Poisoning: A Leading Cause of Unintentional Injuries.

Did you know that unintentional injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States today? Car crashes, drownings, and house fires are just a few examples of unforeseen accidents that could have been avoided had those involvedbeenaware of the safety hazards around them and cautionary with their own actions. What seems to be the most surprising is that one of the top places for an unintentional injury to occur is inside the home. Do you know what it could be from?

Every year, poison control centers receive about 2.2 million calls seeking help for poisoning that occurred while the person was in their home. In many cases, the individual was unintentionally poisoned after ingesting drugs or chemicals found in their own house. Cleaning products, personal care products, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications are all familiar substances found in most homes, yet can be a major risk for unintentional poisoning if they are not stored in safe places and handled with care while in use.

The National Safety Council suggests taking these 5 precautionary steps to ensure that medicines are put away safely in the home:

  • Make sure the safety cap is locked, listen for the click.

  • Never tell children medicineiscandy.

  • Ask visitors to lock and put away suitcases or purses containing medications.

  • Program the poison control number, (800) 222-1222, in your home and cell phones.

  • Safely dispose of leftover and unwanted medications.

As an effort to raise awareness on how often unintentional injuries like poisoning occur and how they can be prevented, The National Safety Council has recognized the month of June as National Safety Month. Their mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes, communities and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy. We at Any Lab Test Now® are a strong supporter of the National Safety Council and are standing with them this month to in hopes of encouraging others to take action in keeping their homes and communities safe. For more information on how you can celebrate National Safety Month, visit the National Safety Council’s website. For information on poisons and toxins, contact your local Any Lab Test Now®. We offer a wide range of lab testing services including our Unknown Poisons and Toxins Analysis that can test for over 600 different chemicals, poisons and toxic substances like pesticides,painting and cleaning products as well as hygiene-type products. Call us today and let us help you take action towards a safe and healthy you during National Safety Month.

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What’s the One Blood Test All Student Athletes Are Required to Have?

It is no surprise that student athletes participate in high intensity workouts. Whether it’s for conditioning, during practice time or game time, an athlete is continuously placed in situations where they need to raise their heart rate and push their bodies to the limit. Because of this, it is extremely important for school athletic directors and coaches to make sure that their student athletes are healthy and that their bodies can endure the physical activity expected of them.

There is one health condition in particular that could hinder a student athlete from truly competing to their best ability. This condition is known as sickle-cell trait. Inherited from a parent, sickle-cell trait can cause red blood cells to sickle and block blood vessels, denying oxygen to muscles and organs. If a student athlete with sickle-cell trait over-exhausts their body due to physical activity, their health could be put in serious danger if their oxygen supply iscut-off.

In order to ensure that this risk never becomes a reality, colleges require their NCAA student athletes to receive a sickle-cell trait blood test. Fortunately, as long as the coaches are aware of the diagnosis and take proper precautions with their diagnosed athletes,those athletes can still enjoy a successful and healthy athletic career. And all the student athlete readers said, “Whew!”

If you are an aspiring athlete and want to check on your health before heading into your college career, especially if attending a Division I or Division II school, contact your local Any Lab Test Now® today and let us help you get the answers you need. Our Sickle Cell Anemia Screen will test you for the sickle-cell trait and give you fast, quality results that you, your doctor, and your coach can use to ensure that your athletic career has a bright and long-lasting future.

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Parents, Do You And Your Teen Know The Dangers and Relationship Between Prescription Painkillers and Heroin Abuse?

As a parent, it is incredible to sit back and think how far the world of medicine has come since you were a child. Thanks to the speed of technology and growing medical research, it seems like there is a medicine for everything nowadays. While we can be thankful for the advancements that have been made, it is important as parents that we make sure our children are aware of the pros and cons associated with medicine… in particular, prescription drugs.

Did you know that heroin abuse is closely linked to prior use of prescribed painkillers? Also referred to asopioiddrugs, painkillers have an agent in theirmake-upthat has a tendency to induce tolerance in the person taking the drug. Because of this, a person taking a prescribed painkiller will over time begin to feel like the drug is not responding as strongly as it once did. They then become dependent and begin to experience severe withdrawal symptoms. This series of events causes the person to start desiring a stronger, more addictive drug leading them to heroin use. Why heroin, you ask? Heroin is much like a painkiller in that it provides the same satisfying effects, yet it is cheaper than prescribed painkillers and mainly sold on public streets making it easier to obtain. However, what makes heroin different from painkillers is that it is extremely addictive and has a high likelihood of overdose; making it one of the most dangerous drugs out there today.

Take a look at this interactive tool the Medicine Abuse Project designed to help illustrate how a young person after surgery is prescribed a painkiller by her doctor and how a harmless situation like that can translate into an addiction to heroin. Now you can understand that it is no wonder reports are showing that nearly half of all young people who are using heroin today started off by using prescription painkillers.

So the question is, what can you do as a parent? The most important thing to do first is to have an open conversation with your teens about proper use of medicine and the risk of abusing prescription drugs. Take a minute to look through the medicine cabinet or drawer in your house and dispose properly of any unused medicines. Safeguard the prescriptions you do use by keeping them in a secure place. If you think your child may have dependenceon a medicine, call the Parents Toll Free Helpline and contact your doctor immediately. For more information regarding prescription drug abuse and how to keep your family safe, visit the Medicine Abuse Project’s website, a campaign catered to providing resourcesto parents and young adults focused on preventing millions of teens from becoming subject to drug abuse.

As a supportive partner withthe Medicine Abuse Project, Any Lab Test Now® is committed to providing you with preventative resources and quality testing toyou and your family. Contact your local Any Lab Test Now® today to learn more about our involvement with the Medicine Abuse Project and the services we can provide to help you and your teens when it comes to safe drug use.

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Celiac Disease: Do You Know the Facts?

What is Celiac Disease?

Estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system directs antibodies to attack the body against gluten, a protein found in grains. When a person with celiac disease eats a food containing gluten, their body mounts an immune response to damage the small intestines causing improper absorption of the gluten nutrient.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of celiac disease include, but are not limited to:

  • Digestive problems (diarrhea, gas pain, abdominal bloating) 
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis, a severe skin rash
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint and bone pain
  • Mouth sores or ulcers
  • Fatigue
  • Weight Loss
  • Missed menstrual periods

What are the long-term health effects?

If left untreated, celiac disease can lead to serious long-term health problems including anemia, osteoporosis, infertility, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, neurological conditions and intestinal cancers.

What are the treatments?

At this time, the only treatment for those living with celiac disease is a lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. This means avoiding any foods containing wheat, rye and barley; all of which contain the protein, gluten.

Do I have celiac disease?

The only way for a person to truly know if they have celiac disease is to get tested. The test will detect if antibodies (triggered by the presence of gluten) are present in the body. If so, that person is said to have tested positive for celiac disease. Because of this detection process, in order to receive proper testing, a person needs to have been ingesting gluten products for several weeks prior to the test.

If you think you may have celiac disease, contact your local Any Lab Test Now® today and schedule a Celiac Disease Panel. Our quality testing services and trained staff will help you begin to Take Control of Your Health® and equip you to live a healthy, gluten-free lifestyle if needed.

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Could Peanuts Be Triggering Your Child’s Asthma?

You’ve seen it in the news: Peanut-free lunch tables and classrooms, even nut-free schools. Do you think that the schools are overreacting? What if the only thing your child will eat for lunch is a peanut butter sandwich? If your child suffers from severe peanut allergies, then you know that where they sit, and what they eat, for lunch is a life and death decision. If not, your perspective on allergies might be very skeptical. 

 

Recent research shows that peanut allergies have an even greater impact than previously thought, on an even larger number of children. A study conducted in the pediatric respiratory clinic at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Toledo, Ohio found that of the 1,517 children admitted to the facility with a confirmed diagnosis of asthma, 11% are also allergic to peanuts. In addition, out of those 1,517 children, when tested, 44% were found to be sensitive to peanuts and 22% tested positive for a peanut allergy. Surprisingly, only half of the families with positive test results knew before the testing that their child had a peanut allergy.

Perhaps you thought that allergies weren’t an issue for you or your child, and it was asthma wreaking havoc with your child’s health, causing discomfort, suffering, and trips to the respiratory center of a hospital. Many people are not aware that asthma and allergic reactions have similar symptoms: wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing.

Allergies are caused by a histamine response to a specific food or substance. An antibody, Immunoglobin E (IgE), is produced by the immune system in response to the allergen. The body’s response is intended to protect the body from the allergen, leading to the symptoms of respiratory distress and/or hives, and sometimes causing anaphylactic shock, or even death. The new study shows that an allergic response, even one that is undetected, can trigger an asthma attack. This may come as a shock if an allergy is undiagnosed and has not caused trouble in the past.

For children and families who struggle with asthma that has been severe and difficult to manage or for children who do well on asthma medication but who continue to have asthma attacks, an allergy test could be valuable. An awareness of an underlying allergy that may be linked to asthma can help to reduce the number and severity of asthma attacks. Avoiding the allergen can significantly improve the ability to manage asthma.

Because there are trace amounts of peanuts in many foods, either because they are processed on shared equipment or prepared in the same kitchen in restaurants, those who have an allergy that typically doesn’t cause a response can benefit from careful reading of food labels or asking questions about food ingredients when dining out. Children who have both a peanut allergy and asthma also have a greater risk of severe asthma attacks.

Significant advances have been made in allergy testing. A panel can now be done with a simple blood draw which tests for numerous potential allergens, rather than multiple skin pricks that caused so much discomfort and anxiety for children in the past. Allergy testing panels range from the Basic Pediatric Allergy Panel that tests for reactions to 32 environmental substances and foods, including peanuts to an Expanded Food Panel (90 common foods), to a Comprehensive Combination Panel that tests for allergic reactions to 45 environmental allergens and 90 foods.

The number of children who suffer from peanut allergies has risen dramatically in the past 20 years and the impact continues to spread. Now we know that nut-free zones protect children from more than an allergic reaction. Increased awareness is more important than ever due to the link to asthma and the current methods of processing and packaging food. More and more, each individual family must take matters into their own hands, monitoring carefully the food we eat and becoming aware of our own reactions to specific foods.

 

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Hepatitis: Understanding the Risks and Prevention Steps

First established in 2001 by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis Awareness Month continues to serve as a month-long campaign in May centered to raising awareness of Hepatitis. Defined as inflammation of the liver, Hepatitis can occur due to heavy alcohol use, intake of certain drugs or toxins, a bacterial infection and/or viral infection. There are three major forms of Hepatitis: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.  In the United States today, up to 5.3 million Americans have chronic Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C infection and about 75% of the infected population are unaware that they are infected.

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). In these cases, the liver swells and is unable to work properly. The HAV virus is most commonly spread in situations where a person has not washed their hands before preparing or eating food, has not washed their hands after using the restroom, or has eaten raw or undercooked shellfish that came from waters polluted by sewage.

Out of the three types of Hepatitis, Hepatitis A is the least serious and can be prevented through vaccination. Other ways to prevent spreading include washing of the hands before preparing and eating food, and after use of the restroom.

What is Hepatitis B?

Similar to Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus which also causes the liver to swell and not work properly. Those at risk include anyone who has come in direct contact with HBV-infected bodily fluids (through blood, semen and/or vaginal secretions).

Hepatitis B is, in general, more serious than Hepatitis A and if left untreated, can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer and liver failure. Again, vaccination is the best way to prevent this infection. Other ways to stop the spread of HBV include practicing safe sex, not sharing needles, razors, toothbrushes or other personal items, and talking with your doctor, dentist and other healthcare providers.

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is caused by the Hepatitis C virus which infects the liver. This disease is spread primarily through contact with the blood of an infected person. Compared to Hepatitis A and B, Hepatitis C is the most life-threatening disease among the three forms and is the only form yet to have a vaccine available for prevention.

Those most at risk include people who have shared needles to inject drugs, had unsterile equipment used on them when receiving a tattoo, were born to a mother with HCV, or  have had unprotected sex with multiple partners.

If you think you may be at risk of Hepatitis, we at Any Lab Test Now® are here to help. Our Hepatitis Panel tests for the three common variations of Hepatitis discussed above: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.  Upon receiving your lab test results, you and your doctor will have the information you’ll need to have a clear understanding of your current health and how to move forward. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and let us help you begin to Take Control of Your Health®.

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What Are Your Plans for National Women’s Health Week?

Attention, ladies! Have you been doing all that you can to make sure your health is a top priority in your life? We know life can get busy and trying to find time to exercise and fit in doctor appointments may not exactly be on the top of your to-do list. However, half of the work in maintaining good health is being proactive with it. That’s why Any Lab Test Now® is taking a stand on women’s health and encouraging all women to make a step towards the betterment of their health during National Women’s Health Week: May 10-16, 2015.

Not sure where to start? Take a look at the following helpful tips that women of all ages can benefit from. Choose one or two that would make the most positive impacts in your current health and begin to see a glimpse of how good it can feel when you start placing your health at the top of your to-do list, instead of at the bottom!

Be a smart patient. Attend your regular check-ups and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions. No one should know your body better than yourself. It’s your responsibility to gain all the knowledge you can on what you can do to ensure that the future of your health is a bright one.

Listen to your heart. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. Monitor your cholesterol levels and take part in daily exercise to help keep your heart in good shape!

Watch your blood sugar. Continuous high blood pressure is one of the most common early detectors of diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels in check by incorporating a diet high in fiber, full of fruits, vegetables and healthy carbs.

Sleep, sleep, sleep. Doctors advise that adults should get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Those who do not get enough hours of sleep each night can be at risk of weight gain and higher stress levels.

Take control. One of the greatest ways a woman can be empowered to take control is by knowing and understanding the current state of her own personal health. Tests like the Comprehensive Female Panel and Women’s Basic Check-up Panel are just two of many lab testing services that have been customized to equip women with the knowledge they need in order to do just that.

Contact your local Any Lab Test Now® today to learn more about the wide range of lab testing services we offer to help empower women with knowledge of their health. Take advantage of National Women’s Health Week and use it as a starting point for your journey towards a healthier, happier you!

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Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Caused by the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks. Like many diseases, the success of treatment with Lyme disease heavily depends on the timing of treatment. If treated early, Lyme disease can be cured with a few weeks of receiving antibiotics. However, if left unnoticed and untreated, Lyme disease can spread to the body’s joints, heart and nervous system leading to many other serious health problems.

If you have had a recent tick bite or live in an area known for Lyme disease, please be aware of the following signs and symptoms:

Early Signs and Symptoms

During the time frame of three to thirty days post-tick bite, a person may notice a red expanding rash known as erythema migrans (EM). A person may also experience fatigue, chills, headaches, muscle or joint pain, chills and/or swollen lymph nodes. As weeks progress and treatment remains unsought, a person may experience heart palpitations and dizziness due to changes in their heartbeat.

Late Signs and Symptoms

If the person infected is not treated for months or even years post-tick bite, they may experience arthritis symptoms including severe joint pain and swelling. Those left untreated for years are also at risk of developing chronic neurological conditions such as short-term memory loss and other cognitive difficulties.

If you have had a recent tick bite and think you may be at risk, contact your local Any Lab Test Now® today and schedule a Lyme Disease Test. We offer an antibody detection test which will measure the antibodies your body has produced, and we also offer our PCR tick panel that amplifies the bodies cellular DNA, which can also detect infection. With these quality results, you and your doctor will be able to determine if and what treatment is needed in order to maintain your optimal health.

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Which Allergens Are You Fighting off This Spring?

Spring is in the air. Literally. And if you are one of the 50 million Americans that suffer from allergies, you’ve probably already gone through a few tissue boxes, nasal sprays and home remedies these past few weeks. While you may have gotten good at learning how to tend to your allergy symptoms, do you know exactly what is causing your constant runny nose or itchy eyes this season?

What causes spring allergies?

Usually, when you think of allergies, you think of spring. They just seem to go together, right? Well, it’s because just like the flowers are beginning to bloom, so are all the allergies. The biggest spring allergy trigger is pollen; tiny grains released into the air by trees, grasses and weeds for the purpose of fertilizing other plants. When a person who is allergic to pollen breathes in the grains, their immune system sees the pollen as a foreign invader and releases antibodies to attack the allergen. This leads to the release of histamines in the blood which causes the runny, nose, itchy eyes, and congested head symptoms we are all too familiar with.

Some of the most common outdoor spring allergy offenders are:

Trees: including Alder, Ash, Aspen, Beech, Box Elder, Cedar, Cottonwood, Cypress, Elm, Hickory, Juniper, Maple, Mulberry, Oak, Olive, Palm, Pine, Poplar, Sycamore, and Willow.

Grasses and weeds: Bermuda, Fescue, Johnson, June, Orchard, Perennial Rye, Redtop, Saltgrass, Sweet Vernal and Timothy.

How do you find out which spring allergen is causing your symptoms?

Receiving a Regional Environmental Allergy Testing Panel can help you hone in and identify exactly which type of tree, grass or weed is causing you to be stuffy and congested during spring. This panel tests for allergies associated with 39 different grasses, weeds and trees. It also tests for possible indoor triggers including animal dander and house dust mites. Once you know which allergen is causing symptoms, you and your doctor can work together to design a treatment plan customized for your specific allergies. Enjoy the spring this year and contact your local Any Lab Test Now® to get started in Taking Control of Your Health®.

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Women, Are You Due for a Preventive Screening Test? Early Detection is Key.

As scientific technology continues to advance, doctors are becoming more and more equipped with the ability to successfully treat many deadly diseases if detected early on; which is why routine preventive screening tests are so imperative to the well-being of one’s health. For women in particular, tests such as mammograms, pap smears and colonoscopies have the potential to save millions of lives. Yet, due to varying guidelines found in the healthcare industry, many women are confused as to what age they should begin receiving these tests and how often they should be getting them done.

CBS News recently published an article on this exactmatter outlining which routine screening tests have been proven to be most critical to women’s health when detecting diseases in the early stages. Highlighted below are the referenced routine screening tests along with screening guidelines provided by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American Heart Association.

Mammography: The USPSTF recommends screening every two years starting at age 50, but ACOG suggests women get a mammogram each year beginning at age 40.

Colonoscopy: The USPSTF says most patients should begin colorectal cancer screening with a colonoscopy at age 50 and undergo the test every 10 years, usually until the age of 75. A doctor may determine that sigmoidoscopy and fecal blood testing is sufficient. The American Cancer Society outlines similar recommendations.

Pap and HPV tests: The USPSTF recommends screening for cervical cancer in women age 21 to 65 years old with Pap smear once every three years. For women who wish to be screened less frequently, the panel recommends women age 30 to 65 have both a Pap smear and HPV test every five years. ACOG has similar recommendations.

Blood pressure test: The AHA recommends patients have their blood pressure taken at least once each year starting at age 20.

Lipid panel: The AHA recommend testing cholesterol and triglycerides levels every 4 to 6 years.

Blood glucose tests: Screening for diabetes should occur at least every three years starting at age 45, according to AHA.

The respected news source suggests that patients should first become familiar with the screening guidelines and then discuss a screening plan with their doctor. When you are ready to begin taking the preventative steps needed for your health, contact your local Any Lab Test Now® for quality testing, affordable pricing and fast results for you and your doctor to evaluate. We offer a variety of tests including Blood Glucose Tests,  Lipid Panel, and Basic Check-Up Panel.. Call us today and begin to Take Control of Your Health®.

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