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December Health Testing News 

Peace On Earth and Good Health To All
Ah, Christmas. One of the most widely observed events on the planet; the Yuletide season provides a huge economic boost to national and international businesses. This is a time to celebrate for much of the world.

Though holiday beliefs and celebrations vary widely due to cultural and national traditions, there's no doubt the annual holiday means a special time of year for nearly everyone.
Health Testing Centers Gift Certificates Make The Perfect Gift

For A Limited Time Purchase $100 Gift Certificates For Only $80!

For the special family member or adult in your life, why not give the gift of health? Throughout the month of December, Health Testing Centers is offering Gift Certificates at this special discount.

Helpful Tips For The Holiday Season
Enjoy the holiday season throughout December, but remember to take care of your health and well-being during what can be among the most stressful times of year.
  1. Get plenty of sleep. Even a quick afternoon "power nap" (20 minutes) can rev up your energy level. To avoid jet lag while traveling, stick to your normal sleeping patterns regardless of the time zone. Over-the-counter melatonin can also help your brain adjust to new sleep cycles.
  2. It's not the toxic the mistletoe you should be worried about, it's the kissing. Avoid mouth-to-mouth contact with those who have cold or flu symptoms. Offer up a cheek instead, or don't linger near mistletoe.
  3. Vitamin D and ginseng (American variety) are recommended by some physicians. Vitamin D can boost the immune system response and ginseng stimulates intestinal receptors, making it more difficult for bugs to grab hold and cause illness. Test your Vitamin D levels for $99. 
  4. Avoid excessive alcohol, or at least alternate each drink with a glass of water.
  5. Family-related stress can lead to heart disease. Agree to disagree at family gatherings, or call a holiday truce on topics that typically lead to an argument.
  6. Don't skip meals, even when you're saving up for a huge feast. Better to eat small amounts throughout the day and then eat in moderation at the Christmas table.
  7. Cheer up! Contrary to popular belief, December is not the most depressing time of year. According to the CDC, suicides are actually lowest in December.
  8. Finally, if maintaining good health is high on your list for the holidays, consider a comprehensive health testing package from Health Testing Centers:
A comprehensive look at a woman's overall health; includes a Basic Health Screen (BHS), Lipid Profile (LP), Prostate Check, Thyroid Function Test, an ALT test to measure the amount of this enzyme in the liver, a glucose level measurement to check for and monitor diabetes, and a high-sensitivity test that checks for C-reactive protein related to heart health.
A comprehensive look at a man's overall health; includes a CMP and CBC within a Basic Health Screen (BHS), a urinalysis to check for diabetes or infection, Lipid Profile for cholesterol health, Thyroid Function Test, ALT enzyme test, blood glucose levels test and a high-sensitivity CRP test that measures cardio-vascular health.
World AIDS Day and International AIDS Awareness
Every year, on December 1, World AIDS Day is held to allow people from all nationalities to unite in the ongoing fight against HIV.  December is also International AIDS Awareness Month.

Education remains a key part in understanding and finding ways to reduce this devastating virus. It's estimated that globally about 33.3 million people have HIV and more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the disease.

Latest research on HIV has public health experts considering a new approach: more preventive strategies to curb the spread of HIV.  The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently issued a draft recommendation that people between the ages of 15 - 65 be tested for HIV as part of their routine health screening, even when they are not at high risk.  (Source: Time Magazine)

Health Testing Centers offer convenient, private HIV and STD testing:

HIV Testing - a simple blood test that looks for certain antibodies the body produces to fight the infection.
STD Testing Peace of Mind Level I - includes tests for HIV, Hepatitis B, Herpes Simplex Virus and Syphilis.

For a Limited Time Receive a FREE Basic Health Screening (a $59 value) with the purchase of a Peace of Mind STD Level I or  Level II package.
December 2-8 is Aplastic Anemia & Myelodysplasia (MDS) Week
Think of your body as a place of employment. Workers are inside your bone marrow factory producing red blood cells, white cells and platelets. While red cells carry oxygen, white cells fight infection, and platelets allow the blood to clot. Consider what would happen if most or all of the workers left the factory. That's what happens in aplastic anemia - the bone marrow stops making enough of these critical cells to keep the immune system operating properly. The body has no way to fight infection.

Aplastic anemia can happen at any age or to any gender, though it's found more often in children and young adults. In about 50% of cases, the origin of the disease is unknown. If severe, it can mean life-threatening infections, bleeding, or both. The cure is a bone marrow transplant.  Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) is a group of disorders that involve the bone marrow when the cells do not develop normally and remain in an immature state. In MDS, the blood cells are a combination of unusual shape and have abnormal growth. As a result, MDS patients have abnormally low blood counts.  The disorder occurs more often in men than women and generally in older adults. The exact cause is unknown.

Both aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndrome are relatively rare. But when they do strike, they can be deadly. MDS can progress to life-threatening failure of the bone marrow, or develop into acute leukemia.  In this month of giving, learn more about the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation - what you can do to help patients, how you can help educate others and ways to honor those afflicted with one or both of these serious diseases. For details go to:

Health Testing Centers Provides Year-Round Diagnostic Testing

Anemia Panel - the common type of anemia is an iron deficiency that can be treated with supplements and changes in diet.
Complete Blood Count (CBC) - measures white blood cell count and differential, red blood cell count, hemoglobin levels, hematocrit, and platelet count among other blood level measurements.
Basic Health Screening (for $59) - this is a combination test that measures and evaluates the body's major organ functions. It includes a chemistry panel, CBC and urinalysis.
Safe Toys and Gifts Month
What better time of year to promote safety in toys and gifts than at Christmas? Sponsored by Prevent Blindness America, the nation's oldest eye health and safety organization, this annual event helps spread the word that when you make a gift purchase, it isn't just price that counts, it's also safety. recommends looking for toys that have a stamp of approval from the American Society for Testing and Materials standards as well as solid, sturdy design, clear instructions, and easy-to-read labels.

Choose toys that are age appropriate. Have children wash their hands frequently when swapping toys. Watch for toy recalls.
Bet You Didn't Know...
Fun Facts About The Holiday Season
  • Christmas is a contraction of Old English "Christ's Mass."
  • Traditionally, Christmas colors are green, red and gold. That's because green symbolizes life and rebirth, the blood of Christ is represented by red, and gold is typically the color for wealth.
  • It takes, on average, about 15 years to grow a tall, fully formed Christmas tree. The first artificial trees were made in Germany of dyed green goose feathers.
  • Electric lights were used on Christmas trees as early as 1895.
  • The president who banned Christmas trees from the White House was Teddy Roosevelt, in 1912. He was an environmentalist and did not wish to see the trees cut.
  • Christmas was not declared an official holiday in the U.S. until 1870.
  • America's first state to officially recognize Christmas was Alabama, in 1836. Oklahoma was the last state, in 1907.
  • Though widely observed in the U.S., the eight days of Hanukkah are not considered a major holiday in the Jewish religion. Purists contend that it is relatively minor because it doesn't require major restrictions on behavior and eating habits.  
  • Gift-giving is not a traditional part of Hanukkah but has become more common.
  • The only traditional gifts of Hanukkah are small amounts of money called "gelt."  
  • Santa Claus is based on a real person, a 4th century bishop in Turkey. He is the world's most popular non-Biblical saint.
  • The poinsettia is a plant native to Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs, who believed the bright red symbolized purity. They used it medicinally to reduce fever.
  • While poinsettia plants are not poisonous, holly berries are.
  • If you love gifts, wish for the number of presents in the familiar song "Twelve Days of Christmas." There are a total of 364.
  • Most frequently shown holiday movie of all time? "It's a Wonderful Life," which has appeared on TV more than any other holiday movie.     

Happy Holidays!

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