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May Health News and Articles

National Women's Health Week May 13 - 19, 2012
A woman's place today is...everywhere. For more than a decade, our government has recognized that taking control of her health is a big part of a woman taking control of her life. National Women's Health Week recognizes and honors women through a yearly initiative.

Now in its 13th year, the annual event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services as a coalition of communities, businesses, and government and health agencies that work together to promote women's health. Special themes are chosen each year centered on women's issues.

This year's theme is "It's Your Time" - a way to encourage women to get regular check-ups, eat healthy, be active, manage stress and avoid risky habits and unhealthy behaviors.

The kick-off is Mother's Day, May 13 - the perfect time to remind women everywhere that taking care of themselves is the first step in taking care of others.

Men want women to take care of their own health too. A man who truly loves the women in his life wants only the best for them in terms of feeling good and living long. Visit us at www.HealthTestingCenters.com to learn ways that women - and men - can stay healthy and strong.

Anyone can participate in Women's Health Week through screenings and health fairs. Watch and listen for media attention to this worthy cause or visit the website to learn details at www.womenshealth.gov.

At Health Testing Centers we promote Women's Health year round by offering convenient, affordable lab tests through online ordering that doesn't require a doctor's visit. Our Essential Health Screening is an excellent periodic baseline of critical measurements for women (and men) of all ages.  This  Essential Health Screening includes:

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) - that measures glucose levels, uric acid, electrolytes, mineral levels, blood fats, proteins and enzymes including Bilirubin levels that evaluate liver and gallbladder functions.

 

Complete Blood Count (CBC) With Differential- includes white blood count, red blood count, hemoglobin and hematocrit levels.

 

Lipid Profile - to measure the total level of cholesterol in your body, both HDL ("good" cholesterol and LDL ("bad" cholesterol). Total cholesterol levels higher than 200 raise your risk for heart disease.

 

Urinalysis - still the standard in good medical care, this simple test can measure glucose, protein, blood, bilirubin, ketones, nitrates, leukocytes, sediments and bacteria levels excreted.

What Women Fear Most About Aging
It never ends for most women - that fear and anxiety about how they look to others. That's especially true as we age, thanks in large measure to the visible signs of aging; everything from wrinkles to hair loss and weight gain. As women, what we look like is fundamentally part of who we are in our society. 

Among the top five things women fear most about aging:
  • Being left alone when a spouse or companion dies
  • Loss of physical attractiveness
  • Loss of sexuality
  • Female sexual disfunction
  • Poverty or financial insecurity
  • Cancer, especially breast cancer
  • Dependency on others - as in becoming a burden
So what's a woman to do as she ages? Taking care of oneself physically, emotionally and financially is a huge step in staving off these normal fears. Sleep well, eat well, get and stay fit and active. Maintain as many social connections as possible to minimize loneliness. Get educated about your finances and ways to take advantage of available resources. Plan ahead. Make a living will to avoid undue dependency on others and take care of personal business matters by specifying your wishes.

As for the fear of cancer, it's a scary thought for most anyone. But the fact is that heart disease, not cancer, is the number one killer of women in the U.S. The key to minimizing the risk of both is preventive care.

At Health Testing Centers we provide peace of mind through cancer screenings that detect common tumor markers sometimes found in malignancies (among other benign conditions). Hormone and anti-aging tests are also available to help women slow the aging process or catch problems that may occur due to hormonal imbalances. Female sexual disfunction, loss of sexuality and fears of early menopause become more prevalent as women age.  For women the following hormone tests are critical to monitor:

Estradiol - a hormone also called E2 that is normally present in younger women. It affects sexual and reproductive health. Low levels can result in discomforts associated with menopause and can put women at risk for osteoporosis. Estradiol levels should be measured before anti-aging or hormone treatment begins.

 

Estrogen - monitoring total estrogen levels can help determine best anti-aging treatments, evaluate symptoms of menopause, detect fetal birth defects and assess risks for osteoporosis, and even some cancers.


The following cancer screenings for women are also available from Health Testing Centers to help reduce the fear of cancer:
 
Cancer Antigen 125 (CA-125) - the premier blood test that checks for tumor markers sometimes present with ovarian cancer. Elevated levels can mean other health conditions too, including pregnancy, benign cysts and pelvic inflammatory disease.

 

Cancer Antigen 27.29 (CA 27.29) - this tumor marker tests for breast cancer and is also useful in measuring response to therapy in breast cancer treatments.
Get Up and Out!
You may have heard it a thousand times before but the proof keeps coming. Regular physical activity - an active lifestyle - works. It lowers your risk of an early death but it can also lower your risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Unhealthy levels of cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Colon and breast cancer
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Poor balance and injuries related to falling
For older adults, physical activity improves mental function, can help in the fight against weight gain and lowers your risk of age-related illnesses and injuries. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a wide range of free materials on fitness and nutrition including fact sheets and The President's Challenge that promotes physical activity at www.health.gov 

At Health Testing Centers we know that fitness and preventive health go hand-in-hand. With diabetes so common it strikes every 20 seconds, causing more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined (according to the American Diabetes Association). We offer Diabetes Screening (for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes) comprised of the following tests:

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) - a broad-based test that provides important information on different organ systems throughout the body.

 

Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1c) - measures blood glucose levels over a three month period

 

Random Micro Albumin - a urine test that detects the presence of protein albumin. If kidneys are damaged through disease or injury, albumin will be present in the urine.


In addition, Health Testing Centers is aware that heart disease is now the number one killer of women in America. More than 265,000 women die each year from heart attacks, six times as many women who die from breast cancer. Check out our full range of heart-healthy screening tests at www.healthtestingcenters.com.
More May Health Articles



Bet You Didn't Know That...
Women, past, present and no doubt in the future are amazing creatures. Here are a few Fun and Fascinating Facts about the "fairer sex" throughout history:

The English word "girl" was first used to describe a person of either sex. It was not until the beginning of the 16th century that the term was used to describe a female child.

In 1770, a bill was proposed in British Parliament banning makeup due to its effect on men. It was thought that women who wore makeup, wigs, or other cosmetics were performing "lustful acts."

Wyoming was the first state to grant women the vote and to elect a female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross.

The first person to make the daring attempt to go over Niagara Falls was a woman. Annie Edson Taylor, 43, took the plunge on October 24, 1901.

The average height of an American woman today is about 5 feet 4 inches and average weight about 163 pounds.

In almost every country worldwide, the life expectancy for women is higher than for men.

The first Mother's Day was organized by a woman, Ann Jarvis, on May 10, 1908. As the event gained popularity, Congress, in 1914, designated the second Sunday in May as a national day to recognize all mothers


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