Seasonal Sadness

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With the changing of seasons, colder weather and shorter days are ahead which for a lot of people can be very depressing. This is often referred to as seasonal sadness, but the correct term for it is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is more than just feeling upset because the weather is colder, it is a disorder that causes mood swings and saps your energy. This type of depression usually begins for people with SAD around fall and lasts through winter. Symptoms disappear during spring and summer.

It’s not necessary to go through this cycle each fall or winter and there are a few demonstrated solutions that can help alleviate SAD  One of the main factors that cause SAD is the reduced sunlight that comes with fall and winter. Studies have found that more people that live farthest from the equator, where there is limited sunlight, suffer from SAD more often. Less sunlight could unbalance internal clock leading to biochemical changes that cause depression.

Tips to Alleviate Symptoms of SAD

Many people find success by purchasing a phototherapy box (light therapy) and sit near it each day.  This light imitates sunlight which can help elevate your mood. Behavior therapy is also another treatment that helps people address negative emotions and find coping skills through “talk therapy.”  It has been found that therapy can also help with your sleeping schedule.  The last resort is using medication such as antidepressants.  People that do not have success with phototherapy and behavior therapy may need to discuss their feelings and symptoms with a physician to determine if it is SAD or another condition.

SAD can be a debilitating condition come fall and winter, but you don’t have to continue to suffer through it. Try to always get as much natural light as possible, go outdoors as frequently as feasible, spend time with friends and family and get daily exercise to help your overall health and wellness.


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Elderberry for Flu and Cold Symptoms

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Elderberry has been used for centuries for multiple purposes, such as to treat wounds or respiratory illnesses like colds. Elder is a shrub or tree and the medicinal parts that are used are the flowers and berries. Studies indicate that the chemicals in elder flower and berries may decrease the swelling in mucous membranes, which in turn, alleviates nasal congestion. There is evidence that suggests that taking elderberry extract, which is called Sambucol, could shorten the amount of time you have the a major cold or flu by 3 days. Sambucol contains herbs and vitamin C in addition to the elderberry, so research does not show if Elderberry by itself could do the same. There is also evidence that suggests a lozenge with Sambucol helped lessen symptoms of a major cold or flu if taken within 24 hours after the symptoms began. There are many forms of elderberry available, like syrup, capsule, and tincture. With the change of seasons going on you might want to consider elderberry for yourself and even your children. As with all supplements, they are considered drugs and you should consult with with your physician and pharmacist for drug interactions.


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What is a Creatinine Kinase Blood Test?

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Creatinine Kinase, often referred to as CK or CPK, is a type of protein required by the muscle cells in your body in order to function. The amount of CK in your body may rise after intense exercise, a heart attack, consumption of alcohol, muscle injury, and even after taking certain supplements and medicines. Blood test results of high CK levels could mean you have muscle or heart damage depending upon a physical exam and discussion of your symptoms.  Your physician may recommend you get this blood test if you experience chest pains and/or weakness and wants to check if you’ve had a heart attack in the past. You may also have to get this test done if you’ve had a sports related injury or a stroke recently. It is important to keep in mind that levels of CK may not peak for up to 2 days after some injuries, so you could have to get tested more than once to see if your heart or other muscles have been harmed. You should try to avoid exercise prior to having your blood drawn for this test and stay hydrated since it makes it easier to locate a vein. Results for the CK vary depending on your age, gender, race, health history, and other factors, so be sure to ask your physician to review your results with you. At this time, Creatinine Kinase is offered at https://www.healthonelabs.com for $39.95.

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Migraines: Food Can Help or Hurt

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Migraines can often be debilitating so it’s important that you do everything you can to prevent them. Some foods that you consume can either cause or help prevent migraines. Trigger foods can increase your likelihood of getting a migraine by 30%. A few foods that may trigger migraines are wine, chocolate, coffee, alcoholic beverages, and citrus fruits. Some common ingredients in those foods are gluten, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and nitrites. The time you consume these foods and how much you eat are also factors that could determine whether or not you get a migraine.

flu-and-sneezing-imageFoods that are high in histamines may also be triggers for migraines. The theory behind this is that people who suffer from migraines tend to have low or no enzymes that are required to break down histamine.

There are foods that may help prevent migraines. These include foods that are high in omega-3s to omega-6s and folate. Fatty fish like salmon, vegetable oils, and lentils are all good foods to consume if you suffer from migraines. If you know you are someone who suffers from this severe vascular headache, then you might consider making some diet changes.

Take control of your health!

www.HealthOneLabs.com – your discount online lab test provider


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Blood Pressure – Watch your Numbers

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Blood pressure is self explanatory: it is the pressure of the blood in the circulatory system.Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:

  • Systolic blood pressure (the upper number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats.
  • Diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.

It is important that your systolic blood pressure (upper number) remain under 120 rather than just below 140 because it reduces your risk of heart failures or strokes by 33%. Often times when people are trying to lower their blood pressure they always go to drugs right away, but lifestyle changes can be just as effective and permanent. People with high blood pressure typically don’t exercise, are overweight, store fat in their bellies, eat a lot of sugary/fried food, and/or have low levels of vitamin D. Changing eating habits and staying active can go a long way when trying to lower your blood pressure. The best time to check your blood pressure is before you go to sleep at night or right after you wake up because these times are when your blood pressure is the lowest, so if it is above 120 during these times then you should make some lifestyle changes.

Click here for the American Heart Association suggestions on how to take your blood pressure readings.

Generally, physicians are more concerned with the systolic blood pressure (the top number) because it is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50.   As you age, the systolic blood pressure can rise due to increased stiffness in the large arteries and build-up of plaque. There is also risk of high diastolic measurements also:  the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke doubles with every 20 mm Hg systolic or 10 mm Hg diastolic increase among people from age 40 to 89.

The following are a few recommendations to help lower your blood pressure:

  • Limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks a day, and if possible avoid it
  • Avoid sugary/fried foods
  • Exercise, build muscle
  • Keep Vitamin D levels above 75 nmol/L
  • Try not to consume red meats or processed meats & foods
  • Try to avoid smoking and reduce your exposure to air pollutants

Take control of your health!


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It is predicted that this year there will be an increase of about 21% in Lyme Disease in the U.S. due to a growth in acorn production. Believe it or not there is definitely a relationship between acorns and Lyme Disease. Acorns are consumed by white-footed mice that often carry the blacklegged ticks and act as vectors for Lyme Disease. It is expected for Lyme Disease rates to be particularly high in the summer because the ticks are in their nymphal stage so they are harder to spot, meaning they could stay on the host for a longer period of time.

LymeDiseaseIf you believe that you are showing any symptoms or signs of Lyme Disease it is important that you speak to your physician and get tested. You may order a Lyme Disease blood test on our website www.healthonelabs.com for $89.99.


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I have an Abnormal CBC, Now what?

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A Complete Blood Count (CBC) checks your white blood cell count, red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, platelet count, lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, and eosinophils. An abnormal CBC result can mean many things and your doctor may want additional testing, in conjunction with a physical exam, to determine why your results are out of range:

  • Abnormal white blood cell count could mean that you have a virus, so your doctor could ask you to get a strep test or a test for mononucleosis. There is also a chance you may have inflammation so your doctor may want a Sedimentation Rate (ESR) or C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test to help pinpoint the issue.
  • An out of range red blood cell count mean may warrant a vitamin B12 and folate, and/or a reticulocyte test to determine if there is anemia
  • Abnormal platelet results may require you to get tests to further assess your platelet count such as a platelet function test. There is also a probability that you have a bleeding or excessive clotting disorder

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There may be other reasons why your CBC test came back with some abnormal results like leukemia, or other bone marrow disorder, despite being rare, so it is important that you speak to your physician about your results.

Take control of your health!  Order your own discount blood lab tests at www.HealthOneLabs.com and stay healthy.


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Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by blacklegged ticks that are infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.

black legged tickA few characteristic symptoms that you may experience if you have Lyme Disease are headache, fatigue, fever, and a rash called erythema migrans. The rash will look similar to a bull’s-eye and a lot of the time the rash will spread in a circular pattern with a lighter center and darker outer ring. Lyme Disease should be treated immediately otherwise the infection could spread to the nervous system, heart, and joints. Most cases can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed on time. If you believe you may have Lyme disease or have been exposed to blacklegged ticks, it is important that you get tested as soon as possible. Lyme Disease Antibodies with reflex testing is offered on our website at https://www.healthonelabs.com/ for $139.75. Remember that it is possible for the test to come back negative during the early stages of Lyme Disease even if the rash is apparent. In this case you should speak to your physician and possibly get retested.

For more information, see the CDC website.


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With vacation time in full swing, it is time to ensure you remain healthy before, during and after your vacation.  You want to make the most out of this time, so it is important you stay healthy through some easy actions.

www.HealthOneLabs.comThe following are some tips and precautions for enjoying a healthy vacation:

  1. Before you go you should ask your physician if you need any immunization boosters – ie. tetanus.
  2. If you are headed for an exotic destination in the tropics or developing countries you may want to research if there are any immunizations (like hepatitis A or yellow fever) or medicines you take as a precaution, or have them with you in case you get sick.  The State Department has ample information on travel vaccines.
  3. You can ease jet lag by going to bed 2 hours later(if you are traveling west) and 2 hours earlier(if you are traveling east) each night
  4. About 30 to 70 percent of people who travel to developing countries get traveler’s diarrhea(TD) so you can ask your doctor for antibiotics in case this happens. Also try to avoid raw foods, street fare, ice and unbottled water
  5. Hotels and motels are the most common places to get bed bugs. Places that look rundown and outdated are less vigilant about treating rooms so you are more like to get bed bugs. However, luxury hotels are also prone to bed bug issues so be aware of what to look for before climbing into the bed.  Do keep clothing and luggage off the floors
  6. Remember to stay hydrated. Being on vacation isn’t like your normal routine so you have to drink more water to stay hydrated. You should aim to drink 9 to 13 cups of fluids
  7. Pack all medications in their original packaging in case so the medication can be quickly identified in an emergency or if necessary.
  8. In case you run out of medications or need medical attention be aware of where the local doctor and pharmacy are located at your destination.
  9. Program your cell phone to have someone listed as an Emergency Contact so medical personnel can contact your designated person to assist if required.
  10. Find ways to add exercise while on your vacation – it can be as easy as walking instead of driving, renting a bike or taking a hike nearby.  Have a sense of adventure.

Safe travels!

 


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Food Intolerance or Allergy?

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Food intolerance is difficulty digesting different foods, or in other words  non-allergic food hypersensitivity. Food intolerance differs from food allergies because it doesn’t trigger the immune system and allergies do. An example would be people who are lactose intolerant. It can often be difficult to determine whether you are suffering from an allergy or if you are intolerant to certain foods. One important difference when deciding which one you have is that food intolerance takes longer to emerge than allergies. Allergy symptoms occur relatively quickly while food intolerance can take up to 48 hours to show. You may experience bloating, migraines, irritable bowel, and hives among many other things. Food intolerance can often be chronic while allergies can be outgrown. One out of five people outgrow their peanut allergy. However, some people with intolerance to certain foods have found that abstaining from these foods for a while and then reintroducing them has built tolerance, so they no longer suffer side effects after consuming it. There are blood tests you may have done in order to determine whether or not you are sensitive to any foods. These tests are called Alcat and they are offered on our website www.HealthOneLabs.com

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