Speedbump Ahead!

Every summer, I start planning for the following year at Any Lab Test Now, including setting goals and mapping out a timeline for new projects and initiatives. A yearly survey we conduct with franchisees provides valuable feedback on how we can help them grow their business. In fact, right now our franchisees are growing so fast, adding support staff has become a top priority. Once we make sure our objectives are aligned, we set the roadmap for the following year.

But then… the inevitable speedbump. There is no such thing as operating on cruise control in business, or there shouldn’t be. While hitting speedbumps might be aggravating, it also offers an opportunity to grow leadership skills and improve company-wide systems and processes.

Here are a few pit-stops I make as I navigate speedbumps at Any Lab Test Now.

Listen. To prevent a speedbump from becoming a brick wall, you need to be willing to listen. This year, we heard from franchisees that a new point-of-sale system we had implemented wasn’t performing as needed. It was cumbersome and frustrating for everyone. As a leader, you can choose to put your head in the sand and ignore the issue, or listen, and address it head-on.

Be Transparent/Accountable. When a speedbump prevents a company from meeting its objectives, a leader needs to step forward, be transparent about the issue at hand and be accountable for the problem, if warranted. It turns out we adopted the wrong platform for the job function. That simple step of taking responsibility for an issue earns respect and confidence from employees and franchisees.

Be Collaborative. The best solutions come when those affected are involved in the process. Making decisions behind closed doors without consulting our franchisees leaves our valued owners feeling disenfranchised and can breed mistrust. Conversely, collaboration builds trust and yields better results.

Take Action. Talking, listening, and meeting become meaningless if action isn’t taken. Together, we came up with an interim plan B and a long-term solution that our home office could execute so the processes and profitability would improve. That bump is now in the rearview mirror.

Bump It Up! Remember, those speedbumps can do more than slow you down. They can be catalysts to bump up your business, through a great new initiative or a fantastic new hire. Our rapid growth led to hiring Terri McCulloch, our new Vice President of Business Development, whose work elevates the entire organization.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is the value in being nimble. With planned objectives in place, but having fluidity built in, we can make adjustments and even take a risk that could drive future growth. Thanks to those speedbumps, I am a better leader and our company is stronger than ever.

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Take Control Of Your Diabetes By Taking Control Of Your Health: Five Sneaky Signs

The numbers associated with diabetes are frightening. According to the American Diabetes Association, 30.3 million Americans (or 9.4 percent of the population) have diabetes.

You want to know what’s even scarier?

The 7.2 million of them that are walking around and living their life without even knowing they have a potentially fatal disease. That’s right, 7.2 million Americans are suffering from diabetes and they don’t even know it. That makes an already dangerous disease even more frightening.

Any Lab Test Now® recognizes how serious diabetes is… and how difficult it may be for some people to bring it under control. We are with you from diagnosis to management with a variety of tests designed to keep you informed and in control.

Are You Undiagnosed?

The earlier your diabetes is diagnosed the less likely you are to suffer from serious complications. There are some common warning signs for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes: excessive thirst and excessive urination, extreme fatigue, and hunger — even though you are eating. Some of these symptoms are so easy to write off that people often ignore them. But you need to watch for these five super-sneaky signs as well:

  1. Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal. Diabetes can impact your body’s defense system and encourage bacterial growth.
  2. Your vision isn’t the same. Don’t be so quick to just assume it is age-related. Diabetes can affect your eye’s lens, causing your vision to blur.
  3. Numb or tingling feet and hands. Maybe it’s the cold. Maybe it’s reduced blood flow brought on by diabetes, particularly type 2.
  4. Blotchy and darkened skin. Especially around your neck and under your armpits.
  5. Weight loss. We know what you’re thinking: “Losing weight is a good thing! Right?” and yes, it is… unless you’re not trying to lose weight and you’re actually eating more. This is often seen in people with type 1 diabetes.

If you notice these symptoms and you have a family history of diabetes, or if you’re overweight, or have a sedentary lifestyle, it could be cause for concern.

From Diagnosis to Maintenance

Any Lab Test Now offers a variety of options that can help you determine if you have diabetes and also whether you are keeping it under control. Some require fasting; others don’t. Some are best for help in diagnosing the disease; while others are better at helping you effectively manage it. For example, the Diabetes Maintenance Panel offers multiple tests including:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Diabetic Urinalysis

If you’re not sure which test is right for you, don’t worry. You can call or walk into your local Any Lab Test Now location and our experts will help you determine which choice is best for you. Once you are armed with your test results, you and your doctor can decide how best to proceed. When it comes to diabetes, being informed and in control can help you avoid dangerous complications, and helping you be informed and in control of your health is what Any Lab Test Now is all about.

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Hormones Can Wreak Havoc On Your Health

Imagine for a moment that your body is basically a factory. Everything — each part of your body, from your brain to your skin — has a job to do. The foreman on the job: your endocrine system. “The glands of your endocrine system send out hormones that tell each part of your body what work to do, when to do it, and for how long. Hormones are vital to your health and well-being,” according to the Hormone Health Network, from the Endocrine Society.

Hormones — Your Body’s Taskmaster

Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers, traveling in your bloodstream to tissues and organs to help them do their work. They are responsible for all types of processes including:

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism
  • Sexual function
  • Reproduction
  • Mood

That means that if something goes wrong with your hormones — if they get out of balance — they can create all sorts of trouble. Any Lab Test Now offers a wide variety of hormone tests. One of the easiest and most informative is the Saliva Hormone Test.

A Test to Trust

The Saliva Hormone Test is the best non-invasive method for discovering any type of hormone imbalance in either males or females. This important hormone test will provide you with an overall picture of where you stand with your hormone levels. Never think for one moment that hormone issues don’t exist… or that they’re not important. Even the slightest dysfunction of your hormones can result in weight gain, fatigue, mood changes, or sleep disturbances.

Your Key to Good Health

As the name suggests, this particular test uses a sample of your saliva to analyze your hormone levels in five key areas:

  1. Testosterone – In men, an irregularity of testosterone within the body may contribute to decreased bone density, decreased muscle strength, and decreased libido. In women, too much testosterone can lead to irregular periods and excess body hair. Not enough can lead to loss of muscle tone, poor concentration, and lack of libido.
  2. Progesterone – This hormone is strongly linked to menstruation and fertility in women. Women who have low levels can struggle to conceive, and if they do manage to conceive, they are at an increased risk for miscarriage.
  3. Estradiol – This is a type of estrogen predominant during a woman’s reproductive years. Too little can cause menstrual problems, hot flashes, and mood swings, while too much can cause weight gain, fibroid tumors, and even depression. Men produce small amounts of estrogen as well. Low levels can cause excess belly fat and low sex drive while too much can lead to gynecomastia and infertility.
  4. DHEA-S – High and low levels of this hormone can impact both men and women. In women, too much can cause excessive body and facial hair and acne. In men, it can lead to male pattern baldness. Low levels are associated with diabetes, dementia, and even lupus. NOTE: It is normal for your levels to lower as you age.
  5. Cortisol – Often called the “stress hormone” it actually does a lot of jobs in your body, including control of blood sugar levels, metabolism regulation, inflammation reduction, memory functions, and even blood pressure.

The Saliva Hormone Test will help you and your doctor by providing a “big picture” and get you on your way to feeling better and more like yourself. Not sure where to begin? A visit to your local Any Lab Test Now will introduce you to one of our helpful lab assistants that can guide you down the path to better health.

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