Rumour has it that when you hit 40, things start falling apart. Well, that’s what my friends who have already reached that milestone tell me anyway. And with my own big milestone rapidly approaching, it’s got me thinking more about my own health and whether there’s anything going wrong. Because well, we don’t really know what’s going on inside do we, other than if we start experiencing certain symptoms. And as they say, “prevention is better than cure”, so perhaps we are best off keeping track of certain elements of our health, in order to do something about it before it really does start to go to pot!
Thriva provide exactly that service, with their range of health kits designed for people to basically keep an eye on things and to track the numbers. Which if you think about it, is the best way to go about it, because really it’s about noticing change, not the odd random anomalies that can so frequently happen when taking tests.
What’s In The Kit?
First up I’ve gotta give a shout out to the makers of the packaging, because seriously it’s genius! The kit comes in a letter boxed size package (always handy) and it has the niftiest opening system I’ve ever come across – I do love a bit of gimmicky packaging! To open, you pull the sleeve as instructed and out pops a drawer on either side, revealing the hidden medical treasures.
Inside you get:
- 3 Lancets – those pin prick things that look like mini stampers.
- 2 Plasters
- 2 Antibacterial wipes
- Sample tube
- Pre-paid sample envelope
- Plastic packaging to store sample safely whilst in transit
- Finger selfie photo prop
It’s fun, it’s modern and above all else the language used is easy to understand (none of this Doctor gabble) and the instructions are clear and concise.
If you’re a bit of a wuss when it comes to blood, then sorry this ain’t the test for you – get yourself down the docs and let them deal with it instead. But for the more capable among you, which I am assuming is the majority, it’s time to get pricking!
As I mentioned, the instructions are straight forward enough – take a lancet, prick your finger (ring finger is best) and catch the drops in the sample tube. Sounds simple enough right? Well yeah it would be if when you prick your finger it released a continuous trickle of blood and the sample tube wasn’t the size of a mouse’s teacup.
It was literally like getting blood out of a stone!
Ah ha so now I understand why the kit comes with three lancets, because yep after a few measly mm of blood it suddenly stopped dripping. Which means it’s time for another prick! Be warned it takes what feels like ages to get the amount of blood that is required into that damn test tube. But to be fair, they do warn you in the instructions that it could take up to 10 minutes. 10 minutes just seems like an incredibly long time when you’re milking the heck out of your whopping sausage finger and there’s more blood going on the table than there is in the tube.
I got there eventually, even if my dining room did now resemble the after math of a zombie apocalypse. Sample sent off, I awaited the results to find out how my levels of cholesterol, iron, B12, vitamin D are looking and *gulp* how my liver is functioning… (swigs from Prosecco bottle in a panic).
In a word, the service was exceptional – and trust me I don’t say that unless I truly mean it! I’ll be honest I was a little dubious about how good a service such as this would be. I mean there are so many potential things that could go wrong; lost in the post, inaccurate results, leaks, having to wait forever and a day for the results etc. etc. But no, communication was impeccable, from the online chat support right through to the email communications to inform me they had received my sample and when my results were ready, I was really impressed.
I posted my sample and got the results back the very next day – I don’t even get stuff from Amazon that quick. And as for accuracy, well look I’m no doctor so I can’t exactly throw in any expert med knowledge, but when a company tells you:
“All of our tests are run by UKAS accredited labs who run validation on all tests offered on finger-prick samples, before making the tests available. This means that you can be confident that our test results will be just as accurate as you would receive anywhere else. Our labs also run tests for local NHS hospitals”
I mean call me naive if you like, but that sounds pretty kosher to me!
The results of your test come via an email, which asks you to log onto your dashboard.
Gonna be honest, the numbers are all gobbledegook to me, but the colour indicator of green in the normal safe zone, orange in the slightly abnormal zone means you at least get the gist. Plus you are able to read in greater detail about each element that has been tested, by clicking through on the ‘view details’ link – there really is no stone left unturned.
So my results then… how did I fare?
Well according to Dr. K. von Bussmann:
“Becky, most of your results are normal and all but one of them look fine. Your B12 is slightly low and you should re-test this in about 3 months. If the result remains too low, then you should discuss this with your GP.”
Alrighty then, I think I can live with that!
I won’t give you a breakdown of absolutely every tiny little thing that was tested, because there was a lot – it is very thorough and for the vast majority of us, it won’t really mean a lot (what the heck is Ferratin and Alanine Transferase anyway!?!). As you can see basically I’m fine, I could just do with upping my B12 levels a bit and my liver function is maybe just a little under par (ha no surprises there!).
The B12 thing did interest me though, as the symptoms of B12 deficiency include (among others), tiredness, lack of energy and pins and needles, all of which I have been experiencing. Hey, it gives me an excuse to up my egg, meat and breakfast cereal consumption, so it’s not all bad 😉
And the liver thing, well look I’m a thirty something (just!) mum juggling the crap out of life, who happens to like a glass or two (or three) of Prosecco… what’s a gal to do!?!? Plus some of the tests came back inconclusive because the blood cells had been damaged, as a result of me squeezing my finger too hard to get the blood out – hmmmm that’ll explain the bruising!
All in all I’m happy enough with my results to know that there’s no big health problems and I can keep on as I am for the mo – cheers to that!
How Can I Get A Kit?
Thriva currently offer three levels of health kit on their site:
- Essential – This tests cholesterol and liver function and costs £24.00
- Baseline – This is the one I had and costs £49.00
- Advanced – This includes the same as the Baseline kit as well as a Diabetes and Folate check, and costs £69.00
You can find more information on the Thriva website along with details of how to set up a subscription with them in order to keep a regular track of your health.
If I’m being completely honest, I’m still not overly sure who these kits are aimed at, I mean if you genuinely had concerns about your health I’d like to think your first port of call would be your GP. But then I guess maybe some people don’t, maybe they don’t want to cause a fuss, or perhaps they’re in denial or too embarrassed to speak to someone about their health. Or it could be that some people struggle to even get a doctor’s appointment these days because our GP surgeries are just so overstretched.
If nothing else, these kits provide peace of mind and a means of tracking your health in a way that is convenient, proactive and trackable.
*Product gifted for review
* DISCOUNT CODE *
Want to try out the tests for yourself? The lovely people at Thriva have given me a discount code to share with you all to get you 50% off of their baseline or advanced health kits.
Simply quote AOHL50 at checkout 🙂