At-Home Testing Kits... Why the Hype?
Content by: Erin (Nugent) Bern, RD
Read more about the value of home health tests, and how you can make them work for you...
As a nutrition professional, it is no secret that the “food first” approach is considered industry standard. However it is widely accepted that when a deficiency is identified, supplements are a helpful way to fill that gap. So how does one identify that deficiency?
One unreliable method would be self-diagnosis. For many consumers this consists of a quick internet search that leads to a pop-up ad for “cure-all” vitamins. This method may result in unnecessary supplementation and a large amount of money spent on products that ultimately don’t work. Going the self-diagnosis route may also lead to inaccurate diagnoses. Several vitamin/mineral deficiencies share symptoms and it can be difficult to decipher based on physical observations alone.
Traditionally, medical tests would require a trip to the doctor or lab to have blood drawn, followed by a waiting period to find out results. And even with the innovation of apps that give patients access to their own lab results, these results are not always written for the average person to interpret.
Home health tests give the power back to the public! Consumers are able to collect their samples at home and on their own time. For many individuals, taking time off from work or family obligations is just not an option. And if they are already experiencing medical issues that require a lot of appointments, this is a welcomed break from the clinical setting.
Home health tests are created with the consumer in mind. The results are easy to understand and often provide supplement recommendations based on the results. This allows the individual to make the choice to add a supplement into their routine, or continue what they are already doing if the results are normal.
Home health tests do not replace the work of a healthcare provider, but they may allow for more efficient counseling sessions when results are presented and discussed. This allows the provider to tailor recommendations to the individual.