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What first drew me to Thriva is that it’s convenient health tracking from the comfort of your own home and without the trouble of booking appointments (and maybe even days off work to make them possible!) whilst still ensuring that you’re able to keep track of any potential small imbalances before they become big health problems. Thriva use the same accredited methods and labs as the NHS, plus, your results are always looked over by a GP who can interpret them for you in an easy to understand manner. So whilst you are totally free and able to have these tests done via the NHS, this is definitely a great option for anyone short on time or even if you’re just not keen on visiting the doctors office! It’s a super fast process and uses a finger-pricking device, so whilst this doesn’t help much if you have a phobia of blood, it does discount the need for needles which I know will be good news for a few of you! (Please feel free to use my code ‘ITSGEMMA50’ for 50% off your first test)
The tests come in the form of essential (£24), baseline (£49), and advanced (£69) and the test I was gifted was the advanced kit. It is then advised that you make use of the results and suggestions given, before you take another tests a few months later and *hopefully* your results will be positively adjusted with the lifestyle changes implemented! These are available on an adjustable subscription basis which is free to cancel at any time. You can choose specifically which tests are included in your package and after each test Thriva will also make suggestions about what else might be worth looking at in the future.
The test arrives through the letterbox in a compact box which has everything you need in it for the test itself (including instructions) and also for sending it off to the lab, you then register this specific kit online so the results are easy to get. They even provide cute little plasters and cleansing wipes! The pin-prick device is super easy to use, you basically just press it down on your finger and it’s a really quick prick on the tip of your finger which you then allow to drip into the tubes provided. They recommend making sure your hand is warm before this, soaking in warm water for example, and you can massage your palm down to the finger to speed up the process a little bit as it’s a little slower than what the nurse uses at the Doctors because there’s no suction withdrawing the blood, it’s just coming out as and when on it’s own. Mine kept going under my nail so it would fill that space before dripping which was a bit of a pain, as I’d then look to see what was going on and end up flicking that droplet elsewhere so I was back to square one waiting for a new droplet! My test included two tubes to fill and I was much more patient with the second as I’d gotten used to the process – it’s also a little bit tougher trying to do it whilst thinking about filming and taking photos at the same time. Once full to the line indicated, the caps pop back on, into a safety tray and then into the bag provided, postage is pre-paid so it can literally just go into a letterbox. You need to take the blood in the morning before you have breakfast etc and then make sure you’re able to send it off asap!
Thriva advertise on the website that it’s only 48hrs to receive your results but I kind of looked over this and didn’t think much of it but it really is that fast! I sent the test off on Thursday lunchtime and had a notification to say they had received my sample at the lab on Friday. I was then pretty surprised when I had my full results profile Saturday morning at 9am! Pretty efficient and much quicker than if I had done the test the same day at my local GP. I was notified by email that my results were here and clicked through to take a look at what they had to say.
A GP (hello Dr M. Bradley!) has taken a look at my test in this time, too, adding her advice and suggestions to the results as you can see above. The test still advises that you visit a doctor regarding any of the results that have come up low, but they do provide a PDF you can print to take with you so you don’t have to remember everything and your GP can take a look a the physical results themselves before making their own interpretation. Each result is marked with a colour profile, green is fine, amber shows some abnormality but I don’t have any reds – hooray! You can also see this colour marker on a scale which is great as you could be on the cusp of being fine, or the very opposite. I think this is the main part that differs from the NHS testing, as you are usually just judged as being within an acceptable boundary and if so the test is considered a positive result. However, you could be very close to dropping out of that category in which case it’s great to get a grip on things early on.
My iron and B12 came back low, which was unsurprising as I was diagnosed anaemic and B12 deficient over ten years ago now. As I don’t eat meat and mostly avoid eggs and dairy, the suggestion is supplements as it’s an easy way to get these vitamins into your diet without actually changing your diet too much. I have tried supplements and even injections in the past, to no avail, but it’s been ten years so I probably should try at least once more to combat these deficiencies! For both of these, the Thriva GP has recommended I speak to my doctor, which I have, but he agreed with her advice anyway. For each diagnosis, you can click ‘about this result’ to see your own result in more detail whilst also learning more about the causes and symptoms. Aside from this, my vitamin D profile is also super low which is really common and can be linked to needing more sun exposure. However, I live in England where there is often very little sun so the next best thing is a supplement.
My folate (vitamin B9), liver function, HbA1c (blood sugar) were all normal or optimal, which is great news! This includes five cholesterol measures and seven different tests for liver function. Based off my results, they have recommended that in future I check my advanced iron profile as well as my testosterone profile which both look really interesting. Separately from the subscription packages they also have a few stand-alone tests which look great, including cortisol and hormone tests which are definitely something I’d like to look into in the future.
All in all, I think this is a really amazing service. If you can afford it, it’s definitely much easier than booking appointments with your GP as well as being quicker and more detailed. Doing these tests also gives you some back-up if there is anything you would like to take to your GP so you’ll know a little more about what you’re discussing. The customer service is great and it really is worth the cost – particularly if you have a very busy lifestyle. Thriva takes away the excuse of being too busy to look after yourself, and I think most of us need to take care of our health a little better.
Use code: ITSGEMMA50 for 50% off your first test from Thriva.