Memorial Regional Health: Take charge of your health — March into Health event at MRH offers low-cost lab tests in March
- Blood cell count ($10) — Measures white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, screening for abnormalities/
- Blood chemistry ($25) — Measures kidney, liver, and thyroid function, as well as glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, ferritin, and overall nutritional status.
- Chlamydia/gonorrhea ($50) — Urine screen for two sexually-transmitted diseases.
- Hemoglobin A1c ($20) — Measures blood sugar (glucose) levels over the past 3 months to detect diabetes.
- Hep C ($20) — Screens for a past or current infection of the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
- HIV ($35) — Screens for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); all adults should be screened at least once.
- Prostate specific antigen (PSA) ($10) — Gives level of blood protein associated with prostate cancer; men only.
- Testosterone ($40) — Total testosterone test to check for deficiency; men only.
- Vitamin B12 ($20) — Gives levels of this important essential vitamin for healthy nerves and blood cells.
- Vitamin D ($40) — Gives levels of this important essential vitamin for healthy bones, immune system, brain, and nervous system
Editor’s note: The following article is sponsored by Memorial Regional Health.
Seven out of 10 deaths every year in the United States are largely preventable, yet Americans only seek preventative health care services — such as recommended annual screenings and physicals — at half the recommended rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Memorial Regional Health is offering health care services throughout March during its March into Health event, during which lab work will be offered for a reduced price from 6 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday at the Memorial Regional Health hospital campus. Weekend appointments will also be available.
These tests allow patients to become proactive about their health care. Prevention and early detection of medical conditions could save more than 100,000 lives each year, according to the CDC. Make a plan now to get in and get proactive about your health.
What you can learn
Annual lab work is a good way to receive a snapshot of your current health. By getting regular health screens and living a healthy lifestyle, you can catch conditions early and stave off chronic illnesses.
Many chronic illnesses have been discovered on annual lab reviews in patients who hadn’t previously recognized any symptoms. Doctors catch signs of disease from lab reports, such as blood chemistry screenings and blood count screenings. Conditions discovered from lab tests commonly include anemia, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, among others.
People often don’t know they may be at risk for certain diseases, because they don’t always cause symptoms. The goal of lab work is to rule out health conditions or treat them before they become serious.
“I have had several patients bring labs from the health fair, and we catch things. We tend to catch quite a few cases of pre-diabetes from the Hemoglobin A1c screening,” said Tracey Wall, physician assistant with MRH Medical Clinic. “The first step to preventing diabetes is simply getting tested.”
People are often surprised to learn they have pre-diabetes, as there are no symptoms. Adopting healthy eating and exercise habits can stave off full-blown diabetes and can even, at times, reverse pre-diabetes.
“The Hemoglobin A1c shows your average sugar levels over the last three months. We use this test for both screening and monitoring of diabetes,” Wall said.
Beside screening for diabetes, the labs offered during March into Health test for several conditions, including thyroid diseases; liver and kidney function; clotting disorders; prostate cancer in men; different viruses, including Hep C and HIV; and overall general health.
You can download a lab form at memorialregionalhealth.com/about-us/community-events or pick one up at the hospital. This year, take charge of your health by getting labs drawn at the MRH March into Health event and get your results read at the upcoming MRH Community Health Fair on Saturday, April 13.
When we’re not cooking something on the grill, it’s great to be able to whip up nutritious casseroles for summer dinners. This week’s column features two casserole recipes. I make “Skillet Beef–a-Roni” often. I don’t keep the ingredients for the other casserole on hand so don’t make it as often.