Archive for the ‘Vitamin D’ 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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Nowadays, most people lead extremely busy lives, and it’s common for people to feel worn down. If you are burning the candle at both ends and sacrificing sleep, the source of your fatigue may be pretty obvious. But if you are getting enough sleep, yet still feel constantly exhausted, it may be caused by a vitamin or a mineral deficiency.  The following are a few vitamin levels you may want to have tested if you feel like you are always feeling worn out or drained:

  • Iron: Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, but if you don’t have enough of these cells, or if your red blood cells do not have sufficient amounts of an iron-dependent protein called hemoglobin, anemia can result. Fatigue is often one of the first symptoms experienced by people with anemia. Fortunately, anemia is easy to diagnose with a blood test that measures the number of red blood cells in the blood and amount of hemoglobin in those cells.  If you are suffering from anemia, you must first increase your body’s iron supply with iron-rich foods such as red meat, eggs, rice, and beans. With your doctor’s okay, over-the-counter iron supplements are another option for boosting iron levels, though these can cause constipation.
  • Vitamin B12:In addition to iron, vitamin B12 is also crucial for the body’s production of healthy red blood cells, and a vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anemia. Good dietary sources of vitamin B12 are meat and dairy products, so most people on a traditional Western diet get enough of this key nutrient through their food. However, vegetarians and vegans can become deficient in B12. Additionally, with age and certain health conditions–including gastrointestinal problems like Crohn’s disease or inflammatory bowel disease–it becomes more difficult for the body to absorb enough B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency is usually resolved with oral supplements and/or dietary changes to increase B12 consumption. For some people, B12 deficiency is treated with regular vitamin B12 injections.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is unique. There are few natural dietary sources of vitamin D, however, it is naturally produced by the human body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is imperative to maintain bone and muscle health. A deficiency of this vitamin can also cause insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and reduced immune function. Some examples of dietary sources of vitamin D is tuna, salmon, and fortified products like milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals. Another way to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D is nutritional supplements. If you decide to take the supplement route, the D3 form is easier for your body to absorb than other types of vitamin D.
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