C H O L E S T E R O L · T E S T

Cholesterol is a fatty substance which is made in the liver and is found in some foods too. We all need some cholesterol in our bodies just to keep us ticking over but having too much can clog up your arteries and lead to health problems in the future.

C A U S E S

Lots of different things play a part in your cholesterol levels, including your lifestyle, any other health problems you may have and your genes - and these can all add up.

Lifestyle causes: eating too much saturated fat, smoking, drinking more alcohol than is recommended, not being physically active.

Overall health issues: being overweight, carrying your weight around your middle, an under-active thyroid gland, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, certain medications.

 

G L U C O S E · T E S T (for diabetes)

Diabetes is a common but serious condition where your blood glucose level is too high. There are two main types: type 1 and type 2. The amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas (a gland behind the stomach). When food is digested and enters your bloodstream, insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into cells, where it is broken down to produce energy. However, if you have diabetes your body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there is either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced does not work properly.

S Y M P T O M S

The main symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Feeling very thirsty

  • Urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night

  • Feeling very tired

  • Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk

  • Itching around the penis or vagina

  • Frequent episodes of thrush

  • Cuts or wounds that heal slowly

  • Blurred vision

Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days. While many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general.

 

G L U T E N · T E S T (for coeliac disease)

Coeliac disease is a serious illness where the body's immune system attacks its own tissues when you eat gluten. This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means the means the absorption of nutrients from food cannot occur properly. Coeliac disease is common and affects one in 100 people. Only 30% of people who have the condition have been diagnosed, which means there are currently nearly half a million people who have Coeliac disease but are not aware that they have it. If a first degree family member (such as mother, father, sister or brother) has the condition then the chances of having it increase to one in ten.

S Y M P T O M S

Symptoms range from mild to severe, and can include:

  • Bloating

  • Diarrhoea

  • Nausea

  • Wind

  • Constipation

 

I R O N · T E S T (for tiredness)

Iron is an essential mineral because it is an integral component of haemoglobin (Hb), which enables oxygen to be bound, stored and carried around the body in the blood. Reduced iron in the body therefore results in less oxygen being delivered to tissues and organs. Iron deficiency anaemia occurs when a lack of iron in the body results in a reduced number of red blood cells. This lack of iron can be caused by either reduced iron intake or an increased loss of iron from the body. Non-anaemic iron deficiency or latent iron deficiency is a condition in which there is iron deficiency but Hb levels are normal and symptoms often include fatigue, hair loss, lack of concentration and irritability.

S Y M P T O M S

Many common symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia are non-specific but may include:

  • Tiredness and lethargy

  • Shortness of breath

  • Heart palpitations

  • Pale complexion

  • Pale inner eyelids

 

M E N O P A U S E · T E S T

The menopause refers to that time in every woman's life when her periods stop and her ovaries lose their reproductive function. Usually, this occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. In the UK the average age is 51. In a few exceptional cases women may become menopausal in their 30s, or even younger. This is then known as a premature menopause, or premature ovarian insufficiency.

S Y M P T O M S

Hot flushes are the most common symptom of the menopause, occurring in three in every four menopausal women. Other common symptoms include:

  • Night sweats

  • Sleeplessness

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Irritated skin

  • More frequent urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections

  • Low mood

  • Reduced interest in sex

Please note - urine sample must be collected in the morning, as this is very important to the accuracy of the test. We can send a sample bottle in the post if required!

This is a post menopausal test only. It is to confirm that you have actually reached the menopause and are no longer peri-menopausal.

 

P R O S T A T E · T E S T

The prostate gland is a male reproductive organ whose main function is to secrete prostate fluid, one of the components of semen. The muscles of the prostate gland also help propel this seminal fluid into the urethra during ejaculation. Unfortunately, though, the prostate's position around the urethra can be a liability if the gland swells or grows. A swollen prostate compresses the urethra and irritates the walls of the bladder, interfering with normal urination. A growing prostate can also signal cancer. It is estimated that more than 320,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020, according to the National Cancer Institute.

S Y M P T O M S

Often, early-stage prostate cancer has no symptoms or signs. It is usually found through a test or screening. When prostate cancer does cause symptoms or signs, it is usually diagnosed in a later stage. These symptoms and signs may include:

  • Frequent urination (especially at night)

  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine

  • The need to strain to empty the bladder

  • Blood in your urine

  • Blood in the seminal fluid

  • New onset of erectile dysfunction

  • Pain or burning during urination

  • Discomfort or pain when sitting

S T O M A C H · U L C E R · T E S T

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) are bacteria, a type of germ, which lives in the sticky mucus that lines the stomach. About 40% of people in the UK have H.pylori in their stomach so it is very common and in approximately the eight to nine out of ten people who have it, will not have any problems. However about 15% of people with the condition get ulcers either in the stomach (gastric ulcer) or in the duodenum (duodenal ulcer).

 

Although ulcers tend to cause indigestion, occasionally they become much more serious as they can bleed or even burst (perforate) which happens if the ulcer burrows deep enough into the stomach lining to make a hole. People with ulcers should therefore be treated with the aim of getting rid of H.pylori.

S Y M P T O M

  • The main symptoms of H.pylori is severe ongoing indigestion that does not respond to over the counter or other medication.

 
 

T H Y R O I D · T E S T

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped gland in the neck, just in front of the windpipe. It makes two hormones that are secreted into the blood: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The production of these hormones is stimulated by another hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). The thyroid hormones are very important as they control the rate at which the body uses and stores energy from the food we eat (the metabolic rate). Many of the body's functions slow down when the thyroid does not produce enough of these hormones.

S Y M P T O M S

Hyperthyroidism:

  • Weight loss

  • Heat intolerance

  • Anxiety

  • Mood swings

  • Sore, gritty eyes

  • Difficulty sleeping

This test is to detect an under active thyroid only.

 
 

U R I N E · T E S T (for infections)

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an inflammation of the urinary tract, mostly caused by bacteria. The urinary tract includes the urethra, the bladder, the ureter and the kidneys. Most infections affect the lower UTI – the bladder and the urethra, but upper UTIs involving the kidneys and ureter can also occur. UTIs flare also often associated with poorly controlled diabetes. If this is suspected, patients should be referred to their GP for further investigation.

S Y M P T O M S

There is some overlap in the symptoms of lower and upper UTIs. Common symptoms of a lower UTI include:

  • Urinary frequency

  • Dysuria (pain when passing urine)

  • Strong, unpleasant smelling urine

  • Nocturia

The symptoms of an upper UTI are the same as those of a lower UTI but in addition there may be pain in the lower back, fever and shivering.

V I T A M I N · D · T E S T

In the UK we get most of our Vitamin D from sunlight exposure from around late March to the end of September. Between October and March, the sunlight in the UK is not strong enough to make enough Vitamin D, and up to a quarter of the population has low levels of it in their blood. Vitamin D deficiency can put people at risk of Rickets or osteomalacia (softening of the bones). Some research suggests that not getting enough of it may also be linked to heart conditions, diabetes, asthma and cognitive impairment in older adults.

THOSE AT MOST RISK

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women.

  • Infants and children under the age of 5 years.

  • Over 65s.

  • People who have little or no exposure to the sun (eg. people who are housebound or stay indoors for long periods of time and those who cover up for cultural reasons).

  • People with darker skin eg. African, African-Caribbean and South Asian origin. These groups are not able to make as much vitamin D compared to those with paler skin.

 
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STREP A. TEST

Strep throat is a bacterial throat infection caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria. This bacteria can be spread from person to person through sneezing and coughing for example. It is best to identify if someone has strep throat as soon as possible as strep throat can lead to further illnesses.

S Y M P T O M S

-sore throat

-fever

-pain when swallowing

-swollen tonsils

-swollen lymph nodes

-red spots on the roof of the mouth

Other symptoms may include:

-stomach ache

-nausea

This test will detect the presence of Group A Streptococcus

 

BLOOD GROUP TEST

There are 4 main blood groups (types of blood) – A, B, AB and O. Your blood group is determined by the genes you inherit from your parents. Each group can be either RhD positive or RhD negative, which means in total there are 8 blood groups.  Blood group O+ is the most common one in the UK population (48%), whilst the rarest blood group is  AB- (1%).

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO IDENTIFY YOUR BLOOD GROUP?

Transfusion: The accurate grouping of blood is very important when it comes to having a blood transfusion. If blood is given to a patient that has a blood type that is incompatible with the blood type that the patient receives, it can cause intravenous clumping in the patient’s blood which can be fatal. The patient’s body can start producing antibodies that attack the antigens on the blood cells in the blood that was given to the patient, causing reaction and rejection.

Pregnancy: Blood typing is particularly important for pregnant women, as blood groups are hereditary and can be passed from either the mother or father. In cases where the father of the baby has the RhD positive blood group and the mother of the baby has the RhD negative blood group, the baby may be RhD positive which can cause compatibility issues. If the baby has the RhD positive blood group, it may cause medical complications. In this case a special drug is administered to the mother to stop the mother’s body producing antibodies against the baby’s blood cells.

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EARLY PREGNANCY TEST

HOW CAN I DETECT AN EARLY PREGNANCY?

All pregnancy tests detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hcg), which starts to be produced around 6 days after fertilisation.

The most typical urine pregnancy test kits are able to detect the hcg about 1 week after a missed period, but some sensitive blood tests can detect pregnancy before a missed period and when used correctly are around 97 to 99%.

Hovewer, blood tests can be more reliable than urine tests for showing that you are pregnant and, for this reason, are sometimes used in hospital labs to confirm a urine pregnancy test. In fact, a blood test can detect hCG about 11 days after conception against 12-14 days after conception by a urine test

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A PREGNANCY BLOOD TEST?

1.You can use a blood test at any time of the day!!

2.The results are unaffected by dilution from drinks!

3. An early result can help women consider lifestyle and health changes such as stopping smoking or drinking alcohol!

WHY SHOULD I PERFORM THE TEST HERE?

Due to the increased complexity of a home pregnancy blood test compared to a traditional urine test, more skill is required to perform the test correctly. That’s why we are  here for you! Our experienced pharmacist are trained to conduct the test quickly and confidentially!

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE RESULT IS POSITIVE?

You should consult your doctor to discuss pregnancy and the next steps. Early prenatal care is important for a healthy pregnancy. Please take into consideration that not every pregnancy proceeds to term and the risk of miscarriage is highest during the first couple of months.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE RESULT IS NEGATIVE?

If the test is negative, it is most likely that your blood either doesn't contain hcg or very low levels of hcg (the test detects hcg concentration as low as 25 iu/l) and you are unlikely to be pregnant. However, you may have miscalculated the date of your period, especially if you have irregular periods. If your period does not start within a week, repeat the test. If you still get a negative result and your period has not started, you should speak with your doctor. A late period could be caused by other reasons.

 
 

COVID-19 ANTIBODY TEST

COVID-19 is an infectious disease and is primarily spread via droplets in the air when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. The majority of individuals who have contracted coronavirus will not experience severe symptoms and will not require hospitalisation. The elderly and clinically vulnerable individuals are at higher risk for developing serious illness from COVID-19.

 SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Main symptoms:

-High temperature

-New continuous cough

-Change or loss of smell or taste

Other symptoms may include:

-Tiredness

-Sore throat

-Diarrhoea

-Body aches

-Headache

The above list of symptoms is not exhaustive.

This 15-minute test is relevant for those individuals who believe or know they had coronavirus and want to test for COVID-19 antibodies in their system. This test indicates if there is a presence of these antibodies 28 days to 3 months after infection or suspected infection.

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