You’ve got your marching orders. Next week marks the beginning of Memorial Regional Health’s month-long March into Health event, during which you can conveniently get lab work at a reduced price at the MRH Medical Clinic by walking in between 6 and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. The health system makes it even easier by offering weekend appointments. What are you waiting for? Make a plan now to get in and get proactive about your health.
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. Doctors catch signs of disease from lab reports, such as blood chemistry screenings and blood count screenings. Conditions discovered during lab tests commonly include anemia, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, among others. People often don’t know they have these conditions, because they don’t 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.”
“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.
Besides 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; 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 have your results read at the upcoming MRH Community Health Fair on Saturday, April 14.
MRH offered lab tests
Blood cell count ($10): Measures white, red and platelets in blood; screens 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 past 3 months to detect for diabetes.
Hep C ($20): Screens for a past or current infection of the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
HIV ($30): 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.