In recent years, self-care has become a widely adopted practice. So much so that Oxford Dictionaries added it to their dictionary in 2017! They describe it as the practice of "taking care of one's own health, appearance, or well-being."
Self-care can come in many forms, including purchasing new items for your home, developing a new hobby, going for a walk, working out, trying a new restaurant, or whatever self-care means to you!
In addition to self-care, whatever you do on a daily or weekly basis to soothe your mental and physical health, consider adding blood testing to the mix. Why? ARCpoint Labs of Martinez believes preventive health care is one of the best forms of self-care.
Why Is Blood Testing Needed?
Blood tests aren't just for doctor's appointments. When taking your health into your own hands, adding blood testing to your annual screenings can provide the additional information you need to make choices about your health. Plus, you can take the guesswork out of solving health problems that may have recently become concerning, and even uncover those that haven't been identified yet.
What Is Blood Testing?
Blood tests are used to examine the proteins, cells, chemicals, and other elements in the blood and remain one of the most common lab tests done in the United States – with 7 million laboratory tests performed annually . When having blood work done, a lab collector will take a sample of your blood via a blood draw. The entire sample collection is done within minutes.
How Much Blood is Needed for Testing?
The amount of blood collected during blood work depends on the specific tests taking place. At most, three vials of blood will be taken. One vial equals three to 10 ml of blood, or up to roughly two tablespoons of blood – not a lot at all!
Wellness Panel Testing Can Answer Your Health Questions
Once the sample is collected, it's sent to the lab for testing. This is where self-care begins! Panel testing ensures a series of tests are completed on a single specimen (your blood) to highlight a specific condition or disease. The specific panel is determined before blood is collected and can help you understand your health and body better.
At ARCpoint Labs of Martinez, we offer a wide range of wellness testing solutions, giving you the answers to some of life's biggest questions.
If you find yourself more tired than not, even though you're sleeping and eating well, you may want to consider a fatigue panel blood test. Doing so can help you find the correctable causes of your sleepiness.
Weight Loss Panel
A weight loss panel blood test can be done to uncover why you may be losing or gaining weight quickly or why you're having a hard time keeping weight off. Your thyroid levels play a large role in this as well, so a thyroid panel may also be recommended.
Heart Health Panel
Whether you've had heart problems in the past or just want to ensure your cardiovascular system is healthy, see what it has to say through a heart health panel test. This can help you understand everything from your sugar levels to your Complete Blood Count, all important in knowing how to treat your body better.
Even if you're convinced you're in the best shape of your life, having your blood tested at least once a year is crucial in caring for yourself. A doctor should order an annual panel test during your annual check-up. Still, testing labs can also offer a basic health screening, so you can get an overall idea of where your health stands.
These often include five tests:
- Complete Blood Count (CBC)
- Cholesterol Lipid with Ratio (Lipids Panel)
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
- Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C)
Not only does the panel approach ensure that the testing is as efficient as it can be, but panel tests provide faster results. With ARCpoint Labs of Martinez's testing services, you'll be able to expect results in as little as 24 – 48 hours.
How to Prepare for Your Blood Test
You may be nervous when it's time for your blood test appointment, especially if it's your first time. But have no fear: blood tests are not painful. All you'll feel is a slight pinch or scratching as the needle penetrates your skin and collects blood.
Do I Need to Do Anything Special Before a Blood Test?
There is little you have to do to prepare for a drug test. If fasting is needed at all, your lab technician will let you know once you schedule your appointment.
Fear of Needles? Here Are Some Tips for Your Next Blood Test
According to Harvard research, up to 25% of adults living in the U.S. fear needles. Other researchers note that two out of three children also fear them, making the fear of needles very common. Although the fear is understandable, it's important to never let it prevent you from getting the answers to your health questions.
Some tips to reduce fear while getting blood taken include:
- Get Sleep – Getting a full eight hours of sleep the night before your appointment can do wonders for your confidence and anxiety.
- Stay Hydrated – To make the collection process as smooth as possible, ensure you're hydrating your body days before your appointment up to your arrival.
- Inform Us of Your Fears – If you're afraid of needles, let your lab technician know. We're always happy to chat and keep your mind off the test. We may work with needles all day, but we still have compassion and understanding for those who need a little extra care in the lab.
- Explore Other Options – Always ask your doctor or lab technicians about other options. While you may not be able to avoid the blood test completely, a butterfly needle may be an alternative. Butterfly needles are smaller and create a smaller wound.
With these tips in mind and the friendly team at ARCpoint Labs of Martinez, we're confident that your blood test will be done quickly and easily.
Get Started on a Better You – Request Your Blood Test Today!
Waiting around for a doctor's appointment for blood work can seem quite redundant – why not just go straight to the source? At ARCpoint Labs of Martinez, we provide convenient and efficient ways to get your blood work done. We're proud to offer various health and wellness solutions to simultaneously help you practice self-care and make life easier.
Give ARCpoint Labs of Martinez a call at (925) 957-6870 to schedule your blood test or to learn more about our health and wellness testing solutions.