DIY Medicine: Medical Test Kits You Can Buy and Do at Home

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The health industry continues to expand and innovate to serve a more significant number of individuals. The coronavirus pandemic has practically forced people to handle more minor medical problems on their own and at home. They have prioritized hospital beds and medical personnel for patients in severe conditions.

Besides online consultations, self-diagnosis, and self-treatment — all of which have been widely developed — the medical industry has launched a new trend: do-it-yourself medicine. This concept, which is part of a growing market for private health services, allows people to carry out almost any type of medical testing on their own at home, or near it, without having to go through any medical institution.

Do-it-yourself medicine has many advantages over the traditional way of carrying out tests in the lab or by visiting a doctor. First, it is cheaper because it requires only essential equipment and materials you can easily find at home. Plus, testing kits can be bought online. Second, the analysis of the samples is quicker, which allows you to diagnose and treat infectious diseases more quickly.

Third, it is safe because no professional medical personnel manages the process who can expose themselves and their patients to infections and other risks.

It may seem like a risky way to handle health conditions — especially chronic ones. But many people don’t know that the do-it-yourself medical market is already well-developed. Here are some of the most successful do-it-yourself tests you can carry out at home, with only basic equipment and materials you probably have around your house.

Blood Tests

Many countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America have developed their national systems for private medical testing. These services are usually offered at shopping malls or supermarkets for quick, on-the-spot HIV, hepatitis, and other blood tests.

For DIY medicine to be possible in your home environment, you need basic equipment like test tubes, droppers, lancets, and a microscope. This is how it works: you use droppers to take your blood samples, then add them into the test tube along with the reagent provided in the kit. After that, all you have to do is wait for about 15 minutes and check whether the resulting band appears or not.

Colon Test

You can get an at-home colonoscopy test kit to inspect the status of your colon. The fecal immunochemical test is an excellent alternative to an actual colonoscopy, a medical test in which the colon’s inner lining is examined to identify any abnormal growths (colon polyps) or bleeding.

To use this do-it-yourself kit, you need to get a stool sample. You can choose whether to produce the sample at home or collect it outside before bringing it back in for testing. The entire procedure takes five to ten minutes, and the test is almost as accurate as a colonoscopy in identifying polyps.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in industrial countries. This medical condition manifested through abnormal growths in the colon can be detected early by carrying out do-it-yourself fecal tests and reporting the results to your doctor.

Thyroid Test

Thyroid problems require an accurate diagnosis because these disorders can be treated through hormone therapy. The most common type of thyroid problem is hypothyroidism, caused by insufficient levels of thyroid hormones in the body.

One way to test for this condition at home is to carry out a urine iodine-loading test, which measures the concentration of thyroglobulin. To carry out this do-it-yourself test, you need basic equipment like a cold compress, disposable plastic spoons and cups, and iodine reagent strips.

Thyroid problems affect more than 12 million Americans, most of whom are women. This test allows early detection and diagnosis of the condition, improving your overall well-being by making it possible to receive treatment through proper medication.

HIV Test

One of the most critical do-it-yourself tests you can carry out is to check whether you have contracted HIV. The home HIV test is one of the most convenient ways to monitor whether you are healthy or not.

You need to use this at-home medical diagnostic method for a blood sample and an antigen or antibody test. You can collect your blood using lancets. Then you mix your sample with the reagent inside the test kit. The results will show after 15 minutes.

HIV is extremely dangerous because it doesn’t appear immediately after exposure to the virus. Still, there are early symptoms that you should look out for, such as fever, headache, sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea. By carrying out this home medical test, you can detect HIV early and make sure your doctor devises a proper treatment plan for you.

As the demand for health care has grown rapidly, medical professionals have had to rethink how they practice medicine. As a result, many doctors today are open to allowing patients to take an active role in their treatment.

One of the most popular examples is the do-it-yourself (DIY) test kit that enables people to discover whether they have contracted a particular disease without visiting the doctor. This is a growing industry, and with the shortage of hospitals and medical staff, expect this to be the new normal in the years to come.

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