Statins and Skin Infections

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A 2019 study indicates that there is an increase risk of skin infections to those that are taking statins. Statins are a popular class of drugs used to treat patients with high cholesterol. A physician may prescribe statins to lower the cholesterol if you are at risk for heart disease and your blood cholesterol test levels are outside normal limits. There are many articles promoting the benefits of statins and others that list the side effects and downsides of being on statins.

Once on a statin to lower cholesterol, most people are on it for life. Unlike dietary changes that can permanently lower cholesterol, statins will lower cholesterol chemically and it will be a medication that is needed in perpetuity in order to continue to work.

One of positive sides of statins, as promoted by some physicians, is that a persons reduces their Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) risk. The cholesterol is lowered by the statin and creates less cholesterol in the body and reduces plaques in the arteries.

Some negative sides of statins are the side effects. Some people have an increased risk of diabetes, memory issues and muscle pain. The study referenced above showed some people on statins get statin-induced diabetes. The statin affected their blood sugar significantly which subsequently increased the risk of skin infections. If you are having issues with increased blood sugar after starting a regimen of statins, talk to your physician. It’s also possible you can lower your cholesterol through life style changes, although that can be challenging for some people, it is effective and has no side effects.

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Hydrolyzed Collagen Supplements

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There’s been a lot of talk about collagen for hair, skin, nails and more. Is it a supplement that can provided better health?

What is collagen?

Collagen is a hard, insoluble, and fibrous protein and it is abundant in the human body. Collagens are structures that give skin strength and elasticity. We know that collagen production declines with age and exposure to factors such as smoking and UV light. One of the downsides of aging is less collagen and hence older people have less strength and elasticity in their skin. This is also why wrinkles appear and skin starts to sag.

So what is hydrolyzed collagen and why the hype?

Hydrolyzed collagen is collagen that’s in a different format so it is more easily absorbed by the body. Most powdered collagen supplements have been hydrolyzed. The sources of hydrolyzed collagen is sourced from the hides and connective tissues of cows. Some other sources can come from fish. It is not vegan and it should not be taken if you have allergies to beef and/or fish.

it appears that multiple studies have found hydrolyzed collagen is helpful in treating aging skin and skin wounds. However, most of the studies have very small sample sizes and/or did not include double blind studies. Most people reporting seeing overall better skin conditions especially those that were of increased age. All the studies indicated that there were not significant side effects.

As with all supplements, it is important to discuss the implications with your physician so you can adequately assess risk/benefit for you, personally.

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Food Allergies are Not Food Intolerances

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Having a food allergy triggers an immune reaction in your body called an immunoglobulin E (IgE) response. When the body comes into contact with a food item that you are allergic to, your body will make an antibody called IgE in an attempt to fight off the offending food. The IgE response includes the release of histamine and other chemicals that produce allergic symptoms such as digestive issues, hives, and swollen airways. The body does not need a large amount of the food to create an allergic response – even minute particles can trigger an allergic reaction. In fact, some people can get allergic reactions just from cross contamination of cooking tools, cookware or other food containers.

Most people with food allergies don’t know what type of reaction they will have – it can be mild or severe. If they had a mild reaction one time it does not mean they will continue to have mild reactions when they come into contact with the offending food. Therefore, the food needs to be avoided completely. Food allergies can cause life-threatening reactions such as anaphylaxis. Most people who are aware of their food allergies also carry an Epi-pen to use in the case of anaphylaxis.

Many children start life with a food allergy but will outgrow it as they get older. It is not known why this occurs except that it may be children have an immature immune system. It’s suspected that about 3% of the adult population has food allergies.

The most common food allergies are:

  1. cow’s milk
  2. eggs
  3. tree nuts
  4. peanuts
  5. shellfish
  6. wheat
  7. soy
  8. fish

If you suspect a food allergy, you can confirm it with a simple blood test. Order your discount blood allergy test at to assist with allergy analysis and it can also be a tool to help you avoid certain foods that create an allergic response.

It’s easy to confuse a food allergy with a much more common reaction known as food intolerance. Having a food intolerance is a much less serious condition that does not involve the immune system. Food intolerances can be painful and inflict discomfort but they are not life-threatening nor do they involve the immune system.

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Blood Sugar and Dementia – a link?

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We all know to 1) read labels to check for sugar content, 2) minimize sugary drinks, 3) get our blood tested to be sure our sugar levels are within range and 4) increase real foods in our diet. Doing all of this will help keep your blood sugar levels under control is a proven practice to help prevent diabetes. A simple blood test can provide you with important information about your fasting blood sugar level, glucose levels, and your risk for diabetes. But there may be other uses for measuring blood sugar than diabetes alone.  Research shows that seniors that keep blood sugar levels low can help keep your brain healthy and prevent dementia. Among non-diabetics, those who develop dementia have higher fasting blood sugar levels. Those with higher glucose levels are 20 percent more likely to develop dementia. Among diabetics, the increase in risk of dementia is even higher – 40 percent higher in those with higher blood sugar levels. Whether you’re diabetic or not, adopting a lifestyle to help control blood sugar levels is good for the brain and may help you avoid developing dementia. Here are three proven ways to lower your blood sugar:

1. Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, even losing 10 to 15 pounds can help lower blood sugar levels.

2. Get regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking for 30-plus minutes daily. The exercise helps burn up extra sugar in the blood in both diabetics and non-diabetics.

3. Choose healthy meals – high in fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and legumes. Eat foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and limit red meats and high-fat dairy products. Follow a low-glycemic diet by avoiding soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages and snacks. And limit potatoes, white bread, white rice, and other refined grains.

If you are a diabetic, you should monitor your blood sugar levels daily and adopt healthy lifestyle habits to prevent complications from this disease. Your doctor may also adjust your medications to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range, as measured by an A1C level of less than 7 percent.

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Ch-Ch-Chia – Seeds to Incorporate in your Diet

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Chia seeds are healthy for you but most of us just remember the infamous Chia Pet plants and have not incorporated the super food in our diets. Chia seeds have been around since the Aztec and Mayan times. They are tiny black or white seeds that have 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, including omega-3 fatty acids, and include minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus (per one once).

Many nutritionists want their clients to consume chia seeds to give added support to the immune system, increase cardiovascular health and protect the brain. Why not add them to your diet? Everyday we are told to increase your omega-3s (get tested to see your results) and chia seeds can also be the answer for those that don’t consume a lot of foods high in omega-3s. Vegetarians should seriously consider adding chia seeds to their diet.

What other benefits might you receive from incorporating chia seeds in your diet?

  • high in antioxidants that fight free radicals
  • high in fiber and low in carbs
  • high in protein so may reduce appetite
  • high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and protein

There are some studies that how eating chia seeds can lower triglycerides, inflammation, insulin resistance and blood pressure.

How would you use chia seeds in your diet?

  • add to your morning cereal
  • add them to your smoothies
  • make chia pudding
  • add as a thickener to any food

Be wary, some people experience bloating and/or gas if you eat too many or eat them raw. Start with small quantities and put them in liquid to soften them into a gel/slurry. This may help digesting them properly.

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Easy Way to Test for Fecal Occult Blood

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The American Cancer Society writes that approximately 132,700 Americans will develop colon or rectal cancer in a specific year.  Many others develop precursors to cancer, namely polyps.  As polyps and cancers grow over time, they tend to present with blood in the feces.  Note:  fissures, hemorrhoids and other gastrointestinal disorders may also cause bleeding so it is important to discuss any positive results with your physician.

Most people will not notice small amounts of bleeding after a bowel movement.  That is why there are easy tests to check for occult or hidden blood in the stool.   One of the easiest tests and non-invasive is ColoCare.   Current price as of this printing is only $19.99 and available at

ColoCARE is the leading throw-in-the-bowl fecal occult blood test for detecting pre-symptomatic bleeding caused by gastrointestinal diseases. It is safer, easier and more pleasant to use than traditional guaiac slide tests. Simply place a ColoCARE test pad in the toilet after a bowel movement, watch for a color change, then flush the pad away. It’s clean and disposable, easy for elderly patients to see and interpret, and extremely sensitive, with no increase in the false positive rate. It is more cost-effective than guaiac slide tests because it requires no stool handling, no chemical developers, no laboratory processing, and no mailing of biohazards. Elimination of stool handling overcomes the number one patient objection to occult blood testing, resulting in wider use of the test and leading to greater success in early detection of pathological conditions.

colocare imageThe test pad consists of biodegradable paper chemically treated with a chromogen. The pad is floated on the water surface in the toilet bowl. If detectable blood is present, the hemoglobin reacts with the chromogen, and a blue and/or green color reaction occurs. The test pad has three reaction sites: a large test square and two smaller control squares to verify the system functions properly.

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Autoimmunity is on the rise in the US

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Researchers are suggesting that there may be environmental factors or life style changes that are increasing auto immune factors among US patients.   In a study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology published 4/7/2020, there was an increase in the number of people that have increased antinuclear antibody (ANA) blood tests.   The research has data that said the rise of positive ANA tests occurred over two decades which shows that there is a rise in autoimmunity.   Positive ANA tests can point to autoimmune diseases; that’s when the body starts attacking it’s own cells.

ana test

Some autoimmune diseases that are most prevalent include:

  1. Type 1 Diabetes
  2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  3. Psoriasis
  4. Multiple Sclerosis
  5. Lupas
  6. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  7. Addison’s Disease
  8. Graves’ Disease
  9. Sjogren’s Disease
  10. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  11. Myasthenia Gravis
  12. Autoimmune vasculitis
  13. Pernicious Anemia
  14. Celiac Disease

The ANA test is not the only test that will help diagnose if you have an autoimmune disease.  Your physician may use the ANA has one of the first tests to determine if your symptoms and physical examination are leading towards autoimmune diagnosis.    positive test means you may have one of these diseases, but it will not confirm exactly which one you have or if you have one for sure.  Additionally, your physician may order other inflammatory tests also.   Doctors that specialize in autoimmune diseases include rheumatologists, dermatologists, allergists, endocrinologists, and gastroenterologists.

Take control of your #health at by ordering your own online discount lab tests to share with your physician.

Yoga has been around for a long time.  Originally, it was a spiritual practice but more recently has become an activity for those wanting to increase their physical and mental well-being.

Almost all the of the different types of yoga have similar elements:  postures, breathing and meditation.   You should try different styles and determine which works best for you.

yoga imageWhat are the health benefits of yoga?

  • Relieve stress
  • Relieve lower back pain and neck pain
  • Improve mobility, flexibility, balance
  • Improves sleep
  • Manage depression and anxiety
  • Manage pain and symptoms from chronic diseases

It can be overwhelming with all the different types of yoga represented in studios today.  Here is a short list of the most popular yoga types and what they offer:

  • Power Yoga: Challenging sequence of poses created to increase energy and heat flow
  • Ananda: Designed to harmonize your mind, soul, and body through a series of poses. May be best for beginning students since there is not a lot of aerobic output.
  • Lyengar: The priority of this type of yoga is on proper alignment by using props. The poses in this class are held longer than in other types of yoga classes.
  • Ashtanga: Fast paced series of challenging poses that increase in difficulty throughout the class.
  • Bikram: Often referred to as hot yoga, is a sequence of 13 standing and 13 sitting traditional yoga poses. The temperature of the room in which you practice this type of yoga is about 100 degrees.
  • Hatha: A good class for beginners, as it is slower paced and includes breathing/meditation exercises, flexibility, and strength.

Try one or try them all.

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Can I Order My Own Blood Tests?

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Can I order my own blood tests?

Yes, with the exception of a few states, consumers can order their own lab tests.  This process is sometimes referred to as Direct Access Testing (DAT) and allows consumers to order discount lab tests online.

Why would someone order their own blood tests?

For some people, they like the convenience of ordering their own lab tests to save time and money.   They can order the tests that they want and get their lab tests done at their convenience.  Others are ordering their own lab tests because they are making dietary and other health changes and they want to see if their blood values are effected by their new choices.   Additionally, there are some people who are on medications that require them to have their blood tested frequently and they can order the tests whenever they need them.   Lastly, the prices are affordable and those that don’t have insurance or have high deductibles can take advantage of ordering their own lab tests at a discount.

Whatever reason one has, it is a nice option to be able to order your own blood tests when you need them.

Will I understand the test results?

Many worry if they order their own blood tests that they will not be able to understand what the results really mean.  The blood test results are easy to read:  they include the individual’s metric and then the reference range.   Each test is annotated if any of the results are outside the normal reference values.  Ordering and receiving your own lab tests are not the same as getting medical advice.  It is always recommended that an individual review and initiate a discussion with their health provider to explain those results.

See a Typical Lab Test Result for a Comprehensive Health Profile

How do you Order Your Own Blood Test?

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Tests Offered to view available tests
  3. Select a test and Add to your Shopping Cart
  4. Open a secure account on our server and use the secure check-out process
  5. You’ll receive the lab requisition form within two hours and take it to a lab location near you.

Results for different tests range in time on when they will become available, check at the bottom of the description to see what the turnaround time is for the test you want to order. You will receive an email that will notify you when these results are available.

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twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube uses Quest Diagnostics’ patient service centers to obtain your lab specimen.  We provide the form (physician order) you need to get your blood tests and then you will visit a patient service center located near your home.   We are processing all orders and all the Quest Patient Service Centers are OPEN.  Quest Diagnostic patient service centers do not collect COVID-19 specimens. Additional precautions are taking place at each location:
  • Providing gloves to patients as requested
  • Disinfecting all surfaces more frequently
  • Washing hands more frequently
  • Enhanced COVID-19 safety training for employees
  • employees wear protective clothing & masks
Lab services for high-risk patients
If you are 60 years of age or older, or have other conditions that put you at greater risk for COVID‑19 come to your nearby Quest location during the first hour of each day for VIP access through their new Peace of Mind program.
Patients may schedule an appointment or walk in without an appointment.  Please be sure to place your order first at so we can provide the form that you need for service.  
Where to go for COVID-19 testing
Patients who suspect they have COVID-19 should contact their doctor or an authorized healthcare provider for guidance on where to get tested. Please do not go to a Quest patient service center—they do not collect COVID-19 test specimens.
Stay safe during these uncertain times!