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5 Important Signs You Are Lactose Intolerant

Do you worry that you could be lactose intolerant?

Maybe when you drink milk or eat products with milk in them, you end up feeling bloated or ill, and you wonder if the problem is with the ability to break down lactose.

According to Johns Hopkins University, being lactose intolerant is so common nowadays that it’s no longer a disorder. In fact, it is considered “normal” for adults to no longer be able to digest lactose as they age.

In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the key signs that you are lactose intolerant, as well as discuss what lactose actually is.

What is Lactose?

Before we discuss some of the signs that you are lactose intolerant, we should discuss what lactose is.

Lactose itself is a type of sugar found in most dairy products. As such, being lactose intolerant doesn’t necessarily mean you’re allergic to dairy, as you can often find dairy products that have been produced free of it.

Some babies are born with congenital lactose intolerance, meaning their bodies are unable to break down the lactose in dairy products.

Most people who are lactose intolerant develop it over time. The human body breaks down lactose with an enzyme known as lactase. The cells in the lining of the small intestine are responsible for creating them.

As people age, their ability to produce lactase can wane, which will make them lactose intolerant.

Is It Serious?

Lactose intolerance is not necessarily serious, in that it is not an allergy to lactose. This means that you won’t need to carry around an EpiPen or another emergency device just because you’re allergic to lactose.

Instead, you’ll learn to avoid lactose strategically. This may include taking pills that block lactose before you eat food with lactose in it. It may also include modifying your diet so it is free of lactose.

Worry not, lactose intolerance itself is not fatal.

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Below are some of the classic symptoms of lactose intolerance. This list, however, is not exhaustive and it is important if you experience these symptoms to see your doctor. Your doctor will need to rule out more serious GI disorders before diagnosing you with lactose intolerance.

1. Diarrhea That Last More Than Five Days

If you have diarrhea that lasts more than five days, especially frequently, it is possible that you are lactose intolerant. If this comes on just one time in your life, it is less likely an issue of lactose. But, if you have it often, lactose intolerance may be the culprit.

2. Stomach Pain That Gets Worse (or Sometimes Gets Better) When You Eat

If your stomach frequently hurts after eating dairy or products with lactose in it, looking into lactose intolerance as a cause is a good idea. For many people, this is the main symptom, and the pain can feel debilitating.

Stomach pain can also make you feel “bloated” or give you a full feeling, even when you haven’t eaten all that much.

3. You Feel Sick Even When You Eat Non-Dairy Foods

You may think you’re not lactose intolerant because you may often feel sick when you eat food that doesn’t contain lactose. While with some foods, it’s obvious you’re consuming it (i.e. with milk or cheese or yogurt), lactose sneaks its way into many types of foods.

As such, you may think you’re not lactose intolerant at all. But it is important to check the labels of everything you eat and ask at restaurants. You may believe you’re not lactose intolerant even when you are.

Pay attention to when you feel sick after meals and when you don’t. You may even want to keep a diary to help you make better judgments.

4. You’re Gassy

Along with feeling bloated, individuals who are lactose intolerant are also often quite gassy. But, there’s one catch for gas associated with lactose intolerance: it doesn’t have a smell.

So, if you’re gassy and making everyone around you feel sick, the problem is likely attributed to something else. But, if you’re gassy and no one else knows about it, it’s like due to lactose intolerance.

If you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll usually get this feeling right after meals. It may last a little while, but it’ll come on as your food is digesting.

5. Age

The older you get, the more common it is to become lactose intolerant. Most people who don’t have it as a congenital condition begin to develop it after the age of 2. But, as your body ages, you may be one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t continue to make lactase in their small intestine.

Simply getting older can be a risk of lactose intolerance, so it’s important to note how your body is changing as you grow and change while you age.

Signs You Are Lactose Intolerant: Now You Know, What Do You Do About It?

If you think you’re lactose intolerant, your doctor can order one of two tests. One is a hydrogen breath test, and the other is a blood test to look at your blood sugar after you’ve eaten lactose. This will be able to help confirm or deny if lactose is the source of your stomach woes.

The signs you are lactose intolerant listed in this article are not exhaustive, but they present some of the most common symptoms. If you’re concerned about your health, you can schedule an appointment with 24/7 labs and keep your health on track.

How Often Should You Get Tested for STDs?: Your Complete Guide

Did you know that people contract 1 million sexually transmitted infections every day?

When it comes to STDs and STIs, there’s so much more at risk than shame or embarrassment. If left untreated, STDs can grow to become potentially life-threatening.

Since many of these diseases are invisible, getting tested is always a smart call. Keep reading for a complete guide to STD testing, including why you should get tested for STDs, what to look out for, and what you can expect from an STD test.

Why Getting Tested for STDs Is a Good Idea

A lot of people believe that there’s no need to get tested. Perhaps they already underwent an STD test a few years ago or have only been with one sexual partner for a long period of time.

That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t protect you from STDs. When you look the other way, you leave yourself vulnerable to all sorts of dangerous diseases.

Reports show that Americans are catching STDs at a higher rate than ever. The number of new cases of chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea jumped to 2.3 million in 2017, a 200,000 case increase from the previous year.

Staying vulnerable isn’t a productive course of action. Likewise, it doesn’t help your partner, either.

If you have any sexual contact at all, you risk exposing yourself and your partner to potentially fatal illnesses.

When to Get Tested for STDs

STDs are more dangerous and ubiquitous than ever. By now, it’s clear that abstaining from STD testing isn’t a viable option.

So when is it time to head into the clinic or order an at-home test?

Here are some telltale signs to help you determine if it’s time to get tested.

You’re Thinking About Becoming Sexually Active

If you’re thinking about becoming sexually active for the first time, you might already feel a ton of pressure on your shoulders.

We’re not here to add to that stress. But we are here to help you make a smart, well-informed decision.

There’s a common misconception that STDs are only passed through sexual intercourse.

The truth is, you can catch an STD, such as a strain of herpes or HIV, without ever coming in contact with a partner’s genitals. Something as simple as a kiss could put yourself or your partner at risk.

You Have a New Sexual Partner

Since STDs and STIs only require an exchange of bodily fluids to spread, it’s always a good idea to get tested whenever you’re with a new partner.

It doesn’t matter how many or how few sexual partners your new companion has had. Getting tested protects both of you.

Before engaging in any type of sexual activity, have a conversation about your sexual health.

Asking a partner if they’ve had an STD test recently may not be the most romantic topic in the world. Still, it’s important enough that it warrants a few moments of discomfort.

You Frequently Engage in Casual Sex

There’s nothing wrong with playing the field, so to speak. Casual hookups are actually pretty common.

If you’re having sex with new partners on a regular basis, you can mitigate your risk of catching an STD by using protection and undergoing regular testing.

So go ahead and live your life, but be smart about it!

You’ve Had Sex Within the past Year

On the flip side, maybe you’re taking a break from sex for a while. That’s also a viable option.

However, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. You’ll still want to undergo regular STD testing to make sure that you’re safe and healthy.

At the bare minimum, get tested once per year, as some STDs can be tough to detect and may lie dormant — even if you aren’t sexually active at the moment.

You’re Experiencing Common Symptoms of STDs

Every type of STD comes with its own symptoms. Some, like herpes sores, are easy to detect. Others, like pain when urinating or genital itching are a lot easier to spot.

Whether your symptoms seem major or minor, you should never hesitate to get tested.

The earlier you treat an STD, the better.

You Have Had or Plan to Have Unprotected Sex

Unprotected sex is any form of sexual intercourse where a condom or form of birth control isn’t used.

Needless to say, unprotected sex is extremely dangerous and isn’t recommended.

If you do end up having unprotected sex, get tested as soon as possible. You’re risking much more than an unplanned pregnancy. Unprotected sex leaves both partners vulnerable to an entire host of diseases.

You Already Have an STD or STI

At first, it might seem strange to get tested if you’ve already tested positive for an STD.

Certain STDs can weaken your body’s defenses, making it easier to contract other viruses and illnesses.

What to Expect When You Get Tested

Getting tested for an STD can be an intimidating experience, especially if you’ve never undergone a test before.

Don’t worry, the testing process is quick and easy!

For starters, make an appointment with your local testing facility. If this is your first test, we suggest a comprehensive sexual health panel, which tests for a wide array of STDs and STIs like HIV, herpes 1 and 2, syphilis, and more.

If you’re uncomfortable getting tested in a lab setting, ask about at-home testing, which is as effective as a lab test without any of the social discomfort.

And don’t forget, you may not need insurance or a doctor’s note to get tested. All you have to do is walk-in or order an at-home test.

Often, the most painful part of the process is waiting for the results. In most cases, results are available in a few short days.

Don’t Risk It: Get Tested Today

Your sexual health is every bit as important as your physical and mental well-being. Don’t let shame or stigmas keep you from having a happy, healthy sex life.

Are you or a partner interested in getting tested? Schedule an appointment today, and you may be able to get tested for STDs as early as today.

Everything You Need to Know About DNA Testing

Hoping to gain some information about your ancestry? Trying to determine the legitimacy of your paternity? If so, you can do so be undergoing a DNA test.

What is DNA Testing?

DNA testing is the process of taking one’s cells and testing them to determine a variety of genealogical matters. Quick and easy, DNA testing has become so commonplace that it’s possible to test one’s self from home.

DNA testing is done for a number of reasons. One of the most common reasons is to determine whether or not a man is the legitimate father of a child. In these cases, positive DNA testing is considered concrete legal evidence of paternity.

Another function of DNA testing is to determine one’s ancestry. Your DNA will not only tie you to your relatives of the past but alert you to a range of diseases and conditions that might be inheritable.

DNA testing is also used in crime scenes, as it can help identify who might have been on the scene at the time of murder or sexual assault. This form of testing is popularly seen on TV shows such as Law & Order and CSI.

When Did DNA Testing Start?

Believe it or not, the history of DNA testing is a short one. Generally, it is agreed that DNA testing began in 1983. It was in this year that RFLP (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) testing was devised.

This form of testing is 99.99% accurate but requires the use of an exceedingly large cell sample. For this reason, it’s scarcely used.

These days, DNA tests are much more efficient, requiring only small samples of cells in order to maintain accuracy. In most cases, a spot of blood or pinch of saliva is all that’s needed.

From What Parts of the Body Can DNA Be Taken?

DNA can be found in essentially all human cells. Therefore, as long as it contains your cells, it can be taken from your body and tested.

The most commonly tested body fluids include blood and saliva. Other bodily entities which can be tested include hair, semen, urine, and skin cells, to name just a few.

If you’re going in for a paternity test, you can expect to provide a sample of either blood or Buccal scrap (the saliva found on the inside of the cheek). In rare cases, other types of samples will be taken.

How Accurate is DNA Testing?

When done correctly, DNA testing is extraordinarily accurate, to the point that it’s almost inarguable. A paternity test can indicate a man as the father of a child with 99.9% certainty. It can exclude a man as the father of a child with 100% certainty.

Note, however, that accurate testing requires proper testing practices. If the lab testing your DNA makes an error, your results could be wildly inaccurate. For this reason, it’s vital that you go to a reputable lab.

How Much is DNA Testing?

Now, you might be wondering: how much does DNA testing cost? The price of such testing varies depending on a number of factors, including the purpose of the testing, the type of test that’s run, and more.

Generally, you can expect an in-lab DNA test to run between $200 and $700. Whereas information DNA tests typically cost between $200 and $400, legal DNA tests typically cost between $400 and $700.

Take-home DNA tests are a different story and are generally available for a fraction of the price of in-lab tests. You can find take-home DNA tests for between $15 and $150. Note, however, that they likely won’t be as accurate as in-lab tests, and so buyers should beware.

How to Get DNA Testing

When trying to get a DNA test, you have two options: 1. Buy a take-home DNA test, or 2. Undergo testing in a lab. If you’re looking for ancestral information, you can probably make do with a take-home test. On the other hand, if you’re looking to prove paternity, you will need to undergo in-lab testing.

So, where can you find a lab that tests DNA? In most cases, Google is a solid option. Simply enter something to the effect of “DNA testing in [your city]”, and you should find a number of relevant labs in close proximity to you.

Once you’ve come across relevant labs in your area, you’re advised to read some customer reviews to ensure that they provide good and competent service. After you’ve done this, you can pick a lab, schedule an appointment, and undergo testing.

The DNA Testing Process

Now, you might be wondering what exactly is involved with the DNA testing process. While processes differ slightly, they tend to follow the same general steps.

The process begins with the collection of DNA. Blood, saliva, hair, or some other sample is taken to be processed by the lab.

Next, the cells from the given sample are broken down. This is done by placing the sample in a solution and adding enzymes.

After the cells have been broken down, the DNA contained within them will be separated. This can be done in a number of ways but is often done through electrophoresis.

Next, the DNA is replicated, producing a copy that can be tested. Then, the actual testing will begin, with lab technicians identifying specific genetic markers in the DNA.

If necessary, technicians will compare the DNA to another individual’s DNA, testing the validity of paternity, ancestry, or some other type of relationship.

Looking to Undergo DNA Testing?

Are you looking to undergo DNA testing? If so, and if you’re looking to undergo testing in the Tampa, Florida area, 24/7 Labs can accommodate you.

We offer both informational and legal DNA testing, both of which are accurate and quick to complete. Regardless of the type of testing you require, we can help you.

Schedule an appointment now!

hypothyroidism checklist

Hypothyroidism: What Is It and Do You Have a Problem? Use This Hypothyroidism Checklist

In America, it is estimated that around 20 million people have some type of thyroid disorder.

Recently, you may have had weird symptoms that showed up with no obvious cause.

Are you wondering why you can’t lose any weight? Or wondering why you’re always tired? You may have hypothyroidism.

We have provided a hypothyroidism checklist to help you find out.

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a disorder of your thyroid, which is the gland in your neck that produces essential hormones. Hypothyroidism is where your thyroid isn’t active enough, whereas hyperthyroidism is where it acts up too much.

When you have hypothyroidism, however, that means that you aren’t getting enough of the hormones you need to function normally.

You may not notice the symptoms at first, but if the condition is left untreated, you could experience more serious symptoms.

There are different tests to see if you have hypothyroidism, and the condition is normally treatable.

Common Causes

Hypothyroidism can affect many people. However, there are different reasons why some people may experience it and some may not.

Family History

If your family has had a history of a thyroid disorder, then you may have a higher chance of getting it as well.

While this is true, genetics is not the only thing that determines if you will get hypothyroidism or not. While it is not the only determining factor, there is a history of genetics directly linked to the disorder.

This is why it’s important to you know your family medical history.

Autoimmune Disease

One of the most common causes of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder. These happen when your immune system starts making antibodies that attack your own body rather than germs.

Sometimes it can even start attacking your thyroid. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why this is happening, but it could be linked to your genes or environmental triggers.

Medications

Some of the side effects of medications can even contribute to developing hypothyroidism.

Lithium, a medication used to treat psychiatric disorders, could be linked to this disorder.

If you are taking any kind of medication, you should ask your doctor if it has any effect on your thyroid gland.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy could even be a cause for hypothyroidism. Having hypothyroidism and not realizing it can also lead to future miscarriages and problems with delivery.

Having this disorder without treating it could also affect the developing child.

Iodine Deficiency

We don’t have this problem as much in the United States, but not getting enough iodine could also cause the disorder.

In the U.S., iodine has been added to table salt which has pretty much gotten rid of the problem here. However, around the world, it is more common.

Common Symptoms

Everyone might experience different symptoms when they have hypothyroidism. However, here is a good hypothyroidism checklist to start.

Hair Loss/Skin Issues

This is one of the visible changes you may start to notice if you have an issue with your thyroid.

Your hair may start falling out and feeling thinner in some spots. It may not even be just the hair on your head; you could even start losing some hair in your eyebrows, arms, or legs.

Your skin may start to become more dry and scratchy or more oily, which can produce more acne. Skin problems are one of the most common problems.

Change in Weight

Everyone’s weight changes, but if you notice a dramatic change, hypothyroidism could be the cause.

Hypothyroidism affects rapid weight gain without any other good cause. If you have lost a lot of weight, you may have hyperthyroidism.

Menstrual Problems

If you are a woman who thinks they have a thyroid problem, you may start to notice changes in your period cycle.

Hypothyroidism could make you have more blood flow in your cycle and also make it longer. This doesn’t happen to every woman, but if you notice it along with other symptoms, you should take note of it.

Mental Illness

Having mood changes with no explanation is also a common symptom.

If you notice feelings of anxiety or depression that seemingly come out of nowhere, this may be thyroid-related.

This disorder causes the serotonin levels in your brain to start to lower which can increase the chance of depression.

Anxiety can also happen when your body is working overtime, and you feel restless and don’t have much energy. Hypothyroidism can also actually start to slow down the synapses in your brain, which can cause you to feel slow and foggy.

Sleep Problems

You may also have problems with sleeping. Most people with hypothyroidism normally feel tired and sluggish, even after getting a good night’s rest.

They may also have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, which may contribute to their tiredness.

When people have a lot going on, they may feel tired all of the time anyway. However, if you experience this along with some of these other symptoms, you may want to visit your doctor.

Abnormal Blood Pressure

The hormone that the thyroid produces is in charge of how fast or slow the heart beats.

But when your thyroid isn’t working enough, your heart rate may be lower than normal, which can affect your other organs and your day-to-day function.

Changing Temperature

If you are always feeling cold, this may be a sign that you are having problems with hypothyroidism.

Because you have a lower circulation of blood in your body, you can feel extremely cold even when it’s hot outside or no one else feels cold.

Use This Hypothyroidism Checklist and Get Tested

This is a good hypothyroidism checklist to see if you may have an issue with your thyroid. However, you should still get tested to see if you actually have the disorder.

You can schedule an appointment with us today to see if you actually have hypothyroidism.

how to test for gluten intolerance

9 Telltale Signs You Have A Gluten Intolerance

3.1 million Americans are currently following a gluten-free diet. But many people may be gluten intolerant and not even realize it. If you’ve been wondering if gluten has a negative impact on your body, this article is for you.

Read on to learn how to test for gluten intolerance, and the top signs you may need to cut gluten from your life. 

Ready? Let’s get started.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein that’s found in barley, rye, and wheat. For people who have problems processing gluten, this protein triggers an immune response, and their body attacks their small intestine.

These constant attacks cause damage to the small intestine. This is a problem because it’s the small intestine’s job to help your body absorb nutrients. For people with Celiac disease, their bodies can’t process food when they eat gluten.

Approximately 1% of the worldwide population has Celiac Disease, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. And approximately 2.5 million Americans have Celiac Disease but are unaware. 

If your body has problems with gluten, you may have symptoms right after you eat a meal that’s heavy in gluten. However, you may also not experience symptoms for weeks after that meal. That’s why it can be difficult to know if you’ve got Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity.

Signs of Gluten Intolerance

If you’re constantly feeling unwell, there are many things it could be attributed to. But there are a few signs of gluten intolerance that you should know. Here are some of the telltale signs you could be sensitive to gluten:

1. Bloating

Bloating is one of the most common signs of gluten intolerance. It’s not normal to feel bloated every time you eat. The reason this happens is that gluten is causing inflammation in your digestive tract.

Gluten can even cause bloating for people who aren’t particularly sensitive to gluten. But if you have persistent bloating in your lower abdomen, it may be related to gluten intolerance. 

2. Diarrhea

This is another one of the most common symptoms of gluten intolerance. If you’re constantly suffering from loose and/or watery stools, it may be related to the gluten you’re eating.

If you cut out gluten and you’re no longer running to the bathroom, you may be sensitive or intolerant to gluten. 

3. Fatigue 

If you’re constantly exhausted no matter how much sleep you get, this is also a symptom of gluten intolerance. 

Since gluten can damage your small intestine, your body can end up deficient in important vitamins and minerals. These deficiencies can also lead to fatigue and exhaustion.

4. Constipation

While many people suffer from diarrhea with celiac, constipation is one of the less-known symptoms. 

Out bodies have tiny projections called villi in our small intestines. Gluten intolerance damages these villi, which are responsible for nutrient absorption. As your food travels through your digestive tract, your villi can’t absorb these nutrients, and will often take extra moisture from your stool. This leads to constipation. 

5. Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Dermatitis Herpetiformis is an itchy rash that typically occurs on your butt, knees, and elbows. It’s one of the telltale signs of celiac disease.

You may even notice this rash without any of the typical gastrointestinal symptoms that many people experience with gluten sensitivity. 

6. Canker Sores

Canker sores can be extremely painful and can make it difficult to eat, talk, and even swallow.  

These sores occur in the mouth and are common for people who have braces or are sensitive to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is found in toothpaste and shampoo. 

If you’re constantly suffering from canker sores and you’re using an SLS-free toothpaste, gluten may be the culprit. These are a sign of inflammation in your upper digestive tract. 

7. Migraines

There are many things that cause migraines, including chocolate, alcohol, cheese, menstruation, changes in the weather, and more. 

However, if you can’t pinpoint a common trigger for your migraines, they could be due to gluten sensitivity. People who are intolerant to gluten typically have more migraines than those who are not.

8. Endometriosis

Endometriosis leads to painful periods and can be debilitating for some women. One study found that 75% of women who had been diagnosed with endometriosis had a significant change in the wors of their symptoms after they went gluten-free for 12 months.

This is a massive statistic, so if you have endometriosis, a gluten-free diet could change your life.

9. Iron Deficiency

As mentioned people who are sensitive to gluten have problems absorbing nutrients. This can cause iron-deficiency anemia, which occurs when you have a lack of red blood cells in your body.

If you’re deficient in iron, you may notice dizziness, headaches, chest pain, weakness, and fatigue. If you’re eating iron-rich foods and/or taking vitamins but you’re still deficient in iron, the problem may be caused by the gluten you’re eating.

How to Test for Gluten Intolerance

If you were nodding along while reading the above signs and symptoms, you may be gluten intolerant. Before cutting out gluten, it’s a good idea to get tested so you can be sure that this is your problem. 

A simple lab test can tell you whether you’re gluten intolerant, or if you have another issue that’s impacting your health. While gluten may very well be the problem, it’s important to get tested before you cut it out of your diet. 

Gluten-free foods are not necessarily healthier than those with gluten and are often higher in sugars, fat, and sodium, and lower in nutrients. A simple blood test can tell you for sure if you have an issue with gluten. 

Wrapping up

If you’re gluten intolerant, you may have simply gotten used to always feeling sick, tired, and bloated.

You don’t need to live this way. A diagnosis can help you learn which foods to avoid, and help remove these signs and symptoms from your life. 

If you’re wondering how to test for gluten intolerance, we can help. Get in touch today to book an appointment and get the tests you need to regain your health.

 

 

4 Causes of Fatigue You Should Be Aware Of

Fatigue is defined as extreme tiredness, and it can be caused by any number of mental health or medical conditions. Some of the most common causes for fatigue are easily diagnosed through simple lab tests. If you are experiencing frequent fatigue, you should consider other symptoms to try to narrow down the cause.

Anemia

There are several different forms of anemia, but the most common is low iron levels in the blood. If you are anemic, you may also experience dizziness, weakness, and a pale complexion in addition to fatigue. This can be determined by a simple blood test. If confirmed, it can usually be treated with iron supplements.

Type 2 Diabetes

Having high blood sugar can often make you feel fatigued. Shakiness when you do not eat, feeling extremely tired just after eating, or sweet-smelling urine are some additional symptoms of type two diabetes. This can also be determined through a simple panel of blood tests that will determine your blood sugar levels at time of test and for the previous three months. If confirmed, you will need to see a doctor for treatment. Continue reading “4 Causes of Fatigue You Should Be Aware Of”

Pregnant? You Need These Basic Lab Tests

As soon as you become pregnant, your health becomes even more important than it was before. In order to help your baby grow and develop without any complications, it’s essential that you monitor your health.

You can expect many doctor’s visits, tests, and examinations as your doctors work to evaluate your wellness and identify any potential complications. The following lab tests are standard for all pregnant women throughout the first, second, and third trimesters. Here’s what you can expect.

Anemia Testing

Anemia is a common blood disorder that occurs frequently during pregnancy. Without enough iron in the body, hemoglobin levels in red blood cells decrease, and oxygen cannot be efficiently transported through the body. Pregnancy increases the risk of becoming anemic, so this prenatal test is a quick and important to identify whether you need to take a daily iron supplement. You will need more iron than usual to support red blood cells as your baby and the placenta grow! Continue reading “Pregnant? You Need These Basic Lab Tests”

Everything You Should Know About Roaches and Allergies

Nobody welcomes cockroaches into their home, but sometimes they sneak in anyway. These pests aren’t just unappealing; they pose major allergy and asthma risks due to their saliva, droppings, and skin shedding.

If you have allergy symptoms but can’t find the source, it’s possible that your home is one of the 63% of U.S. residences that contain cockroach allergens. Make sure you understand how to identify and diagnose your cockroach allergy so you can efficiently eliminate the source of your symptoms.

Why Do Allergies Develop?

There are certain substances in the environment, like ragweed in the fall and pollen in the spring, that can trigger the immune system to act as if it is fighting off a foreign invader. When the immune system jumps to action like that, it creates histamines in the bloodstream that create unpleasant reactions like coughing, nasal congestion, skin rash, wheezing, and ear and sinus infections.

Your Cockroach Allergy

The German cockroach is the most troublesome in homes and is directly associated with causing asthma and allergy symptoms, The American Cockroach, also known as the Palmetto Bug in the south, is just as common and problematic. Since roaches adapt easily to most environments and are attracted to the warmth of buildings and homes at night, it’s possible to suffer from roach allergies all year long.

The following symptoms indicate that you could have a roach infestation causing allergies to roach saliva, waste, and body parts:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Runny nose and congestion
  • Itchy, red, and watery eyes
  • Itchy skin or skin rash
  • Asthma conditions like chest tightness and difficulty breathing

Continue reading “Everything You Should Know About Roaches and Allergies”

Testosterone Free vs. Total: What’s the Difference?

Testosterone is widely known for its role as the male sex hormone. It plays many essential roles in the male body, especially sexual health and reproductive development. Testosterone is actually such a crucial hormone that the National Institutes of Health considers it the most necessary hormone in the male body.

Though a man’s testosterone levels peak during puberty and early adulthood, levels fall again with age. When testosterone levels fall too low, important body functions become less efficient, including the functions that control libido, bone mass, muscle mass, red blood cell production, fat distribution, and sperm production.

If you are experiencing symptoms that make you question your vitality and wellness, low testosterone could be to blame. Fortunately, a simple test can help you evaluate your testosterone levels and identify the best ways to boost your testosterone production. Before you undergo your testosterone testing, it’s important to understand the differences between free testosterone and total testosterone in the body.

What Is the Difference Between Free and Total Testosterone?

Not all testosterone functions the same within the body. Free testosterone travels through the blood unattached to any proteins. Only 2% of all testosterone is considered free testosterone. This small portion can move immediately into cells that need more testosterone to maintain proper body functions.

Total testosterone is the sum of the body’s free, bioavailable, and unavailable testosterone. Bioavailable testosterone includes all testosterone loosely bound to albumin and the carrier protein known as sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). About 54% of all testosterone in the body binds to these proteins. Continue reading “Testosterone Free vs. Total: What’s the Difference?”

Hepatitis A, B, and C: What’s the Difference?

Hepatitis is a serious health condition that affects the liver. This STD occurs in three different forms, which can make it confusing to understand. Here’s what you should know about Hepatitis A, B, and C to protect your health and get the treatment you need.

What Is Hepatitis?

In general, hepatitis is defined as inflammation of the liver. Some cases of hepatitis are short lived, but others develop chronically over months or years. Viruses, alcoholism, and certain medications are all linked to the development of hepatitis.

Symptoms and Treatment for Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that spreads through the fecal-oral route. Infected people shed a large quantity of the virus in their stool, which makes it all too easy to spread to others through shaking hands, turning door knobs, answering the phone, and touching other common surfaces.

The most common symptoms of Hepatitis A include nausea, poor appetite, abdominal pain, fatigue, and dark urine. A blood test is needed to identify hepatitis A, but no specific treatment exists. Instead, the body needs time to recover from the virus on its own. In most cases, the liver can recover in six months with no lasting damage. Continue reading “Hepatitis A, B, and C: What’s the Difference?”

Why Are Some Women Prone to UTIs?

If you’ve suffered through a urinary tract infection in the past, you know exactly how painful and uncomfortable the condition can become. Women are far more prone to UTIs than men, and some women even more than others. If you count yourself among the millions of women who are plagued by UTIs, the following information will help you seek a solution.

What Are UTIs?

Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria gets trapped in the urinary tract. Since the urinary tract comprises of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra, there is plenty of space for bacteria to hide. The bladder and the urethra are the most common places for bacteria to live, and this creates infection as the bacteria irritates the body. Continue reading “Why Are Some Women Prone to UTIs?”

Tips for Safeguarding Your Immune System This Winter

As the weather begins to get cooler, it is more important than ever to take measures to support a healthy immune system. These tips will help you take action to protect your wellness.

Water, Water, Water

Your body relies on water to clear out toxins and other “sludge”. This sludge can weigh you down and keep you feeling ill. Water helps white blood cells and other immune system elements reach their destinations to fight bacterial and viral intruders. Many beverages like coffee, tea, and soda actually dehydrate the body. Plain and simple, water is the best. Infuse with fruit if you need a flavor!  Continue reading “Tips for Safeguarding Your Immune System This Winter”

Can STDs Be Treated? Here’s What You Should Know

You never hope to contract an STD, but if you are sexually active, STDs pose a real risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 19 million men and women in the United States contract some kind of sexually transmitted disease each year!

STDs cause uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms, but the good news is that most STDs caused by bacteria and can be treated or even cured with antibiotics. Even if an STD is caused by a virus, it can still be controlled with proper medical attention.

Whether you have syphilis, chlamydia, or any STD in between, here’s what you should know about treating your STD. Continue reading “Can STDs Be Treated? Here’s What You Should Know”

Women, Top 4 Signs You Might Have an STD

Symptoms are tricky to interpret. Does your headache mean you’re dehydrated, stressed, or dealing with poor vision? It’s tempting to ignore symptoms and just hope they disappear, but the following five symptoms definitely need your attention since they could signal an STD.

Continual Vaginal Itching

Itches happen from time to time, but it isn’t normal to feel ongoing itching inside your vagina. If your itching becomes incessant and overwhelming, it could indicate a yeast infection… or it could indicate an STD like chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, or trichomoniasis. It is even more likely to be an STD if the itching is paired with any of the symptoms below. Continue reading “Women, Top 4 Signs You Might Have an STD”

Everything You Should Know About Prostate Health

Not too many years ago, a prostate cancer diagnosis was nothing short of a death sentence. But today, science continues to advance at lightning speeds to uncover treatments and cures that make survival possible. With the right men’s wellness tests, you can uncover any potential prostate health problems early enough to seek effective and long-lasting treatment.

Why Does the Prostate Matter?

The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland located in a man’s body below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is responsible for producing a thick, milky fluid that contributes to the production of semen. Due to the prostate position, it can cause serious problems with urination and sexual function is something goes wrong. Continue reading “Everything You Should Know About Prostate Health”

Gonorrhea 101

Often known as “The Clap,” Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that affects about 78 million people around the world each year. Though this STD can be treated, it is a serious condition that can lead to complications if ignored.

Procrastination only makes matters worse, so it’s essential to test for gonorrhea as soon as you suspect you might have contracted the disease.

What Is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is caused by the bacterium called neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can affect both men and women in the genitals, rectum, and throat as a result of any form of unprotected sexual activity.

Gonorrhea is especially unique because it can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy. It’s even possible to experience gonorrhea and chlamydia simultaneously. Continue reading “Gonorrhea 101”

A Beginner’s Guide to Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that impacts million of Americans, but many have no idea that fibromyalgia is responsible for their suffering.

Fibromyalgia is defined as widespread and long-term body pain radiating from the muscles and connective tissues. It is often accompanied by other symptoms like headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

Though a specific cause has not yet been identified, potential triggers for fibromyalgia include allergies to foods or chemicals, hormonal imbalances, poor digestion, stress, and neurotransmitter deficiency. Continue reading “A Beginner’s Guide to Fibromyalgia”

Could a Mineral Supplement Help Your Symptoms?

There are many painful symptoms that can arise as a result may different conditions. This makes it difficult to determine the underlying cause of your health issues or seek the right treatment. If problems like fatigue, migraines, and irritability continue to plague you, a mineral deficiency could be the root cause.

What Are Minerals

Just like vitamins, minerals play many critical roles in the maintenance of your body’s functions and growth. Minerals are elements in their simplest form, like iron, magnesium, and selenium. All nutrients in the body, including vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and sugars cannot function properly without minerals. A dangerous combination of food processing and soil depletion has left much of today’s food sources lacking the minerals that the human body needs. Continue reading “Could a Mineral Supplement Help Your Symptoms?”

Why Are You Suffering From Daily Fatigue?

How often do you feel fatigued? Millions of Americans cope with chronic fatigue that leaves them feeling so tired that even simple daily tasks feel challenging.

If you can’t remember the last time that you made it through the day feeling energized and revitalized, you could be suffering from a hidden condition like anemia or lyme disease. Since fatigue is a symptom that occurs with such a range of illnesses, only an extensive blood test can identify the root of your problem.  

Signs and Symptoms of Fatigue Continue reading “Why Are You Suffering From Daily Fatigue?”

Do You Have High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” for a good reason. It occurs so gradually over time that you may not even realize the impact it’s having on your body. Worse yet, high blood pressure rarely causes obvious symptoms until they are life threatening.

The best way to protect yourself from high blood pressure is to be proactive. Just one simple test is all it takes to determine your blood pressure and start making the changes needed to improve your health.

High Blood Pressure Can Occur at Any Age

You may be surprised to learn that blood pressure threatens adults of all ages, not just older men and women. In fact, one in four men and one in five women in their 30s and 40s have high blood pressure.

Experts are concerned that the increased rate of strokes among young people is directly correlated to high blood pressure that develops as a result of obesity and diabetes. Since checking your blood pressure is just as simple as taking your temperature, it’s very easy to check it regularly and remain alert for any problems. Continue reading “Do You Have High Blood Pressure?”