Going to the doctor can be really expensive, especially if you don’t have health insurance. If you have an issue you should always see a doctor if possible. But sometimes seeing a doctor costs too much money. Here is a list of at-home health tests you can take for different things. (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor so this is not medical advice. Always see a doctor whenever possible for any complaints or illnesses.)
Strep – Rapid Response ($40)
If you get strep throat a lot you might be interested in this at home test that detects strep A bacteria. With this test, you have to swab your throat (like they do at the doctor). The FDA says this test has 97% accuracy. If you are positive for strep, you will have to see your doctor for treatment. If your result is negative, you may have a virus instead. Most of the time doctors can’t give any medication for viral infections. Antibiotics only work against bacteria.
AZO Urinary Tract Infection At Home Test ($10)
Urinary tract infections can not only be very painful, they can become dangerous. The AZO test kit can give you results in just a few minutes, so you’ll know if you should see a doctor or not. Each box comes with 3 testing strips. This test has 95% accuracy.
Cholestrak Cholesterol Test ($25)
This test will give you a cholesterol reading in 15 minutes and has a 97% accuracy rate. It can also determine your HDL (or “good” cholesterol). This test requires a few drops of blood from your finger. It will also give a recommendation based on your result about whether or not you should consult a physician.
Oraquick (About $40)
There are actually two at home HIV tests you can take. Oraquick is one (and it’s also the most popular). To use it you swab your gum and it gives you your HIV-status in 20-40 minutes. According to the FDA Oraquick has a nearly 92% accuracy for positive test results and 99% for negative test results. This at-home health test can find both HIV-1 (which is the most common strain) and HIV-2. If you get a positive test result you should schedule an appointment with a doctor. The other HIV test on the market is made by a company called Home Access but it requires a blood sample and takes a week to get results.
Home Thyroid TSH Test ($30)
If you suspect your thyroid hormones might be out of balance, this test can help. You put a drop of blood on a special collection card, let it dry, and send it to their lab to be tested. It takes about 10 days to receive your TSH results.
If you suffer from sniffles or an itchy nose all the time it could be caused by allergies. MyAllergyTest can tell you if you are allergic to 10 of the most common allergens. These include ragweed, mold, eggs, cats, dust mites, and more. This at-home health test has a 93% accuracy rating. You prick your finger with the lancet provided in the kit, prepare the blood sample according to the test’s instructions, and mail it to their testing center. In about a week they will send your results by mail or e-mail.
A Word Of Caution
Of course, if you ever have any concerns or complaints, you should always see a doctor whenever possible. But for those of us that may not have health insurance and can’t afford to see a doctor (because sometimes an appointment can cost a lot more than these tests), these tests can still be a good way to help you determine if you really need to see a doctor or not. But when in doubt, always see a doctor.