The at-home medical testing market is booming. Yet many consumers and patients are unaware of the benefits of testing at home. Some may not know many at-home tests exist. Others may have yet to trust them over a formal test conducted at a doctor’s office.
Having a reliable primary care physician is a beneficial healthcare tool. So is having access to accurate and convenient testing options when you can’t make an office visit. You don’t have to arrange an appointment when your doctor’s calendar is booked, for starters. You can self-administer an at-home test and send it off for prompt analysis and digital results. You don’t even have to set foot in a doctor’s office.
Here are a few health tests you can easily take at home:
1. Pregnancy Test
One of the most common and well-known at-home health tests is the pregnancy test. While more conclusive ways of confirming pregnancy at a doctor’s office, the initial test can be completed at home. Plus, you can get results in minutes in the privacy and comfort of your own home.
Pregnancy tests are so standard these days that you can even find them at discounts or convenience stores. Ranging in price, there are options for every budget. You can also find at-home testing kits like over-the-counter ovulation tests, which indicate optimal fertility times.
2. STI Testing
STIs are more common than you might think. There’s no need to feel embarrassed if you feel like you’ve contracted one. Still, it’s nice to have your privacy when undergoing testing. For that reason, STI testing is likely to become the next big thing in at-home medical testing.
At-home STI tests are easy to use and provide quick results, which help direct you to the treatment you need as soon as possible. The best part about doing an STI test at home is that even the packaging is discrete. So you won’t feel any embarrassment as you pull it out of the mailbox or if it’s left on your doorstep.
3. Heart Health
The number-one killer in the United States isn’t violence or even cancer. It’s heart disease. There are several reasons why one might suffer from heart disease ranging from genetics to high cholesterol. Knowing more about your heart health can help you make positive changes in the future.
Instead of testing your heart when it’s failing, look for tests that will help you improve your heart health today. For example, a BMI or body fat percentage monitor can tell you a lot about your heart and overall health. Then, you can better set substantial weight and nutritional goals.
Another test you can conduct at home measures your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol limits blood flow in your body, making it difficult to get oxygen to your vital organs. If the arteries of your heart are affected, you could be in danger of heart failure.
4. Allergy Test
There are tests for identifying seasonal allergies and reactions to pet dander. But those types of allergies are more of an inconvenience than a danger. Knowing what tree is bothering you isn’t as helpful as finding an allergy pill that provides relief.
Food allergies, though, can be deadly in their effects and reactions. Experiencing symptoms of an unexpected food allergy can be terrifying. At-home tests help you be aware of what you should avoid. That way, you can be equipped with the necessary tools and medications to stay healthy.
You’ll likely receive a test kit to do a finger prick and send a small blood sample to a lab. Your results will help determine which foods you should remove from your diet.
5. Thyroid Problems
Your thyroid is a tiny gland in your body, but it’s one of the most important. It’s in charge of regulating hormones and your metabolism, which affect your entire anatomy. The thyroid can produce too much or not enough hormones it supplies to the body. You can experience anything from fatigue and heart problems to weight gain and insomnia.
A thyroid test looks at those essential hormones the gland produces to measure their levels. It’s a reasonably simple way to see if your thyroid is acting up. A doctor can further narrow down the symptoms and effects of the problem you’re facing. The thyroid can be a problematic area of your body to diagnose as it affects several bodily functions. Unless there is noticeable swelling in the neck area where it resides, you may not know you have an issue. But an at-home test is an excellent way to start the diagnosis process.
We thought we were through the worst COVID-19 when the delta variant hit. The latest wave has opened up new questions about the new normal, vaccinations, and the future of testing.
While many questions have yet to be answered, COVID-19 testing is more convenient than in the early days of the pandemic. You can now get a test kit to use at home. This can come in handy if you need a negative result for travel or events.
7. Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is another disease that can be embarrassing to confront. Taking a test at home beats providing a stool sample in a clinic or hospital setting. You can take your time, get more comfortable, and keep all of the details to yourself.
The fact that any form of cancer can be detected with an at-home test is remarkable. It’s a good sign of things to come in the at-home testing space. You’ll still want to follow up with your physician regardless of the result. But having an at-home testing option for colon cancer can give you the confirmation you need to know how to proceed.
If one of these at-home tests looks like something you’re interested in, start researching reputable websites. Be on the lookout for more tests as they start circulating, as companies will continue to grow this field while it’s still young and in development.