Facing An Adult Illness With Childhood Protection: Are You Still Safe?

It’s part of the back-to-school routine.

School supplies… check.

Lunchbox… check.

Immunization record… check.

For the majority of families, vaccinations are just a part of childhood. The shots provide children with immunity from everything from measles to chickenpox. Particularly the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella (also known as German measles). All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws that require some immunizations before a child can enter childcare and public schools. But, by the time you’ve reached the age for college and other postsecondary educational institutions, you may very well have lost your records providing evidence of immunity.

Evidence of Immunity

That’s where Any Lab Test Now® can help. If you’ve lost your evidence of immunity records that are required by many colleges and even some professions, there’s an easy way to prove your immunity. It’s called the MMR Titer. The MMR Titer is a simple blood test that checks if you are immune to measles, mumps, and rubella by measuring your antibody levels. The results demonstrate whether or not your immune system has the capability to respond to an infection from one of the viruses.

Timing is Important

The timeline is important as it pertains to the MMR Titer. After having your blood drawn at your local Any Lab Test Now, it will generally take between 24 to 72 business hours to get your results. This is important because if your results show that you have low to no immunity, you’ll need to arrange to receive two doses of the MMR vaccines, separated by at least 28 days.

Who Might Need an MMR Titer Test

Most people know that school-aged children will need to provide proof of vaccination, but many may not realize that it’s not just kids that require a record. You will need to provide evidence of immunity or the results of an MMR Titer if:

  • You are a student at a post-high school educational institution.
  • You are a person who works in certain settings, such as hospitals or medical clinics, and are at risk for increased exposure.

The CDC also recommends that people who plan to travel internationally make certain that they are protected before traveling. Doctors also recommend that women of childbearing age make certain of their coverage before getting pregnant.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE MMR VACCINE! According to the CDC, a few people who get two doses of MMR vaccine may still get measles, mumps or rubella if they are exposed to the viruses. Experts aren’t sure why, but suspect that it could be that the immune system did not respond to the original vaccine as well as it should have.

Take Control of Your Health

Your local Any Lab Test Now makes it easy. There are friendly experts there to answer any of your questions and provide you with the results you need to take your next steps forward. Getting through childhood is hard work — let us make sure your childhood immunizations are still working as hard as you are.

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Keeping Connected to Franchisees

At 26 years old, I was the VP of Client Services for a technology start-up and thought I was learning all there was to know about managing people and customers. Then I started in the franchising industry in my 40’s as Chief Operating Officer at Any Lab Test Now and realized I had more to learn about managing relationships, specifically about managing relationships with franchisees. Keeping connected to franchise owners in the field has been one of my greatest joys as CEO. Our owners, with their entrepreneurial spirits, offer me a new perspective on our business – their business. Their perspective as small business owners provides an opportunity to collaborate in ways that benefit the entire company.

Collaboration

If there is one word that describes my relationship with our franchisees it is collaboration. And for collaboration to work, there must be listening. I have learned how critical it is to listen to our business owners on the front line if we are going to meet our customer’s and franchisees’ needs.

Case in point. Jim and Kristi Adams opened store #56 in the Indianapolis area back in 2009. Early on, our emphasis was strictly a push to consumers on direct access lab testing. However, that was a big challenge for a lot of franchisees because their communities weren’t aware or educated about direct access testing. They were wed to the idea that only a doctor could give an order for a lab test. Jim and Kristi’s lab location was behind a doctor’s office and they developed a good relationship with him and started getting physician referrals from him. That led to more relationships with more physicians and more referrals.  They had discovered a new customer stream. The Adams’ helped craft a physician referral initiative for the company and the home office worked to fine tune the program. It is now a strategic part of our business model and all the other franchisees benefit from it.

The Adams were also founding members on our Franchise Advisory Council. Every year we choose eight franchisees from around the country — some new, some old, some single unit owners, some multi-unit owners— so we get a broad spectrum of views. The group meets quarterly and in addition to bringing new product and marketing ideas to the table, our Franchise Advisory Council gives critical feedback on branding, our new website, and in the case of would-be competitor Theranos, many frank discussions about the future of blood testing and the viability of what is now alleged to be a fraudulent lab testing technology. Our collaboration has made us more cohesive and supportive of one another.

Multiple Touch Points

It’s one thing to claim an open-door policy 24/7 for franchisees, and I do, but I don’t wait for them to knock on my door. To have truly open lines of communications there must be multiple touch points. We start with a monthly company-wide phone call on the first Monday of every month to keep everyone up-to-date on any tactical changes like new lab partners we’ve negotiated or changes to a process. I follow up a few weeks later with a monthly internal newsletter called C-Notes, where I am able to address higher level industry trends and growth issues. In-person meetings also happen on a regional level and every 18 months we hold our Annual Franchisee Conference on a rotating coast. That is probably the event I look forward to most. Nothing beats the face-to-face interaction we enjoy over that three-day period. Whether it is at our key note event or numerous smaller breakout sessions or team-building activities, great exchanges happen as franchisees learn as much from each other as they do from corporate. It always serves as a great reminder to me that listening is a much more effective way to make progress than assuming you know someone else’s perspective. Everyone, including corporate executives, leave the annual conference recharged and ready to grow the business.

Getting Personal

Every challenge is more manageable, and every success is sweeter when you share a personal connection. I do my best to start every franchisee relationship by showing up to their Grand Opening. If entrepreneurs have chosen Any Lab Test Now to invest their time and money, I want to be there to support and celebrate with them and let them know we are here to help. But it’s not all about business. I like to connect with franchisees on their personal social media pages. I want to know about weddings and funerals and fun family vacations, and I want them to get to know me and my family, too. When I saw on Facebook that a franchisee had lost their dog, an important part of their family, we sent the owner a memory plaque with an etching of the dog to show our support during their time of grief. Those things matter. And when a franchisee took a fabulous South Asian vacation and brought me back souvenirs, I felt honored to be thought of. Collectively, we are the brand and connecting in those small, yet personal ways builds a relationship outside of work and in turn, builds our brand.

Collaborate. Listen. Connect. It’s what you experience when you become part of the Any Lab Test Now family.

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A Tiny Mineral With A Big Purpose: Why Your Magnesium Levels Are Critical

It’s been linked to issues ranging from sleepless nights to type 2 diabetes, but most people aren’t even aware of the importance of their magnesium levels. It’s not a headline-grabbing topic to be sure, but you may be surprised by how big a role this tiny mineral plays in your well-being. At Any Lab Test Now we realize the critical role magnesium plays, and since helping you take control of your health is our goal, we want you to know about the magic mineral, magnesium.

Magnesium-the magic mineral

If your body has worker bees, magnesium is one of them! Your body needs it in order to perform more than 300 different biochemical reactions — things like protein synthesis, muscle and nerve functions, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. But magnesium doesn’t get a break when all that work is done. It’s also required for energy production and contributes to bone building, calcium and potassium transportation, and the synthesis of our DNA! Because of magnesium’s many roles in the body, it plays a major role in disease prevention and overall health.

Lowdown on low levels

So how much magnesium do you need? Well, that depends on your age and your gender. What many health officials seem to agree on is that , particularly as we age. Researchers are beginning to consider the potential link between the lower intake of magnesium, to the increased rate of chronic disease. And it appears that when it comes to magnesium deficiency, a deficit of marginal to moderate proportions could be related to chronic inflammatory response conditions. So basically, scientists suspect that your magnesium tank doesn’t have to be flat empty for your body to start making bad choices. found that this marginal to moderate magnesium deficiency, through aggravating chronic inflammatory stress, may be contributing to a host of life-threatening diseases:

  • Atherosclerosis and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Certain types of cancer

But that’s not all. Some experts believe low levels of magnesium are linked to even more problems including; migraine headaches, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, premenstrual syndrome, and impotence.

Signs and symptoms

Some people are going to be more susceptible to magnesium deficiency. Having a bad diet is a pretty obvious cause. Not so obvious causes include; alcoholism, chronic stress, uncontrolled diabetes, and even some medications including certain diuretics and heartburn medications.

What makes diagnosis so difficult is the wide range of symptoms, many of which can be attributed to other causes. Things like; hyper-excitability, irritability, muscle cramps, restless legs, fatigue, depression, insomnia, tingling or numbness, rapid heartbeat, poor memory, anxiety, even hallucinations in severe cases. On a side note, having too much magnesium isn’t good either, though this condition is less likely to occur.

Take control of your health

You see how critical magnesium is to your health, that’s why it’s so important for you to know that you have the proper levels. The Magnesium Test available at Any Lab Test Now is quick and easy. It’s a simple blood test that generally takes between 24 to 72 hours for results. In particular, we encourage people with existing cardiovascular disease to have their magnesium levels checked to ensure they are getting enough to prevent cardiac arrhythmia. And since magnesium and calcium levels in the body are closely linked, the test can also be used to determine underlying causes of chronic, unexplained low calcium or potassium levels that are not improving with supplements.

If you find your levels are low, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. In the meantime, try to increase your intake of whole grains, leafy green vegetables, nuts and beans. They are all rich in magnesium and other good-for-you stuff.

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