National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funds the breastfeeding campaign in hopes to empower women to commit to breastfeeding. Research shows that babies who are exclusively breastfed for six months are less likely to develop ear infections, diarrhea, and respiratory illnesses; they may also be less likely to develop childhood obesity. Continue reading “National Breastfeeding Awareness Month” »

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month


When a children lose their parents they are called orphans and when someone loses their spouse they are a widow/widower, but there is no word for when parents lose a child or multiple children. We shouldn’t need a word, it’s such a terrible thing, but it does happens. In 1988, Ronald Reagan declared October National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month as a way to help those who have lost a child during pregnancy or the first few years of life and raise awareness of pregnancy risks. Continue reading “Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month” »

How Can Women Prevent Top Health Risks?

Too often, women believe that many of their most common health risks are inevitable. The reality is that individuals have a great deal more control over their well-being than they think they do.
When women understand the health risks that are common to them, they can be more proactive about managing these risks.

Continue reading “How Can Women Prevent Top Health Risks?” »

Are You at Risk for the Top 10 Causes of Death in the US? 

The National Center for Health Statistics recently released data concerning the top 10 causes of death in the U.S.

Being aware of these causes and the health risks for developing them is vital if you want to avoid becoming a statistic.

Continue reading “Are You at Risk for the Top 10 Causes of Death in the US? ” »

Why Self-Directed Health Testing?

Many people nationwide, not just here in the Kansas City metro, will admit that regular well checks aren’t made much of a priority in their lives.

The busyness of daily life plus the high cost of healthcare — from co-pays, insurance premiums, and out-of-pocket costs — have kept people from doing the very thing that will save them money down the line: monitoring their health.

Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park has a solution. We empower you to pursue self-directed health testing at our Kansas City facility.

Here are some reasons why pursuing clinical testing without a prescription is good for your wellness.

Continue reading “Why Self-Directed Health Testing?” »

Read This Before You Go Back to College

As August begins, many Kansas City teens are preparing to start or go back to college. Classes, college friends, fun, and football season are likely on the brain.

Whether you attend school in KC or a more distant location, it’s key that you take steps to keep yourself healthy this semester.

Here are our tips for staying well as you head back to college!

Continue reading “Read This Before You Go Back to College” »

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.

Ladies of Kansas City – Prevent Heart Disease

 the-basics-of-heart-diseaseWe will keep this brief. We know you don’t have a lot of time.

As the end of the month nears, you probably have heart disease on the mind. At least we hope so.

The “Go Red” dresses. The benefits for heart disease plastered across social media and the news. Even the “heart healthy” lunches.

Hopefully you took notice.

Yes – you’re at risk for heart disease as a ‘healthy,’ active woman

If you take away anything from this month, we hope you know that heart disease can strike anyone – at any time. Our diets, activity levels and genetics can combine to create the perfect storm. We must be careful and keep an eye on our heart health.

  • Heart disease is the #1 killer of women (even more than cancer.)
  • You need your cholesterol checked routinely – make sure your numbers are normal.
  • Keep tabs on your blood pressure.
  • Have diabetes? You are 2-4 times more likely to have heart disease or stroke.
  • Smoking can raise your risk of heart disease.
  • Weight and activity can play a role in your heart disease risk.

Lean more risk factors by visiting The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women site.

Getting healthier in Kansas City

If you work, live, play and raise a family in Kansas City, we have help for you. If you want easy ways to get your heart checked and prevent heart disease, let us help.

  • Cholesterol screening
    Walk in to our wellness center. Request cholesterol screening. No co-pay needed. No doctor’s visit required.
  • Diabetes screening
    Many with diabetes have no clue they have diabetes. Don’t be that person
  • Heart disease prevention
    We offer a panel of tests (in addition to cholesterol) to determine if you are “heart healthy.”

That’s it! Look us up if you need tested – Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City.

We told you we’d be brief.

About breast cancer

breast-cancer-awareness-octoberOctober is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The entire month is dedicated to letting the world know that the threat is very real. Statistics prove that it’s growing and more and more women are susceptible to getting it. I know someone who has it. You probably do too.

Spreading awareness is the key. Talking about the disease and symptoms and getting screened regularly are all part of the fight to overcome it. Wearing pink helps. And so does routine wellness testing. Below is a brief guide to some information about breast cancer. For a more complete review and information, please check the links below for more in-depth resources about breast cancer.

What is Breast Cancer?

In layman’s terms, breast cancer is cancer that originates in the breast tissue – it can occur in both men and women. The cancer can effect different people in different ways and the type of cancer one has determines the kind of treatment that they are going to undergo. Breast cancer may spread to other organs, but if it originated in the breast tissue, it is classified as breast cancer.

Here’s a quick overview on some breast cancer facts:

Two main types of breast cancer are:

  • Ductal Carcinoma-this starts in the ducts that move milk from the breast to the nipple.
  • Lobular Carcinoma- this starts in the lobules, the part of the breast responsible for producing milk.

Breast Cancer can be:

  • Noninvasive (also called in situ)- this is when the cancerous cells remain within their area of origin. Both Ductal and Lobular Carcinoma can be noninvasive. In this case, the cells have not penetrated into other parts of the breast.
  • Invasive- Breast cancer is invasive when the cancerous cells have spread to the other parts of the breast from their area of origin. This is a more advanced stage of cancer.

What causes Breast Cancer?

Like most cancers it’s hard to credit, rather than discredit, any one factor that might cause breast cancer. In fact when it comes to the causes, there are some that one can control and then others that are completely out of ones’ hands.

Factors that one cannot change include:

  • If you are a woman, your chances of getting breast cancer increase as you get older. Women over 50 are prone to the most advanced cases of breast cancer.
  • If someone in your family has had breast, uterine, colon or ovarian cancer you have a greater chance of having breast cancer.
  • Some people might have genetic mutations that are more likely to develop breast cancer. The most common gene defects are found in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
  • Early periods (before age 12) and late menopause (after 55), both contribute to breast cancer.

Factors that one may be able to control:

  • Alcohol use. Consuming up to 2 glasses of alcohol everyday increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Women without children or with pregnancies over the age of 30 are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Increased levels of estrogen in the body can lead to breast cancer.
  • Exposure to radiation at any given time in your life can increase the risk of getting breast cancer.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Extreme care is needed to diagnose breast cancer. It is hard to detect early stages of breast cancer. Some symptoms may manifest as:

  • Lumps in the armpit or around the breast area – not painful but hard with uneven edges.
  • Changes in breast- size, shape, dimpling of skin, puckering of skin, inverted nipples.
  • Pus-like fluid, bloody or greenish-yellow oozing from breast.

Getting screened for Breast Cancer

The best possible way for staying on top of breast cancer is to get screened regularly, especially as you get older. Mammograms each year starting at age 40 (unless there is concern to start earlier) are the first step in detecting breast cancer. If you have symptoms or the mammogram indicates further testing is needed.

Resources for Breast Cancer

Susan G. Koman Foundation

American Cancer Society

National Cancer Institute



I Don’t Feel Well…

Ever have one of those feelings like something is “off?” You can’t put your finger on it, but you just don’t feel like yourself. Maybe you’re lacking the energy you once had, or you find yourself more hungry than usual. Subtle changes might not seem like they’re “doctor-worthy,” but you know something is up with your health. You’re just not sure what to do.


Want your thyroid checked? Request the test yourself!

Health Panels To Diagnose Your Health Concerns

One of the reasons I love my job is because I can offer solutions to these hard-to-identify problems. In the past you would have had to schedule a doctor’s appointment, convince him or her to send you for lab work and then possibly even spend weeks requesting the right test. By the time results returned, the headache of the process had completely overshadowed your initial concerns.

Nowadays, facilities like my Kansas City Test Smartly Labs offer wellness tests and comprehensive health panels to quickly get to the bottom of why you don’t feel well. Instead of having the doctor request one test, wait for results and then request another based on the outcome, we can run a bundle of tests to quickly deliver the information you seek. What’s even better is that you can come DIRECTLY to us for the test, no doctor’s prescription is required! Come tell us what you want to check and within only a few minutes we’ll have your blood and/or urine sample and return results of your lab work directly to you within days. You can take your lab results and see a physician for further treatment or monitoring if you choose, or you can monitor your own health.

Common Health Panels at Test Smartly Labs

While we can run any bundle of wellness test, here are some of the common health panels we do:

Women’s Health Panel

Women can request a general health panel to get a baseline for several blood counts and hormone levels. Some popular tests included in the women’s health panel include:  CBC (with differential), CMP, thyroid (TSH), cholesterol screening, vitamin D testing and hormone levels. We also offer pregnancy tests and menopause screening panels.

Men’s Health Panel

Men can also request a general panel for a comprehensive overview of their health. Some common tests included in a men’s health panel include:  PSA (prostate), testosterone levels, blood sugar, cholesterol screening, thyroid (TSH), CMP and vitamin D.

Allergy Panels

If you know you suffer from allergies, but have no clue what you are allergic to, an allergy panel can help. A series of specific allergy tests can be run to identify exactly what is causing your itchy eyes, congestion, sore throat and more. From testing environmental pollutants, molds, grasses and more – an allergy test will identify the allergen that is making you miserable.

STD Panels

Occurrence of STDs is at an all-time high and continues to rise. If you’re sexually active (especially if you’ve been with multiple partners or with someone you know has an STD), it’s wise to have an STD panel performed. Rather than testing for one specific STD, a panel will test for the most commonly transmitted diseases, even those that lie dormant with no signs or symptoms.

Wellness Tests in Kansas City

This is just a short list of some popular panels requested at our labs. We can run virtually any lab test, no doctor’s note required and no questions asked.

Need a wellness test or health panel? Contact our Kansas City lab for your wellness test today!