Know the Facts About Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease affects millions of people worldwide and is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States affecting 70,000 to 80,000 Americans. Alarmingly, 1 in every 500 African-Americans are born with sickle cell disease. With such an alarming statistic, it is important to be aware of the disease and its symptoms.

Sickle Cell Disease is a disorder that affects hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body. With this disorder, people have abnormal hemoglobin molecules which distort red blood cells into a sickle shape. Symptoms of sickle cell disease vary from person to person. Although the presence of the disease is often caught at a young age, some people have very mild symptoms that go unnoticed.

If you feel as though you or a loved one might be experiencing one or more of the symptoms of sickle cell disease come into our office for a sickle cell screen, especially if you are an athlete with an upcoming season. Symptoms of the disorder can become severe and lead to hospitalization and even death. As the most common blood disorder, it is important to get tested and know for sure.

The only known cure for sickle cell disease is a bone marrow transplant. These transplants are reliant on individual donations.

“Tiffany needed a transplant to beat sickle cell. After a two- year search, she found a donor and her life was saved!”

Many stories like Tiffany’s are found thanks to the donation of bone marrow from individuals.Want to help the cause and donate? At Any Lab Test Now, we have a partnership with Delete Blood Cancer. Donating bone marrow has become easier than ever with Delete Blood Cancer and similar organizations. Take a look at how simple it can be and find a location here.

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Have You Had Your Annual Check Up?

When’s the last time you had your health checked?

August 11 is Annual Medical Checkup Day. Preventative checkups can catch problems before they start. Your age, family history, lifestyle choices, and other important factors determine the types of checkups that are recommended for you. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life!

August 10th – August 16th is Health Center Week. This is a time set aside to celebrate community, migrant, homeless, and public housing health centersSome of the successes that are celebrated are their ability to provide affordable, high quality, cost effective health care to underprivileged people throughout the United States. During this week, we should take the time to be thankful for the health care providers in our community.

Celebrate life and health by scheduling your annual checkup appointment todayAnnual Checkup Day is the perfect opportunity for you and your family to have a preventative medical check-up that will keep you healthy longer!

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Important Immunization Facts for College Students

This year, America’s colleges and universities are welcoming back record numbers of students. If you’re one of the more than 21 million undergraduates¹ attending school this fall, you know that proof of immunization is an important requirement. And since August is also National Immunization Month, now is the perfect time to learn more about which vaccinations you’ll need.  Before you can step foot in the classroom, make sure you’re up-to-date on these shots.

REQUIRED (varies by state and institution, so check with your college)

  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella)
  • Meningitis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella (chicken pox)

RECOMMENDED

  • Influenza (flu)
  • Td (tetanus, diphtheria)
  • HPV (human papillomaviruses)

Minors will need to get parental consent before getting caught up on any immunizations they might be missing. If you aren’t sure which vaccinations you’ve already had, speak with your doctor to obtain a medical history. Or, you can obtain proof of immunization through a lab test, such as MMR titers or Varicella titer testing.  Some diseases – chicken pox, for example – will not require additional immunization if you have already been sick.

¹ U.S. Department of Education Institute, National Center for Education Statistics

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Be Mindful Of This Potential Danger If You’re Expecting

Pregnancy and the birth of a newborn comes with an overload of emotions including joy, anxiety and excitement. As July is Group B Strep Awareness Month, this serves as an opportunity to shine a light on something to be mindful of with your new addition to the world.

Group B Strep (GBS) is a type of bacteria that is naturally found in the digestive tract and birth canal in up to 1 out of 4 pregnant women. The danger with this bacteria, is that it can affect a fetus prior to birth up to 6 months due to underdeveloped immune systems.

It’s important to know if pregnant mothers can pass the disease on to their child. A sign is what could be mistaken as a yeast infection, due to the similar symptoms. If you experience these symptoms, you should be seen for an exam and possible GBS testing.

If you feel like you may be at risk for passing GBS onto your child, you should get tested. Even if you don’t feel like you are, it is highly recommended to get tested at 35 weeks. If the results come back indicating that you do have GBS, IV antibiotics should be administered when labor begins. Be sure to proactively plan ahead, if a short labor is a possibility, and ask your doctor if a late third-trimester penicillin shot as a backup is right for you. Be sure to communicate that you have GBS and your doctor will be able to help you determine the best way to protect your child.

Without being tested, there is no way to take proper precautionary measures in protecting your child. If you are expecting, get tested in honor of Group B Strep Awareness Month and bring awareness to friends and family.

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How To Encourage Your Employees To Get Fit, Give More & Live Well

Managing healthcare expenses for employees has become top-of-mind for employers today especially due to the Affordable Care Act. The utilization of these three innovative, yet simple tools is a helpful way to make it easier for employers to support their employees and to encourage employee wellness.

Charity Miles
Charity Miles is a free mobile app that combines healthy living with charitable donations. Its GPS-enabled platform tracks the number of miles walked, run, or biked, then calculates a dollar amount to be donated to one of nine participating charities. Earn $.25 for every mile run or walked and $.10 for every mile biked!

Registered users can launch the app on any Android or iPhone, choose the charity that will receive their donation, and turn their fitness routine into a way to help the community. Charity Miles is funding the first $1 million donated, then anticipating continued corporate sponsorship as the app’s popularity grows.

Sonic Boom
Sonic Boom’s approach to employee wellness is based on the simple idea that healthy habits practiced on a daily basis are key to increased employee productivity and lower healthcare expenses for employers. Through motivation via friendly competition, this all-inclusive service focuses on gamifying and incentivizing fitness. The company asserts that up-front program costs to the employer are continually offset by healthcare coverage savings and real ROI. Try utilizing this fun, interactive approach with your employees.

WellnessProposals.com
WellnessProposals.com is one of the largest resource bases of free wellness programs available to employers. In addition to a library containing over 15,000 free resources like handouts, brochures, and policy recommendations, the website provides specialized tools for addressing important concerns that range from heart-health and smoking cessation, to safety and stress-management. Browse the full library to learn more about how your business can get started today.

The Affordable Care Act has brought an immense amount of change in this arena, so taking proactive steps and utilizing free services is extremely helpful. Employees, and people in general, have more of a responsibility to manage their healthcare and healthcare budget. Creating and optimizing employee wellness programs is one step in helping employees to effectively manage their health.

These three resources are a great step in improving and encouraging employee wellness in your workplace. There is a plethora of information on employee wellness on each of these resources. It’s beneficial for all involved as it can help save employers cost on medical expenses and it can help employees better manage their health. Although these three were featured, there are many more ways to improve your employee wellness programs! Get started today.

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Unlock the Secrets of Purposeful Parenting

July is Purposeful Parenting Month, and it promotes building strong, meaningful relationships between parents and children. Goals of Purposeful Parenting Month include children’s habits, growth in their independence and nutritional eating habits. One of the many ways to encourage parenting with a purpose is by modeling the specific behaviors that we want our children to obtain. Another way includes open communication, which has been proven to be a large component for success. Make time in your schedule to have open, honest conversations with your children. Allow times to play with your children, help them with their homework and stimulate their minds. Simple changes such as a family dinner discussion rather than a meal while watching T.V. creates steps in the right direction towards open communication. Game nights are always a fun idea, too!

“Taking the time to provide consistency, structure, accountability, along with unconditional love, support and understanding can increase the likelihood that your children will make healthy decisions.”   – David Niven, Ph.D.

Explore additional ideas to get involved with purposeful parenthood month. You have the power to make a difference in your child’s life.

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Heroin’s Typical User Is Not The Same As It Once Was

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 605,000 Americans beginning from age 12 and up, have abused heroin at least once in 2009, when they were surveyed. As such a dangerous and addictive drug, it’s important to be informed of the facts.

Heroin use has shifted from the city and has gradually entered suburban and rural territories. JAMA Physciatry conducted an in-depth study on the issue, and the findings are quite surprising. The typical heroin user in the past was an older male living in the city, which is no longer the case. JAMA Psychiatry reports that now, the typical user is a suburban resident in their 20’s. In addition, the number of women who are using has greatly increased.

“Although the “high” produced by heroin was described as a significant factor in its selection, it was often used because it was more readily accessible and much less expensive than prescription opioids.” -JAMA Psychiatry The Changing Face of Heroin Use in the United States This is probably one of the main reasons heroin has caught on in the suburban and rural market with young people. JAMA Physiciatry notes that this doesn’t necessarily mean the use has decreased in urban areas, it has just predominantly made it’s way into other areas. This dangerous drug is something to be cautious of. If you are suspicious of a loved one using, consider drug testing.

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You Have The Freedom To Take Control Of Your Health®

Independence Day is right around the corner!  Freedom means a lot of things, but we’d like you to recognize the invaluable freedom you have to take control of your health.

Taking control of your health means realizing and being confident with what happens on the inside and outside of your body. Many times symptoms can be blown off or go unnoticed, but maintaining and monitoring your health is vital for your personal well-being.

July 4th is a day of celebration, but it’s still possible to stay healthy and happy! Just check out this article by Time Magazine to learn how.

Also, did you know that applying your sunscreen a couple of days in advance means you can improve your skin’s protection from harmful rays? You can learn more tips here!

As you celebrate America’s independence, think about how you can encourage your loved ones to take control of their health as well.

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Get To Know The Facts About PSA Testing

What do you know about Prostate Specific Antigen, PSA testing? Many argue over the necessity of the test. However, one thing is non-debatable: your health is important.

First, it is important to understand and become aware of what exactly PSA testing is. PSA, prostate specific antigen, is produced by a man’s prostate gland. When the test is conducted, it measures the level of PSA in his blood. If the levels are elevated, it is potentially a sign of prostate cancer.

In addition to prostate cancer, a large number of noncancerous conditions such as an enlarged prostate can be found by an elevated PSA blood level. Who should have a PSA test completed?

“Men over the age of 50 should talk to their doctor about their personal risk of developing prostate cancer and the benefits and risks of having a PSA test.”

Proactive blood testing can help you monitor your levels and possible detect and treat disease before it’s too late.  You might also want to consider a PSA test before the age of 50 to establish a baseline for future testing.

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How The Affordable Care Act Affects Workplace Wellness

As health care reform continues to be explored, it’s interesting to evaluate how it affects the workplace. Workplace wellness programs have become more of a trend due to the Affordable Care Act. The workplace wellness provisions have sparked research into the effectiveness of programs as well as added concern of shifts in health care costs due to the state of employee health.

“In a 2013 report, “Workplace Wellness Programs Study,” sponsored by HHS and conducted by Rand Corporation, researchers found that uptake remains limited, with fewer than half of employees undergoing clinical screenings or completing a health risk assessment. However, the report found “meaningful improvements” in exercise rates, smoking and weight control, though not in cholesterol levels.”

In addition, many employers expressed the reduction of medical costs due to wellness programs. The goal in creating and implementing these programs are to improve the health of employees and to control healthcare spending. By creating wellness programs and encouraging employees to participate in those programs, these facts can continue to improve.

Are you incorporating a new or improved wellness program in your workplace? There’s no better time than now to re-evaluate your wellness programs!

For more information visit www.anylabtestnow.com/aca.

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