Regular readers of my blog – thank-you! – will have noticed me commenting on my terrible diet a lot recent. My diet has been far from ideal since the start of the year. I’ve been drinking too much alcohol and eating too much junk food. One day last month, after yet another evening of excessive alcohol consumption, I woke up feeling and looking particularly peaky. I suspect my body was telling me it could no longer cope with my unhealthy lifestyle.
Rather fortuitously, my friend Anna shared her most recent set of Thriva test results on social media on the same day. I had never heard of Thriva so went away and did some research.
What is Thriva?
To put it simply, Thriva is a smart, finger-prick blood test that you can use at home. Once you’ve taken the home test, you post your blood sample back to one of Thriva’s accredited partner laboratories. Your blood sample is analysed to provide data on how your lifestyle is impacting your health. The results of these analyses are then uploaded onto Thriva, where you receive a bespoke report and recommendations from a GP with guidance on how to improve your lifestyle if required.
Thriva currently produce six different individual tests:
- Thyroid check
- Advanced thyroid check
- Vitamin B12
In addition, Thriva have produced a baseline subscription kit which enables people to track their health over time by receiving a test kit every three months.
The Lifestyle test is designed to help you find out how your lifestyle might be impacting your health. Just what I needed. I wanted to know if my slightly dubious lifestyle had negatively impacted my health.
Cholesterol – High cholesterol is increasingly common in the UK and impacts your risk of developing heart disease, stroke and related illnesses.
- LDL Cholesterol
- HDL Cholesterol
- Cholesterol Ratio
Liver function – This includes a full check of the key liver enzymes which, if raised, indicate poor liver health. Excessive alcohol, over eating and drug use can cause problems with your liver. Liver damage is often linked to chronic fatigue and other serious symptoms.
- Alkaline Phosphatase
- Gamma GT
- Alanine Transferase
- Total Protein
I set up an account on Thriva, answered a few basic lifestyle questions and parted with my money. Two days later my Thriva kit arrived. I opened the box, read through the instructions, took one look at one of the lancets provided and bottled out of collecting my blood sample.
A week later I received a friendly reminder from Thriva and decided that it was time to be brave!
What was included in the Lifestyle test kit?
The Thriva Lifestyle test kit included everything I required to take my finger-prick blood test, including detailed, easy-to-follow instructions.
My kit also included:
- 1x sample collection tube
- 1x alcohol swab
- 1x moist wipe
- 2x plasters
- Spring loaded lancets (2 spares)
- 1x plastic protective casing
- Return form and envelope
Performing the test
After reading through the instructions for the fifth time and checking that I’d got everything set up, I finally felt brave enough to perform my test. Looking back, I’ve no idea how or why I managed to get myself so worked up. Although using the lancet was a little painful, the whole process took under five minutes. I placed my labelled sample in the pre-paid envelope and put it in the post.
My personalised health report
Less than 24 hours after I’d sent off my sample, Thriva sent me an email to inform me my sample had arrived at the lab. Later on the same day my personalised health report arrived.
I actually felt quite nervous when I accessed my report and results…
“Hi Emma, I am pleased to say your test results are all with normal limits. You have a healthy BMI and you seem to be following a regular exercise regime as much as you can taking into account your ankle injury, well done and please keep it up, however please see my advice on diet. Thanks”
Although all of my results appear to be in the green (healthy) range, I think that my Cholesterol is probably a lot closer to the orange (not so healthy!) zone than it should be. In addition, the GP who reviewed my results recommended that in order to improve my diet, I should aim to reduce saturated fats in my diet.
As a result of this recommendation I’ve made several changes to my diet.
Thriva really impressed me and I would be happy to recommend the Lifestyle test to anyone who wants to find out if their lifestyle might be impacting their health. The whole process was quick and simple. The instructions provided were detailed and very easy to follow. As soon as I can afford to I’ll definitely be subscribing to the 3-monthly baseline subscription kit.
More information on Thriva is available on their website. The Thriva Lifestyle test kit has a RRP of £39.00 (I tracked down a discount code and managed to purchase the kit for £29.00).
**Full disclosure: I bought the Thriva Lifestyle test kit myself. I was not asked to review the Lifestyle kit, but decided to share my honest thoughts on something I personally found useful. As always, all opinions and dodgy photographs are my own**