When it comes to our health we can never be too careful! After nursing my mother through stage-3 bowel cancer and facing my own battle with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) food allergies, a fluctuating immune system and various surgeries, I recognise the importance of preventing illness and disease rather than booking to see a doctor and then waiting to have treatment once something has already gone very badly wrong.
It is this early detection that saves lives and makes a full and healthy recovery far more attainable; whilst searching online I was so excited to discover LetsGetChecked, a forward-thinking medical facility making monitoring your health from the comfort of your very own home incredibly convenient and accessible to all – their services change and save lives.
In this modern age we live in we are busier than ever, pushed from pillar to post, services overrun, waiting times for non-emergency doctors appointments can range from weeks up to months and sometimes we just don’t have the time, enthusiasm, effort or energy to go and get poked and prodded by a GP when we’ve already lived with the symptoms for so long.
Yet we should never ignore the importance of getting checked if we think that something isn’t right. It’s just as important to prevent the things that are yet to go wrong by routinely monitoring our health for early detection and changes so that diseases such as cancer can be caught at an earlier stage where less treatment and recovery is necessary instead of waiting until it’s terminal.
The aim of home testing is to help people to better manage their own health from home without the need to go to a doctors office or clinic to identify issues far sooner and therefore avoid the development of serious medical conditions. To date over 260,000 tests have been performed with over 8,400 Infections detected and over 10,300 abnormal results across a spectrum of health tests covering sexual health, men’s and women’s health and wellness.
Being able to order online with next day delivery makes home testing incredibly convenient and pro-active for a healthy long and high-quality life. I for one find this service invaluable after suffering from poor health and a family history of cancer, early detection, fast-treatment and more time makes all of the difference.
Taking Our Home Blood Tests
My parter and I took the Men’s Health and Women’s Health home tests together, not because we have any major health concerns or particularly noticeable symptoms -although not all symptoms are seen and felt- but because we want to have an overview of our health and understand if there is anything we should pay more attention to, any changes we should make and any early-detection of something that could go wrong and cause complications later down the line. A check-up if you will, from the comfort of our lounge.
Each test kit comes individually packaged with everything you need to test yourself from home. The cardboard box slips straight through the letter box so that you don’t have to wait at home to sign for it, and an instruction booklet walks you through each step to safely and hygienically collect your sample, seal it up and then send it back to the laboratory in a pre-paid labelled bag for testing.
Seeing as the blood samples need to be fresh, we took our tests together on Monday morning before work so that we could get them straight into the first post. It’s important that you send the samples off the same day that you collect them, as you don’t want them to be stuck in a delivery office over the weekend; therefore testing in the morning between Monday-Wednesday’s is advised. Once received by the laboratory the confidential test results are available within your secure account online within 2-5 days.
Before testing we both activated our tests online which allowed us to enter our details, answer questions about our health and leave further comments for the laboratory which took just several minutes to compete. This information forms a part of our online medical accounts for which we can securely login and retrieve our results once processed.
All test kits are manufactured at an accredited facility using the some of the worlds finest accredited labs where teams of physicians review results and nurses are available 24/7 to help with treatment options. All information can be tracked and viewed easily online in one place, it can be linked to wearable data to provide deeper health insights and also allows you to speak to the care and physician team whenever you like 24/7.
Taking the test itself involves cleansing your non-dominant hand’s ring finger before pricking it and collecting the droplets of blood into a small sterile container. All equipment is provided, as well as a plaster to dress the finger afterwards and the entire process is complete within less than ten minutes.
I performed my own test whilst my partner did his at the same time; whilst I don’t mind needles myself, he is always apprehensive of having blood taken. Unlike a nurse inserting a needle into the vein to extract a vile of blood for testing, this is more like a diabetes test whereby a small device is pressed onto the fingertip and a swift click administers a small scratch that allows a single drop of blood to form on the fingertip.
The blood sample is then collected by allowing droplets of blood to fill a small tube up to a measurement line. We found that walking about with the tube pressed against the fingertip best encouraged circulation, alternatively you can massage the finger to encourage blood flow – both methods were far more pleasant and less invasive than a needle into the arm.
Women’s Health Tests
Specifically created for the modern woman, this test focuses on some of the most common health issues in females included heart disease which is the leading cause of death in both men and women worldwide, breast cancer, osteoporosis, depression, PCOS and autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, thyroid issues, lupus and multiple sclerosis. Readings also include cortisol, thyroid, cholesterol, liver, kidney, bowel, female hormone, HPV test, vitamin D – B, C-Reactive protein, iron, diabetes, omega and sexual health.
It is recommended to accurately monitor, track and improve our health that we should aim to take most home health tests once a year, particularly in reproductive health as female hormones continuously change each month. It is worth noting that if a hormone based contraceptive is being used you will need to take three months off of it before testing so as not to affect the accuracy of these results. Hormonal health tests can be taken up to five times a year to allow for fluctuation in hormone levels each month, better detailing ovarian reserve progesterone, PCOS, and the progression of the menopause.
All information and samples are completely anonymised to ensure that data is protected and samples are processed using alphanumeric codes for strict confidentiality. Following testing all samples are disposed of by the CAP accredited and CLIA approved laboratories. Any results found to out of range by the medical team will result in contact being made via telephone for further discussion and support. After this call all results are then visible in the online account along with a personal health profile at a glance.
Men’s Health Tests
The men’s health test works very much like the women’s health test, however it is catered specifically to the modern man. Some of the most common health issues in men include heart disease and strokes, most commonly brought on by high cholesterol, depression, prostate and lung cancer.
It is recommended that men take most health tests once a year, in particular to monitor cholesterol levels. Hormonal health can also be monitored on an on-going basis, especially alongside a strenuous exercise plan as testosterone may become depleted prematurely leading to erectile dysfunction. Readings also include cortisol, thyroid, cholesterol, liver, kidney, bowel, male hormone, prostate PSA, testosterone, C-Reactive protein, vitamin D – B, diabetes, iron, sexual health and omega.
Receiving our results via email and the LetsGetChecked website three days after sending off our blood samples, we were relieved to see that all of our results are within the normal range. We also spoke to a nurse via telephone to clarify what this meant for us and found this experience very reassuring, convenient, fast and professional, something we will certainly repeat in the future to monitor and stay in control of our health; prevention is the best cure!
You can use code “KISS20” at the checkout for a discount!