Archive for the ‘disease’ Category

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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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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Why You Should Try to Avoid Antibiotics

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Winter is here which means you might get the flu, a cold or a sinus infection and you will most likely just go to your doctor to prescribe you antibiotics. It is important to know that antibiotics are very powerful medication and shouldn’t be taken unless you have a bacterial infection that does not clear up on its own. The truth is that antibiotics actually don’t work against viral infections such as the cold or flu. Taking antibiotics when you don’t really need them can cause them not to work in the future when you do really need them. Not to mention the fact that antibiotics have many possible deadly allergic reactions and side effects. It is important to try to avoid antibiotics if possible, here are a few ways of doing so:

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  • If you have a cold or the flu ask your doctor for over-the-counter pain relievers, throat soothers, and/or decongestants to ease your symptoms
  • Just because you have an infection caused by bacteria doesn’t necessarily mean you need antibiotics. If your symptoms are mild, ask your physician if you can delay the treatment for a few days because in many cases you may be able to fight off the infection without antibiotics
  • Avoid broad spectrum antibiotics because they kill off all bacteria in your body including the protective kind.
  • You can ask your physician to only prescribe you antibiotics for the shortest amount of time possible. A lot of the time treatments don’t have to be as long.
  • If antibiotics are unavoidable, watch out for any possible side effects.  Be sure to read the informative pamphlet that accompanies your prescription.

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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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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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What Can You Do to Prevent the Flu?

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Flu season is upon us which means that almost everyone is sniffling, coughing and sneezing so you have to take many precautions if you don’t want to get the flu as well. The University of Arizona found that when even one person is sick in an office, it only takes about four hours for surfaces like copy machines, door handles, etc. to show trace of the flu virus. The 2014-2015 flu season was one of the worst the U.S. has had, it was even considered an epidemic. It is important that you take all the precautions possible to prevent getting the flu this season.

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Everyone knows you should wash your hands often, avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes, cover your mouth when you sneeze and so forth. It is also imperative that you are getting enough quality sleep. Lack of sleep can actually weaken your immune system, thus making you more susceptible to get a virus if exposed to one. Excessive amounts of stress can also weaken your immune system and prevent you from getting enough sleep, so it is important you maintain your stress levels as low as possible. Furthermore, your diet can also affect whether or not you get the flu, or any other virus for that matter. You should try to get enough protein in your diet like fish, beans and lean beef. Diets that are low in protein may deplete the immune system as well. You may also want to consider drinking a lot of tea… and sniffing it. It has been found that the steam of the tea stimulates the cilia to move out germs. Adding lemon thins the mucus and honey is an antibacterial. Lastly, one of the most effective precautions you can take is getting the flu vaccine.

  •  avoid touching your face
  • wash hands often
  • minimize stress
  • eat well and hydrate often
  • sleep

So, as you can see there are so many ways to prevent the flu and stay healthy this time of year. Remember, getting the flu vaccine doesn’t mean you are immune so you should still take other precautions to stay healthy. The holiday season is here and you are not going to want to miss it because you have the flu, stay healthy!


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As we highlighted last week, there are numerous blood tests that can aid your doctor in diagnosing and/or monitoring your unique health issue. Let’s take a look at some other commonly ordered blood tests.

test tube imagesAutoimmune disease tests

Autoimmune diseases are a group of conditions in which the immune system incorrectly attacks the body’s own normal, healthy tissues. Some commonly known autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, celiac disease, and psoriasis. The autoimmune disease blood tests measure specific antibodies produced by the immune system to attack specific bodily tissues. A few example tests include:

  • Rheumatoid factor (RF): This test detects and measures the RF antibody in the blood. The presence of RF indicates inflammatory and autoimmune activity.
  • Antinuclear antibody (ANA): Ordered when a patient shows signs and symptoms that are associated with systemic lupus erythematosus or another autoimmune disorder.
  • Thyroid antibody: Primarily used to help diagnose an autoimmune thyroid disease and to differentiate from other forms of thyroiditis. It may be ordered to investigate the cause of a goiter, or it may be performed as a follow-up when other thyroid test results (such as T3, T4, and/or TSH) show signs of thyroid dysfunction.

Blood sugar (plasma glucose)

This is the test performed to diagnose diabetes or assess known diabetes patients. Plasma glucose can be tested in two manners: fasting (FPG) or casual (CPG). Tests taken on blood drawn from an arm vein are more accurate than blood from a finger pick test, also called capillary blood glucose.

Sometimes several plasma glucose tests are done over a period of a few hours. This is called a blood sugar series and is usually done to test how well established diabetes patients are able to control their sugar levels.

Plasma glucose sometimes is measured at defined times after the patient drinks a specific amount of glucose in water. This is done either to confirm a diabetes diagnosis (known as the glucose tolerance test [GTT]) or as a screen for gestational diabetes during pregnancy (known as the glucose challenge test).

>> Related: Learn about the Hemoglobin A1c test for diagnosing and monitoring diabetes. (LINK to this blog if it has been posted)

Disease marker tests

Disease marker blood tests monitor the levels of specific chemicals in the blood, which indicate the progress of certain diseases.

  • Prostate specific antigen (PSA): Perhaps the best known of the disease marker tests. Many men with prostate cancer will have elevated levels of PSA in their blood, however, a PSA level within the normal ranges does not mean that prostate cancer is not present. Also, some men with prostate cancer have normal PSA levels.
  • Alpha fetoprotein (AFP): There are two versions of this disease marker test–one is used to monitor for liver cancer; the other monitors testicular cancer.
  • Cancer antigen (CA) 125: Can help detect the presence of ovarian tumors and is used to monitor the progress in ovarian cancer.

Single blood tests

There are a handful of tests that your doctor may order singly. A few examples…

  • Beta human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG): This hormone is produced and is present in the blood in early pregnancy (just one week after conception). It is the basis of the urine pregnancy tests, however sometimes the hCG blood levels are measured if there is a concern about a potential ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy.
  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH): Can aid in the diagnosis of pituitary disorders or diseases involving the ovaries or testes. FSH is used to help determine the reason a man has a low sperm count and is also useful in the investigation of menstrual irregularities. In children, FSH and luteinizing hormone are used to diagnose delayed or precocious (early) puberty. Consistently high levels of FSH in a woman can indicate the onset of menopause.
  • Serum Amylase: This is typically ordered for people experiencing severe abdominal pain to see if the pancreas gland is inflamed or if its duct is obstructed.

Two websites to take advantage of our discount online blood testing:

Learn more about these and other value-priced blood tests available through HealthOne by using our convenient search feature. >>

Learn more about these and other value-priced blood tests available through InquireLabs by using our convenient search feature. >>


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There are hundreds (if not thousands!) of reasons why your healthcare provider might order blood tests for you. Abnormal hormone levels, vitamin deficiencies, diseases, and more can be diagnosed by examining different chemicals and molecules within the blood. Let’s take a look at some of the more commonly ordered blood tests.

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

This is the go-to test to analyze the three main types of cells within the blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Red blood cells contain a molecule called hemoglobin that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues. A CBC shows the number of red blood cells, their size and shape, and the concentration of hemoglobin within each cell. Red blood cells can be low if a person has been losing blood or if they have anemia (low hemoglobin levels). If you are diagnosed with anemia, your doctor will then order more specific tests to determine if your anemia is the result of recent blood loss, low iron levels, or a vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency.

The white blood cells are a key player in the body’s immune system, defending you against potentially harmful organisms. A CBC gives a total white cell count and the percentages of the different types of white cells, which can help your doctor determine what sort of infection your body is fighting (bacterial, parasitic, etc.). Additionally, leukemia, which is a cancer of bone marrow, can be diagnosed if abnormal white cells are present in the blood.

A blood platelet count in the normal range is necessary to ensure the blood clots as it should, preventing excessive blood loss from injuries or surgery. Learn more about the blood factors that help the blood clot properly. >>

test tube blood

Kidney Function Tests

The urea test (or blood urea nitrogen [BUN] test as it is sometimes known) and the creatinine test are the two most commonly order kidney function tests. These two substances are produced during the metabolic process in the body, and it is the kidneys’ job to filter them out of the blood and put them into urine to be excreted out of the body. Elevated levels of urea or creatinine in the blood suggest that the kidneys may not be working properly.

Other common kidney function tests include uric acid levels (raised levels can cause gout), electrolytes (the blood’s levels of potassium and sodium), and calcium and phosphate levels.

Liver Function Panel

The liver converts nutrients into energy for the body and breaks down dangerous toxins. A liver (hepatic) function panel is a blood test to check how well the liver is doing these vital jobs. Your doctor may order a liver function panel if you have symptoms of liver disease like abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine, and fatigue. This test would also likely be ordered if you have recently been exposed to the hepatitis virus or if you are taking a medicine that could potentially cause liver damage.

The test measures the blood’s level of total protein, albumin, bilirubin, and liver enzymes. High or low levels could be indicative of liver damage or disease.

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Blood Tests

A number of STDs (or STIs [sexually transmitted infections], as they are sometimes called) can be diagnosed by using blood tests.

  • Hepatitis: Hepatitis is not always transmitted sexually, so the antibody and antigen testing can be included in the STD tests as well as with Liver Function Tests.
  • Herpes:  Antibodies for this virus can be measured to assess a past or present herpes simplex infection.
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV):  The screening test looks for the presence of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus antibody. It can take time for the body to produce HIV antibodies (up to 6 months after infection), so they may not be detectable early on in an infection. This is why a repeat test may be needed some time after potential exposure.
  • Syphilis: Syphilis has an incubation period of between 9 days and 3 months (the average is 21 days). This test looks for antibodies, which are usually at detectable levels by 6 weeks post-infection. If positive, your doctor will likely recommend a repeat or different test for confirmation.

Thyroid Function Tests

The thyroid gland regulates metabolism in the body. Your doctor may order a thyroid panel if you have symptoms of low thyroid hormone production (hypothyroidism) or high thyroid hormone levels (hyperthyroidism). Sometimes just the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) test will be ordered as it can often rule out a thyroid problem. Learn more about how thyroid problems can affect people as they age. >>

Two websites to take advantage of our discount online blood testing:

Learn more about these and other value-priced blood tests available through HealthOne by using our convenient search feature. >>

Learn more about these and other value-priced blood tests available through InquireLabs by using our convenient search feature. >>

 


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It is rather amazing that a gland as small as the thyroid (which is located in your neck and is shaped like a butterfly) can have such an enormous impact on your health and overall well-being. Throughout life, this “master gland” is constantly producing hormones that influence metabolism, which in turn impacts everything from your heartbeat to your vision to the regularity of your bowels.

Thyroid conditions affect more than 12 percent of the U.S. population; that’s over 20 million Americans. But up to 60 percent of those people do not realize they are suffering from thyroid problems. That’s because the symptoms of both hyperthyroidism (thyroid hormone levels that are too high) and hypothyroidism (when levels are too low) are easily confused with other conditions ranging from depression to stress to simply overeating.

As people age, our bodies do experience normal age-related changes, and it’s easy to discount problems by saying, “I’m just getting older” or “That’s normal for my age,” but are you actually suffering from symptoms that could be the result of hypothyroidism, or an under-active thyroid? Hypothyroidism is not an issue isolated to younger adults! Have you considered that symptoms like fatigue, depression, weight gain, constipation, and dry skin could actually be caused by low thyroid levels in your body?

While these symptoms could be easily attributed to other medical problems, in older people, signs of hypothyroidism can be even more confusing. In people over 60, any of the following health issues–alone or in combination–could be the result of hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormone levels:

  • Unexplained high cholesterol–In older adults, high cholesterol is occasionally the only sign of an under-active thyroid. Even if this is the only symptom, a high cholesterol level warrants a thyroid evaluation.
  • Heart failure–Some of the effects of low thyroid hormone levels– including reduced blood volume, weaker heartbeat, and/or a slower heart rate– may contribute to heart failure, a condition in which the heart doesn’t pump blood effectively to the muscles and organs of the body. Symptoms of heart failure can include breathlessness, swelling in the ankles, weakness, and fatigue.
  • Changes in bowel movements–Hypothyroidism can cause constipation because of decreased movement of stool through the bowels. Less often, an older person will have frequent bouts of diarrhea, which is more often a symptom of an overactive thyroid. Persistent or severe diarrhea in an older person merits a call to the doctor and a thyroid blood panel.
  • Joint or muscle pain–Vague joint pain is a classic symptom of hypothyroidism. In fact, it sometimes is the only symptom of hypothyroidism in older patients, although many experience generalized muscle aches, particularly in large muscle groups.
  • Mental health concerns–In people of all age groups, depression is a common clue of an underactive thyroid. The difference is that in older people, it is sometimes the only symptom. Older people may also develop other psychiatric symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations.
  • Dementia–Extensive memory loss– often, but not always, accompanied by depression or some kind of psychosis–can also occur as the singular symptom of an under-active thyroid. If you or a loved one is being evaluated for dementia, be sure that thyroid tests are performed.
  • Problems with balance–Abnormalities in the cerebellum (the lobe at the back of the brain) that occur with an under-active thyroid can lead to gait disorders in older people.

If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is critical that you have your thyroid levels tested. Treatment of low thyroid is simple once an accurate diagnosis is made–a small pill that is taken each morning to supplement the hormone being naturally produced by your body. Talk with your doctor today to determine if you might have an under-active thyroid, and then learn more about our low-cost thyroid blood panels at www.HealthOnelabs.com or www.InquireLabs.com.


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Anemia – Low Iron

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What is Anemia?

Anemia is when your blood does not have enough hemoglobin or red blood cells.  Hemoglobin is a main part of red blood cells and binds oxygen. If you have too few or abnormal red blood cells, or your hemoglobin is abnormal or low, the cells in your body will not get enough oxygen.

How Many People are Anemic?

Do you know that anemia is a problem that affects up to 25% of the world’s population and it is primarily caused by low iron intake from diet and or low iron absorption.

Iron is used for making red blood cells (hemoglobin synthesis) so it is a required element for a healthy body.  Many of our foods are fortified with Iron and therefore supplementation is not needed.  Additionally, it is recommended that you get your iron levels tested to ensure you are getting enough iron before supplementing with iron-rich foods or other supplements.

Foods that enhance iron absorption include vitamin-C-rich foods, and the addition of high-quality proteins in the meal. Foods that lower iron absorption include tannins (found in tea and coffee), calcium, milk and dairy products, phytates, and eggs.

If you wish to increase iron absorption for correct an anemia problem there are some simple dietary changes you can add:

  1. Add vitamin C to your meal : Orange juice, berries, red/orange peppers, tomatoes, etc.
  2. Eat high-quality protein in your meals such as fish, poultry, or soy
  3. Limit milk and other dairy products, and eggs.
  4. Limit high-calcium foods at meal time.
  5. Add plant-based sources of iron : leafy greens (spinach, kale, and broccoli), legumes (kidney beans, chick peas, lentils), whole grains, nuts, (walnuts, almonds), peanut butter, and raisins.
  6. Check your folic acid and B12 levels to rule out any deficiencies.

Take control of your health!  Special blood tests for anemia include : Complete Blood Count (CBC), Iron/TIBC, Ferritin, Vitamin B12/Folate.

 


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