Cheers to Men’s Health Month!

Women often joke that getting a man to go to a doctor is almost as difficult as getting him to ask for directions when he’s lost. In both situations, men tough it out until they feel better or gotten where they are going, even if it took twice as long as it needed to. When it comes to their health, that stereotype isn’t always wrong. According to the CDC, women are 100 percent more likely than men to visit the doctor for annual exams and preventative services.

To help address this, June is Men’s Health Month. It’s a good time to take a look at some of the risks you may not even realize you’re taking. There are some simple things you can do to be healthier. Any Lab Test Now can help you see places you need to make changes, and you can do it without even needing a doctor’s appointment.

Heart Disease

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in men. Many of the risk factors for it are things that we can control. If you smoke, drink too much, eat a diet high in saturated fat (think: cheeseburgers and fries), lead a sedentary lifestyle and are overweight, you can change those things. Hey, no one said it would be easy! Stress can also be an important factor in heart disease.

Your cholesterol numbers are also a factor. Cholesterol is fat produced by your liver. You also get it from the foods you eat. Low levels of HDL (sometimes called “good cholesterol”) and high levels of LDL (sometimes called “bad cholesterol”) are the opposite of what you’re after. Any Lab Test Now has a Lipid Panel available that screens for HDL, LDL, the ratio of the two as well as your triglyceride levels. The result will let you and your doctor see if your cholesterol levels need attention.

If you want even more information, you might consider the Cardiac Risk Panel. It looks at inflammation in the body, blood counts, electrolytes, kidney and liver functions. Like the Lipid Panel, it can be a useful tool for you and your doctor in determining how best to keep your heart healthy.

Diabetes

Your chances of having a heart attack are also greater if you have diabetes. Diabetes is easy to ignore because at first you feel just fine. But the disease affects other organs: your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Left unchecked, the long-term complications can be disabling or even life-threatening. In addition to heart disease, diabetes can cause blood vessel damage, kidney damage, eye damage, foot damage, hearing loss, and possibly increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The symptoms develop slowly — often a person has type 2 diabetes and doesn’t know it. Symptoms include: increased thirst and frequent urination, increased hunger, weight loss despite eating more, and fatigue. If you think you might have diabetes, or if you have diabetes and want to get a check on your blood levels, you can use the Diabetes Maintenance Panel at Any Lab Test Now.

Underlying Causes

Heart disease and diabetes aren’t embarrassing to talk about. But two men’s health issues that can lead to both of those can be uncomfortable to discuss —  prostates and testosterone. After you hit the age of 40, your prostate starts to grow. The symptoms you notice are a slower urinary stream or the sudden urge to go. But an enlarged prostate is also linked to metabolic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Another issue men face as they age is a drop in testosterone. The symptoms are a decreased sex drive, erectile difficulty, mood changes and even memory problems. Low testosterone increases the risk of developing diabetes and hypertension. You can find out what your levels are with a simple testosterone test from Any Lab Test Now.

Men, it’s time to take control of your health and well-being! The first step in leading a healthier lifestyle is knowing what changes you need to make. Along with your local Any Lab Test Now, it’s easy to find out what areas you and your doctor can focus on as you make a roadmap to follow for better health.

Posted in ANY LAB TEST NOW, Cholesterol, Diabetes, Health, Heart Disease, Heart Health, Hormones, lab testing, Lab Tests, Low T, men's health, Prostate Health, PSA, Testosterone, testosterone therapy, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tired of Feeling Tired?

The fast pace of life can leave you dragging your feet. It’s normal to feel worn out at the end of a busy day. When you’re shuttling between the responsibilities of work, home, busy kids or aging parents, it should come as no surprise that you’re left feeling exhausted. But what if every day leaves you feeling this way?

When does sick and tired become just sick? While there are a number of medical issues that can leave you feeling fatigued, one common cause is an iron deficiency.

Iron = Energy

Iron is a mineral found in every cell of the body. It’s considered essential because your body needs it to make the proteins hemoglobin and myoglobin which carry oxygen through your body. Hemoglobin is a part of your red blood cells while myoglobin is found in your muscles. With that basic information, it’s easy to see why a lack of iron means a lack of energy.

You can get iron from food sources including:

  • Dried beans
  • Dried fruits
  • Eggs
  • Lean red meat

But not everyone is able to get enough iron naturally.

Low levels of iron over an extended period of time can cause problems. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns that a lack of iron may cause iron deficiency anemia. Along with shortness of breath and dizziness, extreme fatigue and weakness are the big red-flag warnings of an iron deficiency.

Boost Your Energy

Fortunately, it’s easy to be proactive and take control of your health. In fact, Any Lab Test Now offers testing that can pinpoint if an iron deficiency is draining your energy. The Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) is a non-fasting test that measures the amount of iron in your blood.

If you want to dig a little deeper, you can opt for the Fatigue Panel. The Fatigue Panel is a series of tests designed to help you get to the root of your exhaustion. It includes the Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity Test, along with the following:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Chemistry Panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Mononucleosis
  • Epstein Barr

While iron deficiency is a common cause of fatigue, many health factors can affect your energy level. This comprehensive panel checks a broad range of factors to provide you with as much information as possible.

If it does turn out that an iron deficiency is the cause of your fatigue, work with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan. More than likely, this will include dietary changes to increase the amount of iron you are consuming, as well as the amount of vitamin C you are eating since this nutrient helps with iron absorption. If that isn’t effective, or if you are severely iron deficient already, there are other alternatives that you can discuss.

Of course, starting with knowledge about your current situation is step one, so walk in to your local Any Lab Test Now to identify the cause of your fatigue and put yourself on a path to increased energy.

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Why It’s Important to Schedule Regular Breast Cancer Screenings

How many women are in your life? Odds are, there are more than eight. Mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, friends, co-workers — these are all women who impact your life on a daily basis. And out of these women you’re thinking of right now, at least one in eight, or 12 percent, will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. In fact, you might even be one of them. Aside from lung cancer, breast cancer is the No. 1 killing cancer of women in the U.S., and that’s why it’s so important to take charge of your health by scheduling regular breast cancer screenings.

Why Get Screened for Breast Cancer?

Getting screened for breast cancer could save your life. If found early, while the cancer is still only located in the breast, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer patients is 99 percent. Yet only 61 percent of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at this stage. The breast cancer survival rate decreases significantly when the cancer has spread to other areas of the body, and unfortunately, many cases are discovered too late.

Schedule a Screening Today

Scheduling annual screenings for breast cancer, recommended for women over 40, is the best way to ensure any cancer of the breast tissue is found early and treated quickly. It is especially important to schedule regular screenings if you are over 40 and have a family history of breast cancer, as this puts you at greater risk of getting it yourself. One of the best ways to screen for breast cancer is through an annual mammogram.

Breast Cancer Signs

Also, if you notice certain signs and symptoms of breast cancer, you may want to undergo a more thorough screening process. Consult your physician about any signs or symptoms you notice, and if a comprehensive breast cancer screening is right for you. Signs of breast cancer include:

  • Nipple discharge, especially if it is clear or bloody
  • A change in how the breast feels, especially with the presence of a lump or lumps
  • A change in the appearance of the breast, especially if the change is sudden or unexplained

If you notice any of the above signs, it’s important to find out what is going on as soon as possible. Any Lab Test Now offers for the possible presence and monitoring of breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Monitoring Panel is a comprehensive option for women worried about breast cancer. The panel also monitors for several types of other cancers.

With ongoing research and the latest treatment options, breast cancer survival rates are increasing every year. However, regular screenings offer one of the best chances of survival by finding cancer early and beginning treatment before it spreads. Talk to your physician and the experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn what screening options are right for you.

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