Medical tests you can take at home are also called home use tests. These are essentially kits you can purchase at your local supermarket or pharmacy, or even online. They allow you to evaluate for, monitor, or screen certain conditions and diseases in the comfort of your own home. Common tests you can do at home include:
- Blood sugar (glucose) testing can be done on a regular basis in order to assist with managing diabetes.
- A testosterone test to measure your testosterone level.
- Kits that screen for infectious diseases, like COVID-19, HIV, and hepatitis
- Allergy tests that can tell you what, if anything, you might be allergic to
Most of the medical tests you can do at home involve taking a small sample of some sort of bodily fluid, such as saliva, urine, or blood, and using it with the kit according to specific directions. Some of these tests will give you results instantly; others might require you to package them up and send them to a lab. You can get quite a few of these kits without needing a prescription, but you might still want to consult your healthcare provider for a bit of advice regarding which ones to get. Let’s look at a few of these tests more closely.
These are used to diagnose a pregnancy by looking for a hormone called HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). This hormone is typically produced only during pregnancy. To take a pregnancy test, you simply hold a test stick or strip right in your stream of urine or urinate into a cup and place the stick or strip in the cup. If there’s a pregnancy, the strip will have a colored line, a symbol, or a double line. The specific display will vary depending on the brand. If your test is positive, see your doctor to confirm. If the test was negative, but you still think you might be pregnant, you can test again or make an appointment with your physician.
Fecal Occult Blood Test
These tests are utilized to check a stool sample for traces of colon cancer. You can get a fecal occult blood test from your healthcare provider. To take this test, you’ll have to collect a small sample of your fecal matter and place it in a special container or on a special card. Seal this up and mail it to a lab or your provider. This sample will then be checked for traces of blood. If any is found, it might be a sign of various conditions, including colon cancer. Either your provider or the lab will contact you with your results.
This test is used to determine if you currently have hepatitis C or if you’ve been infected by it in the past. This test is similar to a glucose test in that you’ll prick your finger using a lancet in order to produce a drop of blood. This drop of blood is placed on a specialized piece of paper. Seal this paper up and mail it off to a laboratory. Either the lab or your provider will then contact you regarding your results.
If you’re using a medical test at home in order to determine if you have some sort of disease, make sure you talk to your doctor. These tests can’t give you an actual diagnosis and aren’t always as accurate as the more traditional lab-based genetic tests. However, a home test CAN tell you if you’re at higher risk. If one does, your provider will know that your health needs to be monitored closely.
Last modified: April 29, 2022