If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that preventative health care is extremely important to develop some immunity against diseases and maintain good health.
Regular screening of your health also keeps you in the know of your actual health status and helps you lower the risk of various conditions or diseases by making informed changes to your lifestyle like maintaining a healthy diet, weight, and level of physical activity.
At home Health Check up, especially as a Nigerian should never be a suggestion but a requirement to stay alive. The low ratio of doctors to patients, lack of basic healthcare infrastructure ( such as hospital bed space during emergencies) are some of the few problems that exist in Nigeria. According to WHO, there is an increase in death caused by preventable, non-communicable diseases in Africa, checking your health regularly with lab testing may end up saving your life.
Laboratory tests play such a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis, and disease treatment. Medical professionals have said that 70% of all decisions regarding a patient’s diagnosis and treatment, hospitalization, and discharge are based on lab tests.
So if your doctor has advised you to go for an annual blood test or a specific range of tests, but the thought of spending hours in traffic to get to the lab or hospital, or just the time and resources needed to make the trip makes it a chore you keep procrastinating, you are not alone. Research shows that 75% of patients end up not going for their health tests even after the doctor has ordered them. The reason is the same as earlier stated.
On the other hand, how convenient it would be to have a phlebotomist( trained sample collectors) come to your home and take your sample, so you do not have to drive or leave the comfort of your home.
Now one need not go to the hospital, spending time in Lagos traffic, waiting in long queues at the lab/hospital to get blood tests done, nor need to run from lab to lab to get all the reports. In addition to these benefits, you can review your results with a doctor from home.
In this pandemic, it can be difficult for most people to step out of their homes for blood check-ups. And for others, it can be risky.
When it comes to improving the quality of life, getting the right screening at the right time is one of the best things a man can do. These health screenings can help you keep your health in check and alert you if anything is going out of the line. With this early identification, you can take steps to prevent the progression of any condition. So, what are the screenings and blood tests that are recommended for men? Let’s find out!
What are at-home health checkups?
With the coming in of new-age technology and the ‘on-demand’ revolution, where it is the norm to buy items online and have it delivered in 24 hours. Innovation has extended to healthcare, digital health companies like now allows user to book their health checkup tests online and get their samples collected at the comfort of their homes. At-home testing is changing the way to keep control of your health. For all your health checkups, you can now decide to have your health testing at the comfort of your home. Healthtracka specifically is doing a great job at bringing the lab to people’s doorstep.
When it comes to improving the quality of life, getting the health checkups done at the comfort of your home can help you keep your health in check and alert you if anything is going out of the line.
All pathology tests can be done at home, that is samples that require blood, sputum, swabs, urine, and stool. Many tests can be done at home, such as diabetes, cholesterol, kidney function test, liver function test, STD test, Genotype test, etc.
At-home health checkups are cheaper, convenient, private and more motivating to do. The good news is there are at least 10 health checkups you can do at home. Lets dive in, shall we…
- Diabetes test
- Cholesterol test
- STD test
- Pre-wedding test
- Liver Function test
- Covid-19 PCR test
- Thyroid Function test
- Kidney test
- Prostate Cancer test
- Cervical Cancer Screening test
Let’s dive in even deeper!
1. Diabetes Test
Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism, i.e. having to do with the way our bodies use digested food for growth and energy. Testing for diabetes can be done at home, there are two types of tests- a Haemoglobin A1C blood test (HbA1c) or a fasting/random blood sugar test. For Fasting Blood Sugar, the test needs to be done before 10 am and fasting is required. So no breakfast until the test is done. Random (RBS) and HbA1c can be done at any time.
A single test is insufficient to diagnose diabetes. A second test must confirm that your blood glucose level is abnormally high.
During the HBA1C/ Fasting/Random Blood Sugar test, a phlebotomist comes to your home/office to take a blood sample by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm, the blood sample is sent to a lab for analysis and the result should be ready in 24 hours
Book your diabetes test at the comfort of your home now.
2. Cholesterol Test
Cholesterols are the fat that your body needs to function properly. However, too much cholesterol can lead to heart disease, stroke among others.
A cholesterol test measures the amount of total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides, a type of fat, in your blood. Raised cholesterol levels can result in serious conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. Early detection will provide for better clinical outcomes and allow you to make positive lifestyle changes.
High cholesterol usually does not present any symptoms until considerable damage is done or you catch it during your health tests. Testing for cholesterol as part of your health check may help you live longer.
To be on the safe side, you may want to get your cholesterol tested every year as early as age 20. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or high blood pressure, you should check your cholesterol even more frequently.
Doing your Cholesterol test in Lagos has been made easy. You can book now and your tests will be done tomorrow at the comfort of your home
3. STD tests
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are very common in Nigeria.
These are infections that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. The most common STIs include gonorrhea, chlamydia, Hepatitis B, Syphilis, and HIV. Unfortunately, many of these STIs do not show symptoms for a long time and can be passed on during sex without noticing.
Anyone sexually active can get an STI/STD test. It is important to note that you don’t even have to “go all the way” (have anal or vaginal sex) to get an STI. If left untreated, STIs can cause severe health problems, including cancer and infertility. Testing is the only way to know for sure if you have an STI.
The stigma around STIs also discourages some people from getting tested or checked for STDs. Having the ‘talk’ is considered uncomfortable even with a medical professional. Instead of worrying about where to take STD tests in Lagos without the stigma and embarrassment. Book your STD tests in the privacy of your home. No questions asked.
4. Pre-wedding tests
A pre-wedding test is a screening that requires lots of significant health examinations of about-to-be-wed couples. This includes where they would be tested for genetic, contagious, and communicable infections to avoid any risk of transmitting the disease to each other and their children in the future.
Two tests that must be part of every pre-wedding test plan are Genotype and Blood Group amongst others. Conducting a genotype test is considered a critical factor when planning a family to prevent the continuation of birthing sickle cell kids. Sickle Cell disease is connected with a deficiency in the red blood cells and is a lifetime illness.
A blood group test is used to determine the blood group of an individual. It’s crucial to verify the blood group of your spouse to prevent cases associating with the blood group. There are four main blood groups namely A, B, AB, and O, and another component referred to as the Rhesus factor (Rh). The Rh can either be positive or negative. If an Rh-positive man marries an Rh-negative wife, there is a 50% chance the baby will be rhesus positive. In this case, problems can occur if the mother is Rh-negative and the fetus is Rh-positive.
Before saying ‘I do’, there is important information about you and your partner’s health you need to know about. Book your pre-wedding tests at home today and rule out the possibilities of health issues in the future.
6. Liver Function test
Liver disease is common, owing to the high prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis in Nigeria. Testing is the only way to know the status of your liver. Early detection will save you and your liver.
Liver function tests help to ascertain the health of your liver by measuring the levels of proteins, liver enzymes, and bilirubin in your blood. They are important in screening for liver infections, such as hepatitis, measure the severity of a disease, particularly scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) amongst others.
The most common tests used to check liver functions are AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase), ALT (Alanine Transaminase), and ALP (Alkaline Phosphatase)
Abnormal liver function test results do not always indicate liver disease. Your doctor will explain your results and what they mean.
6. Covid-19 PCR test
COVID-19 diagnostic testing is done to find out if you’re currently infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This test can be either for travel purposes or personal health information. Testing is the only way to know for sure if you have covid or not.
The Nigeria NCDC approved these types of tests for diagnosing a COVID-19 infection:
PCR test – Also called a molecular test, this COVID-19 test detects the genetic material of the virus using a lab technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A fluid sample is collected by inserting a long nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab) into your nostril and taking fluid from the back of your nose or by using a shorter nasal swab (mid-turbinate swab) to get a sample.
If you book an at-home Covid- PCR test, trained health care professional will come to your home and take your sample- a long swab is inserted into the back of your throat (oropharyngeal swab), or you may spit into a tube to produce a saliva sample. The sample is taken to the lab for analysis. Results may be available within 6-24hours.
PCR tests are very accurate when properly performed by a trained health care professional, while the rapid/antigen test can miss in some cases.
This is why the PCR test is the only type of Covid testing approved for travel in Nigeria and most countries in the world. Book your at-home Covid PCR test right on your phone.
7. Thyroid Function test
The thyroid is a small gland located in the lower-front part of your neck. It’s responsible for helping to regulate many of the body’s processes, such as metabolism, energy generation, and mood. Blood tests help determine if the thyroid gland is functioning normally.
Some of the hormonal changes people experience are caused by either hyperthyroidism (high) or hypothyroidism(low). Symptoms including weight gain, lack of energy, and depression may be caused by hypothyroidism, indicating that your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of these hormones.
On the other hand, Symptoms such as weight loss, anxiety, tremors amongst others can indicate hyperthyroidism, where your thyroid gland produces too many hormones,
If you are concerned about your thyroid function levels or feel any of the symptoms described above, this is one of the checkups you can have at-home, so go ahead and book your thyroid function tests, share your result with your doctor who will work with you to pinpoint the reason for the problem.
8. Kidney Function test
Your two kidneys (Yes, you have two) play vital roles in keeping you alive. One of their most important jobs is to filter waste materials from the blood and expel them from the body as urine.
You and your doctor must keep a tab on your kidneys as you age. An annual routine check will feature kidney function tests. These are simple blood and urine tests that can identify problems with your kidneys.
You may also need kidney function testing done if you have other conditions that can harm the kidneys, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. They can help your doctors monitor these conditions.
There are a couple of tests that ascertain your kidney function test – Urinalysis, Serum Creatinine tests, Blood Urea Nitrogen, Estimated GFR amongst others. All these tests can be done at home.
Healthtracka offers a full kidney function test checkup panel that gives you a deep analysis of your kidney’s health. You can Book Now and the phlebotomist will be at your home/office tomorrow to take your samples.
9. Prostate Cancer Antigen (PSA) test
For Nigerian men, prostate cancer is both the most common and most deadly cancer. Every Nigerian man above 35 has been advised to screen annually. The goal of screening for prostate cancer is to find them early before they spread. Doing this saves a life. This test can be done at home!
The most common Prostate cancer screening test is the PSA (Prostate Cancer Antigen). The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a blood test that measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate. The levels of PSA in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be elevated in other conditions that affect the prostate.
As a rule, the higher the PSA level in the blood, the more likely a prostate problem is present. But many factors, such as age and race, can affect PSA levels. Some prostate glands make more PSA than others.
The factors that affect PSA levels are Certain medical procedures, Certain medications, An enlarged prostate, prostate infection, etc. Don’t be alarmed yet if your results come back abnormal.
Because many factors can affect PSA levels, your doctor is the best person to interpret your PSA test results. If the PSA test is abnormal, your doctor may recommend a biopsy to find out if you have prostate cancer.
Book your at-home prostate cancer screening test to live longer.
10. Cervical Cancer Screening test
Cervical Cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer. In Nigeria, current estimates indicate that every year 14943 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 10403 die from the disease.
To increase your chances of not being a statistic, it is important to screen regularly
The two screening tests that can help prevent cervical cancer or at least detect it early are the Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for cell changes or precancerous cells on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately, and the HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes.
This test can be done in the privacy of your home. The phlebotomist (highly trained sample collector) will use a speculum (plastic or metal instrument to widen your vagina and collect a few cells and mucus from the cervix and the area around it. The cells are sent to a laboratory for analysis.
You can book the Cervical Cancer Screening test right now and get tested.
‘Our vision at Healthtracka is to empower every Nigerian to take control of their health, prevent diseases and effectively manage existing medical conditions with the help of at-home health testing’.