Archive for the ‘diabetes’ Category

Importance of Zinc for your health

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Importance of Zinc for your health:

Zinc is one of the most important minerals necessary for your overall health. Zinc has many functions in your body such as helping break down carbohydrates, immune system, wound healing, cell growth, and cell division. Research has found that taking a zinc supplement may reduce your chances of getting the common cold, or can make the symptoms of your cold less severe. There is conflicting research on this so be sure to discuss any supplements with your physician.

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You can get a good source of zinc by consuming certain foods like lamb, beef, pork, whole grains, nuts, yeast, and legumes. Diets that are high in animal protein tend to be high in zinc since animal protein is more available for use in the body than plant protein. You can also opt for a zinc supplement like zinc acetate, zinc sulfate, or zinc gluconate. Some symptoms of zinc deficiency include slow growth, hair loss, suffering from frequent infections, skin sores, the long wound healing process, and poor appetite. If you believe you have a zinc deficiency, speak to your physician about possibly taking a supplement or making some changes to your diet. You can check your zinc levels with a zinc blood lab test.


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Why it is important to check your Hemoglobin A1C levels if you are a diabetic:

If you are diabetic, you know that it is crucial to maintain and test your blood sugar levels daily. However, you may not have known that it is also very important to check your hemoglobin levels as well. Hemoglobin is a red protein that transports oxygen in the vertebrates. One of the types of hemoglobin is called hemoglobin A (HbA), and hemoglobin A1c is a subtype of HbA. Molecules of glucose (sugar) in the blood bind to hemoglobin A1c and stay bound to it for months. Therefore, the higher amount of blood glucose means a higher amount of hemoglobin A1c, and by measuring its value, you can get your average blood sugar level during the past 8 to 12 weeks. The hemoglobin A1c test is commonly used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes because it measures average blood glucose levels over a period of two to three months. After being diagnosed, the A1c test is then used to measure how well you are managing your diabetes.online lab tests This test can also go by other names such as glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1c, and HbA1c, but no matter what you call it, the results will show a high A1c level, then your blood sugar is not well-control ed. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, if you are not managing your blood sugar, then there will be a higher risk of diabetes-related complications including kidney failure, vision problems, and leg or foot numbness. Conversely, the lower your A1c level, the lower your risk for diabetic complications. The A1c test is referred to as the “gold standard” for evaluating the risk of damage to tissues caused by high blood sugar levels. This is why it is one of the most useful tools to determine how effectively your diet and your diabetes medication are regulating your blood sugar. In turn, it can also help your doctor determine whether your medication needs to be adjusted. If you are diabetic and would like to have better insight into your blood sugar levels, get a hemoglobin A1c test. Please discuss your test results with your physician.  If you have diabetes, be mindful of your blood sugar levels because it can reduce your risk for long-term health problems, like eye, heart, and kidney problems, and even stroke.

 


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Should you buy generic or brand name drugs?

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The use of prescription medicine has increased over the years.  Likewise, the use of generic drugs has increased versus their brand name counterparts.  In fact, about 8 in 10 prescriptions filled in the US are for generic drugs.  Many people question the safety of generic drugs, but the FDA has concluded that generics provide the same quality and performance as brand-name drugs:

  • Generics must have the same active ingredient, strength, dosage form, and route of administration as the brand-name drug
  • Generic manufacturers have to prove that the drug is the bioequivalent as the brand-name drug
  • Generic manufacturers must pass the same quality standards as the brand-name drug manufacturer.order online lab tests

Many people don’t know that a lot of the generic drugs are made in the same manufacturing plant as the brand-name drug! Millions of dollars are saved annually when patients switch from brand name to generic drugs Generic vs. Brand Name Drugs. The FDA estimates that generics saved patients $158 billion dollars in just one year.  Paying significantly lower prices for a generic doesn’t mean you are sacrificing quality or effectiveness of the drug.  When a brand-name drug becomes generic, they do not need to repeat the costly clinical trials.  They also usually do not pay for expensive advertising, marketing, and direct promotion to physician offices and hospitals.  Finally, there is usually more than one manufacturer that is producing the generic drug which means the competition further decreases the drug price. Discuss the use of generic drugs versus brand-name drugs with your physician to see if generics are a cost-saving option for you.


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Why You Should Wear Sunscreen Year Round

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With summer officially gone, the beginning of fall means cooler temperatures, and often times people think you do not have to wear sunscreen any other time than in the summer. In reality, you should be wearing sunscreen Vitamin D Testing. Is it Necessary? every day, regardless of the temperature outside or if it is even sunny. Sunscreen is the one skincare that works upon application and helps prevent wrinkles and even skin cancer. Studies show that only about 30% of American women and 14% of American men wear sunscreen, which is incredibly low numbers. Many cases of cancer could have been prevented by simply applying sunscreen before going outside.online lab testing services

The following are some tips you should follow to make sure your skin is protected year-round:

  1. A very common misconception is that just because it is cloudy outside, you don’t need to wear sunscreen. Up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds, so don’t believe that cloud cover will save you from damaging sun rays. Apply sunscreen.
  2. Wear sunscreen under your makeup. There are foundations and powders that contain SPF (sun protection factor), but you would need about 10 times the normal amount of foundation/powder to get the right protection from the sun. You should opt for a moisturizer with broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15 and apply foundation over it.

Don’t spend too much time under the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm because the sun’s rays are most intense and more likely to damage your skin during these times.


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PSA Blood Test Overview

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The Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is produced by the prostate.  A simple blood test measures the amount of PSA and high levels may suggest the presence of prostate cancer. If you are a male, have an average risk of prostate cancer, and are over 40 years old, you should get a PSA blood test.  According to the American Urology Association, the following is a general schedule for when you should get tested– please note you should discuss this testing with your physician for individualized consultation:online blood tests

  • Under age 40: PSA screening is not recommended
  • Ages 40-54 and at average risk: Routine PSA screening is not recommended (note: this decision has been debated by physicians so check with your health care provider)
  • Under age 55 at higher risk (family history or African American): The decision should be discussed with your physician as to the frequency of this test.
  • Ages 55-59: This age group tends to get the most benefit from having a PSA blood test done.  Routine screening is recommended every two years.
  • Ages 70+: Routine PSA screening is not recommended although some men over the age of 70 may benefit from prostate cancer screenings.online lab tests

Because prostate cancer is the number two cancer killer of men, there is nothing wrong with having a PSA test if you are concerned or if your physician recommends having this test. You can order a PSA blood test here.


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How Blue Light May be Affecting your Health

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Blue lights create blue wavelengths, hence the name, and is considered positive during the day as it helps increase mood, reaction time, and attention span. However, it can be very disruptive at night and can throw off your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s biological clock. Blue light is emitted from electronics with screens such as your phone, and energy efficient lights. Being subjected to blue wavelengths at night repress the secretion of melatonin, which is produced by the pineal gland and is responsible for regulating sleep.online blood test

Research has shown that not getting enough sleep at night can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, depression, premature aging, and diabetes. It is important to try to limit your use of screens that produce blue light at least 2 hours before going to sleep, this will help preserve your circadian rhythm, thus allowing you to go to sleep at a reasonable time. You can also opt for red lights at night, which have the least power to affect your circadian rhythm or the production of melatonin in your body. Lastly, try to get as much natural daylight as possible, as this will increase your ability to fall asleep at night, and keep you much more alert and awake during the day.


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There is a strong connection between diabetes and your vision health.  If you have prediabetes or diabetes Diabetes and Eye Health it is important to get your blood glucose levels under control.  According to the American Diabetes Association, individuals with diabetes have a higher risk of blindness than those without diabetes and are 40 percent more likely to have glaucoma and 60percent more likely to have cataracts.  Those statistics are staggering and we must protect the gift of sight.

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There are various types of retinal damage that can be caused by diabetes.  This is typically referred to as diabetic retinopathy.  If you have chronic blood glucose levels (high blood sugar), the tiny blood vessels that supply needed blood to your retina in your eye get damaged, which causes them to be unable to function properly.  Lack of blood supply to the retina can eventually lead to vision loss.  Furthermore, your body may trigger the growth of new blood vessels, in order to compensate for the damaged blood vessels, which in turn can rupture and leak blood.  In the end, these blood vessels can cause retinal detachment or glaucoma.

The longer you have had the diagnosis of diabetes increases your likelihood of getting retinopathy.  If your blood sugar is not under control, the likelihood of complications increases considerably.

The two common symptoms are blurry vision dark floating spots. it is important you see your ophthalmologist every six months if you are diabetic.  Additionally, it is crucial that you manage your blood sugar levels.  Many diabetics will check their blood sugar levels at home, but be sure to see if you are managing those levels by getting a Hemoglobin A1c test which is a way to find out your average blood sugar levels over time.

Some discount blood lab tests to consider:

Or order our Diabetes test package for an economical way to get all the tests above plus additional screening tests to be sure your organs are not affected by high blood glucose levels.


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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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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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Nutrients Combat Disease

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Everyone knows certain foods are better for you than others but what many don’t know is that certain foods can actually be medicine to fend off various diseases. Eating foods that help prevent disease is very different then taking drugs because foods are not isolated substances. Food contains vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that work together to reduce risks of diseases. Studies have shown diets such as the Mediterranean diet are high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables and actually reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammation and even some cancers. The following are some examples of foods with medicinal benefits:

Berries:

    • Blackberries cause the self destruction of colon, breast, oral, and prostate cancer and has antibacterial action
    • Blueberries are not only antioxidants but are also rich in Omega-3 and help protect the Aorta blood vessel
    • Raspberries may help to prevent the growth of cancer cells

Broccoli:

Triggers cells in the body to produce enzymes that protect against inflammation and oxidative stress which in turn is beneficial for cardiovascular health and cancer prevention

Fish:

Is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which has anti-inflammatory properties.Omega-3 fatty acids also help lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, reduce irregular heartbeats, and reduce risks for heart heart failure

Ginger and turmeric:

These have anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Ginger may also help relieve nausea and vomiting

Nuts:

Full of good fats and fibers which are very good for cardiovascular health. They also promote health blood sugar and weight levels

Food is medicine and you should put the best in your body to improve your health!


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