Tests you can take at home

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testExams, finals, tests.  Students everywhere shudder at the thought.  No one likes exams, but health tests may save your life. Here are a few cutting edge tests you might actually want — or need — to take.

 

Urinary Tract Infection
0811-azoWhen you pee on a small strip it will dark pink if you have nitrites in your urine. This indicates you have a UTI (very painful). If you have symptoms and the results are negative, see your doc immediately. You could have a more serious problem, like a kidney stone. These cost $10 from azoproducts.com

Yeast Infection Test

0811-vagisilItchy with a discharge? Swipe a Vagisil cotton swab inside your vagina and watch it turn various shades of green, according to your pH level (low pH means you’ve got yeast). If you’re prone to these outbreaks and areused to yeast infections you’ll know to go and get a Candida Albicans kit from the drugstore. If you haven’t had it before – go and see a doctor. There are many reasons for a yeast infection.

Cholesterol Test
0811-cardio-checkWith a quick finger prick you can check your total blood cholesterol with this CardioChek, as well as your HDL and triglyceride numbers. If you follow the instructions to the letter, the results are claimed to be about as accurate as a standard lab test. It’s certainly a great way to perform a home maintenance check-up. It’s about $125 from good drugstores.

 

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Blood pressure

201253Complete kit is packed with everything you need to start monitoring your blood pressure at home. This one has a a durable design, an aneroid gauge, a D-ring cuff and attached stethoscope. This one also has a 22” stethoscope. zerbee.com.

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ABI

A test called the ankle brachial index (ABI) can be used to foresee future walking problems. The ABI test is a quick, noninvasive way to check your risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD). Peripheral artery disease is a condition in which the arteries in your legs or arms are narrowed or blocked. People with peripheral artery disease are at a high risk of heart attack, stroke, poor circulation and leg pain.

The ABI is the ratio of blood pressure in the ankle to pressure in the arm.  Past studies indicated that the ABI, along with symptoms in the legs, could be used to diagnose a patient’s current ability to walk.  But new research done at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine shows that the ABI can also be used to foretell whether a patient will be able to walk in the future.  The study, done over two years and involving 676 subjects, showed that the ABI predicted how far and how fast patients with a number of ailments would be able to walk in the future.  Disorders studied included peripheral arterial disease, which involves hardening of blood vessels throughout the body including the legs, and various forms of persistent leg pain.

A blood pressure ratio under one is considered abnormal and a value under .25 is a sign of a severe problem that may lead to amputation if not treated.  To test your ABI, take blood pressure readings in both your wrist and your ankle and then divide the ankle by the wrist.  Besides testing for generic blood flow problems, a ratio under one may be an indication of peripheral arterial disease.