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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Sedimentation Rate

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Sedimentation rate or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a blood test offered to show the inflammation in your body. Inflammation is your body’s self-protecting response to get rid of harmful stimuli, however chronic inflammation is terrible for your body and can cause many diseases. This test can be done to diagnose or monitor inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. When your blood is drawn it is placed in a tube and your red blood cells slowly settle to the bottom of the tube.  Inflammation often causes the blood cells to clump, thus making them denser causing them to sink to the bottom at a faster rate. The sedimentation rate test measures inflammation by how fast the red blood cells fall in one hour. The farther the blood cells have fallen, the greater the inflammation in your body. Your doctor might request you get a sedimentation rate test in order to monitor your arthritis, to assess unexplained fevers, or to diagnose conditions like Giant cell arteritis. Because this test does not pinpoint the cause of your inflammation, it is often accompanied with other blood tests. The sedimentation rate test is offered at www.HealthOneLabs.com for $34.95, there is no special preparation required for this test.

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Essential Oils Can be Used for Healing?

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Nowadays, essential oils are mainly used for their beautiful scents, but many don’t know they can be used for other purposes. They have properties that can help heal you mentally, physically and emotionally. The following is a list of some essential oils and their use:

  1. Tea Tree Oil: It is distilled from a plant called Melaleuca Alternifolia. This essential oil can be used topically for acne or fungus and has great results.
  2. Lavender: It can be used for relaxation purposes. A few drops of this essential oil can help significantly lower the level of stress hormones produced by your body. You may also use it to reduce the appearance of skin irritation, bruises, and cuts.
  3. Peppermint: This essential oil has many properties and can be taken internally. Studies show simply inhaling peppermint oil can increase mental accuracy by 28%. It also helps to cleanse and stimulate the mind, increase alertness, and can help with indigestion.
  4. Frankincense: Not only can it be used to help you relax, but it also helps fight depression and inflammation, and promotes immunity.
  5. Oregano: Has antibacterial properties that help fight the flu and other illnesses. It can be used topically.
  6. Lemon: This essential oil is great for acne, increasing concentration and even get rid of fleas on your pets.
  7. Eucalyptus: This oil should never be used topically (unless diluted) or ingested. It has antibacterial properties that promote a stronger immune system, helps relieve muscle soreness, and can clear up congested nostrils.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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Whenever people think of fats they automatically assume they’re not good for them, but that’s not always the case. There are well known healthy fats and they are called unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are either monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and they help decrease disease risk. Omega-3 fatty acids are an example of the healthy fats. They are a crucial for your health and development, but your body does not produce it so the only way to get it is by consuming foods high in Omega 3s.They can be found in sardines, salmon, anchovies, and herring.

omega 3 imageIt can help reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and depression. Fish also contains proteins, selenium, and vitamin D that are beneficial for the body. It is important to get a good ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 which is another essential fatty acid. You should aim to eat a bit more of Omega-3s because it helps reduce inflammation and Omega-6s promote inflammation. It is recommended you get at least 2 servings of fish and 1 serving of oily (dark meat) fish.

Need to know if you are getting sufficient fatty acids?  Test your levels.

Take Control of your Health!


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What is Glycemic Index?

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Glycemic index(GI) is a scale from 0 to 100 that ranks carbs on how they will affect your glucose levels. Similarly, glycemic load(GL) tells you how much carbs you are eating based on the GI value and quantity of carbs in a meal. A high value of consumed GI carbs is absorbed and digested faster thus, spiking your glucose levels right after eating said food, and then quickly dropping glucose levels. On the other hand, consuming foods with a low GI value increase glucose levels slightly and tend to keep you fuller longer.

glycemic chart

A GI of 0-55 is low, 56-69 is medium, and 70-100 is high. Some examples of low GI foods are wholegrain bread, porridge, and oils. A few foods high in GI are baked goods, pasta, and rice. It is important to know your GI because it is a possible indication of your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Eating a low GI diet is linked with reduced chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, acne, obesity and even certain cancers. The following are a few ways you can lower your GI intake.

  • You should aim to eat fresh fruits and vegetables that aren’t starchy such as broccoli and asparagus
  • Try to consume soluble fibers like oats, barley, and chia seeds
  • Consume whole grains that aren’t processed like whole rolled oats
  • Eat balanced meals that are rich in good carbs, protein, and a little bit of good fat

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