Archive for the ‘Inflammation’ 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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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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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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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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The Importance of Gut Health

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illustration-fruits-vegetables-grains_0What is considered as “The Gut?”

It is typically considered your digestive tract – which includes a muscular tube that starts at your mouth and ends at your anus.  The food and drink journey is about 30 feet long and works with other parts of your digestive system to break down food and drink down into smaller molecules of nutrients. The blood absorbs these and carries them throughout the body for cells to use for energy, growth, and repair.

Why your Gut is Important

The gut is referred to as the “second brain” a lot because of its many important functions in the body. It is responsible for the immune system, digestive system, how well your body absorbs minerals/vitamins, capacity to remove toxins from your body, and well-being of your mental health.

Many are surprised to find out gut health can affect mood, and mental health.  Hence it is important to maintain a healthy gut.

The Enteric Nervous System (ENS) is what lines the gastrointestinal tracts, and this is important because the ENS is not only responsible for the immune system, but also for communicating with the brain regarding the body’s gut. There are certain types of bacteria that are helpful for your gut and types that are harmful, and when there is an imbalance of these, it damages the mucosal layer in your gut. In turn this leaves you susceptible for the food you consume to enter your bloodstream, thus triggering your immune system, and causing food sensitivity, inflammation, and other symptoms. The ENS also sends messages to your Central Nervous System (CNS), which can affect mood, memory and cognitive function. Lastly, most of the body’s serotonin is cultivated by a certain bacteria in the gut, which can also affect your mood.

Ways to Heal your Gut

There are a few things you can do to heal your gut naturally. First you need to figure out what is damaging your gut, like food sensitivity, too much consumption of processed fatty foods, or if you’ve taken antibiotics recently as these are damaging to the gut. You should also make sure you are getting enough prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotics are helpful bacteria for your gut and prebiotics induce the growth of these helpful bacteria. Good sources of probiotics are kombucha, sauerkraut, yogurt and kefir. Prebiotics can be found in bananas, onion, garlics, jicama, and oats. If you believe you have a leaky gut, or any other type of gut issue speak to a physician first.


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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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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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Sedimentation Rate

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Sedimentation rate or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a blood test offered to show the inflammation in your body. Inflammation is your body’s self-protecting response to get rid of harmful stimuli, however chronic inflammation is terrible for your body and can cause many diseases. This test can be done to diagnose or monitor inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. When your blood is drawn it is placed in a tube and your red blood cells slowly settle to the bottom of the tube.  Inflammation often causes the blood cells to clump, thus making them denser causing them to sink to the bottom at a faster rate. The sedimentation rate test measures inflammation by how fast the red blood cells fall in one hour. The farther the blood cells have fallen, the greater the inflammation in your body. Your doctor might request you get a sedimentation rate test in order to monitor your arthritis, to assess unexplained fevers, or to diagnose conditions like Giant cell arteritis. Because this test does not pinpoint the cause of your inflammation, it is often accompanied with other blood tests. The sedimentation rate test is offered at www.HealthOneLabs.com for $34.95, there is no special preparation required for this test.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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Whenever people think of fats they automatically assume they’re not good for them, but that’s not always the case. There are well known healthy fats and they are called unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are either monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and they help decrease disease risk. Omega-3 fatty acids are an example of the healthy fats. They are a crucial for your health and development, but your body does not produce it so the only way to get it is by consuming foods high in Omega 3s.They can be found in sardines, salmon, anchovies, and herring.

omega 3 imageIt can help reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and depression. Fish also contains proteins, selenium, and vitamin D that are beneficial for the body. It is important to get a good ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 which is another essential fatty acid. You should aim to eat a bit more of Omega-3s because it helps reduce inflammation and Omega-6s promote inflammation. It is recommended you get at least 2 servings of fish and 1 serving of oily (dark meat) fish.

Need to know if you are getting sufficient fatty acids?  Test your levels.

Take Control of your Health!


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