Posts Tagged ‘blood test without a perscription’

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.



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


Why Am I Gaining Weight? Maybe It’s The Weather

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In many parts of the country, hibernating animals are busily preparing for the winter, eating and eating and eating as they build up the energy stores that will sustain them until spring. And many humans are doing something similar!

What happens during hibernation?

During hibernation, animals’ metabolism, oxygen consumption, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature all decrease to ensure that the animal burns as few calories as possible thus extending their energy stores. In this state of decreased metabolism, the animal’s body uses lipids (fatty acids) rather than carbohydrates to produce energy. During the hibernation period, an organism will lose about 40% of its body weight.

Can humans hibernate in winter?

As much as some humans might want to curl up in a ball and hibernate during the cold months of the winter, our bodies are not made to undergo the drastic metabolic changes necessary to enter a true hibernation. Many humans, however, do notice bodily changes associated with the drop in temperatures.
People who suffer from a specific kind of depression called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, often liken their condition to hibernation, and researchers have suggested that SAD is in fact a bodily reaction to the shorter daylight hours in winter. But unlike major clinical depression, where people typically lose their desire to eat and have trouble sleeping, people with SAD frequently sleep more than average and note an increase in their appetite and food consumption, often leading to weight gain.

Have you put on some extra “insulation” for winter?

As winter approaches, if you find you are putting on pounds, be sure to consult with your doctor. In addition to talking with you about a healthy diet and exercise, your doctor may want to run some blood tests to see if there is any cause for concern related to your weight change. Some of the tests your healthcare provider may recommend include:

  • Cortisol: Also called the “stress hormone” or the “fight or flight hormone,” cortisol increases adrenaline production in stressful situations. While it can benefit the body, increasing awareness and immunity as well as reducing pain in the short-term, too much cortisol on an ongoing basis can damage the thyroid, bone, and muscle. It can also decrease long-term immunity and contribute to the production of belly fat.
  • Homocysteine: A risk factor for heart disease, this protein is typically elevated in people with insulin resistance.
  • Insulin and Glucose: Those with diabetes do not produce sufficient insulin to process the body’s glucose. But high insulin is also problematic, causing the body to accumulate glucose as stored fat but not allowing the body to metabolize that stored fat for energy.
  • Liver Function:  If liver function is compromised, the body can struggle to remove hormonal waste and burn fat.
  • Testosterone: This hormone (found in both males and females) is responsible for sexual function and development, but it is also crucial for brain, bone, muscle, and vascular health, as well as fat dispersal.
  • Thyroid Tests: The “master gland,” the thyroid produces hormones that are crucial for healthy metabolism. If it is not functioning properly, the body will not be able to properly process food’s energy.
  • Vitamin B-12 and Folate (also known as Folic Acid): In order for the body to work effectively as a fat burner, insulin levels must be steady, and these are key ingredients for creating that stability.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency can cause the body to accumulate belly fat, as well as improperly process food. It is also a crucial element for bone health.

While there are many potential causes of weight gain, the results of these lab tests can help your healthcare provider assess the condition of your body and offer suggestions on the best approach to weight loss.

Learn more about these and other value-priced blood tests available through


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. >>

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Lower Your Risk of Pancreatitis

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What is the Pancreas?

The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum, the very first part of the small intestine. The pancreas secretes enzymes into the duodenum through a tube called the pancreatic duct. Pancreatic enzymes join with a liquid produced in the liver, bile, and stores it in the gallbladder to digest food. The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body regulate the glucose it takes from food for energy.

What is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed. In the United States, about 178,000 people a year seek medical treatment for pancreatitis.  With pancreatitis, sometimes the enzymes become activated and begin to digest the pancreas itself. Treatment can be very painful and usually requires hospitalization. If it’s not caught early, it can turn into a life-threatening illness.

The most common cause of acute pancreatitis is the presence of gallstones which are small, stone like substances made of hardened bile that can cause inflammation in the pancreas as they pass through the common bile duct.  Heavy alcohol consumption is another common cause.  Acute pancreatitis can occur within hours or as long as 2 days after consuming alcohol. Other causes of acute pancreatitis include abdominal trauma, medications, infections, tumors, and genetic abnormalities of the pancreas.

Researchers studied the problem of pancreatitis and learned that eating vegetables can lower the risk of developing pancreatitis.   The study found that people who ate at least four servings of vegetables a day lowered their risk of developing pancreatitis by 44 percent compared to people who seldom ate vegetables.
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Lower Your Risks of Developing Pancreatitis:

1. Limit your intake of alcohol.

2. Keep your triglycerides in a healthy range (less than 150 mg/dL).  Triglycerides are included as part of the Lipid (Cholesterol) Panel.

3. Eat four or more servings of vegetables each day.


Take Control of Your Health.

Medical Disclaimer:  The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.  The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


Vitamin B12 and Folate Blood Tests

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What is Vitamin B12 and Folate?

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient from food we eat that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy.  It also assists with making DNA in our cells.  Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient to prevent anemia.

Folate is a water soluble B vitamin that is found in food and helps create and maintain cells including the DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells.  Folate is used to make red blood cells that prevent anemia and it is also essential for the metabolism of the amino acid, homocysteine.

vitamin b12 and folate image resized 600

Why Would I Need a B12 and Folate Blood Test?

Vitamin B12 and folate blood tests are typically ordered when detecting deficiencies or to help determine the cause of certain anemias.  Malnutrition or malabsorption of these vitamins can stem from people that have

  1. alcoholism
  2. liver disease
  3. gastric cancer
  4. celiac disease
  5. Crohn’s disease
  6. IBS
  7. cystic fibrosis

If the body is not absorbing B12 and folate from the diet or insufficient amounts of these vitamins are not being ingested, then the blood lab test will indicate low levels.

Vitamin B12 and folate tests may be ordered along with a Complete Blood Count (CBC) and homocysteine so a physician can provide a correct diagnosis regarding any low test values that show a deficiency.

What Are the Main Causes of Low B12 or Folate?

  • Insufficient ingestion of foods that contain Vitamin B12 and Folate.  This is very uncommon, but it is more prevalent amongst vegans who do not consume any animal products, including milk and eggs.   Most cereals, breads and other grains are fortified, so even vegans will usually get sufficient intake.
  • Malabsorption occurs with conditions that interfere with the absorption of Vitamin B12 or folate in the small intestine.

What are the Symptoms of Low B12 Levels?

The most common symptom of B12 deficiency is anemia which is typically revealed in a simple Complete Blood Count (CBC) test.  Less severe symptoms include:
  • muscle weakness
  • fatigue
  • shakiness
  • unsteady gait
  • incontinence
  • low blood pressure
  • depression
  • cognitive problems (memory)

What are Symptoms of Low Folate Levels?

Low folate levels may take months before any signs or symptoms appear.  Additionally the symptoms are very general and therefore can be signs of other health issues or diseases.
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Headaches and difficulty concentrating
  • Palpitations
  • Diarrhea
  • In the early stages, the tongue may be red and painful leading to a smooth shiny surface in the chronic stages of deficiency.

Testing for deficiencies is easy, safe and quick.  Get tested to see if you are at risk.

Take Control of Your Health.

Medical Disclaimer:  The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.  The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


People are ordering their own lab tests and it is increasingly popular with those that:

  1. Have high deductible insurance policies
  2. Are uninsured
  3. Want confidentiality so it is not reported to their health insurance carriers
  4. Impatient to see a physician or
  5. Do not want to pay for an office visit for a lab test order/prescription

Since the majority of those that are self ordering blood tests are not health professionals, the common question is whether or not they will be able to decipher the data on their lab results.  Unlike an MRI, sonogram or x-ray, lab results are fairly simple to read.  Each test component is listed along with a (1) reference range, (2) your actual values and (3) a flag notification if your values are outside the reference range.

For instance, if you are testing your blood sugar, or glucose, the test results would look like this:

Glucose High graphic

The person’s Glucose level is 196 mg/dL and is flagged as HIGH because the levels should be within the Reference Intervals of 65-99 mg/dL.   Uric Acid, Serum levels are normal and not flagged since they are within the reference interval provided.  Reference Intervals are based upon gender and age and are constantly being updated for the current recommended standards.

So, generally speaking, the lab test results can be easily read by those that order the test.  It is recommended that you establishes a relationship with a health provider that can review your family history, your lab test results and conduct a physical examination to diagnose and further explain your test results.

Go ahead and order those tests yourself – it’s simple, easy and inexpensive and can provide important health information.

Take Control of Your Health.

 Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.