Weird Lyme Disease Symptoms & Tick Prevention

Summer begins this week, so it’s time to get the last of the tick information out. An issue that we have seen through the end of 2016 up to now is the mild winter and hot, humid spring. This is weather that tends to lead to heightened tick populations during the summer.

Many of us may have forgotten about or don’t know very much about Lyme disease because who really gets it? If you’ve been having odd symptoms that specialists just can’t figure out or if you are going to or live in tick-dense areas, read on to make sure you don’t get Lyme disease this summer. Continue reading “Weird Lyme Disease Symptoms & Tick Prevention” »

Investing in Your Workplace with Wellness Programs 

As a business owner, it’s necessary to invest in your workplace and the people that make your business possible. So, how do you adopt programs that get your employees amped up and willing to participate?

We suggest that you choose things that you know they’ll get good use out of such as a workplace wellness program. Implementing such a program helps lower your company’s healthcare costs. By encouraging your employees to take an interest in workplace wellness, you put the ball in their court theoretically by giving them the tools to get fit and ultimately increase their health.

Here are some reasons why an investment in workplace wellness is an investment in your company.

Continue reading “Investing in Your Workplace with Wellness Programs ” »

Are Your Vaccinations Up-to-Date? Why Adults Need to Get Vaccinated.

The last week of April is National Infant Immunization Week, a time to educate yourself and others on the important of vaccinations for children. With plenty of misinformation and pseudoscience circulating the internet when it comes to kids and vaccinations (particularly the disproved “link” between autism and the MMR vaccine), in recent years there has been an overall decline in vaccinations among children.

As an adult, you may think that this doesn’t pose a risk to you, especially if you don’t have kids that might interact with non-vaccinated children. But the reality is that the growing unvaccinated population does affect your health.

Continue reading “Are Your Vaccinations Up-to-Date? Why Adults Need to Get Vaccinated.” »

Thyroid Awareness Month

January starts off with a bang and carries on, taking us through the cold, cozy winter. After New Year’s Eve, there are few official holidays. This year, we want to share a little-known, but interesting, monthly observance.

January marks Thyroid Awareness Month. That means it’s time to learn about your thyroid and the risk factors for several thyroid conditions.thyroid health problems

Let’s take a look at the basic thyroid facts and how to be aware of your thyroid health.

Thyroid Basics

Here are the basic thyroid facts, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists:

What is the thyroid gland?

“The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of the neck just below the Adam’s apple.”

What does the thyroid gland do?

“The thyroid gland plays a huge role in our body, influencing the function of many of the body’s most important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin.”


Thyroid Conditions and Risk Factors

There are several conditions related to the thyroid gland, including:

The above links provide information and the risk factors that increase the likelihood of an individual having each condition.

Thyroid Health

To check on your thyroid, you can have a simple thyroid profile test. This test measures thyroid function. A physician can then use the results of this test to diagnose hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. If you’re concerned about the possibility of a thyroid health condition, visit our Kansas City-area lab for a private thyroid test. Call (816) 399-4597 to schedule your appointment today.

No Shave November…and other November Observances

This month, the men will put down the razors and let their facial hair grow.

Why will they be ditching the razor and letting their mustaches go wild? You may not know that there is a purpose behind this yearly tradition. Movember is the movement to change the face of men’s health. The global charity aims to raise money and awareness to fight prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health challenges. Continue reading “No Shave November…and other November Observances” »

Health Care Changes and What They Mean To You

This is a significant moment in the health care world. The Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — offers a new way for Americans to shop for coverage. The Health Insurance Marketplace opened on October 1st. This and other health insurance changes affect you.

Let’s break down a few of the basic facts about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

  • The Affordable Care Act was signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010. The law includes several comprehensive health insurance reforms that are being enacted now and in the future.
  • Pre-existing conditions are covered under the new plan. Many preventive services are also covered.
  • The marketplace allows uninsured people to find health coverage. Applicants will learn if they qualify for private insurance plans.
  • Medicaid and the children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) still exist apart from the private plans.

Who does Obamacare affect?

Obamacare will affect all Americans, to some degree. The full effects are too broad to explore here, but we can share some of the basic ways Obamacare will make an impact on the uninsured, insured, and small businesses in the coming year. Find this and more information at


Starting now, those who don’t have health insurance coverage can search the Marketplace to find plans. In 2014, those who don’t have coverage will have to pay a fee.


Those who have coverage may research the Marketplace for private plans. They may choose new plans if they qualify and if their employer’s coverage plan fits the criteria. The Affordable Care Act offers new regulations for insurance company practices, as well.

Small businesses

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) allows small businesses that meet certain criteria to compare plans and apply online.

Decisions, Decisions

With this season of change comes the chance for decisions. As the public is educated about the marketplace and health care reform, there is an opportunity to make several health care decisions. Many people aren’t aware of the many choices they have regarding their health care.

For example, did you know that you can have your own medical lab testing services completed without a doctor’s order?

If you’d like to know your cholesterol levels, you can. You don’t have to visit the doctor to schedule a cholesterol screening. Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City offers affordable, reliable and confidential lab testing services. The staff members at our lab are trained to complete a wide variety of medical testing services. If you’re in need of wellness testing, you can find it here — with or without insurance.

Wellness Testing:

  • Allergy testing
  • Cholesterol testing
  • Cancer screen panel
  • STD testing
  • Heart disease prevention panel
  • Thyroid panel testing, and more

Our staff members are available to explain how our testing services work. If you’d like to learn more about the wellness testing services we offer, please contact Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City at (913) 815-0988 or find the Kansas City location nearest you.

Menopause Awareness Month

All women know that at some point they will enter menopause. This life stage has become the target for countless jokes and stories. The truth is, however, that women experience very real and uncomfortable symptoms during menopause. The body undergoes serious changes in this stage of life — women should understand the basics of menopause in order to prepare for a healthy and comfortable experience.

In honor of menopause awareness month, we’re outlining common menopause symptoms to help women identify what they may be experiencing. This list also serves as education for women who have not yet experienced menopause.

You don’t have to rely on your intuition to determine if menopause is beginning. There are convenient tests that help you determine the onset of menopause. Visit Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park to learn about menopause screening.menopause symptoms

Early Menopause Symptoms

Several signs may start appearing at the early stages of menopause. Symptoms may be physiological or physical. We’ll list and explain several of the common indicators that menopause is approaching.

Vasomotor instability, aka hot flashes

The most talked-about trait of menopausal women is technically named “vasomotor instability.” You know this well as hot flashes. This refers to the body struggling to regulate its internal temperature. Night sweats and hot flashes are early signs for many women.

Joint pain

Women often begin to have significant joint pain and back problems during menopause. This may be connected to the onset of osteoporosis in some women.

Dry, itchy skin

Many women notice dry skin at the beginning of menopause, and this symptom often continues.

Psychological changes

Women begin to notice a variety of mental changes as menopause progresses. Some common menopause symptoms include depression, memory loss, insomnia and mental fatigue.

No Experience The Same

All women are different — each woman faces different experiences with menopause symptoms. Be aware that you may have few of these signs, but you may have more. Your experience will be unique — these common signs may indicate that you are beginning to experience menopause. As we observe menopause awareness month, we encourage all women to take care of their health and educate themselves.

UV Myths Debunked

July is UV Safety Month, and we’re outlining the most common myths about skin cancer and tanning. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, which is project to affect more than 76,000 Americans in 2013. In hopes of decreasing that number, we’re setting the record straight on popular UV misconceptions.

UV Myth vs. Fact


Myth: People with darker skin don’t get skin cancer.

Fact: People with darker skin are less likely to get skin cancer, but they are more likely to die from it. In fact, tanned or naturally-dark skin can make it more difficult to spot signs of skin cancer.


Myth: Young people can’t get skin cancer.

Fact: Your risk of skin cancer increases as you age, but more and more younger people are getting skin cancer due to improper protection against the sun. Being vigilant now will drastically reduce your chances later. Younger people also don’t understand the risks of using tanning beds, which can drastically increase your chances of getting skin cancer.


Myth: Tanning is a good way to get sufficient vitamin D.

Fact: You can get a sufficient amount of vitamin D just by taking a brief walk in the sun— using sunscreen, of course. You don’t need to burn or tan to get your daily vitamin D intake. In fact, it’s found in many foods like fish, eggs and dairy products.


Myth: Tanning beds are a safer solution because they have a controlled dose of UV rays.

Fact: Depending on the type of booth, just ten minutes in a tanning bed can be equivalent to up to 3 hours in the sun and emit both UVA and UVB rays. According to the CDC, people who begin tanning younger than age 35 have a 75% higher risk of melanoma than those who don’t.


Myth: A “base tan” protects from sunburn.

Fact: Any type of tan or burn is the product of sun damage. UV damage causes your skin to produce more pigment. In result, a tan appears in an attempt to repair the damage.


Myth: Clouds protect from getting sunburned.

Fact: The sun’s UVA rays don’t discriminate, and they can do just as much damage on a cloudy day. They can actually be even more dangerous, as you’re less likely to realize your skin is burning.


Protect yourself from skin cancer by knowing the facts. Celebrate this important awareness month by applying (and reapplying) sunscreen every day you’re out in the sun. Encourage your friends and family to adopt good sun habits as well. Be sure to share our blog post and spread the world to help make July a successful UV Safety Month.

Open Enrollment – Insurance Options


Open enrollment used to give us a headache too…

For many of you, open enrollment forms were due the day before Thanksgiving. HR brought in the pros as they tried to explain the huge benefits of having yet another health plan that was higher in cost and created more out-of-pocket expenditures for you. Yay! As much as they try to rally your team, the fact is that just about everyone is seeing spikes in health care costs. From those with independent plans to those with the “best” in corporate America – one thing is unanimous – healthcare is NOT cheap. And it’s not getting any better.

Open Enrollment Headaches

If looking through plans, deductibles, co-pays and other features of your health coverage during open enrollment gives you a headache and requires that you take Tums before bed each night, we have some good news. While we cannot make your $2,500 or $5,000 deductible go away, we do offer services that are so affordable, you really don’t even need insurance to cover them. Test Smartly Labs is growing like crazy around the country because we are meeting a big need – affordable lab testing. We can run any test a doctor prescribes at our local lab for a fraction of what it would cost to send it through the “traditional” medical circuit. We have the same gear, the same technology and the same protocols as the hospital – we just charge what it actually costs and avoid spiking the price and sending it through insurance all together.

Price-shopping lab work

If you’re trying to figure out how to make “cents” of your healthcare budget this year, consider budgeting for Test Smartly Labs visits. We don’t even charge a co-pay. We can accept your HSA or FSA. Come in and request a test (you can ask us to run what your doctor recommended OR request any test you’d like run – no doctor’s script needed.) For a very affordable, one-time fee we’ll run the test and you keep the results. This is helping many who do not want to pay “full price” on their simple blood draw until they hit their $2,500 deductible. There are other options for you.

With healthcare reform, we expect to see even more individuals come to Test Smartly Labs and request lab work. The cost of healthcare has simple gotten out of control. We’re hopping into the game and offering a way to still put your health and wellness first – yet no go broke at the same time.

Visit any of our Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City locations: Overland Park, KS, Lawrence, KS and Kansas City, MO. Call (913) 815-0988 with any questions.

Shop around for healthcare (and lab work)

So you’ve price shopped for everything else-





Why not price shop for your healthcare?

Shop health care prices


Test Smartly Labs offers up-front, transparent lab work pricing.

As health care costs rise, so does the consumer demand to find affordable options. Not everyone has the luxury of affording a co-pay or high deductible with little or no sacrifice. Many who need health care find their bank accounts emptied by high costs and little coverage – or coverage that doesn’t kick in until thousands of dollars later.

This kind of growing demand has created some of the websites below. It appears as though medical professionals are also feeling the pain; consumers unable to afford their co-pays or deducible simply don’t go to the doctor. Doctors are finding ways to get patients back to the office. We’re curious to see if more of these sites that let patients “shop” for a doctor and even get special deals and rates pop up as the health care landscape continues to reform.

Health In Reach

This website lets you compare licensed medical professionals in your area and even get special savings for website members. According to Health in Reach:

There are more than 1.6 million appointments available at Health In Reach and we offer descriptions and prices for nearly 50,000 specific procedures… By grouping self-paying patients, Health In Reach allows doctors to pass these savings to people who book appointments here.”

New Choice Health

Started by a family who was shocked at the medical costs of scans and testing only to find that after the fact, they could have saved thousands by using a provider down the street. According to their website,

With you can easily locate medical facilities, compare estimated costs, and request a no-obligation quote from participating medical facilities for common procedures such as MRIs, CT Scans, Mammograms, and more.”

Out of Pocket

This website keeps consumers updated on how to get transparency on healthcare costs. Regular blog articles keep abreast on news regarding healthcare pricing and regulation.

Up-Front Healthcare Pricing

All three of these sites demand up-front pricing for medical services. The growing demand of consumers is that before they visit a doctor or are admitted to a facility – they want to know what it’s going to cost them. And we don’t blame them.

For those desiring lab work, Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City offers easy, transparent pricing with no hassle or questions. Because we’re a walk-in clinic that doesn’t deal with insurance, you can walk in and pay cash for your lab test. The best part – it’s affordable.

To learn about our prices for lab work, please contact us.

Any of our Kansas City ARCpoint Lab locations are ready and eager to assist you save money when it comes to your lab work.