Many medical practices worldwide have limited their surgery time due to the fear of spreading Covid-19; people have found it challenging to get an appointment with a doctor or are just fearful of venturing out.
Fortunately, we can do things to keep an eye on our health in the absence of medical intervention. Here are 9 ways to monitor your health and well-being at home.
Covid Test Kit
It is advisable to do a covid lateral flow test at least once a week or when we have symptoms of covid. You should use the cotton applicator in the kit to collect a sample from your nose and throat by wiping it gently over the area. The applicator should be inserted into a tube containing a test solution, and a drop of the liquid then added to a test strip. If the lateral flow test result is positive, you should arrange to have a PCR test done at your local testing center.
DNA Health Test
Your DNA is what makes you, you. It can provide vast quantities of information about you, including any diseases or health conditions you may be susceptible to now or in the future.
Saliva collection kits that test DNA such as 23 and Me can be bought online. Simply send a sample of your saliva to the testing laboratory, and you will receive a detailed report via email. The report will tell you the current state of your health, mentioning allergies you have, your weight, saturated fat and muscle composition, as well as informing you of the percentage probability of you developing certain health conditions later in life.
Home Cholesterol Check Kit
Cholesterol is a substance found in the blood that is used to make cells. When a person eats food high in saturated and trans fats, fatty deposits can form in the blood vessels and cause heart problems.
A home cholesterol test kit is an easy way to get an idea of the cholesterol levels in your body. You must prick your finger with the lancet provided and place a drop of blood into the test strip. After waiting a few minutes, you can use the information provided in the kit to read the test results. If your cholesterol is high, you should inform your doctor.
Blood Pressure Monitor
A blood pressure cuff is a helpful device to have in your home as often blood pressure checks done at a medical center can be inaccurate as the patient is nervous and agitated about being at the doctor. A reading taken at home when a person is relaxed is much more trustworthy. A blood pressure monitor consists of a Velcro cuff that fits around the upper arm. The cuff is attached to the monitor via a tube and is pumped up until tight and then released slowly. The monitor will give the blood pressure reading when the cuff is deflated. A normal reading should be below 140/90. Anything above this or well below should be reported to a medical professional.
Every household should have a thermometer to check for a change in body temperature. The average body temperature is 37 degrees Celsius, and anything above or below this could indicate the presence of an infection or disease.
There are different types of thermometers – oral, digital, temporal, ear, and strip thermometers. Each has advantages and disadvantages so do some research to find the right one for your needs.
Blood Glucose Monitor
People with diabetes need to keep track of their blood sugar levels throughout the day. A home monitor can help with this by reading a blood sample and determining whether the glucose levels are normal – less than 140mg/dL, or too low and heading for hypo or seriously high and facing a hyper attack.
High levels of sugar in the blood can lead to serious health issues as it damages the blood vessels, so much so that blood cannot flow correctly around the body. This can result in blindness or amputation of body extremities.
None of us particularly like to weigh ourselves, but keeping an eye on our weight can ensure we stay within a healthy weight range. Modern scales can do a complete body analysis and give you readings detailing your body’s muscle mass, metabolic rate, fat mass, and total water content.
Technology can help you track your health. A smartwatch can keep a tally of the number of steps you walk each day. Health experts recommend that you take at least 10,000 steps each day to stay fit and supple. These clever devices can also monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, sleep patterns, and blood oxygen.
Urinalysis test strips can be bought over the counter. When dipped in urine, they can flag up any kidney and liver diseases and diabetes issues.
The test strips are coated with several reagents that will change color when soaked with urine. The color change can be interpreted using the key, and any issues should be reported to a doctor.
A kidney or urinary tract disorder may be present if the urine pH is outwith normal parameters. At the same time, high protein levels in the urine can indicate a serious health issue and require immediate medical attention.
These test strips will help you know if you are drinking enough as they measure the concentration of your urine. If the reading is high, you are probably dehydrated and need to drink more water.
Urinalysis helps test people who may be at risk of developing diabetes as it will show up any glucose or ketones in the urine. Normal urine will have an undetectable or zero amount of glucose and ketones, so a reading with a positive result may suggest that the person has diabetes.
Damage to the liver or liver disease may be present if there are high bilirubin levels, a by-product of red blood cell breakdown. Leukocytes, a product of white blood cells, may be passed out of the body in urine if the person has a urinary tract infection.
The presence of blood in the urine should never be ignored, as it can be an indication of something serious such as kidney or bladder cancer, blood disorders, or kidney damage.
While home monitoring can be helpful, it should never be a substitute for professional medical attention. If you notice anything unusual you should seek medical advice ASAP.