Archives for January 2016

Methods of Getting “Healthy” Aren’t Always so Healthy

The average person puts a lot of emphasis on weight when it comes to being healthy and fit. However, weight is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, the idea of an individual’s healthy weight tends to be a much better measure. When people focus on being healthy, they have better results in the long run that those who focus on attaining a certain weight at any cost. Tomorrow is Women’s Healthy Weight Day, which makes it the perfect time to discuss the different between being healthy and simply losing weight.

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Why Personalized Medicine Is the New Normal

Until recently, it seemed like medicine was a “one size fits all field,” and doctors prescribed the same treatments for every patient with a certain tradition. Sure, there were some variances for people who were allergic to penicillin or other medications, but the healing process was pretty much trial and error. Many patients grew frustrated with having to make repeat visits to the doctor and not feeling better. Pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine has changed the game with using DNA samples to determine the right course of action for the individual. Here are some of the ways health care professionals are using DNA data to individualize treatments:


Pharmacogenetics testing uses a saliva sample to create a personal genetic profile. A skilled lab tech analyzes your DNA sample against profiles of common medications and determines which ones will react best with your body and help you feel better the fastest.

Wellness DNA Testing

With wellness DNA testing, you can get the information to make the best choices for you with things like diet and exercise in mind.

Sound Nutrition Through Wellness Testing

A trained dietitician can use your DNA information to determine what foods you should eat. Some people do not do well with the low fat, high carbohydrate diet that nutritionists have been recommending for years. On the other hand, some of those dieters who jumped on the low carbohydrate, high fat diets a decade ago found that a different approach was better. DNA testing provides the information to let you make healthy choices.

Fitness Routines Through Wellness Testing

Have you ever noticed that some people just seem to be born to run while others are much more at home lifting heavy weights? Your DNA holds the information to determine the perfect workout routine for you. We know that a solid fitness regimen is an integral part of physical health, but blanket recommendations of lifting weights and getting cardiovascular activity in three days a week simply does not work for every person. A DNA test can determine what will work for you, whether it’s endurance activities like running or cycling, or it’s shorter bursts of more intense activities like sprinting or lifting heavy weights for low repetitions.

Your DNA holds the code for your optimal health and longevity, and wellness testing can help you unlock it. To learn more, contact any Test Smartly Labs location today.



DNA Testing for Immigration

Heated debates about immigration have flooded the news in recent months. Questions and concerns about admitting refugees have been on high, and American immigration policies have been under scrutiny.

We partner with AABB-accredited labs for immigration DNA testing, and that means that we are knowledgeable about biological relationships, and how they are established and confirmed during the process of immigration.

The immigration process  begins with a petition. Here’s how DNA testing fits into everything.

DNA Testing for Immigration Purposes

When is a DNA test necessary for immigration?

DNA testing is a required part of the immigration process when no credible evidence supporting an alleged biological relationship exists between the visa applicant and the petitioner. An applicant can usually provide legal, accepted documentation such as birth certificates and photos.

When this info is absent, however, a Consular Officer will suggest that applicants pursue DNA testing to prove the legitimacy of their stated relationship.

How does DNA testing for immigration work?

If it is determined that DNA testing should be pursued to make the application stronger, both the visa applicant and the petitioner must provide samples to be tested.


The first step for a petitioner is finding an accredited facility, or a collections site that works with an AABB-accredited laboratory such as Test Smartly Labs. The petitioner should then visit the collection site and have a buccal (cheek) swab DNA sample collected. The facility then sends the DNA sample to the lab following all chain of custody procedures to ensure court admissibility and accuracy of test results.

Visa Applicant

The process is a little different for the visa applicant. The AABB-accredited lab the petitioner works with sends the DNA test kit for the applicant to the Consulate in the applicant’s country or to the U.S. Embassy. When the Consulate or Embassy provides the kit, they contact the visa applicant directly, who then arranges payment fo rthe DNA test, and then goes to the Embassy or Consulate to provide a sample.


Once testing is complete, the AABB lab in the U.S. delivers the results to the Embassy or Consulate, and a representative contacts the applicant so his or her application process can continue.

Immigration DNA Testing Collections from Test Smartly Labs

If you need DNA testing for immigration as a petitioner, contact Test Smartly Labs today. We will get the process started with our AABB-accredited partners.

How to Keep Your New Year’s Health Resolutions

Another new year means another round of New Year’s resolutions. On January first each year, millions of people vow to lose weight or watch less TV or call Grandma once a week. However, how many of us actually succeed in committing to these resolutions for the next 365 days? In fact, statistics have shown that only about 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually achieve those resolutions. These tips will help you stay on track with your New Year’s health resolutions.

Choose a Clear, Simple Goal

Many people make the mistake of making a long list of New Year’s resolutions. The problem is that a long to-do list can be daunting, and the longer the list is the less likely you are to stick to it. Rather than choosing a bunch of different goals, focus on one simple goal that you will actually be able to keep. For example, you might have the goal to lose weight, exercise more, or eat healthier. With your one goal in mind, you can then create a plan to incorporate healthy changes into your everyday life.

Make a Realistic Plan

Once you have your goal set, it’s essential to create a realistic plan for how to achieve that goal. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, set a weekly exercise schedule involving group classes, taking a run around your neighborhood, or even completing at-home exercise videos. Creating a schedule of weekly workouts will give you a viable plan for actually achieving your goal. Unhealthy behaviors develop over time, but so do healthy behaviors. The key is implementing small changes into your everyday life that won’t be too difficult or daunting to keep.

Have a Support System

Having a support system around while you are working on keeping a New Year’s resolution is extremely helpful. One idea is to find a friend or family member who wants to take on the same goal. That way you can support each other and keep each other accountable for keeping up with the plan. It’s also important to have a support system who will encourage you to keep up with your resolution even when it’s hard or you feel like giving up. Just because you messed up by skipping your exercise routine for a few days or ate a few too many cookies yesterday, that doesn’t mean you can’t get back on track and reach your health goals for the new year. Having a good support system will help remind you of that.

Healthy Lifestyle Help with Test Smartly Labs

A key step in improving your health is understanding your current health and tracking progress. Test Smartly Labs provides basic health testing, including cholesterol, diabetes, and heart health testing to help you stay on track. To get started, find your nearest location today!

4 Lab Tests to Help You Achieve Your New Years Resolutions

Every year when January 1 rolls around, the gyms get packed and the health food aisles grow sparse. Most people commit themselves to diet and exercise plans blindly, without real regard for how effective they’ll be.

While we applaud any attempt to get healthy, we also think that it’s important that realistic and achievable resolutions are made. Fortunately, there are a number of basic lab tests that can help you learn more about your individual health and achieve resolutions in 2016!

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