Are You Ready to Quit? Make Your Move on Great American Smokeout Day

In the United States today, around 42 million Americans have reported to smoking cigarettes. In 2013, a survey by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration reported that 13.4 million Americans smoked cigars, 2.5 million smoked tobacco in pipes, and 9 million used smokeless or spit tobacco.

Although those numbers are impactful, the seriousness of the matter truly hits home when you know a tobacco user personally or you, yourself are one. Knowing that tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, why not take charge of your life or encourage your friend to take charge of theirs by creating a healthy lifestyle without tobacco?

In addition to effecting your health, smoking can also affect your job or your chances of landing a job. We are seeing more and more employers testing for cotinine, the metabolite of nicotine. Certain employers will not hire smokers, and if they do, they may increase the smoker’s health insurance premium.

That’s why this Thursday, November 20th, Any Lab Test Now® will be joining in support of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. On this day, smokers across the country will be encouraged and challenged to use the day as a starting point to make a change in their lives towards a tobacco-free life. Whether the day is used to experience a 24 hour period of no tobacco or it serves as a day to quit for good, any step taken is a positive one.

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Diabetes. Are You at Risk?

It’s rare for someone to seek medical advice on a health condition unless they are noticing relative symptoms, right? For example, a person who thinks they may have the flu will schedule a time to see their doctor only after they’ve been experiencing ailments like a runny nose or frequent coughing.

The difference with diabetes is that there are no immediate outwardly physical symptoms like a high fever or runny nose to help you know that you could be at risk. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that 27.8% of people with diabetes are currently undiagnosed. That’s 8.1 million people. Living a life with diabetes and being unaware of it is extremely dangerous and the longer it takes to get diagnosed, the greater chance you have of developing other serious health problems.

Through educating yourself on the disease and taking precautionary measures, you can help prevent yourself from becoming a part of the 8.1 million. Here are a few factors that could help you determine if you’re at risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

You could be at risk if…

  • 45 years of age or older

  • Overweight

  • Have a parent with diabetes

  • Family background is African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian, Asian-American, or Pacific-Islander

  • Had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a baby weighing 9 lbs. or more

  • Physically active less than three times a week.

If you think you may be at risk of diabetes, let Any Lab Test Now ®  help you. Our Diabetes Maintenance Panel consists of four thorough, effective tests that will provide clear and quality results for you and your physician.

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Diabetes. What Does it Mean to You?

Did you know that right now, there are nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States alone that suffer from diabetes? Another 36 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Odds are most of us probably know at least one diabetic, but unless you are a diabetic yourself, you may not know just exactly what being a diabetic fully means.

A person is diagnosed with diabetes when their blood glucose (blood sugar) level is too high. It sounds like a simple definition and one you would think could be easily cured.  However, this disease is extremely serious and is a major cause of other life-threatening health issues like nerve damage, kidney failure, gum disease, loss of eyesight, heart disease and stroke.

It is important to examine your health and learn if you are at risk for developing diabetes. For those who have already been diagnosed, it is imperative that you educate yourself on ways to manage your diabetes and lower your risk for other potential health issues. That is why this November, Any Lab Test Now® will be showing our support of National Diabetes Month by using our blogs and in-store promotions to raise awareness on diabetes, the seriousness of the disease, how to help prevent a future diagnosis and how to manage it if already diagnosed.

For more information on National Diabetes Month, visit the American Diabetes Association and National Diabetes Education Program. Throughout November, stay up-to-date with our diabetes awareness blogs by visiting our Any Lab Test Now ® blog site.

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National Red Ribbon Week: Steps for a Parent

Currently, the United States represents 5% of the world’s population and 75% of prescription drugs taken. 60% of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them free from friends and relatives. When you meditate on those numbers, it is obvious to conclude that youth drug abuse is a serious problem in our society today and one that will only gain momentum as the access to these drugs becomes easier for our children to obtain.

Although the answer to ending youth drug abuse is not a simple solution, parents can begin doing what they can to solve the issue by taking actions in their own home. The very first action step parents can take is to talk to their kids about drug use.  Explain to them the risks associated with drug abuse and misuse. It is said that children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don’t. Yet, only a quarter of teens report to having these conversations. Check out the Medicine Abuse Project for more insight.

Secondly, lock up both your prescription and over-the-counter medications.  Easy access makes for easy misuse and abuse.

This week, October 23rd-31st, Any Lab Test Now® is joining in support of the 2014 National Red Ribbon Week.  Formerly known as the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth, National Family Partnership established Red Ribbon Week to help raise awareness on drug prevention among the nation’s youth. Communities across the country use this week to educate their youth on the dangers of drug use and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.

We encourage all parents to join in their communities effort and help support this cause.  If you are a parent and would like to begin taking the first action steps in your home, sign the Red Ribbon Pledge now. Like we said, it’s not a quick fix, but setting the stage in your home is the best thing you can do for your children and the nation’s.

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Quick Tips for Parents of Young Drivers

This week, October 19th- 25th, is being recognized as the National Teen Driver Safety Week. Communities across the country are using this time to raise awareness on the importance of teen driver safety and shed light on the dangers associated with poor driver and passenger behaviors. Below are a few action steps parents can take to support the NTDSW initiative by helping your teen learn safe driving skills.

Ensure your teen accumulates 50+ hours of supervised driving. To do this, create a schedule each week that has specific lot times for driving practice. Choose various routes to have your teen practice driving on so that they experience different types of roads, speed limits, sharp and wide turns, etc. Log your teen’s driving time so that you can easily keep track of the hours.

Understand the expectations. Too much time together in one car can easily cause some tension between you and your teen. Especially when the purpose is to teach them how to drive.  Make sure that you and your teen understand what each of your expectations are for the driving lessons. Set guidelines on how and when feedback should be given, how it should be received and through it all: remain calm and respectful.

Talk with your teen’s driver education instructors. Be in communication with your teen’s driving instructors so that you can learn of ways to help reinforce effective defensive driving habits. Take their expert advice and begin implementing them in your one-on-one driving lessons with your teen.

Create some “first year” rules.  Monitor your teen’s first year of independent driving by setting household rules such as how late they can be out driving at night or what amount of distance they can drive away from your home. Assuming that your teen follows the set rules, consider increasing their driving privileges over time.

Support National Teen Driver Safety Week and get involved!

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How Can You Prolong Your Life? Know Your Blood

It’s simple. Each of us desire to live long, happy lives. The question is how can we guarantee it? Although the answer’s not simple, it does not require us to spend endless hours searching for the fountain of youth. Rather, take one blood testTake a few.

Did you know that your blood contains secrets about your health that could potentially add years to your life? Even better, maybe even save your life? Picture your blood being a strand of clues. With just one drop of your blood under a microscope, your physician (a.k.a. the detective) can use those clues to pinpoint the exact steps you can take into prolonging your life.

For example, a rise in your blood sugar could signify potential diabetes, increased risk of heart disease and stroke. A drop in your blood levels could indicate future hyperthyroidism. These are all examples of “silent warning signals” that are hidden in your blood. The advantage you have is clear. Be proactive. Get to know your blood. The sooner you can understand what your blood represents, the sooner you and your physician can develop a strategic, preventive health plan to prevent your future diagnosis from becoming a reality.

Life Extension Magazine reported 10 important blood tests that adults over 40 should get annually in order to get a true gage on what their lifespan currently looks like and what measures could be taken to extend it.  Below is a list of those exact tests.

1. Chemistry Panel & Complete Blood Count

2. Fibrinogen

3. Hemoglobin A1C

4. DHEA

5. Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) (Men Only)

6. Homocysteine

7. C-Reactive Protein

8. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

9. Testosterone (Free)

10. Estradiol

Take charge of your current and future health in the most simplest way.  Any Lab Test Now offers an array of blood tests including the ones listed above.  Schedule an appointment with us today and let us begin to help you live the long and healthy life you desire.

Reference: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/may2006_report_blood_01.htm
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Let’s Talk About Medicine

October is being recognized amongst the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) as “Talk About Your Medicines” month.  As the first ever direct access lab testing services company, we strongly believe in the importance of patient education on medicine. Knowing the risks and benefits associated with the medicines you are taking allows you to understand exactly what you are putting into your body, determine what dosage is right for you and ultimately empower you to truly take control of your health.

Time and time again, patients and especially teenagers, hold a belief that if a doctor prescribes a drug or medication it must be safe – even if not prescribed for that person. This common overlook has, unfortunately, factored into this staggering statistic: 1 in 4 teens report to having misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime.

The underlying question now is, “How can we prevent this from happening in the future? And in our child’s future?” For parents with teenagers, the conversation needs to start at home. Sadly, studies show that there is a general disconnect between teenagers and their parents on many topics, including medicine abuse. We challenge you to eliminate the disconnect now. By starting the discussion on medicine misuse and abuse at home, your children can begin to develop a clear understanding of the dangers associated with each. Thus, preparing them to appropriately handle any interaction with prescription drugs in the future that they may be involved in.

Do you need help talking to your teen? Start with the Partnership at Drugfree.Kids’ Parent Toolkit for assistance on how to have that hard conversation or call their Parents Toll-Free Helpline, 855-DRUGFREE. Our Trust, But Verify program can also help with any concerns you may face as a parent. As a local partner to The Medicine Abuse Project, we encourage you to learn more about what you can do in the fight to stop medicine misuse.

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The Unavoidable In A Woman’s Life

100 out of 100 women will experience this inevitable occurrence in their life. Some men are intimidated to bring up the subject.

Menopause.

No medical treatment is required when experiencing menopause. It’s simply a stage in every woman’s life due to permanent ovarian dysfunction. Many women start experiencing signs of menopause around the age of 50. There are many symptoms, but the most common include: hot flashes/night sweats, vaginal dryness, skeletal pain, dry/itchy skin, depression and libido issues.

Measuring hormone levels can help women manage their health. Becoming aware of these levels will help in taking proper measures to make the menopause process as smooth and quick as possible. Ensuring a solid, patient support system is extremely helpful as well. Clear communication of symptoms and feelings are important, so that support systems know how to help.

As September is Menopause Awareness Month, take time to learn more about what that means for women.

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Women, It’s Time To Focus On You!

Health & Fitness Day is coming up on Wednesday, September 24. Get involved and find out what organizations in your local community are participating in the nation’s largest women’s health promotional event! Events are noncompetitive and include walking activities, demonstrations and health information workshops.

Be proactive and Take Control of Your Health by learning about the individual tests and screenings we offer tailored to women’s health needs. One way to proactively manage your health is by learning personal health baselines through general testing such as a basic check up panel.

It’s important for women in particular to make an effort to take time to focus on their own health, while working so hard to ensure the health of their families.

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Cholesterol 101

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is important for your body to have to function properly. The problem with it is if there is too much cholesterol in the blood, the buildup in arteries can form blockages which can lead to dangerous heart problems.

Types of Cholesterol

High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is considered “good” cholesterol and what your body needs. You want a high percentage of HDL in your test results. Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is “bad” cholesterol and low test results are ideal. The CDC reports that 71 million American adults have high LDL levels.

Preventing High Cholesterol

To reduce or maintain cholesterol levels:

Get Tested
Having high cholesterol doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have symptoms to let you know, which is why it’s so important to get tested. Be proactive and get your cholesterol checked. The American Heart Association recommends all adults age 20 or older to get their cholesterol checked every 4-6 years.

September is Cholesterol Education Month. We would encourage you to continue learning about cholesterol by talking with your MA at your local ANY LAB TEST NOW® or by reading more here.

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