Posts Tagged ‘order online lab tests’

The Importance of Potassium for Your Overall Health

Potassium is a mineral that is indispensable for your cells to function normally. It is one of the primary blood minerals that is referred to as an electrolyte, and they conduct electricity when they are mixed with water. What does this mean to your body? They help to control nerve and muscle function, balance blood acidity/pressure, rebuild tissue that has been damaged, and hydrate. Potassium is more easily absorbed than sodium and initiates a brief sodium-potassium exchange across cell membranes. The sodium-potassium flux creates the electrical potential in the nerve cells that help your nerve impulses. The electrical potential gradient assists with the generation of muscle and regulates the heartbeat. This prohibits the cells from swelling because if the sodium is not released, water will accumulate and eventually will cause it to burst. Potassium is also a critical mineral when it comes to cellular biochemical reactions and energy metabolism, as it has a role in the synthesis of protein from amino acids in the cells. Potassium can also participate in carbohydrate metabolism due to its activity in glycogen and glucose metabolism, which is why it is important for building muscle and growth. Red blood cells contain the majority of the potassium levels in your body, which is why red blood cell levels are better indicators of the potassium quantity than common blood serum levels.  This is why your physician may order a blood lab test for a Complete Blood Count and Complete Metabolic Panel to determine how your red blood cells are functioning along with your electrolytes.  Don’t forget you can use a discount online blood lab test service to save you money on all blood lab tests.

 

In the earlier times of humankind, the Paleolithic diet provided about 16 times more potassium than sodium as compared to modern diets. Nowadays, the average American gets about 50 percent of the recommended potassium and consumes twice as much sodium than potassium. This is mainly due to the processed foods that have an excessive amount of salt and low potassium content. The potassium mineral can be found in a wide range of foods.   For instance, most of all fresh produce has high potassium and low sodium content.   However, canned produce may lose some of its potassium content during processing.

Some vegetables that have a substantial amount of potassium include

  • leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and parsley,
  • legumes like lima beans, kidney beans, and lentils,
  • tomatoes, and
  • potato skins.

Some great fruit options to help increase your potassium intake are

  • bananas,
  • apples,
  • oranges,
  • avocado, and
  • raisins.

Whole grains with potassium include

  • oatmeal,
  • brown rice, and
  • barley,
  • nuts, and
  • wheat germs

If you are looking for protein options, you can choose from fish like salmon, sardine, and cod. Lastly, some herbs you can use to season your food to help increase your daily consumption of potassium are sage, horsetail, red clover, and nettle.

Importance of Potassium

Although 90 percent of potassium is absorbed by the small intestine, it is also one of the most soluble minerals, so it can be lost through processing and cooking. Excess potassium is removed from the body through urine and sweat, which is why it is important to replenish your fluids with vegetable or orange juice. The kidneys are responsible for regulating the potassium levels in the body and keep steady blood levels while these levels variate. Magnesium helps maintain potassium in the cells. This means incorporating magnesium into your diet could be beneficial to maintain healthy potassium levels. Some examples of magnesium-rich foods include almonds, avocados, tofu, dark chocolate, spinach, chard, quinoa, bananas, and okra. Potassium loss can be triggered by the intake of caffeinated drinks, sugar, and diuretic drugs. You can also deplete your potassium levels with diarrhea or vomiting.

Most commonly used minerals

In fields like biochemistry and medicine, potassium is one of the most commonly used minerals. Its relationship between hypertension and cardiovascular health, it is often added to supplements. As mentioned previously, the American diet has reversed the high potassium-low sodium balance, so a supplement may help with balancing these out and reducing elevated blood pressure. A potassium supplement can be helpful to treat hypertension that has been specifically caused by large amounts of sodium. Studies have found that adults that take a potassium supplement systolic and diastolic blood pressure. It can be especially beneficial to those over the age of 65 because older adults tend to not respond to blood pressure-lowering drugs, so a potassium supplement may be a great alternative. Additionally, potassium chloride is sometimes used to alleviate headaches, allergies, and infant colic.

 

High or low levels of this mineral can cause health complications that can sometimes even be severe, which is why it is important to maintain a healthy level in the blood and cells.  Remember you can order your own blood lab tests at HealthOneLabs.com if you need to you’re your current levels of potassium.  Excess potassium consumption is often not an issue because the kidneys will flush the excess out. Elevated levels of this mineral are referred to as hyperkalemia, and most commonly occurs when renal function is decreased, gastrointestinal bleeding, major infection, or rapid protein breakdown. Hyperkalemia affects cardiac function and can be seen through electrocardiograms.

Heart Benefits and Side Effects

High blood pressure is one of the risk factors for strokes, so it makes sense that higher levels of potassium are related to lower risk of stroke. Studies have found that those that consume an adequate amount of potassium were associated with lower risks of stroke. Potassium deficiency is much more common, especially in those over the age of 65 and those with chronic illnesses. Low potassium levels are associated with hypertension, fatigue, depression, cardiac arrhythmia, and congestive heart failure. One of the most common symptoms of deficiency is fatigue. Some symptoms include slow reflexes, dry skin, muscle weakness, and may eventually progress to insomnia, irregular heartbeat, nervous disorders, and loss of intestinal tone.

 

The imbalance of potassium and sodium is one of the main contributors to high blood pressure, which affects 1 of 3 American Adults. Physicians often prescribe Diuretics to reduce sodium levels, but they also decrease potassium levels even more, which can worsen underlying issues. The optimal course of action is to increase potassium-rich foods, reducing salt consumption, and following an exercise routine to improve physical stamina and cardiovascular tone. The ideal sodium to potassium consumption is 1:2. This means that when you increase sodium intake, you should also increase potassium intake either through foods of a supplement. Never take a supplement without consulting your physician first. The recommended potassium intake is 4,700 mg and some good sources include bananas, apricots, orange juice, prunes, potatoes, and squash. A natural diet that is composed of main vegetables, fruits, and whole grains is high in potassium and low in sodium, which can help stabilize blood pressure and prevent hypertension.

Take control of your Health and order your own discount blood lab tests online at www.HealthOneLabs.com


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Can Diet Optimize Human Memory

Posted on:

Improve Your Diet optimize Memory with Brain Foods and Exercise

Memories influence and shape your personality. It’s your thoughts, connections, and all other recollections that make you who you are, and memory loss is essentially a loss of a part of you. However, there might be more you can do to boost your memory. Studies show that healthier diets help improve memory in the long run. Diets high in cholesterol and fat could increase the rate at which beta-amyloid plaques in the brain are created. Amyloid-beta is a protein involved with Alzheimer’s disease; it is the main component found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.  Also affected are the blood vessels in the brain which can be damaged thus preventing brain cells from receiving the oxygen-rich blood they need to function normally.

online lab tests order

The end result may be a degradation in thinking and memory. Although there is still not much information available about a brain-healthy diet, a heart-healthy diet that is low in saturated fat reduces the risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity and may also help prevent memory loss. A heart-healthy diet is very similar to a Mediterranean diet which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, olive oil, and limited red meat. There are limited studies that dietary supplements such as antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids may stall memory loss, but may be considered for some.

Consider ordering our Healthy Essentials Package to check for Omega-6, Omega-3, Vitamins B12 & D, Lipid Panel: https://www.healthonelabs.com/tests_offer/buytest/263/


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

What you should know about CRP

Posted on:

What you should know about CRP

CRP is C-reactive protein, a protein found in the body that reacts to the inflammatory response. Called a complement protein, CRP and other proteins like it respond to tissue damage. These proteins and other aggregates of the inflammatory, cause a reaction to help repair when there is an injury anywhere in the body. This quick reaction to tissue damage and inflammation is part of our immune response.

Reactions to Inflammation

Due to this reaction, CRP levels are understandably elevated after surgery or accidental physical trauma. CRP levels are also affected when the body undergoes vascular events that leave tissue without oxygen, such as heart attacks or strokes. CRP levels are often watched after myocardial infarction or heart attack, along with other blood tests to prevent another episode.

CRP & Infection

When someone is actively fighting infections, like appendicitis, influenza, or pneumonia, CRP levels will also be elevated. CRP levels, along with white blood cell counts, are a big determinant when physicians decide if a treatment is effective at eliminating the infection.

online lab testing services

 

Autoimmunity and CRP

When the body’s immune system starts to target its own cells, it is called Autoimmune disorder.  Some examples of autoimmune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, lupus, and hypothyroidism in some cases. In addition to physical symptoms of pain and fever, autoimmune diseases will increase the inflammatory response. C-reactive protein levels are often evaluated by doctors, again, with other tests, to help determine the severity or progression of the disease or episode.

CRP & Heart

Because CRP is elevated after a heart attack, most doctors will follow its levels in patients after coronary events. If initial levels of CRP are over 2.4 mg/dL, they are considered at risk for coronary events.  It is desirable to have CRP levels less than 1.0 mg/dL. Statin drugs treated for hyperlipidemia reduce CRP levels, another reason to keep at-risk patients on these drugs. It is evident that patients who have consistently higher CRP levels are more likely to have hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

Some cancers may elevate CRP levels and is often very high during acute or chronic kidney failure. A CRP blood test alone will not diagnose a single disease but can be significant in the presence of other symptoms.

Take control of your health.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Why is a Complete Blood Count blood test important?

A complete blood count (CBC) 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.

online blood tests order

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 the 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

 


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

What is the best nut butter?

Posted on:

What is the best nut butter?

Peanut butter is the most popular nut butter, but it may have some competition. To name a few there is almond butter, sunflower butter, and cashew butter. Most of these provide protein, magnesium, vitamin E, zinc, and copper. It is becoming increasingly popular to add things like collagen, omega-3s, and coconut to nut and seed butters for added health benefits, but are all of these additives necessary? The answer is, it depends. The most important thing when determining if a nut butter is healthy is reading the label. Look for nut butters that have no more than 3 grams of added sugars, less than 3 grams of saturated fat, 6-8 grams of protein, less than 150 mg of sodium.

online blood tests

A good rule of thumb when reading food labels is if you can pronounce the ingredients, then there is a good chance that it’s a good option. There are also options that are similar to nut butters for those that are allergic to nuts such as sunflower butter, soy and pea butter, and tahini. When looking for the healthiest versions of these nut-free butters look for options with minimal ingredients. Lastly, you should beware of spreads that resemble nut butters, but are actually spreads with more sugar than nuts. A few examples include cookie butter, chocolate spread, and granola butter. Overall, nut butters are a great snack option full of vitamins and nutrients, but it is important to select options made with clean and minimal ingredients.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Does daily physical activity boost your mood?

It is widely known that regular exercise is key for overall good physical health, however, it is possible that it could prevent depression. A study done by JAMA Psychiatry found that there was a 26% decrease in chances for individuals to become depressed for each major increase in physical activity. It was even something as simple as replacing 15 minutes you would usually spend sitting with a 15-minute run. Before this study, it was unsure whether exercising improves mental health or if moving less is an effect of being depressed.

Online Blood Tests

The study found that exercise independently reduced the risk of depression. It was also found that everyday tasks and activities like walking to get coffee or taking the stairs to count towards your daily physical activity. This is great because it means you don’t necessarily have to exercise the conventional way every single day on a treadmill or Stairmaster, but simply making small changes like walking instead of driving makes a big difference. This also increases your chances of staying active daily because exercise doesn’t have to be daunting, but should be time to unplug and de-stress.To live a healthy active lifestyle you have to find what works for you, whether it’d be going to a group exercise class or going on a walk. Ensuring you exercise daily will help improve your mental well being, so go out there and find physical activities that are enjoyable to you.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Why Low-Fat Diets Fail?

Posted on:

Why Low-Fat Diets Fail?

One of the most common misconceptions people have when trying to lose weight is that they need to cut out fat or eat foods that are labeled low-fat in order to achieve their goal or live a healthy lifestyle, however by doing this you could actually be doing more harm than good. Reducing fat often leads to a higher intake of refined carbs, and cuts out healthy fats that your body needs. Research has found diets with high amounts of saturated fats are associated with a higher risk of heart attacks and high blood cholesterol levels.

online blood tests

So, instead of taking an approach that completely eliminates or significantly reduces fat, you should opt to include healthy unsaturated fats in your diet. Healthy fats are actually an essential macronutrient because they help your body absorb nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K, and antioxidants. Omega-3 fats optimize heart, nerve, and brain function. You should include healthy fats into your diet like avocados, olive oil, nuts, and fish, and try to limit your consumption of “reduced-fat” fat foods that are high in refined carbs and added sugars. A healthy diet includes healthy fats, primarily unrefined carbohydrates, and protein.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

What type of water should you be drinking?

Posted on:

What type of water should you be drinking?

There is no question that staying hydrated is key when it comes to your health, like reducing fatigue, preserving sensitive tissues, and keeping your immune system healthy. There are many options when it comes to your drinking water such as:

order online lab tests

 

  • alkaline,
  • spring,
  • purified,
  • mineral, and
  • artesian,

but does it matter which one you are drinking?

Mineral water natural water that contains at least 250 part per million total of dissolved solids. Artesian water is acquired from a well that taps a layer of rock or sand. Spring water is derived from an underground source in spring. Purified water is highly treated through distillation, and deionization in order to meet certain standards. Lastly, alkaline water just has a higher pH than tap water,  with a pH of 8 or 9 as opposed to tap water’s pH of 7. So with all of these choices, which one is the best one? There is not much evidence that one type of water is superior to others, however, there is proof that states everyone is drinking enough water. It is recommended that men drink 125 ounces and women drink 91 ounces. That’s about 15 cups of water for men and 11 cups of water for women. Your body is made up of water, so it is important to stay hydrated regardless of your choice of water.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

The Relationship Between Blood Sugar and Dementia

Keeping your blood sugar levels under control is a proven practice to help prevent diabetes. A simple blood test can provide you with important information about your fasting blood sugar level, glucose levels, and your risk for diabetes. But there may be other uses for measuring blood sugar than diabetes alone. Research shows that seniors that keep blood sugar levels low can help keep your brain healthy and prevent dementia. Among non-diabetics, those who develop dementia have higher fasting blood sugar levels. Those with higher glucose levels are 20 percent more likely to develop dementia. Among diabetics, the increase in the risk of dementia is even higher – 40 percent higher in those with higher blood sugar levels. Whether you’re diabetic or not, adopting a lifestyle to help control blood sugar levels is good for the brain and may help you avoid developing dementia. Here are three proven ways to lower your blood sugar:

best online blood tests

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, even losing 10 to 15 pounds can help lower blood sugar levels.
  2. Get regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking for 30-plus minutes daily. The exercise helps burn up extra sugar in the blood in both diabetics and non-diabetics.
  3. Choose healthy meals – high in fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and legumes. Eat foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and limit red meats and high-fat dairy products. Follow a low-glycemic diet by avoiding soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages and snacks. And limit potatoes, white bread, white rice, and other refined grains.

If you are a diabetic, you should monitor your blood sugar levels daily and adopt healthy lifestyle habits to prevent complications from this disease. Your doctor may also adjust your medications to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range, as measured by an A1C level of less than 7 percent.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Why you should care about Carotenoids

Posted on:

Why you should care about Carotenoids

Carotenoids are substances in fruits and vegetables that give them their bright colors. They are prevalent in many orange colored vegetables. Typically, more carotenoids are in foods that have a darker pigment. Carotenoids act as antioxidants which prevent damage to our cells. It is easy to add antioxidants, especially carotenoids to your diet from the following produce:

  1. carrots
  2. sweet potatoes
  3. pumpkin
  4. cantaloupe
  5. apricot
  6. papaya
  7. red and orange peppers
  8. tomatoes
  9. beets

It has been found that women with the most carotenoids in their blood are less likely to develop breast cancer than those with lower levels.  Lycopene is the best carotenoid to protect against breast cancer. Tomato products are loaded with lycopene.

order online lab tests

So, besides the red and orange colored fruits and veggies in your diet, you can add tomato sauce, salsa, fresh tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit. Carotenoids are fat-soluble, it is important to add a little healthy fat to your diet.  An example of healthy fat is adding olive oil to your salad or vegetables or saute some garlic in olive oil before simmering tomatoes in the sauce. This will allow the body to absorb the nutrients and providing the benefit of lowering the risks of cancer. You can order your own lab tests to measure carotenoids with a simple blood test for Vitamin A


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube