I would consider myself a relatively healthy young male, who eats a balanced diet but I would be the first to admit that there is much room for improvement. I have a relatively sedentary office-based job and if I have to admit it, I probably enjoy one too many beers at the weekend. After recently turning 30, I have been increasingly conscious that I need to start paying more attention to my health and the lifestyle choices that I make, which is why I decided to give Thriva’s home blood testing kit a try.
Thriva are a new health tech start-up who offer home blood testing kits to help you track and improve your health. I have always been curious to find out how my body is actually running, but have always been put off the idea of a blood test because of the long, drawn out process it can often entail.
What instantly appealed to me about Thriva is that you can take the test at home and receive the results digitally in a matter of days. As a busy person, with not much opportunity to take time off work this was a huge plus. No waiting weeks for an appointment with a GP and waiting another further couple of weeks to receive results by post. I thought this modern, efficient and tech savvy approach was great and as I was keen to give it a try.
I decided to take the Lifestyle Test, which looks at your cholesterol and liver function, costing just £39. This seemed like a great entry-level test for finding out how my lifestyle choices could be affecting my health. I eat a high protein diet of meat and lots of eggs and so was interested to see if this has had any impact on my cholesterol. I also wanted to know if my alcohol consumption was something that could be having a negative effect on my general health, and to find out more about my liver function was definitely something that was of interest.
To get started, I simply had to fill out a quick questionnaire on the Thriva website. I was asked to complete a simple health profile, where I provided basic details such as my height and weight etc. In addition to this, I was also asked for further information about my current lifestyle such as whether I smoke, drink or what levels of exercise I currently undertake. The whole process took a matter of minutes on the easy to navigate website and once submitted, I was then informed my kit would be on its way.
Amazingly, the kit arrived the next day. The compact kit fitted through the letterbox, so it was handily waiting for me when I arrived back from work. The kit itself has been thoughtfully designed, looked great and included simple-to follow instructions.
Firstly, using the alcohol swab provided I cleaned my little finger in preparation for the sample collection. (Thriva recommend using a finger on your non-dominant hand.) To get the blood, you simply push down the lancet that’s provided (no needles!) which quickly and easily pricks your finger. This didn’t hurt at all and a small droplet of blood came to the surface very quickly. You only need to extract a small amount of blood, enough to reach the marker on the small vial that’s provided. Thriva recommend to squeeze your finger in a downward motion (a bit like when you squeeze a toothpaste tube), which did the trick.
Once you’ve collected enough blood for the sample, you then apply a label that’s provided, put it inside the plastic protective case, fill out a small form and place inside the pre-paid envelope. Thriva kindly include a small plaster too and the whole process took less than 10 minutes.
Thriva recommend to send the sample off the same day, so I popped it in the letterbox later that day and that was it. The results are then sent away to a lab to be analysed by a qualified GP.
Amazingly, only 2 days later I received an e-mail from Thriva saying that my results were ready. Thriva’s website is incredibly user friendly, and the results are laid out clearly in your account dashboard. I was really encouraged to see that my cholesterol levels had come back in the normal range, so that was brilliant news.
Interestingly, my liver function results threw up a few unusual readings. My albumin was slightly raised but as this was an isolated abnormality, I was advised that there was no need to worry about this. In addition to this, my bilirubin levels were particularly high at 30 (the average is round about 10). However I was advised that this is not something that I should worry about, as some people naturally have high levels of this and so all in all I was pleased with my results.
Based on my results, the GP had recommended that I reduce my alcohol consumption and to exercise more. I had suspected that this might be the case but having been told this by a professional has given me to the much-needed encouragement to take action.
Thriva Review Summary
Thriva home health tests are a fantastically convenient way of accessing data about your health. Their home blood test kit was simple to use, with easy to follow instructions and the impressive turnaround time couldn’t be faulted. I especially liked the fact that you receive a personalised report where results were displayed in a way that was easy to understand. Rather than just simply reporting the raw data, Thriva provide helpful explanations and even suggestions on what changes you can make to help improve the results.
Now that I have done this initial Lifestyle Test I would be keen to track my progress using their Baseline subscription service. Taken every 3 months, this tests cholesterol levels and liver function, as well as vitamin D and iron levels and so it’s a great way of monitoring and tracking my results over time. All in all, a fantastic service that conveniently and affordably allows you to find out more about your health and to manage it.
If you’re interested in taking a deeper look into your health, subscribe to Thriva’s innovative home blood tests and track your health over time. Or check out similar tests from VITL.