Late start to my day today:
Not sure I’m going to reach my blog and writing targets but we can only try.
However, I rang my local doctor this morning to set up a phone consultation as I got my at-home blood test results last week and discovered that my iron levels are pretty damn low.
My At-Home Blood Test Journey
So it seemed apt to walk you through my at-home-blood test journey that has let me to discovering:
- I’ve got low Vitamin D (no surprise)
- I need more Omega 3’s (no surprise)
- I need more Folate (wtf is that?)
- I need magnesium w/dinner (I was told this before actually)
- I’ve got quite a pronounced Iron deficiency (the big surprise)
So let’s walk through this whole journey together that led me to get these two notices:
Using Vitamin Supplements Blindly
Like most people – I take vitamin supplements inconsistently based upon the common issues that most people suffer from.
I.e Vitamin D, Omega 3’s…and that’s about it.
Then a multivitamin.
However, I take them all shockingly inconsistently because I don’t actually know what my specific deficiencies might be.
I’m pretty confident I’m not alone in this approach.
That many of us ultimately inconsistently self medicate via specific supplements or a general multivitamin in the hope that it somehow makes us better.
I’ve been doing the same thing since I was around 20 years old (so 14.5 years now) –
Without ever actually getting testing on any kind of regular basis so I could track my progress and see if I am fixing my own problems.
My Health Transformation Since November 2020
Health transformation might well be overkill – but certainly – in the past couple of months, I’ve had a hair transplant, I’ve booked in to get laser eye surgery, I’m getting my teeth whitened, and I plan to do a DNA test to find out if I’m prone to any types of diseases in my later life.
It’s all part of a broader health and an aesthetic journey that I’m on for better health.
I’m not sure exactly what twigged, but I think this is the culmination of Strawberry and I as we’re in our mid-30s, thinking more and more about our health and our future and what it is we need to do safeguard ourselves.
And that begins with understanding where you’re at.
Choosing Thriva For My At Home Blood Test
So when you Google ‘at home blood test’ – Thriva are one of the top companies that appear – and I’d heard about them a couple of times, so it seemed the sensible company to go with.
So finally, over the Christmas holidays – I’d get an at-home Thriva kit for the THIRD time in the hope of actually taking the tests.
I’ve ordered at-home blood testing kits three times in total now.
The idea of getting an at-home haemoglobin test to check my iron, Vitamin D, B12, testosterone, ferritin and as much else as I can really appeal to me.
Apparently, it’s been appealing to me since August 2018 – over 18 months ago.
I got both of these packs, spent a total of £140 – and didn’t bother even using the tests – which is insane.
Some come December 28th 2020 – I decided that this time it will be different with getting a blood test from home.
That I’ll stop being a p*ssy and actually get it done:
As you can see they’re not cheap at all – and this time I decided to supersize it – and get their ‘fanciest’ test to discover as much as I could about my blood and vitamin balance and therefore what needs to be done to resolve any deficiencies I might have.
At-Home Blood Test Kit
So you do get sent out a whole kit to go through the process of getting your blood tested.
Thriva packs it together quite nicely into an extendable box that you can pull out, and inside you’ll find all of the kit.
You get some bags that you’ll need to send off to the clinics they’re partnered with, alongside (in my case) the two vials you need to squeeze the blood into from your finger.
And these vials contained some kind of solution that turns the blood into some kind of solution that I presume stabilizes it for transport and testing – as you need to send the kit all back through the post.
You might then be asking why the bloody hell I didn’t get it all sorted the first time around I got the kit.
The Finger Prick Blood Test
This is going to sound ridiculous perhaps lol.
But having my finger literally pricked to extract blood from it involves jabbing yourself with a pin to puncture your skin – so blood starts to leak from your finger.
It’s not a pleasant idea at all.
And I’m pretty sure that getting this pin-prick blood from my finger is what put me off in the first place.
That alongside making sure you haven’t eaten or had anything to drink that might immediately affect your blood sugar levels, and doing this finger-prick first thing in the morning.
I’ve actually ended up filming the whole thing which you can watch here:
Thriva Blood Test Review
So that was the stumbling block with getting an at-home blood test for anaemia, vitamin D, omega’s, lips, trans-fats and all of the other boxes that I could tick with Thriva.
I’ve got to say – as someone whose relatively anal when it comes to my expectation of customer service –
That Thriva made this process as straightforward as they could – and it was absolutely to do with my fear (lol) at having my finger pricked (is that a word?) that stopped me from getting my blood tested at home.
I even considered at one point going into a private clinic and having them pull blood from me.
However – Thriva have online video walkthrough’s, alongside pamphlets and other documentation – and cover almost all of the basis.
They give you three needles effectively so you can have ‘three cracks at the whip’ to make sure you get sufficient blood from your finger.
You are given a pink and blue vial, a case holder for it, and are told to not eat or drink before you do the test. To warm yourself up to get the blood circulating in your body – and then to dip your hand in warm water.
I guess the warm water part is to maybe soften the skin.
Not sure actually thinking about it.
Anyway, the sensation of the pinprick on your wedding ring finger is painless at first because it happens so quickly.
You just press down on the little tester they give you – and the needle itself is actually invisible which is nice.
You don’t see it – they’ve purposefully covered it up so it penetrates the skin and then slides right back into its cover.
It’s about a second or two after that your brain registers and then you feel a little bit more of a sharp pain if you will in your finger.
For me, the challenging part was squeezing my hand down to my wedding ring finger and then seeing the vibrant red blood just drip out – and making sure I got it neatly into the vial.
The first time around I didn’t – and then there were droplets of blood on the table as I was aiming to get the blood in – which I soon rubbed around the table with my hand.
That didn’t look pleasant but all in all, I managed to fill both vials with two needles rather than the one which I hoped for – but still had one spare.
Getting that part done made the rest easy – I just popped into its bag and then popped it into the post so I could then forget about it until I received my results via the Thriva app.
This part took a lot longer than I expected but I assumed with the holiday season and issues with Covid – maybe that was to be expected.
(As I just got the results around a month later – although in truth it took me a good 7-10 days to get the test done and out)
Taking An At-Home Blood Test To Discover My Vitamin Deficiencies
This was the goal of this whole process – and it’s silly now to wonder why I didn’t get this sorted in 2018 the first time I ordered the tests online.
But – better late than never and all – and as I got my test results on Friday – it’s been brilliant to discover what I SPECIFICALLY need to do to improve my vitamin profile:
(As you saw above)
And what’s even more impressive with Thriva is that they provide you with specific recommendations for a treatment programme based upon your results – even down to recipes and all:
Here are all of the things that I need to focus upon to improve my health:
What’s great about a list like this is that there are several pills I can take to help boost things, as well as foods to introduce/increase in my diet –
Vitamin D, Omega 3’s and Magnesium I can all supplement daily myself – so these are quick fixes.
Whole grains I can also do by making sure I eat Oats in the morning or buying quinoa from the supermarket. Brown rice takes a while to cook so I’ll think about that.
There’s this other page they have (it’s a little confusing here) which goes into further detail still – but is useful to look at:
It seems that a Folic acid supplement could work for me as well, alongside no tea/coffee an hour after food and just making sure I eat fish regularly effectively.
Low Ferritin and Iron Deficiency
So that part of my result was the surprise for me:
Specifically this section here:
I did send this to Strawberry, my partner who’s an Osteopath – as well as my cousin who’s a Doctor, and then I’ve got a homoeopathic doctor I see from time to time whom I forwarded these results onto as well.
After getting feedback from everyone I’m now literally awaiting a call back my actual GP to discuss these results.
I’m sure whatever the outcome is – there will be no issues – but getting this result actually underlines the value of such at-home blood tests.
I’d never know if I didn’t pursue these tests.
I think my final thoughts are probably quite obvious haha –
Do these tests – it’ll only help 🙂
Catch you next time!