I get blood work every 3 months, this is how it changed my approach to wellbeing
I’ve always been interested in maintaining a strong healthy lifestyle and like most I do this through consistent training sessions and making sure I consume good nutritious food. For the most part this is great and is supplemented with additional activities such as flotation therapy and meditation to support my mind.
In the latter of half of 2017, I wanted to explore ways in which I could track the impact of my lifestyle on my health – how was day to day life affecting me? My first move was to purchase a Fitbit so I could track my movements, activity and most importantly to me – my sleep. I was having a rough time towards the end of 2017 and sleep was greatly impacted, regardless of how I slept, I always woke up exhausted so being able to measure my sleep and get deeper insights was of great benefit.
I had and still do have great joy with my Fitbit, it’s been one of my best purchases under £100 in the last few years and really got me thinking about what impacts my state of health. It was great to review the metrics that are provided via my wearable tech, but I wanted to get more detail and find out what’s going on under the hood, how is my body performing?
It was at this point that a friend introduced me to a company called Thriva – they are a UK based startup that can track a number of different health markers through blood. Now when I heard about this company and read what they could be provide, I was excited but there was one downer – I hated blood tests. Me and needles have a long history of not getting on, even the thought of blood tests has caused me to randomly pass out (no joke). However I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that a conventional blood test wasn’t needed as everything was done via a very simple and not really painful at all finger prick test.
I took the plunge
So with that all being out the way and my anxiety chilling about not needing the invasive needle in my arm approach, I took the plunge and purchased a one off advanced test to try it all out.
A few days later a little parcel arrived in my letter box with everything I needed to get my first health profile. I had been provided with 3 finger prick devices, cleaning cloths , 2 small bottles for my blood and a very friendly user guide on what I needed to do.
At first, I put it off for a few days as I was terrified of screwing it up or that the slashing of my finger for blood would become beyond painful and made up a bunch more excuses. But once again I took the plunge one morning and completed my test, I actually found the hardest part to be getting enough blood out of my finger. Once this was all done and I filled my two bottles, I sent this off in the provided envelope to the local lab to be analysed.
Now for reference my test covered the following markers:
- Liver function
- Vitamin D
- Iron profile
To my surprise, I received my results super fast (about 48hrs later) and to my delight I was given a full overview by Thriva’s in-house doctor on my overall health profile and individual detailed analytics on each of the markers I had been measured for. I’m happy to say it all came back with good news, but I do have some things to work on and I loved how the personalised dashboard showed me not only what I needed to improve on, but how I compared to the general population and what measures I could take to improve, which is amazing.
Due to the in-depth nature of the results and speed, I decided to subscribe to a quarterly test and for next time I’ve also included a testosterone test, which if you’re a dude and in your 30’s is super important.
Should you do it?
The simple answer is yes, if you’re serious about your health and want to make sure you’re around for a long time then this is a great tool to use.
It’s focused on preventative medicine rather than waiting for you to have a full blown problem and then doing something about it – you can spot the early warning signs and make changes needed to get yourself back in a better place with this type of tool.
Personally I feel everyone should get some type of blood work done a few times a year just to make sure everything is good and that you’re living the healthiest life possible.
Give it a try, what do you have to lose? Health is wealth baby.
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