What is included in this pack
This offer comprises 9 tests in total which will test for 7 common health problems at a special price that will enable you to carry out a complete M.O.T. type check on your health. The kit comprises a 2 Cholesterol tests, an Under-active Thyroid test, a Bowel/Colon health check test and 5 urinalysis strips which will each test for Urinary Tract Infection, Diabetes/Glucose/Ketones, Kidney/Renal Function and a Liver disease. All the tests are fully approved by the UK government health authorities for home use and are CE marked. A full description of each test is given below.
1. CHOLESTEROL TEST
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance made and used by the body. It is also found in some of the foods that you eat. If there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it starts to collect and harden on the walls of your arteries, which blocks blood flow. High blood cholesterol is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease.
Why is cholesterol screening important?
Cholesterol screening tells you if you have too much cholesterol in your bloodstream. If you are aware that you have a high blood cholesterol level, you can take steps to reduce this level and, therefore, reduce your risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol screening measures how many milligrams of cholesterol are present in a deciliter of your blood (mg/dl). A sample of your blood can be taken to measure your total cholesterol level.
Who needs cholesterol screening?
Cholesterol screening is recommended at least every 5 years for men ages 35-75 and women ages 45-75. If you have a family history of very high cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, smoking, inactive lifestyle, obesity, and diabetes), you are at increased risk for high cholesterol and its complications. Your doctor may ask you to be screened more often.
What is included in the Cholesterol Home Test Kit?
2 test strips, 2 safety lancets, an indicative colour chart, full instructions – i.e. all you need to carry out 2 full cholesterol tests
Why might I need this test?
Colon cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and early detection is vital. The sooner it is detected, the greater are the chances of successful treatment. If it is treated at an early stage, the survival rate exceeds 90%.
95% of cases of colon cancer develop from polyps, which are benign tumours growing inside the colon. Typically, they do not cause any pain, and often remain undetected for many years before becoming malignant. At this stage, the hidden early stages of colon cancer can be detected by a simple test for blood in the stool. The test enables you to increase your chances of early detection and thereby reduce your risk considerably.
When should I test?
Above the age of 40, if not sooner, everyone should perform an annual test for blood in the stool. It may be better to start testing before reaching 40 if, for example, there is a history of colon cancer or polyps in your family. The test serves to identify blood in the stool which is not yet visible.
Colon polyps bleed occasionally, and colon cancer will reveal blood at a very early stage. If, when performing this test, you detect blood in your stool, you should see your doctor in order for the medical reasons to be identified. What makes this test unique is that you do not need to restrict your eating habits in any way in order to perform it, and it can be conducted simply and easily at any time of day, giving you a result within just a few minutes.
The cause of colon cancer is largely unknown. However, a yearly faecal occult (blood in the stool) test is recommended from the age of 40. If colon polyps have been diagnosed in parents or siblings this test should be performed at an earlier age, and at shorter intervals. Remember, if you are experiencing any symptoms that you are worried about, you should consult your doctor for help and advice. For more information on colon cancer and symptoms associated with it click on the link given below.
What should I do if the test result is positive?
Discuss the result with your doctor. Besides colon polyps and colon cancer, several other conditions may produce a positive test result. Inflammatory bowel conditions, haemorrhoids or changes in the digestive tract are some of the possible causes, and must be taken into consideration by your doctor. It might be helpful to take these instructions with you to show your doctor, so you can give him or her a better idea of the type of test carried out.
What should I do if the test result is negative?
A negative result does not entirely exclude the possibility of a bowel condition, since some colon tumours only bleed intermittently. Around 25% of tumours do not bleed constantly. For this reason, it is important to test yourself or arrange to be tested annually from age 40 at the latest in order to keep your risk as low as possible.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Always consult your doctor before making any important medical decisions.
Alcohol and a number of medicines such as acetyl salicylic acid (aspirin), glucocorticoids, non-steroidal antiphlogistic / anti-rheumatic agents or cumarin derivates may cause gastrointestinal bleeding (and therefore avoidable, positive results). Please consult your doctor before performing the test if you are taking such medication. Haemorrhoids or blood in the urine may also produce a positive test result.
This test is an immunological test for identifying blood in the stool, which works by detecting human haemoglobin (hHB).
3. UNDER-ACTIVE THYROID TEST
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland where hormones are produced and released into the bloodstream. The major hormones the gland makes are called T4 or thyroxine and T3 or triiodothyronine. The production of these hormones are stimulated by another hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
The thyroid hormones are very important as they control the rate at which the body uses and stores energy from the food we eat (the metabolic rate).
The thyroid can be found in the front of your neck just below the Adam’s apple.
What causes thyroid problems?
Thyroid problems can result from either of the following causes:
What causes hypothyroidism (underacive thyroid)?
In babies it is not known what causes hypothyroidism. In older children and adults the most common cause of hypothyroidism is due to the autoimmune disease, called Hashimoto’s disease, which tends to run in families. An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system, which normally produces antibodies to attack foreign substances (like viruses and other bugs), starts producing antibodies which attack part(s) of the body. In people with hypothyroidism the immune system attacks the thyroid cells as if they were foreign substances.
Other possible causes may include complications from previous thyroid surgery, treatment for previous hyperthyroidism or certain medications, such as Lithium and Amiodarone.
Why should I take this Thyroid test?
This test looks for the level of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) in capillary blood. A raised TSH level is an indication of an underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
Iodine and the thyroid
The thyroid gland must have iodine to make the thyroid hormones. Iodine comes into the body in food we eat and travels through the blood to the thyroid. Iodine is a mineral that is found naturally in foods like seafood and milk. Iodine can also be found in some mineral supplements that contain or are made from kelp (a kind of seaweed), cough syrups and some medications (Amiodarone).
A diet which is high in iodine can sometimes cause hyperthyroidism and if you have a problem with your thyroid, such as Graves’ disease then excess iodine can make the condition worse.
A lack of iodine in your diet can trigger hypothyroidism. This is rare in the western world as iodine is added to table salt, but in less developed countries iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. To the other extreme, high intakes of iodine can occasionally prevent the thyroid gland from working properly.
The thyroid and pregnancy
During pregnancy your immune system is suppressed as a protection for the baby but after delivery there is a rise in immune activity and this can trigger a thyroid disease to develop or make a thyroid disease worse. If you or a close relative has ever had an over or under active thyroid you should tell your doctor when you find out you are pregnant, so that your thyroid levels can be checked during and after pregnancy.
Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism is most common in the first 2-3 months after pregnancy. However, it will often go undetected with the normal body changes and confusion that occurs after child birth. If pregnancy has triggered a thyroid disease it is usually temporary and may last 3-6 months before a full recovery is made.
The good news is most babies will be born with completely normal thyroid function even if you developed thyroid problems during pregnancy.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
In hypothyroidism the thyroid is underactive and so the rate of metabolism slows down. As hypothyroidism usually develops slowly you may have no symptoms until the condition is well advanced. The symptoms you may have might be blamed on old age and can vary in severity but as your metabolism continues to slow, the symptoms should become more obvious. The symptoms may include any of the following:
Later symptoms may include constipation, dry, pale skin and dry hair, which may be brittle and break easier.
What is the treatment for hypothyroidism?
If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism you will need to take thyroxine tablets, a thyroid hormone supplement, which simply replaces the thyroid hormone T4 which is not being made. Occasionally you may be given T3 replacement tablets as an alternative.
This treatment will need to be taken for life even though you should begin to feel better. Your doctor will want to monitor your condition with regular blood tests to check the thyroid hormone levels and how the treatment is working.
What does the test contain?
1 sealed aluminum pouch containing:
4. DIABETES/GLUCOSE/KETONES HOME TEST
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a common disease caused by a high sugar (glucose) level in blood. This condition is called Hyperglycemia, and is caused by reduced insulin secretion or action. Insulin is a hormone that is secreted from the pancreas. The major role of this hormone is to regulate sugar level in blood. Persons with diabetes are more susceptible to develop specific complications such as retinopathy (a pathological disorder of the retina which can cause blindness), kidney failure, nerve damage and circulatory problems, which may lead to heart disease and stroke. It is therefore important that the onset of Diabetes is diagnosed as early as possible so treatment can be prescribed by your doctor. This test looks for high levels of glucose and as well as ketones (see below) in urine
What are Ketones?
In diagnosis of diabetes, doctors always advise to check for Ketones to further confirm the diabetic status. Ketones are group of organic compounds that result from the metabolism of fatty acids. Normal people use glucose as an energy source. In diabetic people, glucose is not passed to the cells, so cells will use fatty acids as the energy source instead. The less glucose absorbed by cells (as in the case when diabetes is more advanced) the more fatty acids are consumed and accordingly more ketone is produced. This condition is known as diabetic ketoacidosis. As the level of ketones increase in the blood, it will start to appear in urine.
Why do I need this test?
This test can help identify diabetes at an early stage, before the illness causes any symptoms. It is important to detect diabetes early on so that you can begin to have treatment and reduce the risk of complications.
What is this test?
This test is a simple urine test and is exactly the same as your doctor would first use to check for diabetes. Basically you pee into a pot and dip the test strip into the urine and read the results after 30-60 seconds. The pack contains 5 test strips so you can repeat the test and test your partner or friend too.
Each test strip will test for both glucose and for ketones.
How do I read the test result?
The test results are easily read by comparing the colour of the test result against the colours shown on the chart. The higher the level of glucose and or ketones the darker the test result will become. The image below indicates the range of results possible and the instructions in the pack give a full interpretation of the test whatever the combination of results and advises what to do next if any action is required.
5. KIDNEY/RENAL FUNCTION TEST
Kidney disease is a disease where the kidneys stop functioning normally. There are 5 strips in this pack and each test strip has separate reaction areas that look for the presence of protein and specific gravity. It is the same test that a doctor would use.
When should I use this test?
It is recommended that you take this test if you are suffering from fluid retention, high blood pressure, blood in the urine, frequent urination, difficulty urinating or a reduced volume of urine during urination, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, or soreness in the waist or lower back area. These are all symptoms of kidney disease.
How do I carry out the test?
It is that simple. Though this test is the same as the one a doctor would do, an abnormal result is only an initial indication of elevated chemical markers and not conclusive of a specific diagnosis. Further testing and consultation with a healthcare professional is necessary to confirm the presence of a specific disease or health condition.
6. LIVER DISEASE/FUNCTION TEST
The liver is the largest glandular organ in the body and it supports almost every other organ in the body – it is vital for survival. The liver has a great capacity to regenerate and is the only organ that can completely heal itself, as little as 25% of a liver can regenerate into a whole liver! A human liver is known to grow back in as little as a week to no more than a few weeks, due to hyptochronatin cells in the remaining liver.
Why do I need this test?
Because of its strategic location and multidimensional functions, the liver is prone to many diseases such as hepatitis A, B, C, E, alcohol damage, fatty liver and cirrhosis. There are over one hundred types of liver disease and they affect over two million people in the UK. This figure may only be the tip of an iceberg as many cases of liver disease remain undiagnosed. This is because your liver is very resourceful and able to work well enough even when it may be damaged. This means that you may often not present’ with clear symptoms, or show obvious sign of liver disease or illness.
Bilirubin is a compound formed by the breakdown of red blood cells and Urobilinogen is formed from the breakdown of Bilirubin. Elevated levels of either of these could indicate liver disease, especially if both are elevated.
What does this test involve?
Basically, you pee into a pot and dip the test strip into the urine and read the results after 30-60 seconds. This pack contains 5 test strips so you can repeat the test and test your partner or friend too.
How do I read the test result?
The test results are easily read by comparing the colour of the test result against the colours shown on the box. The higher the level of Bilirubin and or Urobilinogen the darker the test result will become.
The test comes with full instructions in the pack which gives a full interpretation of the test, whatever the combination of results and advises what to do next if any action is required.
7. URINARY TRACT INFECTION TEST
Why do I need this test?
It is mostly women who suffer from urinary infections, since the short urethra favours the penetration of germs. Around 11% of women get a urinary infection every year. However, elderly males are also affected if they have an enlarged prostate which is obstructing the flow of urine.
In healthy people, urine is sterile (i.e. it does not contain any micro-organisms). One of the best ways to keep your urinary tract sterile is to empty your bladder completely at regular intervals. Generally, an infection starts in the urethra and may then spread into the upper urinary tract as far as the kidneys.
What are the symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection?
The symptoms vary considerably, depending on whether the lower urinary tract or both the lower tract and the upper tract are affected. With infections of the lower urinary tract, there is a sensation of burning when emptying the bladder, or a strong urge to urinate. The urine may also be cloudy or have a strong odour. If the bladder is also affected, this is known as cystitis (a mild but unpleasant bladder inflammation). Where the upper urinary tract is infected, the symptoms may be similar, but in addition there may be pain in the lower back, fever and shivering, and the condition may in extreme cases require hospitalisation. Medical handling depends on the precise factors and circumstances of the illness, patients often respond quickly to antibiotic treatment.
How are urinary-tract infections (UTIs) identified?
Generally, first of all test strips are used, these are dipped in a urine sample to detect any signs of an infection: white blood cells (leukocytes), nitrites (many bacteria not normally present in urine convert nitrate from food into nitrite) and in severe infection cases blood will be present. If any of these signs are present, a more detailed investigation of both the urine and the patient will be required.
It is recommended that, for the test, a sample of urine be taken first thing in the morning, since early-morning urine is the most concentrated. The urine used for the test should not come into contact with water from the toilet or any disinfectant or cleaning substances.
For women only: The test should not be performed during or for three days after your menstrual period. The urine sample should not be contaminated with vaginal fluids since this may produce a misleading result.
How does this test work?
The test is the same one as done by your doctor. Very simply you put a sample of your urine into a clean uncontaminated container. Immerse the test strip into the container of urine for about 2 seconds. Wait 60 seconds and read the result by comparing with the colour chart provided.
What is being tested?
Your urine will be tested for three different items. These are:-
The presence of leukocytes in urine is an important finding in inflammatory conditions of the kidneys and urinary tract. In most cases, where there is a bacterial Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), leukocytes are found in the urine. If leukocytes are found in your urine sample the colour of the test strip will change colour and go dark pink or purple.
Nitrite eliminated via the urinary tract may only arise due to the conversion of nitrate into nitrite by bacteria inside the urinary tract. So one of the most important symptoms of a bacterial UTI is the presence of nitrite in the urine. If nitrites are found in your urine the test strip will change colour from white to pink.
The presence of blood in the urine is a confirmatory signal of a severe urinary tract infection. There can be reasons why blood is present in the urine without the other test strips being positive such as during menstruation. However, blood in the urine should always be investigated if there is no other known reason for the presence of blood.
What should I do if my test result is positive?
Remember that a positive result does not mean that all three substances have to be detected in your urine. Even if your result is positive for just one of them, it is most likely that something is wrong with your urine, even if the reason may not be a urinary infection. Get in touch promptly with your own doctor, who will be able to give a more accurate diagnosis. When you visit your doctor, please take the instructions with you so that he/she will be better informed as to the type of test you have performed.
What should I do if my test result is negative?
Remember that your test result is only negative if the result on the test field for all three substances is negative. But if you still feel the signs of a UTI or have any other symptoms, then contact your own doctor to arrange a more thorough examination.
Please click on the relevant product name to download a copy of the instructions.
Urine infections or UTI’s can affect different parts of your urinary tract. If your bladder is affected it is called cystitis, if the urethra is affected it is called urethritis and if the kidneys are infected is is called a kidney infection. Urine infections are common, irritating conditions that usually affect women, though men and […]
What is inflammatory bowel disease? Inflammatory bowel disease is the chronic inflammation of all or part of your digestive system(gut). Inflammatory bowel disease is the term used for two conditions, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both conditions can be debilitating and lead to complications. What is the difference between inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis? […]
What is the thyroid? The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland where hormones are produced and released into the bloodstream. The major hormones the gland makes are called T4 or thyroxine and T3 or triiodothyronine. The production of these hormones are stimulated by another hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). The thyroid hormones are […]
What are haemorrhoids? Haemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, are swollen, enlarged veins located inside the lower part of the rectum (internal) or under the skin around the anus (external). What causes haemorrhoids? Haemorrhoids occur when veins in the back passage become swollen, because the flow of blood through them slows down or is obstructed – […]
What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a soft waxy substance and is an essential body fat (lipid), that is carried around the body in the blood, it can be found in all the body’s cells. Only a small amount of the cholesterol in the body comes from your diet, it is mostly made in the body […]
What is Colon cancer? Colon cancer, also known as colon and rectal cancer, is a cancer that develops as a result of abnormal changes in the cells that line the bowel. The bowel is part of the digestive system, it is divided into the small bowel (small intestine) and the large bowel (colon and rectum). […]
What is the liver? The liver is by far the largest organ in the body, it is situated in the upper abdomen and is protected from injury by the rib cage. The liver has many important functions. For more information on the liver click here. Alcohol and the liver Most people in the UK drink […]
What is diabetes? Diabetes Mellitus as it is known in full, is a common, long term health condition where there is too much glucose in the blood. Glucose is a type of sugar that comes from carbohydrates in the food we eat and is also produced by the liver and is our body’s main source […]