Archive for the ‘Heart Health’ Category

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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How Stress Can Affect Your Brain

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When under a lot of stress How Stress can Affect your Health, you may be very forgetful and disorganized, but have you ever wondered if there are any long-term effects of stress on your brain? When under stress the amygdala, which is responsible for your survival instincts, is most active which means that the parts of your brain responsible for memory and higher order tasks are not as active. When under chronic stress, the parts of your brain responsible for your survival instincts becomes stronger, while other parts of your brain responsible for things like handling higher-order tasks becomes weaker. Essentially, chronic stress rewires your brain affecting your memory and ability to handle higher order tasks. There are many things you can try to reduce your stress.

The following is a list of things you could do to manage your stress:

Stress can effect your brain

  • Become more organized. Try creating to-do lists for your workload, so that you don’t procrastinate and become overwhelmed.
  • Create a routine for yourself. If the stress you experience is not predictable, try to focus on keeping control over the things that are predictable in your life
  • Change the way you view stress. A certain amount of stress can actually be useful for growth, so instead of striving to eliminate stress from your life altogether, aim to find healthier reactions to stress
  • Get enough sleep How to get better sleep. Stress can cause sleep deprivation, which actually makes stress worse. It is important to establish healthy sleeping habits.

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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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If you are considering or already are a vegan or vegetarian, one of your main concerns may be how you will get enough protein in your diet. Protein is one of the three macronutrients your body requires, so it is important you are getting enough of it. The protein intake varies from person to person, but according to the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI), a good way to see roughly how much you should be getting by using your weight is 0.36 grams per pound. Although this approach will tell you the amount of protein you should be getting in order to prevent deficiency, you may want to consider speaking to a nutritionist as there are many factors that can affect the right amount for you. As a vegetarian or vegan, you shouldn’t feel like you are struggling with getting good sources of protein in your diet. The following are different options of high protein foods you can incorporate into your diet:protein vegetarians and vegans

  1. Edamame/Tempeh/Tofu: all 3 of these come from soybeans which is a complete source of protein, and has other nutrients such as calcium, and iron. There are about 10 to 19 grams of protein per 100 grams of either one of these.
  2. Nutritional Yeast: This is the deactivated strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. This will give a cheesy flavor to your recipes AND it is dairy free which is great if you are a vegan. Not only is it a good source of protein, but also has copper, vitamin B12 Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency may be Causing your Fatigue, magnesium, and zinc. There are 14 grams of protein per 28 grams of nutritional yeast.
  3. Spirulina: A superfood made of blue-green algae.  It has riboflavin, essential fatty acids, and potassium. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. There are about 8 grams of complete protein in 2 tablespoons of spirulina.
  4. Quinoa: A good source of phosphorus, complex carbs, iron, magnesium, and fiber. It has about 9 grams of protein per cooked cup of quinoa.
  5. Chia Seeds: These can be incorporated into your cooking in so many different ways such as baking, smoothies, and even chia seed puddings. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, selenium, antioxidants. Chia seeds have 6 grams of protein per 35 grams.

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What is Holistic Health?

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Often times when there is something physically wrong with people, they immediately take medication to ease or eliminate the physical pain, however, they don’t get to the root of the problem. It can be like putting a band-aid on the real underlying issue. Holistic health takes into consideration a person as a whole, meaning emotional, spiritual and physical changes in the body. Many are skeptical of this approach because they assume this form of healthcare can’t include traditional approaches like medication. Holistic health includes traditional approaches as well as non-traditional ones, such as acupuncture or oxygen therapies. online labTestsThese two methods complement one another, leading to optimal health. Holistic health is used to achieve life balance, which means feeling well internally, thus promoting physical health. People achieve this by being self-aware, living an active lifestyle How to Have a Less Stressful Lifestyle, eating right, and being positive. This allows their mind, spirit, and body to connect. Achieving optimal health by eating right and being active may not be groundbreaking news, but it can go a long way. Eating better means avoiding processed foods, artificial dyes, foods with harmful chemicals, or food with little nutritional value. Exercising allows you to burn calories, reduce stress, gets the blood flowing and clears the head. It is important to set time aside in the day for some type of physical activity, which doesn’t always have to be a long workout, even 10 minutes of vigorous exercise is better than nothing. Lastly, just like your body doesn’t respond well to unhealthy foods, it also doesn’t respond well to negative energy or thoughts. Imbalances in your personal life can affect your health, so it is important to be self-aware and to practice self-care. This can’t always be done alone, often times the help of a professional may be necessary. All in all, holistic health requires a lot of discipline but ultimately will allow people to be in their best health condition.

 


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How Stress can Affect your Health

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Stress can be responsible for some health issues you may be having such as constant migraines, reduced productivity, and even insomnia. Many don’t understand the toll stress can take on their body, which is why it’s important you find ways to manage it. Stress is most commonly known to affect your behavior, feelings, and thoughts, but it can also affect your physical health. High levels of stress that are not managed for an extended period of time can increase blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Some signs you may be under too much stress are headaches, fatigue, chest pains, weariness, anxiety, depression, mood swings, change in eating pattern, and drug/alcohol abuse. There are many techniques you can try out to see what works best for you. You can try meditation, exercise, being social, and/or practicing one of your hobbies. Many times when you think of destressing you think of just going home and watching tv, playing video games, or surfing the internet. These inactive activities may actually increase your stress in the long run, so try going for activities that require you are active. If you have tried the techniques mentioned and are still not feeling any relief, you may want to reach out to a professional for help.


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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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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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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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