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November Health Testing News 

It Is Good To Be Thankful
Giving thanks is what November's major holiday is about and nothing is more important than good health when it comes to being grateful. Even when your health is compromised, new medical advancements are making huge differences in the outcome for you and your family. 

A healthy lifestyle coupled with appropriate laboratory testing can screen for and minimize many diseases before they affect your overall health.

In this month's newsletter, we'll cover one of the more chronic diseases that strike Americans - diabetes - as part of American Diabetes Month. We'll explain how eye disease can result from diabetic conditions, and provide the latest news on multi-vitamins and cholesterol.

The Great American Smokeout, which occurs in November, is designed to discourage smoking, especially among youth, and we'll list a few fun facts on iconic "Turkey Day," America's foremost celebration of giving thanks.
November is American Diabetes Month
The Statistics are Sobering
More than 25 million American children and adults are diagnosed each year with Type I and Type II diabetes. Type I usually strikes the young while Type II is more often associated with older age, obesity, family history and other variables. Type II, the more common type, accounts for between 90 - 95 percent of diagnosed cases.

Diabetes is actually a group of diseases that result from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. Untreated, it can lead to kidney failure, vision problems and circulatory disorders. That's the bad news. The good news is that while still a serious disease, diabetes is no longer a lifelong ticket to poor health. Today, it can be controlled and well-managed, especially if diagnosed early. Go to the American Diabetes Association for answers to commonly asked questions about the disease.

Diabetes Can Cause Vision Loss and Blindness
One of the complications from diabetes is a group of eye problems that people with the disease can face, some of which can cause severe vision loss or even blindness. According to the National Institutes of Health and the National Eye Institute, diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disorder in diabetic patients and a leading cause of blindness in American adults.

In this disease, vision problems result from damage to blood vessels in the retina. It has four stages, from mild to advanced stage and can affect anyone with diabetes, both Type I and Type II. For details visit diabetic/retinopathy.asp.

Early Detection and Management Is Important
At Health Testing Centers you can measure your insulin levels and insulin resistance.  We also offer a complete Diabetes Screening for $149 to check for the different components of the disease. This convenient screening includes:

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) - provides information about different organ systems of the body including blood glucose and blood urea nitrogen (BUN).
Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1c) - measures blood glucose levels over a six to 12-week period. This test can be used to determine how well diabetes is being controlled. Diabetic patients should get the test every three to six months.
Random Microalbumin, Urine - checks for the presence of the protein albumin to help determine if the kidneys are working properly. Diabetes can affect kidney function.
Multivitamin Use Linked to Lowered Cancer Risk
Can Taking a Daily Multivitamin Really Reduce Your Risk For Cancer?
A randomized, double-blinded clinical trial (considered the most rigorous type of study) says YES, by slightly more than eight percent!

It was one of the largest and longest studies of its type in relation to questions about vitamin usage. The trial included nearly 15,000 older adult male physicians followed for more than a decade. Since only doctors - a generally healthy group compared to other segments of the population - were included, it limited the study's impact, some contend. Others say that while the effect was statistically small, it's still an important study from a public health standpoint. Besides not smoking, what else has been shown to reduce cancer risk between eight and ten percent?

Findings were recently presented at the American Association for Cancer Research conference on cancer prevention and published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
One of the study's lead authors, a cardiologist, says that since it's a modest reduction, taking multivitamins should not replace other measures that have been shown to improve good health and reduce cancer.  "Don't make the mistake of taking a multivitamin instead of quitting smoking, maintaining a good diet, or getting exercise," he said. "Keep wearing your sunscreen."

Supported by the National Institutes of Health and a grant from chemical company BASF, with Pfizer providing the multivitamins, the study was shown to have no effect on the incidence of prostate cancer, the most common cancer diagnosed in the study participants.

The American Cancer Society recommends eating a balanced diet and - for those who take supplements - choosing a balanced multivitamin that contains no more than 100 percent of the daily value provided by most nutrients. (Source:, 10/17/2012)

Health Testing Centers recognizes that vitamins are crucial to maintaining good health, but only in proper amounts. That's why we offer a full Vitamin Profile that provides a baseline for determining your body's vitamin levels and any need for supplements. Our panel includes:

Vitamin A - acts as a growth factor and plays a role in supporting functions of the immune system.
Vitamin E - supports healthy skin, involved in immune function and contains antioxidant properties.
Beta Carotene - an antioxidant that promotes cell and reproductive health and plays a role in anti-aging.
Vitamin B1 - provides nervous system support by helping to relay messages between nerves and muscles. Commonly referred to as thiamin.
Vitamin B6 - supports nervous system activity and synthesizes essential molecules.
Vitamin B12 and Folate - working together, this vitamin along with folic acid, promotes healthy nerve cell development and provides nervous system support.
Vitamin C - acts a protective antioxidant and helps the body absorb iron.
Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy - bolsters the immune system, regulates insulin activity, and supports cognitive function.
Cholesterol is Falling in Adults
Now for some really good news: a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that thousands of Americans over the last two decades have lower cholesterol levels, some by as much as 10 points. While LDL (bad) cholesterol decreased, there was a slight increase in HDL (good) cholesterol, which is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

Why? No one is really sure. The study's authors believe the answers may lie in the popularity of cholesterol-lowering drugs, changes in the amount of trans fats in American diets, and perhaps widespread public health campaigns aimed at getting rid of trans fat foods. In addition, declines in smoking and less carbohydrate consumption may contribute to the lower cholesterol numbers.

The study's results were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in October, 2012 and have been celebrated by health authorities. (Source:, 10/16/12).

However, with one third of the American population obese, no real changes in physical activity levels and saturated fats still an unhealthy percentage of calories in our diets, work remains to be done and cholesterol levels should be carefully monitored, especially for those at risk of cardio-vascular disease.

Keep Up The Great Work - Know Thy Numbers
We offer a number of blood tests at Health Testing Centers that provide accurate measurements of cholesterol and triglycerides, including our:

Lipid Profile - a critical $39 blood test that measures the amount of cholesterol in your body including HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. Elevated cholesterol levels can lead to hypertension, stroke and heart disease.

Essential Health Screening - a series of blood tests that include a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, Complete Blood Count (CBC), Lipid Profile and a Urinalysis.
World Kindness Day is November 13
Introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement in Japan, World Kindness Day evolved from a series of conferences which brought together groups of people interested in expressing acts of compassion around the globe.

Commit A Random Act of Kindness
The goal is to build "a kinder and more compassionate world and to overlook boundaries, race and religion."

That means taking more opportunities to be nice to family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. The kindness might just rub off and keep growing!
Great American Smokeout is November 15

First held in 1977 in San Francisco's Union Square, the Great American Smokeout was promoted by the California Division of the American Cancer Society as a way to help people give up cigarettes for at least one day.

Now in its 37th year, the annual event is celebrated on a national level, with November 15 set aside each year to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit. Not smoking for even one day is often the first step in giving up a habit that is still the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S.

About 45 million Americans smoke cigarettes, with 13.2 million cigar smokers (as of 2010) and 2.2 million who smoke pipe tobacco. Though quitting is difficult, the American Cancer Society offers many ways to help. Contact them today about the steps to quit smoking, available resources and support. Call 1-800-227-2345 or visit them online at

Stop Smoking And Get Tested
If you're worried about lung disease, Health Testing Centers has a cancer test that is quick, easy and affordable.

Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) - a protein associated with certain types of cancer that when elevated in the blood, can be a general indicator that cancer is present. Elevated levels of CEA are found in a variety of cancers, including lung, pancreatic, ovary and breast.
Bet You Didn't Know...
Fun Facts About Thanksgiving
  • The first Thanksgiving lasted three days and was celebrated by Plymouth Pilgrims in what is now Massachusetts.
  • Not on the menu for the first Thanksgiving feast: mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, corn on the cob or cranberries. What was most likely eaten were lobster, rabbit, chicken fish, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, eggs and goat cheese.
  • Pilgrims didn't use forks. They ate with spoons, knives and their fingers.
  • It was Benjamin Franklin who wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States.
  • Abraham Lincoln officially set aside the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day, even though former president Thomas Jefferson was quoted as saying the concept was "ridiculous."  
  • It wasn't until 1941 that Congress passed a law making Thanksgiving a unified national holiday on the 4th Thursday of November each year.
  • Today, about 280 million turkeys are sold each Thanksgiving.
  • The average American eats between 16 - 18 pounds of turkey a year.
  • The largest consumers of turkey in the U.S. live in California.
  • The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
  • Turkeys can have heart attacks and drop dead. The U.S. Air Force proved it during test runs. When the sound barrier was broken, nearby turkeys fell over and died.
  • A large group of turkeys are called flocks.  

Wishing You A Happy Thanksgiving  

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