Archive for the ‘Discount Lab Tests’ Category

Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent fasting has become very popular recently, and it is simply when you eat for a certain  period of time during the day and fast for the of remaining time of the day. The most common way of practicing this is the 16:8 ration, which is eating for 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours. However, there are many other ways and variations to practice intermittent fasting. It is up to you to choose the time period that is most convenient to fast and to eat. Although intermittent fasting is often thought of as a way to lose weight, it isn’t always the case. Intermittent fasting is an eating habit, and a common misconception is that if you fast you can eat whatever you want during your eating window. Like any other eating pattern, you should opt for healthy eating habits. The following are a few other health benefits of intermittent fasting:

  1. Reduces inflammation. Fasting causes autophagy, which is when the body gets rid of damaged or old cells, helping the body cleanse it self, thus reducing inflammation. Intermittent fasting also causes your body to use up all of its sugar stores, and then forcing it to turn to fat as fuel. When fat is used as fuel, it creates ketones which block part of the immune system responsible for regulating inflammatory disorders.
  2. Insulin levels drop. This makes it easier for your body to burn fat
  3. Creates brain cells. Studies have shown that fasting stimulates and increases the rate of neurogenesis in the brain, which is the development and growth of new cell/nerve tissue. This may increase brain performance, focus, mood, and memory.
  4. Gives you energy. Intermittent fasting increases the creation of new mitochondria. Since mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cells in your body that take the food you consume and turn it into energy, the creation of new ones will boost your energy.

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Cholesterol-HDL Explained

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High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is often referred to as the “good” cholesterol because it essentially removes the harmful cholesterol (LDL) from where it shouldn’t be, thus reducing risk of heart disease. This is why it is very important to not have low levels of this “good” cholesterol. Often times when people think of cholesterol, they think of it as being damaging to your body, but it is actually an essential fat that helps stabilize the cells in your body.

cholesterol imageAs mentioned before, HDL removes LDL from places it shouldn’t be and takes it to the liver, so that it can be reprocessed. It also helps to maintain the inner walls of blood vessels, which in turn helps prevent heart attacks. The ideal level of HDL is 60 mg/dL or higher, and is considered protective against heart disease. Less than 40 mg/dL is considered being at high risk for heart disease. There are a few lifestyle changes may consider if you are trying to increase your HDL levels, such as eating a healthy diet which means avoiding saturated and trans fat, carbohydrates (especially sugar), and eating more foods high in fiber. You can also increase HDL levels by losing fat, especially around your waist, and doing regular exercise (about 30 minutes per day). If you would like to check your cholesterol levels you can order it at https://www.healthonelabs.com/tests_offer/buytest/37/ for $39.95.  Please consult with your physician if you have any questions about your cholesterol and other lab results.

 


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Celiac Disease

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We have all heard of people who are on gluten free diet; there are some who follow this diet by choice and others who follow this diet because they have no choice. Those who must follow a gluten free diet for their well being have celiac disease. Celiac disease is when someone is essentially gluten intolerant. If someone with celiac disease were to eat gluten it would cause the immune system to attack the person’s small intestine, which could cause many of the following issues: rashes, abdominal pain, and in severe cases, even death.

celiac disease ribbonIf you are diagnosed with celiac disease you shouldn’t panic as there are more options in grocery stores and restaurants for those who are gluten free. Gluten free diets are being normalized so it’s not too rare now.

On the other hand, if you are following a gluten free diet by choice, you may be omitting some important nutrients, such as fiber and whole grains. Some reports indicate that following a gluten free diet is healthier and in some cases it can be, but you could also be eating more unnecessary calories and more added sugars when consuming prepackaged, gluten-free foods. Always read the labels so you know what you are eating.  Additionally, whole foods are typically better and more nutritious then any type of packaged and processed food.

Remember not to be alarmed if you are diagnosed with celiac disease, because you have many options nowadays.  Those with celiac and on a restricted diet indicate that living gluten-free is pretty easy and eventually you won’t even miss gluten. If you are living gluten-free by choice consider making exceptions to get important nutrients you cannot get in gluten free diets.

Take control of your health.

Discount Online Blood Testing at www.HealthOneLabs.com


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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.

Take Control of your Health!


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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

test tube blood

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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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

test tube imagesTake Control of Your Health!


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Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) Blood Test

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When exposed to a pathogen, your body’s immune system creates antibodies in order to fight the infection. However, a specific kind of antibody, antinuclear antibodies, actually do damage to your body because they attack your tissues, targeting cells’ nucleus.

anti-nuclear-antibodiesAn ANA blood test can determine the amount of antinuclear antibodies in your blood. A positive ANA result may indicate that your immune system has a misdirected attack to your tissue, which doesn’t necessarily mean you have a disease or are unhealthy. A few reasons why you might have to get an ANA test is to see if you have

  • Lupus,
  • rheumatoid arthritis,
  • Other auto-immune diseases

Obtaining an ANA test can be helpful because it may rule out some diseases. If ANA results are positive, it may prompt your physician to conduct additional blood tests to determine which specific type of antinuclear antibodies are present to determine if you have a certain disease. Some blood tests require special preparations such as fasting, but the ANA does not. You may want to let your physician know the medications you take because certain drugs can compromise the accuracy of the blood test.

Remember that a positive ANA result doesn’t necessarily mean you are unhealthy:

  1. women 65 years or older tend to have positive ANA and are also perfectly healthy.
  2. Some chronic infectious diseases have been associated with antinuclear bodies such as mononucleosis.
  3. There are some medications that may trigger the creation of antinuclear antibodies like blood pressure lowering medication and some anti seizure medication.

As you can see there are a number of things that may cause antinuclear antibodies to be formed in your body. The ANA test may be one piece of information your physician needs in order to figure out why you are showing the symptoms that you are.


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Is Your Medication Affecting Your Thinking?

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Is your medication affecting your thinking skills? Every time you take medication there are possible side effects:

  • dry mouth,
  • nausea or
  • drowsiness.

brain memory

Certain medication may affect your thinking skills; a lessor known and potentially debilitating side affect:

Anticholinergics, which can be found in over-the-counter and prescription medication, can alter your mental status and put older people at a higher risk for falls. Anticholinergics may be found in medications that treat for muscle spasms, depression, incontinence and allergies.  Many of these medications are taken by the elderly thereby further increasing their risk for falls and cognitive function.

How does Acetylcholine affect the brain?

These common medications can block acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for stimulation and activity in the brain. Slow brain activity caused by the acetylcholine being blocked, leads to confusion. People who are older tend to take more medication which leads to a chemical reaction that may impact the brain activity and also leaving the brain with higher concentration of acetylcholine.  High levels of acetylcholine can eventually cause the body to have a difficult time to rid the chemical out of their bodies quickly.

Considerations for you and your physician

The medication dosages should be based on the patient’s kidney function and your physician can assist with providing you the dosages that can treat symptoms while minimizing negative side affects. Frequently, the side effects of these medications can be mistaken for side effects of old age, so it is important to monitor side effects after starting to take medication with acetylcholine. You should also talk to your physician or pharmacist to find out how much acetylcholine you are taking, and let them know any over-the-counter medicine you are taking to ensure you’re not taking a high dosage of acetylcholine.

Additional reading:  The Role of Acetylcholine in Learning and Memory


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Fighting Inflammation with Food!

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Body inflammation is caused when the body senses a stimuli such as an injury or infection. Prolonged inflammation can damage many things in the body like tissue, joints, and organs. What many people don’t know is that there are many foods that can help decrease inflammation. For example; foods that are high in fiber, whole grains, good fats and omega-3s.

good fats and grains images

Fiber

Fiber helps to reduce inflammation because it helps to balance sugar levels, thus decreasing inflammation. High levels of sugar in your blood triggers inflammation, and inflammation increases your sugar levels; it is a vicious cycle. Fiber also lowers cholesterol, and prevents small blood clots. It is recommended that women 50 or older get at least 21 grams of fiber a day and men over 50 get at least 30 grams a day. There are many foods rich in fiber like beans, dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole fruits and whole grains.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are imperative when attempting to reduce inflammation because they are high in fiber. Whole grains help increase HDL cholesterol levels and decrease LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. It is advised to consume 16 grams of whole grains a day but it is important to make sure you are buying whole grains as opposed to multigrain. Some examples of whole grains are brown rice, oatmeal, and barley.

Good Fats

Unsaturated fats are crucial for “good” health because not only do they reduce inflammation but they also lower your cholesterol and give you a steady heartbeat. About 30% of your daily calorie intake can come from these unsaturated fats. There are 2 types, Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats. These can be found in nuts, seeds, fish,  and certain oils such as olive or sunflower oil.

Omega-3s

Finally, Omega-3 fatty acids help with many things, one of them being reducing inflammation in the body. The 3 types of Omega-3s are Eicosapentaenoic acid(EPA), docosahexaenoic acid(DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid(ALA). EPA and DHA primarily come from fish and ALA can come from vegetable oils, walnuts, and leafy vegetables. Once digested, the body turns ALA into DHA and EPA. You should get Omega-3s from cold-water fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and tuna. It is important to eat fish at least twice a week to make sure you are getting these Omega-3s.

Some discount blood tests that can assist with diagnosing inflammation:

  1. Complete Blood Count
  2. Cardio C-reactive protein
  3. Sedimentation Rate, Modified Westergren
  4. Rheumatoid Factor
  5. Antinuclear Antibodies

Or order our Inflammation test panel for an economical way to get all the tests above plus additional screening tests to help determine if you have inflammation.

Take care of your health!


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Is Statin Use Worth the Risk?

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If you have high cholesterol, chances are your physician has prescribed or suggested using a statin drug.  Statin use is considered the most powerful medication currently available to help tame high levels of cholesterol.  High cholesterol can lead to heart attack and stroke so reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease is important.

cholesterol imageAre You at Risk for a Heart Attack and Stroke?

There are many risk factors that can be used to assess your overall risk of heart attack and stroke:

  • smoking
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • weight
  • exercise habits
  • age
  • family history
  • current cardiovascular health

Additionally, your physician may require a cholesterol blood test to see if you have elevated blood cholesterol levels.

The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association have an assessment test that can predict your chances of having a heart attach in the next 10 years.  If you are at risk, there are several guidelines that focus on who would benefit most from statin therapy.

Four Groups of People Which Would Benefit from Statin Therapy

  1. Those people who have cardiovascular disease.  This includes people who have a) had a heart attack, b) stroke, c) mini-strokes (transient ischemic attacks), d) arm or leg artery disease or e) surgery to open or replace coronary arteries.
  2. Those people who have very high LDL cholesterol.  This includes people who have LDL cholesterol levels of 190 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
  3. Those people who have diabetes AND an LDL cholesterol of 70 mg/dl or higher.
  4. Those people with a 10 year risk of heart attack of 7.5 percent and LDL above 100 mg/dl.

Potential Side Effects of Statin Use

  1. Muscle Issues – If you are older, female or of Asian descent or have liver, kidney or muscle disease, or an under active thyroid, you may be at risk for muscle problems when using a statin.
  2. Increase in blood sugar levels that can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
  3. Elevated liver enzymes

It is important to discuss the benefits and risks with your physician.  If you decide to take a statin, your physician may look for ways to reduce future side effect risk, such as recommending blood tests for deficiencies in Vitamin D or Q10 and conducting a physical exam with additional blood testing as needed.

The easiest and most effective guidelines recommend a heart-healthy lifestyle for heart attack and stroke prevention.  It is also helpful to minimize other risk factors such as high blood pressure.  Lastly, add exercise to your healthy lifestyle and you will decrease your risk of all cardio vascular disease.

Take control of your health; test frequently to ensure your cholesterol levels are within normal range and discuss any abnormalities with your physician.

Recommended reading:

Statin Guidelines

American Heart Association – cholesterol


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