Take health tracking to a new level with your personalised at-home finger-prick blood test. Improve your health today and catch any small health issues before they become big health issues.
I’m going to start this by telling you I haven’t felt 100% for quite some time now. I suffer with anxiety and depression, and besides that I’m often tired, and more often than not, I’ve just not been feeling my best. I’ve been to the doctors a few times to try and figure out whats going on, and each time I’ve had a blood test and called up for the results, only to be told ‘your results are fine, you don’t need a follow up appointment’ so I ended up with no answers and felt like I was getting nowhere fast. Along with this, my iron has been low in the past, and my parents have type 2 diabetes, so these are concerns I’ve had in the back of my mind too.
So, when I heard of Thriva, the in-depth home blood test, that tells you your exact levels of everything you want tested, what your results mean and what to do next, I thought this sounded perfect for me.
Thirva is incredibly simple. Firstly you set up a profile by answering a few questions, then you decide what you’d like to be tested for. There’s currently a huge list of options, covering tests for vitamin deficiencies, thyroid, testosterone, diabetes, cholesterol and many more. You can choose one of their pre-set test collections (Essential, Baseline or Advanced) or tailor your own package so you can have exactly what you want tested.
The tests I chose were –
- Advanced Iron Profile – Measures 5 iron markers and tests for iron deficiency anaemia.
- Thyroid Profile – an overactive or underactive thyroid causes hormonal imbalances that can cause symptoms like weight gain or loss, tiredness, low mood, anxiety, depression and difficulty sleeping.
- C-Reactve Protein (CRP) – checks for chronic inflammation – a strong risk factor for heart disease.
- Vitamin B9 & B12 Active – Measures Folate and Active B12 levels.
- Fasting Insulin – To check for diabetes and pre-diabetes.
- Lipid Profile – This measures your cholesterol and can help determine your risk of developing heart disease or stroke.
- Vitamin D – Deficiency is linked to fatigue, bone and muscle pain, as well as getting ill more often than usual.
Technically this is a subscription service, and Thriva automatically set you up with a 3 month repeating subscription for your chosen tests, but you can easily change this to 6months, 12months, or just cancel after your first test if you wish.
Before I get into the details, I’ll just explain how everything works. When you sign up and choose your tests, Thriva then send you a pack including everything you need to take your blood sample at home.
I must admit the blood sample is the tricky bit. Your given three lances to pierce the skin on your finger (as well as thorough instructions on the best way to do this) you then collect the blood in the tube provided – don’t worry, it’s a small tube! But beware if you choose a lot of tests, you may be sent 2 tubes to fill just because they require a higher volume of blood.
Now I’m pretty squeamish when it comes to these things, so I got my lovely husband to ‘collect’ for me. I struggled a bit because I’m a complete wimp but he did a fab job!
You then label your sample and pop it in the post in the pre-paid envelope provided, and Thriva will then email you within 48 hours with your results.
I sent mine on a Friday, got an email and text on the following Monday morning confirming receipt, and received my results via email that Monday evening – so they are super fast.
I have to say I’m impressed with how thorough the results are. Each test shows an easy to understand graph indicating your levels, as well as a more in depth descriptions and helpful information –
(And I also should point out, if your Thriva test indicates anything urgent or serious, they will contact you immediately to let you know.)
So, my results…
Though most of my results were normal, my test did bring up two issues. Firstly my Vitamin D was very low. The normal range is 50-100, and mine was at 15, which really is pretty bad. I must admit I wasn’t expecting that, I was expecting my iron to be low, but that one was fine.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to fatigue amongst other things, so I think this could definitely be at least part of my problem. Thriva’s doctor advised, apart from getting more sunlight, to take a supplement to help as my levels were particularly low, and also to discuss this with my GP. I did speak to my doctor, and as my levels were so low, I was put on a super strength prescription of Vitamin D. I’ve now finished this course and I’m back on to normal supplements now.
The other issue that came up was my CRP levels. The normal range here is 0-3 and mine came out at a 7. A ‘high sensitivity’ C-Reactive Protein result such as this means I’m suffering from some sort of inflammation, somewhere in my body. This is a strong risk factor for heart disease, and it’s also linked to a number of other health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and some cancers.
Well, this all sounded pretty scary to me, but reading on I found that your CRP levels increase during an immune response, so any viral or bacterial infection, like a cold or chest infection, can cause your CRP levels to rise. Also an unhealthy lifestyle, like a lack of exercise, lack of sleep, poor diet, and excess alcohol might contribute to this type of inflammation.
So essentially this result is just telling me there’s some inflammation happening somewhere in my body. I wasn’t unwell at the time of taking the test so I’m thinking this is likely to be more of a lifestyle issue for me. My options for this would be to wait a couple of months and take the test again – if the results are the same then it’s likely there’s an issue. But I’m opting for lifestyle changes for now, just eating better and doing more exercise, then I’m going to do another test in the future.
At the end of your results, you’re then given recommendations on what to do next – my recommendations advised increasing my exercise and improving my diet, which I’ve started doing.
The idea of a Thriva subscription is that you can utilise their advice, then take another test 3 months or even 6 moths later to check if your heath has improved in any problem areas. I really think this is such a good idea, and I’m so glad I’ve done this. I now know what I need to keep an eye on and I definitely feel more in control of my health.
(And lastly I just want to re-iterate, if you have any health concerns, always contact your GP in the first instance.)
Thriva kindly gifted me the above tests, all opinions are my own.