Health

These At-Home Tests Will Make You Feel Confident About Your Health

There’s almost no better feeling in the world than being completely confident about your physical health. For most of us, having and maintaining good physical health lays the foundation for all of our other daily activities.

Many of us do our best to eat well, get some exercise, and adhere to other beneficial health practices. These topics often fill up many of our casual conversations with friends, co-workers, and family members. However, there are some health conditions that are intensely personal and private. These conditions can even be difficult to discuss with your primary care physician, let alone the doctor’s support staff.

At some point, just about everybody encounters a health-related issue that they’d prefer to keep confidential, at least for a period of time. Recently, for example, many people suffered the typical symptoms of cold or flu and secretly wondered if it was “something worse,” namely COVID-19. Others fear they may have contracted an STI and hope to eliminate it as a possibility prior to visiting their family doctor. People who have fallen away from their diets may worry about their percentage of body fat increasing.

Whatever the underlying condition or concern might be, the good news is that recent advances in in-home testing kits have made increased privacy and convenience a reality. Taking these tests when and where you prefer — and sharing the results only as you deem appropriate —  can help you regain your confidence or get serious about addressing a genuine threat.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Many people mistakenly believe that sexually transmitted infections are declining due to improved educational efforts and the widespread availability of birth control. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that confirmed cases of sexually transmitted infections surpassed the 26 million mark in 2018. Anyone, regardless of age, marital status, or experience, can contract an STI.

Many individuals remain unaware that they can now conduct STI testing at home without the need to see their doctor in person. Patients can even request specialized tests to help them feel more confident about their sexual health. That’s good news because the CDC says getting tested for STIs is one of the most important steps anyone can take to protect their health.

COVID-19

Are you, like so many, concerned that you might have contracted the COVID-19 virus? Many people may not have any symptoms at all but nonetheless want the reassurance of a negative test result. Today, there’s no need to call the doctor or wait for an appointment with your city health department. Nor do you need to stand in long lines to get tested at your local pharmacy.

It’s now possible to order a rapid COVID-19 test kit and receive the results in the privacy of your home. Test kits include everything you need to collect your sample. Results show up quickly so that, if necessary, you can take additional measures to protect yourself and others.

Body Fat

There might be times when you embark on a diet-and-exercise regimen but don’t care to share your current condition or progress with others. Alternatively, you might just want to get an accurate assessment of your body mass index (BMI) before you develop a workout routine.

Either way, you can now get going with accurate information at your fingertips. Newer scales can offer BMI information in the privacy of your own bathroom as well as an overview of your general health. Armed with accurate indicators of your current condition, you can decide how (or whether) you want to move ahead with a weight-loss program.

HIV

The human immunodeficiency virus, more commonly known as HIV, attacks the immune system of the body. People that carry HIV are at increased risk of developing AIDS. The CDC recommends that every person between the ages of 13 and 64 get an HIV test at least once. Thankfully, the number of HIV cases has declined considerably. In all likelihood, this is due to increased awareness, education, testing, and treatment.

However, there are still many people who don’t know that they are carriers of HIV. Others want to be tested for HIV in part because there are often no early symptoms. They know that HIV infection is still quite common and affects people of all ages and sexual orientations.

Getting tested for HIV represents an informed step toward continuing to protect your health. Patients can now take an HIV test in their own homes. HIV test kits arrive in discreet packaging with easy-to-follow instructions. Patients also receive information about interpreting the results and getting follow-up care if needed.

In-Home Testing and Follow-Up Care

The increased availability of in-home testing is a wonderful advance in healthcare, but it’s important to understand its limitations, too. When in-home testing is used to make a doctor’s visit unnecessary or relieve anxiety, it’s a great way to go.

That said, in-home testing should never be thought of as a substitute for receiving qualified medical care when needed. As a diagnostic tool, test kits are a godsend. However, if your test comes back with less-than-good results, be quick to alert your primary care physician. At that point, the time to be concerned about any awkwardness is over.

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