Childhood obesity can prevent physicians from being able to properly interpret their routine blood tests. Studies have found that 24 routine blood tests can be affected by obesity, including:

  • inflammation markers,
  • iron,
  • lipids, and
  • liver function.

Researchers evaluated 35 routine biochemical markers in serum samples like iron, magnesium, calcium, uric acid, phosphorus, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein. They converted waist circumference, BMI, and sex specific z-scores and grouped the children in normal-weight, overweight, and obese categories. The study found that 13 out of the 35 biochemical markers were different among different BMI categories. Some of these included GGT, cardio C-reactive protein, iron, transferrin, and HDL cholesterol. Waist circumference and BMI were related to serum concentration of 24 out of 35 markers. The most noticeable difference found among the various BMI’s was the uric acid results. The average among both males and females was 237 μmol/L, 261 μmol/L, and 270 μmol/L in normal weight, overweight, and obese. Research suggests that this may be due to immoderate adiposity is related to uric acid levels in a healthy population of kids, so it is important this be taken into account for obese kids. It is important for physicians to take this into account when interpreting routine lab results because they are often used for clinical decisions based off of a range derived from a healthy population. It is unknown whether childhood obesity is a marker for early disease, but it should definitely be taken into account when interpreting blood test results, as 70% of blood tests can be affected by obesity.

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Vegan Food – Is it Health Food?

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Go to the supermarket and you will be overwhelmed with all the vegan alternatives in the aisle.   There are vegan milks, vegan meats, vegan butters, vegan yogurts, vegan snacks and the list is endless.   For those that have been vegan or those that are trying to live a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, it seems like there is a plethora of food options for you now.  Are all these options healthy for you?   Have you read the labels on some of these vegan foods?   The list of ingredients is important and it’s prudent to read all labels.  Many of these items have added sugar, some bad fats and other chemicals that may not be particularly healthy.

One example of a meatless entree recently reviewed has jackfruit listed in the ingredients.   This fruit is similar to fig but it does not contain much protein.    Jackfruit is mostly carbohydrates so it’s probably not the best substitute for meat if you are seeking protein.  Another issue is that some vegan foods are highly processed.  They may have some veggies listed as an ingredient but recognize that they may not be the whole foods you need for your diet.   Generally, if you want to have a vegan diet, it’s best to consume whole foods – the actual fruit, vegetable, nut, etc.

Also, just because it is vegan does not mean that it is great for you.   Oreos, gummi bears, Wheat Thins, even some pop tarts are vegan.

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Are the Ingredients in Sunscreen Safe?

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One of the most recommended products by aestheticians and dermatologists is sunscreen, but the FDA has found that the active chemicals in sunscreen is easily absorbed by the skin. The studies found that although they absorbed into the skin, it cannot be confirmed whether this is safe or not, which means more research needs to be done. The study’s goal was to see if they could find 0.5 nanograms per milliliters of sunscreen chemicals in the blood, which they did. The FDA has already concluded that mineral sunscreens, such as those composed of zinc oxide and titanium oxide, are safe. The one downside to these mineral sunscreens is that they often leave a white cast after application. The study performed by the FDA tested 6 chemical sunscreen ingredients from four different formulations- 3 of which were  sprays and one was a lotion. The chemicals that were tested were homosalate, octisalate, octinoxate, avobenzone, octocrylene, and oxybenzone. The participants applied sunscreen over 75% of their body once a day on the first day, and then four times a day for three days. It was found that all six chemicals exceeded the FDA’s 0.5 nanograms per milliliters in the bloodstream, and continued increasing over the course of the experiment. The main takeaway was that they found out how much of these chemicals is getting in the bloodstream, however new studies need to be conducted to find out if this information is relevant or not. This study does not suggest you stop applying sunscreen, however if you are concerned by the outcomes you can always opt for a mineral sunscreen. sunscreen image


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Vitamin D is often associated with strong bones. The major biological function of Vitamin D is to keep the serum calcium and phosphorus concentrations within the normal range which maintains essential cellular functions and promotes mineralization of the skeleton. But more is not necessarily better. Research has found that those who take large amounts of vitamin D not only did not see any benefits in regards of bone density, but actually ended up with worse bone density in the long run.

vitamin D graphic

It has been found that high doses of vitamin D do not provide additional benefits for bone health. There are are a few instances where doctor’s believe higher doses of vitamin D are beneficial with those that have conditions that prevent the body from absorbing nutrients properly: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. But increasing vitamin D in hopes your bones will be stronger, is not recommended for most people.

There are simple tactics you should follow to maintain your bone health. It is safe and sensible to take small amounts of vitamin D, like 1,000 International Units (IU), if you believe that you are not getting enough of this vitamin naturally. Get tested to see if you have sufficient vitamin D. Supplements are best for those who consume a small amount of vitamin D in their diet but it is recommended that you get vitamin D through diet and sun exposure rather then supplements, when possible. Some good sources of vitamin D are cheese, milk, yogurt, fatty fish like tuna or salmon, and cereals. People that don’t spend a lot of time outdoors should also consider taking small doses of vitamin D supplement. This vitamin is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” as it is produced by your body after exposure to the sun. As you get older, your body produces less and less vitamin D. People that are over the age of 65 make about 25% of the vitamin D they did in their twenties. Doses of vitamin D 4,000 IU or higher should only be taken under the advice of your primary care physician. In rare cases, a high dosage can actually be toxic. It can even lead to hypercalcemia, which is a condition that causes high amounts of calcium build up in the blood. This condition could cause a formation of deposits in soft tissues or arteries. It could also cause a predisposition to kidney stones, which are pebble like masses, created when high levels of minerals in your urine begin to crystallize in the kidneys. Again, the preferable method of getting your vitamins and minerals is through your diet. You can check food labels on the back of packaged foods to see the amount of vitamin D they contain.


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The thyroid a large ductless gland in the neck which secretes hormones regulating growth and development through the rate of metabolism.  Metabolism is our body’s ability to convert food into energy and the energy is burned at different rates depending on the person.  

The interconnectivity of the hormones, organs and the brain must be in sync for optimal performance.  So if the thyroid gland is not functioning correctly, you may experience symptoms of a thyroid disorder: underactive or overactive.  Low levels of the thyroid hormone, hypothyroidism, could cause various symptoms such as dry skin, changes in your hair, brittle nails, constipation, fatigue, and aches/pains. If low levels of this hormone remain untreated, it can increase the likelihood high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. High levels  of thyroid hormone, hyperthyroidism, occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroxine hormone.   Too much of this hormone can accelerate your body’s metabolism which may cause weight loss or rapid/irregular heartbeat.

discount online blood lab testWomen have increased chances of having thyroid issues than men, especially as they get older. In some cases, symptoms can be gradual and not very noticeable, and in other cases symptoms can be abrupt within a few weeks or months. Symptoms can include exhaustion, depression, constipation, muscle aches, cardiovascular effects, cold intolerance, and appetite loss. Please consult a physician if you experience any of these symptoms. Hypothyroidism is typically treated with a daily dose of synthetic hormone, in pill form, and essentially does the job of your thyroid. Usually, people with hypothyroidism experience a substantial symptom relief after starting this treatment.  Hyperthyroidism can be treated using anti-thyroid medications and radioactive iodine to slow the production of thyroid hormones. Sometimes, hyperthyroidism treatment involves surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid gland.

Is your thyroid producing the right amount of hormone?  Order your own discount online thyroid lab test at www.HealthOneLabs.com.  


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lutein graphic

Lutein is a plant pigment, or phytochemical that belongs to the carotenoid family. They are responsible for giving plants their bright orange, red, and yellow colors, and contain many health encouraging properties like antioxidants. Lutein differs from other carotenoids because is taken up directly to the brain and eyes. Although lutein is not classified as an essential nutrient, it does provide some health benefits. Due to the fact that Americans are living longer, more are experiencing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration(AMD); both are vision issues. Research has found lutein’s antioxidant effects help prevent damage to the retina from the sun. It was also found that consuming foods that are high in carotenoid reduces the risk for AMD and cataracts.

Since the retina is an extension of the brain, the lutein gets to the eye through the barrier between the blood and brain. The tissue that makes up the retina and brain are similar in the amount of lutein they contain, and there is a positive correlation linking it with cognitive function. Studies show that lutein supplements in women have increased verbal fluency and cognitive function significantly. A similar study also provided subjects the experimental group lutein through avocados and the control group with the same amount of calories through chickpeas or potatoes daily for six months. Those that ate the lutein-high avocados scored higher in problem solving than the control group. These benefits are not seen at the levels of lutein which the majority of Americans consume. You can increase your lutein consumption by incorporating more eggs, yellow/red vegetables, avocados, and leafy greens. It is also important to note that lutein is a fat soluble, so the body can’t absorb it without a healthy fats, like olive oil or salmon, present.


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How to identify Vitamin B12 Deficiency

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Studies have found that around 20% of people over 60 years old are deficient in Vitamin B12, but many are not even aware of it. Vitamin B12 is responsible for creating nerves, DNA, and red blood cells.

vitamin B12 graphic

Order your own Vitamin B12 blood test at HealthOneLabs.com

Deficiency of this vitamin may present itself as shortness of breath, tingling/numbness of extremities, constipation, paranoia, and irritability. B12 deficiency can also be developed over time, and may present only a few or all symptoms. It is often overlooked to diagnose as symptoms presented can resemble other diagnoses, and if left untreated it could cause irreversible damage. The optimal amount of B12 you should be getting daily is somewhere around 2.4 micrograms, and it can be found naturally in animal products such as dairy, fish, eggs, and fish. For this reason many vegetarians and vegans are deficient in B12. Even those older adults that consume plenty of Vitamin B12 can lack sufficient amounts because the production of stomach acid reduces with age, which makes it more difficult to absorb B12. Certain medications like omeprazole and ranitidine can also affect B12 levels. Autoimmune disorders like pernicious anemia, usually present themselves in people over the age of 65, and is one of the most common causes for severe Vitamin B12 deficiency. If you believe you are suffering from any of the symptoms related to deficiency, you can check your vitamin B12 levels through a blood test. If your blood test determine you don’t have sufficient amount of B12, you can speak to your physician about possibly taking a B12 supplement. Your doctor will help you determine the best dosage for you depending on the extent of your deficiency. Always check with your physician prior to taking vitamin B12 supplements.

 


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Benefits of Herbal Teas

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herbal teaWhether it’d be summer or winter, you can always find an herbal tea to fit your preference, but did you know different herbal teas have various health benefits? Herbal teas differ from green, black, or oolong tea because they are made from dried fruits, herbs, and flowers instead of the camellia sinensis plant that is used for standard teas. The majority of herbal teas are caffeine free, so they are perfect for anytime of the day, and contain many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The following are some benefits of various herbal teas you may want to try out:

  • One of the most popular and well known effects of tea is relaxation. Nowadays, more likely than not you’ll be under some type of stress, so it is important to unwind, and herbal tea is a great natural alternative to medication that can be harmful in the long run. Some options of teas that have relaxing properties include chamomile, lemon balm, peppermint, and passionflower tea.
  • Even those who aren’t avid tea drinkers will drink a hot cup of herbal tea when they have a cold and it’s for good reason. The medicinal properties of some teas relieve some of your symptoms and may even shorten the amount of time you are sick. You should opt for Licorice, dandelion, cayenne, or ginseng tea if you are feeling under the weather.
  • Herbal tea can be helpful when it comes to aiding digestion as it improves blood flow to the digestive tract absorb gas, and aid digestive tract to absorb nutrients. A few options include chamomile, ginger,  and chai tea.

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Diabetes and the complications, symptoms, and reasons why you should get a blood test

If you have diabetes, your blood glucose levels are too high. With type 2 diabetes, this is caused when your body does not make enough insulin. It can also be caused by insulin resistance, which is when your body does not use insulin properly. If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, there may be a few ways you can prevent or delay developing it. Many Americans are at risk for type 2 diabetes and it is important to order your own blood tests online to monitor your blood glucose levels and other test components. The likelihood of getting it to depend on a combination of risk factors such as your genes and lifestyle. The risk factors include the following:

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  • Having prediabetes which means you have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not higher enough to be called diabetes
  • Being overweight or having overweight
  • Being age 45 or older
  • A family history of diabetes
  • Being Asian American, African American, Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having a low level of HDL (good) cholesterol or a high level of triglycerides
  • A history of diabetes in pregnancy
  • Having given birth to a baby weight 9 pounds
  • An inactive lifestyle
  • A history of heart disease or stroke
  • Having depression
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Having acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition in which your skin becomes dark and thick, especially around your neck or armpits
  • Smoking

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 Why the risk of diabetes has health consequences

If you believe you are at risk for diabetes, you may be able to prevent or delay getting it. Most of the things that you needed to do involve having a healthy lifestyle. So, if you make these changes are you will get other health benefits as well as. You may lower your risk of other diseases as well, and you will probably feel better overall and have more energy. Some lifestyle changes you can consider are:

  • Losing weight and keeping it off. Weight control is an important part of diabetes. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing FIVE to TEN percent of your current weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose between 10 to 15 pounds. And once you lose weight, it is important that you don’t gain it back.
  • Following a healthy eating plan. It is important to reduce the number of calories you eat and drink each day, so you can lose weight and keep it off. To do that, your diet should include smaller portions and less fat and sugar. You should also eat a variety of food from each food group, including plenty of whole fruits, grains, and vegetables. It is also a good idea to limit red meat and avoid processed meat.

Healthonelab Diabetes tests

  • Get regular exercise. Exercise has many health benefits, include helping you to lose weight & lower your blood glucose levels. These are both lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Try to get at least 35 minutes of physical activities 5 days a week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional to figure out which types of exercise are best for you. You can start slowly & work up to your goal.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. you already smoke, try to quit.
  • Talk to your health care provider to see whether there is anything else you can do to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. If you are at high risk, your provider may suggest that you take one of a few types of diabetes medicines.

How to thwart diabetes or reduce your chances for complications if you have diabetes

Diabetes is a serious and costly disease which has increased 40 percent in the last 10 years. Research has found that one in three people born recently will develop diabetes at some point in their lifetime. The odds of being diagnosed with diabetes is high and the complications of diabetes are serious like coronary heart disease, kidney failure, increased risk of cancer, infections, dementia, and blindness. You can help prevent diabetes or reduce the complications of this disease. It is important you stay in shape and lead an active lifestyle. You should also opt for healthy meals that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Make it a goal to eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Lastly, be sure to choose foods that are low in sugar and other refined carbohydrates.

Benefits of taking control of your health and checking your blood sugar and average blood sugar

  • Diagnostic tool to determine if your blood sugar is within normal limits
  • Blood tests can show if you have any issues or complications due to diabetes and should be discussed with your physician
  • Catching diabetes disease early gives patients the best prognosis so order your own blood lab tests at HealthOneLabs.com

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An amylase test is used to measure the amount of amylase in your blood or urine. Amylase is an enzyme, which acts as catalysts for certain biochemical reactions, that aid in the digestion of food. The majority of amylase in the body is created in the salivary glands and pancreas. A small amount of amylase in the urine and blood is normal. The amount you have, whether it’d be larger or smaller amount can mean that there is an infection, disorder of the pancreas, alcoholism, or another medical condition.

 

An amylase blood test can be used to monitor or diagnose an issue with the pancreas, such as pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. An amylase urine test may be in addition to an amylase blood test. Urine amylase results can aid in diagnosing salivary gland and pancreatic disorders. One or both types of tests may be used to help monitor amylase levels in people who are being treated for pancreatic or other related disorders.

 

Your physician or healthcare provider may order both amylase blood and urine test if you are showing symptoms of a pancreatic disorder. Some of the symptoms included are nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, fever and severe abdominal pain. Your health care provider may also think it is appropriate to order an amylase test to monitor an existing condition, like pregnancy, eating disorder, or pancreatitis.

 

For an amylase blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. Once the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. It may cause a stinging feeling when the needle goes in or out. This process will most likely take less than five minutes. For an amylase urine test, you will be given instructions to provide a specimen that is referred to as a “clean-catch” sample.

 

The clean-catch method includes the following steps:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Clean your genital area with a cleansing pad given to you by your provider. Men should wipe the tip of their penis. Women should open their labia and clean from front to back.
  3. Start to urinate into the toilet.
  4. Move the collection container under your urine stream.
  5. Collect at least an ounce or two of urine into the container, which should have markings to indicate the amounts.
  6. Finish urinating into the toilet.
  7. Return the sample container as instructed by your healthcare provider.

 

If you want to order any blood tests, we recommend you look at www.HealthOneLabs.com where you can order many discount online blood lab tests without a doctor’s prescription.

 

The healthcare professional onsite may ask that you collect all your urine during a 24-hour period. For this test, your healthcare provider will provide a container and specific instructions on how to collect the samples at home. It is important to follow all of the provided directions carefully. This 24-hour period for the urine sample test is used because the amounts of substances in the urine, including amylase, can vary throughout the day. This is why collecting several samples in a day may give a more accurate picture of your urine content. There are no special preparations required for amylase blood or urine test. There is a very small risk of having a blood or urine test. During a blood test, you may experience slight pain or bruise at the spot where the needle was put in, but for the most part, these symptoms go away soon after having your blood drawn.

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If your lab results show abnormal levels of amylase in your blood or urine, it may be because you have a pancreas disorder or other medical condition. High levels of amylase may indicate many issues. For example, acute pancreatitis, which is a sudden and severe inflammation of the pancreas. When treated promptly, it usually gets better within a few days. It can also mean there is a blockage in the pancreas or pancreatic cancer. Low levels of amylase is an indicator of the following conditions: liver disease, cystic fibrosis, and chronic pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas that worsens over time and can lead to permanent damage. Chronic pancreatitis is usually caused by heavy alcohol use.

 

It is critical to tell your healthcare provider about any over the counter medicines or prescription you are taking because they can alter your results. If you would like more information about your results, be sure to have a conversation with your physician. If they suspect you have pancreatitis, they may order other blood tests, like a lipase blood test, along with an amylase blood test. Lipase is another enzyme that is generated by the pancreas. Lipase tests are considered to be a more accurate way to detect pancreatitis, especially in pancreatitis that is caused by alcohol abuse.

 

The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum, the very first part of the small intestine. It is responsible for secreting enzymes into the duodenum through a tube called the pancreatic duct. Pancreatic enzymes join with a liquid produced in the liver, bile, and stores it in the gallbladder to digest food. The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream, which helps the body regulate the glucose it takes from food for energy. Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed. With pancreatitis, sometimes the enzymes become activated and begin to digest the pancreas itself. Treatment can be very painful and requires hospitalization most of the time.  If it’s not caught early, it can turn into a life-threatening illness. The most common cause of acute pancreatitis is the presence of gallstones, which are small, stone-like substances made of hardened bile that can cause inflammation in the pancreas as they pass through the common bile duct.  Heavy alcohol consumption is another common cause.  Acute pancreatitis can occur within hours or as long as 2 days after consuming alcohol. Other causes of acute pancreatitis include abdominal trauma, medications, infections, tumors, and genetic abnormalities of the pancreas. Researchers studied the problem of pancreatitis and learned that eating vegetables can lower the risk of developing pancreatitis.   The study found that people who ate at least four servings of vegetables a day lowered their risk of developing pancreatitis by 44 percent compared to people who seldom ate vegetables. The following are a few ways that may help prevent pancreatitis: limit your intake of alcohol as much as possible, keep your triglycerides in a healthy range (less than 150 mg/dL), and eat four or more servings of vegetables each day.

 

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute has found that a deficiency of a fat cell hormone known as adiponectin may heighten the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Adiponectin is a hormone in the bloodstream and is used to reduce inflammation and helps with the body’s sensitivity to insulin.  If you are deficient in the fat cell hormone, you are at increased risk for many diseases.  The study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital analyzed data from cancer pancreatic cancer patients as compared to healthy patients and found a relationship between low adiponectin levels and pancreatic cancer development.

 

Scientists know that there is a link between obesity, insulin resistance, and pancreatic cancer risk, but this new study shows additional correlation with the hormone adiponectin and the increased probability of developing pancreatic cancer. The pancreas produces two hormones, insulin, and glucagon, that help with regulating blood sugar levels.  Although studies do not know if diabetes causes pancreatic cancer, it is more commonly diagnosed amongst those who have diabetes. Watch for the following symptoms that may be related to pancreas issues: some symptoms of pancreatic cancer include, dark-colored urine and feces, jaundice, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, abdominal pain, and lack of pain.

 

Physicians will use blood tests, in addition to ultrasounds & MRIs, to diagnose and treat pancreas issues.  The most prevalent blood test is a general screening test. To prevent the condition, it is recommended that people abstain from smoking, eat a diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and exercise frequently.

 

Take control of your health – order your own discount lab tests online at www.HealthOneLabs.com no doctor’s order needed – economical, fast, private!

 

Why the Pancreas and Amylase blood test are related

Ensure your pancreas is functioning correctly by getting a discount online blood tests

A healthy pancreas produces the correct chemicals in the proper quantities, at the right times, to digest the foods we eat.

Two of the main pancreatic hormones are insulin, which acts to lower blood sugar and glucagon

 

Why having your blood tested for amylase enzymes is a good health indicator

An amylase blood test is usually done if your doctor suspects pancreatitis.  Pancreatitis means that the pancreas is inflamed, in which case your amylase levels will be higher than normal.  Other pancreatic disorders could include pancreatic pseudocyst, pancreatic abscess, and pancreatic cancer.

 

Benefits of a-amylase blood test

  • Diagnostic tool to determine if your pancreas is functioning correctly
  • Blood tests can show if you have any issues with your pancreas and should be discussed with your physician
  • Catching pancreas disease early gives patients the best prognosis
  • Ordering your own lab tests can save you time and money

 


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