What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – PCOS?

Being a woman can be difficult, especially when your hormones are “out-of-whack”.  Everything from low to too much estrogen, and all the other hormones in between.  It can be difficult to pinpoint specific hormonal imbalances and needs.  Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – PCOS is a woman’s health issue that is very hard to diagnose and is more common than you think.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance created when the ovaries overproduce androgens. Androgens are male hormones. This excess level of androgens causes an imbalance in the female reproductive system. 

The male hormones prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs, resulting in irregular menstrual cycles. Small cysts can form on the ovaries due to the unpredictable ovulation, but do not occur in all cases, despite the name.  It can be very uncomfortable and be the underlying factor in many other health-related issues.

The exact cause of PCOS is a mystery, but research indicates genetics could play a part. Obesity and insulin resistance can lead to PCOS, and vice versa.

Who is at risk of having PCOS?

All women are at risk when they reach puberty, and up to 15% of women of reproductive age have PCOS. Most women are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s when they are trying to get pregnant and are experiencing infertility issues. 

In addition to the difficulty in getting pregnant, some other symptoms of PCOS are as follows:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle including missing periods, absence of periods, and excessively heavy periods.
  • Abnormally heavy hair growth on the face, arms, stomach, and chest.
  • Patches of hair loss or thinning hair on the head.
  • Skin darkening under the breasts, between the legs, armpits, and neck creases.
  • Obesity and inability to lose weight. 
  • Difficult to treat acne on the face, chest, and back areas.

It is possible to have PCOS and have no symptoms other than infertility issues.

Other Health-Related Issues Caused by PCOS

Having PCOS can lead to developing a number of other adverse health conditions such as:

– Diabetes

– Depression

– Anxiety

– High blood pressure

– Cardiovascular disease

– Endometrial cancer

– Endometrial hyperplasia

– Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders

How is PCOS Diagnosed and How is it Treated?

Part of the diagnostic process to determine if you have PCOS, in addition to the exam, are blood tests to check testosterone and glucose levels. IPE Screening can save you money on these tests. In addition to the blood tests, your physician may also have an ultrasound done. 

Treatment of the PCOS condition is handled differently if pregnancy is the goal. Medication to induce ovulation is prescribed to increase the chances of successful impregnation. If the medications fail to sufficiently improve ovulation, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is recommended. This is where the egg is fertilized outside the body and implanted in the womb. 

If pregnancy is not desired, birth control is prescribed as well as an insulin-sensitizing medicine. Many patients see an improvement in their menstrual cycles when their insulin levels get under control. Eating a healthy diet and losing weight can help to improve insulin levels.

There is no cure for PCOS, but the symptoms can be monitored and treated to mitigate the impact. Regular exercise and eating right can help tremendously. 

IPE Screening can help you to monitor your glucose levels and also hormone levels to keep the condition in check and know when you need to consult your physician to discuss changes. 

Ready to schedule your appointment?  Call Today!



Cholesterol – High or Low?

September is Cholesterol Education Month. Our bodies, specifically the liver, naturally produce all the cholesterol we need. Cholesterol is a substance in your blood that is similar to fat. 

Consuming fatty foods causes the liver to produce more cholesterol. Too much cholesterol in your bloodstream can cause it to build up in the arteries. This build-up basically narrows the blood vessel and restricts the flow of blood to the heart. They can even become completely blocked.

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a high-risk factor for having a stroke or heart attack. Things that can contribute to high cholesterol are:

  • Smoking
  • Heredity – family history of high cholesterol
  • Age – levels naturally increase as we grow older
  • Inactivity
  • Being Overweight
  • Diet

The last three risk factors are somewhat linked together. During Covid, a lot of people were forced into a level of inactivity that was not natural for them. Even though the restrictions have lifted, a lot of people have not returned to their “normal” level of activity. 

Too much couch time has become a habit. Binge-watching shows and not moving for hours at a time has replaced other activities that used to get us moving. 

Unfortunately, along with not moving, all the hanging out on the couch encourages unhealthy snacking and eating. This all adds up to potentially high cholesterol levels. 

Know Your Numbers

A test called the “fasting lipoprotein profile” will give you these numbers:

  • Total Cholesterol – desirable level less than 200 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides – desirable level less than 150 mg/dL
  • Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL – “bad” cholesterol) – desirable level less than 100 mg/dL
  • High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL – “good” cholesterol) – a desirable level of more than 60 mg/dL

*Milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood*

A high LDL level increases your risk of heart disease, while a high HDL level decreases the risk of heart disease. Since there are no symptoms associated with a high LDL level, the American Heart Association recommends all adults over the age of 20 have their cholesterol checked every 4 to 6 years. 

What To Do If You Have High Cholesterol

Obviously, if you have high cholesterol, you should seek medical advice on a course of treatment. However, you can help yourself by making some changes to your diet. A mainly vegetarian diet focusing on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and plant proteins can help to increase your intake of soluble fiber and improve your cholesterol numbers. A few foods to focus on would be:

  • Oats (oatmeal, Cheerios), barley, and other whole grains.
  • Eggplant and okra
  • Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and peanuts
  • Vegetable oils instead of lard, butter, or shortening
  • Fruits rich in pectin (apples, strawberries, grapes, citrus fruits)
  • Fatty fish instead of meats and poultry

Knowing your cholesterol levels gives you the power to take control of your health and manage your lifestyle accordingly. Drop by IPE Screening today and get your baseline cholesterol level numbers so you know where you stand. Being aware of your level of risk of heart disease gives you the chance to change things before you end up in a hospital or worse. 

As you work to make changes and improve your cholesterol numbers, you can drop by the office anytime you want to check your progress. Let IPE Screening be your health partner and keep you informed of your numbers. Knowledge is power. Having the power to take charge of your health and make changes is priceless.

10 Tips for a Healthy School Year

The start of the school year is exciting for kids and families, especially because they are back to in-classroom learning. But it can also be a time when germs start to spread. Colds and flu have taken a backseat to Covid for the past couple of years, but they are still around. A new player to the field this year is monkeypox. Here are some tips to help keep your children and family healthy during the school year:

1. Get vaccinated 

The best way to protect yourself and your family from getting sick are to get vaccinated. Make sure everyone in your family is up-to-date on their vaccinations, including flu shots.

2. Wash your hands often and well 

Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs. Teach your kids to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, and make sure they do it often, especially before they eat and after they use the restroom. 20 seconds can seem like a very long time for a younger child. Have them sing their ABCs while they wash their hands.

3. Cover your coughs and sneezes

When you or your child coughs or sneezes, make sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve. This will help prevent germs from spreading.

4. Avoid touching your face 

Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth can spread germs. Teach your kids to avoid doing this, and make sure you do it yourself as well.

5. Clean and disinfect surfaces 

Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces in your home, especially ones that are frequently touched, like door handles, light switches, and countertops.

6. Make sure you and your children are getting enough sleep 

A good night’s sleep helps them focus and pay attention in class, as well as make better decisions. Pick an appropriate bedtime for each child that will yield a minimum of 8 hours of sleep, and stick to it!

7. Eating a healthy, balanced diet 

This helps promote a strong immune system which is important to fight off illnesses.

8. Getting enough exercise and playtime

Doing outdoor activities as a family is a great way to ensure the whole family is staying active. Be sure to have fun at whatever you are doing. “Laughter is the best medicine” is a saying for a reason.

9. Managing the stress level of the house 

Stress compromises the immune system and makes your body a more hospitable environment for germs and viruses to thrive and flourish. When you are stressed, your children are stressed. Then there are stresses for them at school.

Peer pressure, mean kids, homework, getting good grades, struggling with certain subjects, and any number of other concerns. Make sure the entire family has healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with their stresses.

10. Wash your hands 

I know this was already #2 in the list, but it is so important it is worth mentioning again at the close. Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water. It is one of the best defenses around for staying healthy. Germs hate soap! 

As summer draws to a close and your children return to the classroom for an exciting new school year, you can relax and enjoy the ride. After all, you have a plan in place to protect your family from whatever “bug” is making the rounds.


August is Gastroparesis Awareness Month. Gastroparesis is a stomach condition where things move too slowly in the digestive system. It is a condition that affects more females than males. It is still being studied since about half of the cases have no known cause. They are just termed “idiopathic”. 

In some cases, it is related to the patient having diabetes. It has also been noted a high percentage of females with the condition are low in estrogen. Other hormonal imbalances can also cause the condition.

Symptoms of Gastroparesis

Some of the symptoms of Gastroparesis are:

  • Nausea, vomiting, dry heaves
  • Feeling super full after a normal sized meal
  • Feeling full and being unable to finish a normal meal
  • Pain and discomfort in the stomach
  • Bloating and heartburn

All of these symptoms can be indicators of a number of other medical conditions. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms on an on-going basis and are concerned, you should consult your medical professional.

There is a test they can perform to time the emptying of the stomach to determine if you are indeed suffering from gastroparesis. Left untreated, it can cause a decrease in appetite or a reluctance to eat and deal with stomach discomfort, leading to dehydration and malnutrition. Severe cases have resulted in hospitalization.

How to Treat Symptoms of Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis is manageable with diet and lifestyle changes if it is not too advanced. Consulting a dietician to help you design a meal plan that ensures you are getting the nutrients your body needs is a good place to start. Moderate physical activity, such as a walk, after eating a meal will help move things along.

There are also medications available to increase the mobility and improve the flow of contents from the stomach into the small intestine. This may help with vomiting, nausea, and bloating. There are also medications to help control nausea and vomiting.

Gastroparesis increases the challenge of managing diabetes. Blood sugar levels increase as the contents of the stomach move into the small intestine. Since the stomach condition delays that process, it makes it harder to manage your blood sugar levels.

How can IPE Screening Help?

IPE Screening can be your partner in managing your health. If you have diabetes, it puts you at risk for a host of other health conditions. Regular checking of blood sugar levels is important.  If you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes, do you know your blood sugar levels? Are you at risk for becoming diabetic? 

If you are a mature woman who is experiencing hormonal imbalances, IPE Screening can check levels for you and give you the information you need to manage your life journey. Knowing your numbers gives you the knowledge and power to make educated health decisions that are right for you.

IPE Screening is a private pay lab. You get the same quality tests and results as you would from a doctor’s office or the hospital, at a fraction of the cost! 

You do not need a doctor’s referral to use their services. You do not need insurance. Although they do accept most major insurances now. You don’t need an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome! 

They are affiliated with Quest Diagnostics and can access your information from the Quest system. 

They do not charge an additional fee for the blood draw to perform tests.  Lastly, if you are unable to get to their office, they will bring their services to you! Call today and get your health under control!


What is Hepatitis?

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day. This is in honor of Dr. Baruch Blumberg, who discovered the existence of the Hepatitis B virus in 1967. In 1969, he developed a vaccine for it and won a Nobel Prize for these accomplishments. 

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, commonly caused by a virus. Although it can also be caused by certain toxins, alcoholism, medications, or a medical condition.  According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, there are five types of viral hepatitis, although the most common ones are A, B, and C.

Hepatitis A

The most common way of contracting Hepatitis A is through the ingestion of contaminated food or water. Periodically there are news stories warning people who have eaten at a certain restaurant or fast food place within the last few days to get tested for Hepatitis A because it was discovered that someone in the kitchen had the virus. Symptoms of Hepatitis A include:

  • Yellow tint to the skin (jaundice)
  • Extreme tiredness or fatigue
  • Stomach issues – stomach ache, nausea, loss of appetite

Children under 6 can be infected and be asymptomatic and highly contagious. The symptoms are usually mild for older children and adults and usually go away in a couple of months. However, they can return periodically for about 6 months.

There are no specific medicines or treatments for Hepatitis A, but symptoms can be treated. The best prevention is a Hepatitis A vaccine, especially if you will be traveling to countries where the virus is prevalent. 

If you suspect you may be infected with the Hepatitis A virus, you can drop by IPE Screening to get a blood test done to confirm.

Hepatitis B

This strain is much worse. Hepatitis B is acquired by contact with contaminated blood or other bodily fluids. It has an acute phase that can become chronic. 95% of adults will recover completely from an acute infection and it never progresses to the chronic stage.

Approximately 90% of infected babies (born to infected mothers) and 50% of children under the age of 5 will progress to the chronic stage and be a life-long problem.

Like with Hepatitis A, children are highly contagious even if they exhibit no symptoms.   

Most cases of Hepatitis B are caused by sex with infected partners, IV drug use (sharing needles and syringes), and accidental jabs with infected needles (a common hazard for medical professionals). Symptoms of Hepatitis B include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Stomach issues – nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite
  • Clay-colored stools and dark urine
  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)

Chronic cases of Hepatitis B will need to be monitored throughout their life to check on the liver function and potential development of cirrhosis or cancer.

The best prevention for Hepatitis B is to be vaccinated. If you may have been exposed to Hepatitis B and would like confirmation, IPE Screening has a blood test to detect Hepatitis B.

We also have tests to monitor liver function if you are one of the unfortunate individuals with a chronic infection.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is an infection transmitted through the blood that becomes a long-term illness in about 80% of the people who contract it. Unlike the A and B versions, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C.

The best way to protect yourself from this disease that can lead to death is to avoid the risky behaviors that can lead to being infected. Most notably, IV drug use.

A lot of people do not experience any symptoms (they are the same as Hepatitis B), so do not realize they are infected until it has progressed to cancer or another serious liver disease. This makes screening and testing important.

If you know you have been around someone with Hepatitis C and think you may have been exposed (accidental needle stick or other exposure to tainted blood), IPE Screening has a blood test to screen for the Hepatitis C virus.

While there is no vaccine, there are effective treatments available if you do contract the virus.

IPE Screening has blood tests to screen for Hepatitis A, B, and C. We also have tests that will monitor liver health and function. We have recently become associated with Quest Diagnostics and now accept most major insurances.

We do not require an appointment and welcome walk-ins. Knowledge is power. Hepatitis viruses fly under the radar and can do a lot of damage if left unchecked. Stop by today and be tested.

Blood is Life!

Renfield may have been insane, but he wasn’t wrong. Blood is life. Without it, life ends. July is Cord Blood Awareness Month. With the emergence of Regenerative Medicine, saving the blood from the umbilical cord has become a thing.

Why Collect Cord Blood?

Cord blood contains Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs). These are blood-forming stem cells similar to what is found in blood marrow. They can treat, repair, and replace damaged cells in the body. They can restore a damaged immune system. 

Currently, the stem cells found in the Cord Blood are being used to treat 11 different forms of Cancer, 13 different Blood Disorders, 4 different Immune System Disorders, and 12 different Metabolic Disorders. As advances continue in the Regenerative Medicine field, more uses will be found. 

By saving the Cord Blood, if something goes wrong with your child, or another family member, you save the time and expense of testing to find a matching donor.

The Story of Your Health is Told Using Your Blood

Many of the diseases and disorders being treated with Cord Blood HSCs are detectable by a variety of blood tests. It is amazing the amount of information about the health of your body that is contained in your blood. Science has learned how to detect certain harmful conditions before they become critical and, therefore, are easier to treat. 

IPE Screening can perform a variety of blood tests for you so you have the information you need from your blood to know how your body is doing. Knowing your numbers puts you in the driver’s seat for your health.

For example, testing your sugar levels can tell you if you are pre-diabetic and heading for full-blown diabetes if you don’t make some lifestyle changes. Or to monitor your cholesterol levels. It gives you the choice to take control of your health and not be dependent upon medicines. Eating and living healthy is a better option than continuing bad health habits and ending up having to take a variety of medicines every day. 

Your blood can also tell you about hormone deficiencies, such as thyroid conditions. There is a blood test for your thyroid function. Many older women experience issues with their thyroid after entering menopause. Having it checked regularly can help you know when medical intervention is necessary to control your thyroid levels.

Blood is literally life 

When you are pregnant, you and your baby (or babies) share the same blood. Blood tests can tell you if you are pregnant. There is even a DNA test now that will tell you the sex of your baby as early as 6 weeks! 

How amazing is that? 

No more waiting 9 months, or until a sonogram would show things. A simple DNA test will now tell you almost as soon as you realize you are pregnant! 

There are also blood tests that can detect potential problems with the baby before birth so you are prepared for whatever medical intervention may be necessary.

IPE Screening has recently become affiliated with Quest Diagnostics and can now accept insurance. We still do not require insurance or doctors to be involved, but we can help you save money on your lab work. Even if you have insurance, there are still out-of-pocket expenses you are responsible for.

We can save you money 

If your chosen medical provider is a TeleMD, we are the perfect addition to your health care team.  We can do any physical exams (blood pressure, etc.) or blood draws needed by your TeleMD. No appointments are needed, walk-ins are welcome!

Come see IPE Screening today and find out what your blood is trying to tell you about the health of your body!

The Dangers of UV Radiation and How to Protect Yourself

Summer is officially here. Bright, sunny days call you to come outside and play! The warm sunshine feels so good after being cold all winter. Our bodies do need exposure to the sun to produce Vitamin D, but too much exposure is dangerous. The dangerous part of sunshine is UV radiation.  

The damage caused by UV rays is cumulative. Worse, the UV rays are always there during daylight hours, regardless of whether it is sunny or not.

Did you know that UV rays can penetrate cloud cover?

When you are out in the winter, the UV rays get you twice. Once from above, then again when they reflect off the snow (if you live in a snowy area). The same with water and sand by lakes, rivers, and oceans, leading to some spectacular sunburns. 

Every time you step outside, your body is being bombarded by UV radiation! 

Even just out walking the dog, going to the mailbox, or walking to and from the car when going to work. It all adds up. Over time, it causes wrinkles, leathery skin, and dark spots. It can also cause skin cancer.

But it is nothing to be afraid of.  There are ways to protect yourself.

The best way to avoid skin cancer is to minimize your exposure to the UV rays as much as possible. 

Here are some suggestions for protecting yourself and your family from the harmful effects of the sun:

  • Avoid being in direct sunlight as much as possible. The sun is strongest from 10 am to 2 pm. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends seeking shade between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. 

         Umbrellas aren’t just for rain! They work great for providing portable, moving shade.

  • Locate your children’s sandbox, swing set, and other yard play equipment in shady areas.
  • Infants under 6 months of age should not be in the sun. Their delicate skin should be covered in light clothing. They should also have a hat and eye protection. 

          Having a sunshade on the stroller is also recommended to protect hands and face.

  • Sunscreen is your friend! But check the labels carefully to ensure you are getting adequate coverage.  The sunscreen you choose should be broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB protection) and have an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating of 15 or higher. If you are going to get wet, choose a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • About a half-hour before you go outside, apply sunscreen liberally (approximately 1 oz) to your whole body.  You will need to reapply every 2 hours or whenever you come out of the water if you are getting wet. Water-resistant sunscreen is only good for about 40-80 minutes.

          Even though you are in the water, you can still get sunburned.

  • Be sure to talk to the babysitter, grandparents, or other people in charge of your children when you aren’t around about your sun protection routine so they are aware of the measures needed to keep your children safe when they are in the sun. 

          Unlike some cancers, there is no blood test to detect skin cancer.  

It is recommended to do a visual self-exam every month to look for abnormal skin growths and to see a dermatologist once a year. Once cancer has been detected, a doctor will use blood tests to gauge certain things happening in the body before embarking on treatment. 

Our staff here at IPE Screening hopes to never see you for that reason, but we are here to help with all your lab testing needs. 

Please protect yourself as much as possible from the harmful effects of the UVA/UVB rays of the sun so you don’t need those cancer screenings from us. We would much rather see you yearly to help you keep track of your healthy numbers!

What is Colorectal Cancer?

A Discussion About Colorectal Cancer

What is more uncomfortable than a discussion about cancer?  A discussion about colorectal cancer! For those who aren’t familiar with the term, colorectal cancer is a term to covers colon cancer and rectal cancer since they share many features. 

The biggest differentiating factor is where cancer starts, either in the colon (colon cancer) or the rectum (rectal cancer).  

What is The Colon?

The large intestine consists of the colon and rectum. The colon is approximately 5 feet long and consists of four sections. The sections are named based on the direction of food flow. (Obviously, 5 feet of intestine won’t fit in the body without some serious Tetris action.) It begins with the ascending colon – food enters from the small intestine and travels upward along the right side of the body.

The traverse colon takes the food from the right side of the body across the abdomen to the left side. From there, it takes the descending colon (down the left side of the body) to the “S”-shaped sigmoid colon that connects to the rectum. The process of extracting useful nutrients from the food and eliminating unnecessary waste concludes here.

What are Polyps?

Polyps can form in the inner lining of any of those places. Polyps are abnormal cell growths, but not all polyps become cancerous.  Some polyps have a greater chance of turning into cancer than others.  Here are the different types of polyps:

  • Adenomatous polyps (adenomas):  There are three types of adenomas – tubular, tubulovillous, and villous. These polyps sometimes change into cancer so are considered a precancerous condition. 
  • Hyperplastic polyps and inflammatory polyps:This type of polyp rarely turns into cancer so is not considered to be precancerous.  If the polyps found are larger than 1cm (approximately ⅓ of an inch), follow-up screening with a colonoscopy will need to happen more frequently.
  • Sessile serrated polyps (SSP) and traditional serrated adenomas (TSA): Because these have been shown to have a higher rate of turning cancerous, they are also considered a precancerous condition.  

The size of the polyp (anything greater than 1cm) and the number of polyps (greater than 3) also factor into the increased probability that it could turn cancerous. 

Colorectal Cancer 

Colorectal cancer spreads when the cancer cells grow into the walls of the intestine and breach a blood or lymph vessel and be carried to a lymph node or take up residence in other places in the body.  

  • Adenocarcinomas – The vast majority of colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas. There are different types of adenocarcinomas, with differing outlooks for the future.  Signet ring and mucinous have a bleaker prognosis than other types of adenocarcinomas.
  • Carcinoid tumors – These are rare and are typically caused by hormone-making cells in the intestine.
  • Sarcomas – Another rare tumor. These tumors start in the muscle, blood vessels, or connective tissue in the walls of the colon and rectum.
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs)  – These tumors start from the interstitial cells of Cajal, which are special cells located in the wall of the colon. Sometimes these tumors turn out to not be cancerous. These tumors can occur anywhere along the digestive tract, but are rarely found in the colon.

Signs and Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Many of these symptoms could be caused by something other than colorectal cancer.  However, since early detection is the key to beating any cancer, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is better to have it checked into:

  • Change in bowel movements that lasts longer than a few days.  These changes include constipation, diarrhea, or narrow stools.
  • Black or dark brown stools indicate possible blood in the stool.
  • Feeling like you still need to have a bowel movement even though you just went.
  • Bright red blood from the rectum.
  • Abdominal cramping or pain.
  • Unexplained weakness and fatigue.
  • Unintended weight loss

If you are experiencing any troubling symptoms, please consult a medical professional. 

IPE Screening does have a few blood tests that are useful for early detection and monitoring of cancers. 

A CBC Blood panel can flag anything outside the normal ranges.  There is a test for checking liver function.  The most useful would be the CA125 test.  This test can detect certain cancers in their early stages.  

No doctor? No problem. No insurance? Also no problem. No appointment necessary. 

Father-Daughter Bond – Why Get a Paternity DNA Test

The ideal environment for a child is a loving home with two parents who love each other.  In the real world, life is rarely ideal.  In fact, sometimes it is downright messy.  Adult relationships and interactions can be difficult and have unexpected results.  If one of those unexpected results happens to be a baby, that child deserves every advantage to help them grow into a well-adjusted, productive adult that makes a positive contribution to society – this is why paternity DNA tests are needed.

Traditionally, the bond between father and son is common and expected.  As is the bond between mother and daughter.  The bond between father and daughter is not as common, but studies have shown it is extremely important.  

Positive Results of a Father and Daughter Bond

In the article, Strengthening Father-Daughter Relationships by Very Well Family, describes the benefits a healthy father-daughter bond can have on the daughter’s life.  The benefits include:

  • High self-esteem and confidence.  This is the result of the support, praise, and unconditional love received from dear ol’ dad.  
  • Better relationships with men. Less chance of hooking up with a deadbeat or someone abusive.  A great dad will treat her like the precious gift she is and teach her how she deserves to be treated by the other men in her life.
  • Less likely to develop depression. Having a strong bond and good communication increases the likelihood serious issues will be discussed and solved or at least supported. 
  • Less likely to have eating disorders and body image issues.  This is directly related to the elevated self-esteem and confidence levels.    
  • Better able to handle stress and life’s curveballs. Recent studies show a strong father-daughter bond increases cortisol levels – the stress hormone, making it easier to deal with unexpected events.
  • Improved academic performance, better college/career choices, resulting in landing a higher paying job after graduating with a more lucrative career. 

Get Involved and Be Present

All it really takes to accomplish all these great things is to be present and involved in her life.  Find out what interests her and find a way to share in those interests.  Does your daughter like a particular sport? You can attend games and actively cheer her on, help her practice, and encourage her to be her best.  A more difficult challenge might be if she is interested in something like dance or theater.  You could still take her to practice.  Find some performances to take her to.  Just find some way to encourage her and to share in her interests.  It makes a huge difference.

The other key ingredients for accomplishing these benefits of a happy daughter are being available and really listening. It helps her to know and develop her self-worth.  She knows her thoughts and feelings are important, respected, and supported.  She grows up to expect this treatment, can withstand the disappointment when it isn’t received and has the strength to walk away from relationships that do not serve her best interests.  

Of course, to be able to provide this loving bond and make sure your daughter has all these benefits, you need to be a part of her life.  Back to that reality of adult relationships being messy.  If the circumstances surrounding your daughter’s parentage fall into the “unexpected” category and you need to prove your paternity in order to be a part of her life, IPE Screening can help with a DNA Paternity test.  

It may be a challenge and a struggle to be a part of your daughter’s life, but it is worth the fight – for her.  She will be better off and emotionally stable with a strong, loving, involved father in her life.  Obviously, she doesn’t need some fly-by-night player, but if you have read this to the end, chances are you are a decent person who cares and wants to be involved in your child’s life. With our DNA Paternity test, you remove any doubt and have an important piece of evidence to aid in your quest to be involved in your daughter’s life.  

Is It Your Thyroid?

Thyroid Balancing Act

If you’ve been feeling a little off lately, it might not be all in your head. You could be showing symptoms of a thyroid issue. But don’t worry, there are things you can do to address the problem. 

In this post, we’ll talk about some of the most common thyroid issues and you can decide if it’s time to get checked. So if you’ve been feeling under the weather, or not quite just right, read on for some helpful tips.

What is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a small gland shaped like a butterfly located in your throat just below your larynx and partially hugging your windpipe. This particular gland is responsible for creating hormones that control your metabolism.  Metabolism is the process of converting the food you have eaten into energy your body can use to function.  The thyroid manufactures two hormones, T3 and T4, for this process.  They control your heartbeat and regulate your body temperature.

The pituitary gland monitors the performance of the thyroid gland.  When it senses an imbalance in the thyroid hormone level, it sends a message to the thyroid, via the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), to up the thyroid hormone production or to cut it back. 

Hyperthyroid or Hypothyroid?

When the body produces too many thyroid hormones and increases your metabolism, it is called hyperthyroidism.  Hyperthyroidism primarily affects women and is relatively rare; only affecting 1% of the US population. When the body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones and your metabolism decreases, it is called hypothyroidism.  This is fairly common in post-menopausal women over 60. While women are the primary target for thyroid issues, men are still at risk.  A good diagnostic tool is a blood test that will check the TSH, T3, and T4 levels.

Hyperthyroid Symptoms

  • Heart palpitations (rapid heartbeat)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Anxiety, feeling shaky, nervous.
  • Sleep issues.
  • Changes in vision and possible bulging eyes
  • Increase in appetite
  • Weight loss, despite the increase in appetite.
  • Diarrhea, increase in the frequency of bowel movements
  • Changes in menstrual pattern
  • Warm, moist, thin skin.
  • Excessive sweating with an intolerance to heat.
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) causing swelling in the neck.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches, tenderness, weakness
  • Swelling and stiffness in joints
  • Increased blood cholesterol levels
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Slower heart rate
  • Impaired memory or “brain fog”
  • Depression
  • Change in the menstrual cycle
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)

When Your Hormone Levels Are Too Low – Myxedema

There is a condition called myxedema that occurs when thyroid levels are dangerously low.  Symptoms of this life-threatening condition are:

  • Low body temperature
  • Confusion
  • Anemia
  • Coma
  • Heart failure

If you’ve been feeling run down, like there’s just something not quite right and you can’t put your finger on it, your thyroid may be to blame. About 1 in 8 women will have a thyroid problem at some point in their lives, and many of those won’t even realize it. So when should you get your thyroid checked? 

There are treatments for thyroid disease available from your health care professional.  Thyroid disease is very good at hiding in plain sight.  A lot of the symptoms are shared with other ailments, making it hard to diagnose. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms, a good place to start is at IPE Screening for a thyroid blood panel to find out your thyroid hormone levels. Then you’ll know if you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor for further diagnostics and to discuss how to treat your thyroid condition.