7 critical health tests you can perform at home
Traditionally, getting bloodwork done has required going to your doctor’s office, the hospital or a specialized lab. Now at-home blood tests have made it even easier to gain insight into your health. You can check on loads of health markers, from your vitamin D levels to potential allergies, cholesterol and more, no prescription or insurance required.
These tests come with everything you need to make the process easy, sterile and pain-free. All it takes is a simple finger prick. After you mail back your kit, a doctor will review your results and post them on a digital platform. This way you can easily read them and understand what they mean. (You know what else is easy? Saving money on your medications with Optum Perks.)
For some people, the at-home testing process can be way more convenient than going to a lab, says Vivek Cherian, MD. He’s an internal medicine doctor affiliated with the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore. That may be especially true for those who are homebound or who don’t live near a lab.
The best part: You don’t even need to leave your house or worry about insurance. Prices are transparent. And you’ll always know exactly what you’re getting for the cost.
“It’s a great opportunity to be more engaged with your own health,” Dr. Cherian adds. “And it provides a way to closely monitor certain health conditions.”
That said, at-home tests should never replace seeing a doctor. “Consider at-home testing as a supplement to your own doctor, never a replacement,” Dr. Cherian says. “Lab results are only one component [of health care]. Doctors take the patient’s history, physical exam findings and lab results and develop plans based on all the findings combined.”
Using at-home tests can give you valuable insights into various aspects of your health. You and your doctor can then use this information to develop a plan of action and optimize your health moving forward.
Ready to see where your health stands — and what you can do to be your best self? Here are 7 health tests you can do at home.
EverlyWell Comprehensive 204 Food Sensitivity Test
Got stomach pains, bloating, headaches or other symptoms you suspect might be caused by your diet? This food sensitivity test can get to the bottom of it. It works by testing your IgG antibody reactivity to a wide range of foods — 204 of them, to be exact.
The test rates each food on a scale of 0-3, with 0 being normal reactivity and 3 being high. This way you can know what foods to start with when talking with your health care team about your symptoms or planning an elimination diet. (The elimination diet may be the next step you choose to confirm your sensitivities.)
EverlyWell Heart Health Test
If you’re worried about your risk for heart disease, this test will give you insight into your most important markers of heart health. One of the most reliable indicators? Your levels of cholesterol. This includes HDL, LDL and triglycerides — all important numbers for gauging overall heart health and risk of diseases, including heart disease, stroke, hypertension and diabetes. The test also measures your A1C, which can tell you about your risk for diabetes.
EverlyWell Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test
More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. This is according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Depending on the specific thing you’re allergic to, your symptoms can strike seasonally. Or they can stick around all year long.
If you still haven’t been able to nail down exactly what’s causing your sneezing and itchy eyes and throat, this simple blood test can help you sort it out. It works by testing your body’s IgE antibodies that your immune system overproduces in response to an allergen. This test kit can also help you keep tabs on your IgE over time. (That information can be helpful for people who are being treated with allergy shots.)
LetsGetChecked Thyroid Antibody Test
For being such a small gland, the thyroid has a big job. It’s responsible for making hormones that control your metabolism.
If it makes too many hormones, it can make the metabolism overactive. This can cause weight loss, rapid heart rate, anxiety and more. If the thyroid underproduces thyroid hormones, it is considered underactive. And this can cause weight gain, a slow heart rate, depression, muscle weakness and fatigue, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
So if you’ve been feeling off lately, this may be a worthwhile test. It’ll measure levels of 3 essential thyroid hormones to gauge how your thyroid is functioning. And it will tip you off if something is amiss.
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EverlyWell Vitamin D & Inflammation Test
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays a role in countless bodily processes. You need it for healthy bones, cell growth and proper immune function. It even plays a role in reducing inflammation.
Our bodies actually make vitamin D using sunlight, which is super cool. But it also means that it can be hard to get enough, depending on the time of year (very few foods contain substantial amounts), according to the National Institutes of Health.
This test kit checks your vitamin D levels. It also measures a key marker of inflammation called high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). This can help determine your risk for inflammation-related conditions such as heart disease, says the Mayo Clinic.
EverlyWell Perimenopause Test
Menopause brings about a big hormonal shift in women. But these changes don’t just happen overnight. Perimenopause is known as the transition time to menopause, when the ovaries make less estrogen. This transition can last from a few months to more than 4 years. The exact time varies from person to person, says the Cleveland Clinic.
Symptoms that could signal perimenopause include hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, changes in sex drive and trouble sleeping. If any of these signs seem familiar, this test can reveal your hormone levels and help you better understand what’s going on with your reproductive health.
This way, you can talk to your doctor and learn how to manage your symptoms as you continue through this stage of life.
LetsGetChecked Standard 5 at Home STD Test
Many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are asymptomatic. So getting tested regularly is the best way to keep tabs on your sexual health. It’s especially important if you have multiple partners.
This test detects 5 of the most common STDs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, syphilis and trichomoniasis. If your results show you have any of them, it’s important to see your doctor so that you can be treated as soon as possible, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These STDs can eventually lead to more serious infections and even cause infertility if they’re left untreated for too long.
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Thyroid conditions overview: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Why vitamin D is an important nutrient: National Institutes of Health
C-reactive protein and inflammation: Mayo Clinic
Menopause and perimenopause: National Institutes of Health
The link between STDs and infertility: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Allergy facts: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology