Succeed at Your Weight Loss Goals

More than a month ago, we cheered as the new year began. Along with the celebrations, people all over the world planned to tackle new goals. For many, that goal was losing weight. Was this you?

When January first rolled around, did you sign up for a gym membership or lace up your sneakers? Did you start watching what you eat and making sure to drink enough water each day? Have you cut back on sweets and alcohol and fatty foods? Congratulations! These are all great steps toward achieving your weight loss goal.

If, despite these efforts, you find that you’re still struggling with unwanted pounds, it could be that your hormones are to blame. Your hormones direct your body to function in certain ways. From emotions and sex drive to appetite and blood sugar levels, your hormones carry information through the body that tells your systems how to act.

When you have too much or too little of a certain hormone, it can mean that your body’s systems are not receiving instructions correctly. For instance, cortisol is a hormone that is released during periods of high stress. It is intended to make sure that your body has enough energy to deal with stressful situations. When you live under significant stress for long periods of time, however, the cortisol levels in your body don’t have a chance to subside. This causes you to continually crave foods that can quickly convert to energy, like sugary snacks. Clearly, this can make fighting cravings more difficult.

Cortisol isn’t the only culprit, however. There are a variety of hormones that contribute to various aspects of your weight. Estrogen and progesterone help to balance fat in the system. Insulin helps to regulate our blood sugar levels. Even low levels of vitamin D or an underactive thyroid can wreak havoc when you’re trying to drop a size.

If you’ve been working hard to lose weight, but the scale simply won’t budge, hormones could be at fault. Finding out if hormones are to blame can be done quickly at your own home. Any Lab Test Now offers a weight management take-home hormone kit that will evaluate your hormone levels and help you and your doctor pinpoint issues so that you can succeed at your weight loss goals. Won’t it be nice to see all your hard work pay off this year?

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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.

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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!

Posted in ANY LAB TEST NOW, Cholesterol, Health, Heart Disease, Heart Health, Heart Health Month, men's health, Wellness, Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment