Thriva is a new start-up based in the UK that offers 2 simple blood tests. One that is focused on general wellbeing and lifestyle which covers cholesterol, liver function and kidney function. With the second focusing on energy with Thyroid function, iron level and vitamin D tests.
Unlike other private blood testing websites, Thriva makes the service a bit more consumer friendly by referring the results to their own GP who will provide some basic interpretation for results that are out of range.
Priced at just £29 for the lifestyle and £49 for energy this is extremely competitively priced. In comparison the other major private blood testing website is Medichecks and they charge £39 just for cholesterol mini check or £49 for a full cholesterol check, which is what Thriva offer.
Both Medicheck and Thriva do the blood tests via finger pricks which you do yourself at home. Both companies provide first class postage and packaging for the return.
There is an issue with this method of test, and when I have researched it in the past some people recommend not using it. The problem is that the sample can be tainted when you carry out the process, and then you are reliant on Royal Mail getting the sample to the lab within a decent amount of time and the sample not going off. As you would expect, getting a nurse to take the sample would considerably increase the cost, so it is not really a criticism of the service, but more a warning.
Providing the sample may not be easy for some, the sample bottle doesn’t look big but when you are trying to get enough blood into fill up the line you feel like it is a lot. Maybe I just have thick blood or poor circulation, but it took a couple of minutes to milk my finger enough to reach the required sample size.
To reduce the risk of damaging your sample, I have read that it is advisable to send it off earlier in the week to avoid lab closing times.
For me, I sent my samples off mid-week, and for the energy sample, they were unable to process the Vitamin D test. Thriva has kindly sent me another test out, and they say that this is standard procedure.
In terms of the results, I was mostly healthy, and I am glad they have the GP interpreted the results as a couple of my results were out of range, but based on other results he said it was nothing to worry about. So, for example, my free thyroxine was marginally below normal, while my thyroid stimulating hormone was well within range. If the GP hadn’t interpreted this for me, I may have panicked a little, as I am sure most people have experienced how inaccurate self-diagnosis can be via Google.
Unfortunately, one of my liver values and one of my kidney values was slightly off. This isn’t a huge surprise, I work out a lot, so my creatinine was a little elevated. My liver values were a little more concerning for me, with slightly out of range ALT and AST, but I have been very unhealthy on the weekends for the past few months now due to work and social commitments, this has included more drinking than I should. So it has definitely given me some food for thought, and I should probably look at adjusting my excessiveness at the weekend slightly.
Overall I liked the service from Thriva, you could argue that isn’t necessary with the NHS, but my recent experiences with the NHS have been poor. Trying to get through to the surgery, wait for a DRs appointment, then wait for a nurse’s appointment and finally wait for your results is just a pain, and it I probably lose out more in earnings from faffing around with the GP than just paying to have it done privately.
With the growing interest in wellbeing in health worldwide, I think it is a handy service, especially the lifestyle test, which is also the cheapest. You can have a quick and simple check-up every 12 months and get the piece of mind about 3 of the most important health markers in your body.
I am not sure how important a regular check-up of my thyroid will be, but it is certainly something I will test again if I start to suffer from weight gain and/or lethargy. I personally would have also liked to see a testosterone check with the energy test, as this is the other major factor (for men) when it comes to energy levels but I guess this would have raised the cost more.
You can order your tests today from thriva.co