Intolerance Tests

If you experience a scratchy throat, hives or body swelling after eating, you may have a food sensitivity or intolerance and should be tested. Even if you did not have any food allergies as a child, it is possible to develop them later in life. Intolerance to things like lactose or gluten can have a negative impact on your digestion. By getting tested, you’ll learn how you need to adjust your diet to live more comfortably.

Vitamins, Minerals & Nutrition Lab Tests

Constantly tired, worn down or lethargic? You may suffer from a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Put your FSA to good use and learn more about your body. At Any Lab Test Now, you can talk with a qualified professional to determine which test is most appropriate for your diet and lifestyle. From a B-12 deficiency test to a potassium test to weight management take-home hormone kits, there are a variety from which to choose.

Cholesterol Tests

High cholesterol often runs in families. If you have a family history of less-than-stellar cholesterol counts, it is a good idea to get checked! Oftentimes, high cholesterol doesn’t come with any symptoms. In many cases, it goes completely undetected until an emergency event such as a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol can lead to plaque building up in your arteries, which will eventually cause damage to your body. Lifestyle changes and proper medication can help reduce the risks, so get tested today!

DNA Tests

Love history? Curious where your family came from or which relatives share a common maternal or paternal ancestor? Ancestry and lineage testing can tell you which family member is on your mother or father’s side, where your family line originated, and how you came to be. It’s a fascinating process that analyzes your mitochondria or, in men, the Y-chromosome, depending on the specific test you choose.

Those are just a few of the tests offered at Any Lab Test Now. There are many more tests, such as blood tests, drug and alcohol tests and thyroid lab tests, that may be beneficial for you. Any Lab Test Now is committed to providing patients with a top-of-the-line experience, so stop in today to talk more about what test is right for you. Available tests may vary between locations, so find your nearest Any Lab Test Now location at AnyLabTestNow.com.

 

Remain at the Top of Your Game – Athletic Testing is Here for You!

With back-to-school announcements approaching quickly, so is the kickoff to the fall athletic season. Sports teams will begin tryouts, mandatory practices and, soon enough, be in full swing for the season. We know that, as a parent, you want your child to remain competitive and healthy while playing the sport they love. Yet there’s always a chance that a young athlete’s immune system and overall performance may fall vulnerable to numerous internal and external factors. Fortunately, Any Lab Test Now offers a timely and convenient method of obtaining the lab tests you need to help take control of your child’s health.

Benefits of Athletic Testing Services

All student athletes are required to have an updated physical on file prior to competing. In addition to a basic physical, you may want more in-depth knowledge on your child’s health so that they can continue to perform at their peak. Any Lab Test Now offers a wide range of lab tests with results typically available in 72 hours or less. No appointment or insurance is necessary for the tests. Not to mention, lab tests are still the most cost-effective approach to uncovering and preventing disease.

After testing, your athlete will receive the information they need, within a prompt time frame, to report back to their primary physician. Whether your soccer star has been struggling to catch his breath on the field and you’re worried about allergies or your cross-country runner is more tired that normal, Any Lab Test Now can help you uncover hidden issues that may be impacting your child’s health and physical performance.

Common lab tests to help monitor an athlete’s overall health, include:

Allergy Tests

Vitamins, Minerals And Nutrition Lab Tests

Anemia Panel

Sickle Cell Anemia Screen

Preventing Injury and Improving Performance

It’s crucial for young, competitive athletes to remain attentive to their body’s needs during such a pivotal time in their growth and development. Sometimes, this can be a challenge as ambitious athletes want to focus their full attention on improving their performance on the field, court or track. Fortunately, the variety of tests offered at an Any Lab Test Now location can ensure athletes accomplish both.

Lab tests supply detailed information on specific processes happening within the body. By locating the origin of a problem, an athlete can learn more about their body and educate themselves on how to stay healthy when playing at a competitive level. Preventing long-term injury and/or internal imbalances are pivotal for an athlete’s achievement.

Lab tests also provide scientific data that can set a baseline of where an athlete stands in comparison to the status quo. This allows them the opportunity to set personal health goals and improve their fitness. The smallest change in an athlete’s diet or training could make all the difference in shredding a few seconds off a mile-time or scoring an extra goal.

Competing at the high school level, on travel teams or in front of college recruiters requires dedication to overall fitness and wellness. Ensure your child’s health is on the right track by addressing any sign of potential injury and helping them stay educated about their bodies. If you want immediate answers regarding your young athlete’s health, visit your convenient Any Lab Test Now location to get them tested today.

Shortage of the Sunshine Vitamin

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

What is Vitamin D

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

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

Vitamin D at Work

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

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

Are You at Risk?

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

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

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

Testing to Know Your Levels

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

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

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!

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!