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Using Home Diagnostic Kits

Help is often around the corner for people who want to take a proactive approach to health care. Home diagnostic kits, widely available at drugstores and supermarkets, provide a way for people to address their health concerns at home.

According to Robert Lodder, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, home testing kits are often accurate health monitoring tools if used correctly.

Pregnancy kits

“Home testing kits have improved over recent years. Home testing kits for pregnancy, for example, are better now than they were just six years ago,” Lodder says.

Home pregnancy tests not only detect pregnancy, but also help women who want to become pregnant get a jump-start on important prenatal care before they visit their health care provider.

“The majority of women who use home pregnancy tests are trying to get pregnant,” Lodder says.

Home pregnancy tests may be the first step to pregnancy health. The sooner you know you are pregnant, the sooner you can take steps to ensure a healthy pregnancy and minimize the risk of medical problems.

Several factors can ruin the results of home pregnancy tests, however. A chemical found in some fertility drugs may cause incorrect results. Women who recently gave birth or miscarried may have incorrect test results. Women should notify their medical practitioner soon after a positive result.

Privacy & early detection

Home diagnostic kits appeal to people who want privacy. Couples who want to have children can use ovulation-monitoring kits to target optimum dates for fertilization.

Other kits, like colorectal cancer diagnostic tests, help people detect potential medical conditions. As with other home tests, a positive test result could be misleading. Diet and medication can affect test results. Because colorectal cancer can be life-threatening, regular doctor visits are important. However, a home kit may provide early detection, which increases treatment success and survival rates.

Monitor existing conditions

Several kits are available for consumers with varying health care needs–such as kits for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and glucose monitoring to help people with diagnosed medical problems monitor their conditions at home to prevent complications.

Although home diagnostic kits are useful to monitor and detect medical conditions, there is no substitute for professional medical treatment and examinations. Home diagnostic kits, in combination with professional medical care, allow patients to actively participate in their health care while helping the physician treat potential problems early.

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