If you want to do something for your health today, you have many opportunities. In addition to a healthy diet, stress reduction and exercise, simple tests from the pharmacy help to find out about one's own state of health and recognize impending restrictions in good time. It is very important, however, that clear warning signs of the body - despite any negative test results - not simply ignored, but in case of doubt, a doctor is visited.
Tests from the pharmacy
Do-it-yourself tests, health tests, pharmacy tests, home diagnostics: The number of items is large, the possibilities for examination varied. The tests usually differ according to the diseases or abnormalities to be examined, for example diabetes, pregnancy, cholesterol or tooth decay.
The tests pick up certain metabolic processes and make the results visible in colored test fields. Urine or blood are usually tested. Saliva samples are analyzed in caries risk or plaque studies, the dangerous plaque, and the paternity test.
Stroke - a risk test provides information
The German Stroke Assistance Foundation has developed a risk test with the support of the pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer, after which the individual risk profile of the participants can be determined. The special feature is the calculation of the probabilities for the occurrence of stroke, heart attack as well as the AVK (arterial occlusive disease). Three diseases with a close relationship and identical risk factors.
The 12-question comprehensive risk test is sent by the participant with a nominal fee of 5, - Euro in stamps to the Foundation German Stroke Help. In strict compliance with data protection, a detailed, four-page risk profile is created based on personal information. In addition to individual disease risks, an easy-to-understand signal in traffic light form and the explanation of risk factors, a second part provides guidance on behavioral change. The test can be downloaded from the homepage of the German Stroke Assistance Foundation. Source: Foundation German Stroke Assistance
Pregnant or not?
The tests used to detect the pregnancy hormone HCG in urine are certainly among the best known. The safest result is achieved after the absence of the period, because previously the concentration of the hormone is too low. In recent years, these tests have become much more sensitive and reliable, so that the hormone can be detected very early in pregnancy. A negative result despite absence of the period should definitely be checked gynecologically.
The paternity test - almost 100 percent safety
For some time, a paternity test in the pharmacy is available. The test is based on DNA analysis and provides a reliable and legally usable result within three days. The test kit contains four cotton swabs and test tubes. The cotton swabs are used to take samples of the oral mucosa from the father and the child. A sample from the mother is definitely useful.
The test tubes containing the saliva samples are then sent to an examination laboratory for analysis. Up to 20 identity features of the DNA are compared. With the help of biostatistics programs, a probability of paternity of over 99.999 percent can usually be calculated. The exclusion is even one hundred percent possible.
Gastric test for Helicobacter pylori
Gastric pain, heartburn, malaise and bloating are often the first signs of the stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori. The rapid test detects after 15 minutes, whether an infection is present. Detected are specific antibodies in the blood, which are formed in an infection by the bacterium. The test can be easily performed using the instructions provided by the patient or by another person. Again, blood is applied to a test cassette and the result is displayed in the viewing window after 15 minutes.
Recognize bowel cancer in time
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in western industrial nations. In the Federal Republic of Germany alone, around 57,000 people develop colon cancer each year. The risk of colorectal cancer increases significantly at the age of 45. Unlike other cancers, colon cancer develops over many years from precursors and often causes no symptoms. Only relatively late symptoms occur. However, he can be recognized, treated and cured at an early stage through regular check-ups.
With the test for "hidden" (occult) blood in the stool, the patient can prove at home if the stool contains small amounts of blood. This may be an indication of the precursor of colorectal cancer. Flat tumors and polyps can cause minor intestinal haemorrhages, which are eliminated with the stool. This blood is detected in the test strip within 7-10 minutes. The test always responds positively if a polyp or tumor present in the intestine is bleeding. However, as both do so only at intervals, a negative stool test is not evidence of the absence of intestinal polyps or intestinal tumors.
Stool tests therefore only detect about 30 percent of any existing polyps or tumors. The test result can also be falsified by certain foods. In addition to the home test, it is also possible to collect stool samples and send them to a laboratory. For all tests, the samples must be taken on three consecutive days. Bleeding hemorrhoids or even a menstrual period can falsify the result.
Diabetes - a serious illness
The simplest test measures the sugar content in the urine. However, since sugar is excreted in diabetes only after a certain stage of the disease, the test is not suitable for early detection. For a blood test is safer, which can also be done in the context of health advice in the pharmacy.
With the help of a "multi-screen urine test" can be tested for diabetes, kidney and urinary tract diseases. However, this test is very error prone and requires a particularly careful implementation. For example, larger amounts of vitamin C, fruit acids, antibiotics or even a pregnancy can falsify the result. The evaluation of the test is too complicated for laymen.
Heart attack - still the most common cause of death in Germany
For some time, a heart attack test has been on the market, which proves a heart muscle damage within 15 minutes. For this purpose, certain proteins are detected in the blood that enter the bloodstream one to three hours after a heart attack. The procedure is simple: With a small prick in the fingertip, blood is removed and applied to a test cassette. In the cassette different antibodies are applied, which react within 15 minutes with the heart muscle proteins. A control strip confirms that the test was performed correctly.
While the ease of use of the test and the accuracy of its testimony are undisputed, cardiologists warn against the time delay in performing the test. If you suspect an acute heart attack, you should always call the emergency doctor directly.
PSA test for the early detection of prostate cancer
The test is based - as most commercially available tests - on the detection of an antibody that is formed in prostate tumors. However, the reliability of the test is doubted. In addition, sampling is complicated and it is feared that the affected men are additionally unsettled by unclear findings. The test is intended primarily for men over the age of 45, who do not take the health check-ups offered by the health insurance companies.
Elevated Cholesterol - Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Diseases
In this test for elevated cholesterol levels, a drop of blood is placed on a test strip and evaluated by a meter. The equipment necessary for the evaluation can be bought in the pharmacy or the test can be carried out completely there. As a general rule, pharmacists are trained to determine certain blood levels and can perform them competently in their pharmacies. However, you can not and should not make a diagnosis.