LetsGetChecked Review: Are the Tests Worth the Money?

By: Lauren Browning
Last Updated: August 25, 2018
Lets Get checked

Review Summary

LetsGetChecked is a home testing company founded in 2014 that is one of the few to provide services in locations all around the globe. Their varied product list includes biomarker tests relating to cardiovascular health, digestive health, fertility, and metabolic health, as well as STD screening and genetic screens for a limited number of cancers. The company has a reputation for scientific integrity and all tests are based on sound scientific evidence.LetsGetChecked is a great way to take your health into your own hands without leaving the house.

Pros

  • Large variety of accurate at-home tests to choose from including STD tests, cancer screening products, fertility tests, and general health tests.
  • Discreet packaging
  • Free phone consult with a registered nurse if you test positive for specific medical conditions
  • Partner lab facilities are CLIA, INAB, CPA, or CAP certified
  • Speedy results once your samples are received
  • Affordable prices
  • Live Chat available and very responsive

Cons

  • Standard delivery is slower than some competitors. Express delivery costs extra.
  • Some of the STD’s included in the STD panels are not available as individual tests

Pricing and Options

LetsGetChecked offers a wide variety of different products, with a huge range of prices to match. The least expensive kits typically only test for one or two biomarkers, such as the Simple 2 STD test for $99, or the CRP test for $119. As you increase the number of components that make up a product, the prices understandably increase, all the way up to $299 for the Complete 10 STD panel. Cancer screening tests are generally more expensive than biomarker tests as a result of the type of analysis involved - the BRCA Check costs a whopping $500. You should also remember that if you want to receive your results quickly, there are a number of extra costs associated with express shipping.

There are a number of sexual health products that are made up of various combinations of individual tests, such as the Basic 3, Standard 6, and Complete 10 STD panels, which include tests for some diseases that aren’t available individually. These are convenient and economical choices for customers who want a one-stop comprehensive insight into their sexual health, but are less well suited to customers who are experiencing symptoms of a particular STD, and are confident that they do not need a full STD panel. The Basic 3 or Standard 6 packages are the most common choices for routine STD testing, and the Complete 10 is significantly more expensive, and perhaps not worth the extra money. Likewise, the Male hormone tests (basic, plus, or advanced) are progressively more comprehensive for increasing prices. There are subtle differences in the information you can gain from each of these male hormone tests, and to work out which is right for you, it is best to use the live chat on the company website to speak to a company representative, and ask their advice.

If you test positive for a number of health conditions using the LetsGetChecked service, you will be offered a free phone consultation with a registered nurse. The nurse will can provide you with further information about your result, answer any questions you may have, and in some cases prescribe medication free of charge.

Submitting your Sample

The process of submitting a swab, urine sample, or blood sample for testing with LetsGetChecked is simple, fast, and convenient. Once you have selected your testing product, you will have a choice of standard or express delivery. With express delivery, your kit should arrive 2-3 days after ordering. Your kit will be dispatched in discrete anonymous packaging. To register your kit, click on the tab that says “Activate Test” at the top of the LetsGetChecked company website, and log in to your personal account. Once you have logged in, you must provide a mobile number that the company can contact you on when your results are ready, and they will send a 6-digit verification code to this number. Enter this 6-digit code into the box provided on your personal account page, and then the two codes found found on the inside of your testing box (it’s complicated - we know!). Once this is done, you will have to answer a couple of health questions, and then registration is complete.

Most tests offered by LetsGetChecked require the provision of a small blood sample. All of the equipment you need to collect this sample is included in your testing kit, and there is a video outlining how to perform the sample collection on the company website, as well as a list of sample FAQs. You are advised by LetsGetChecked not to collect your sample after a Wednesday, as the sample may not reach the lab before the weekend. Once you have collected your sample, place it into the biohazard bag provided, and return this bag to the box which the kit came in. Fill out the inner lid sticker of the box with the required information, place the box in the pre-paid shipping envelope, and send it back. If you are using express shipping, you will have to arrange a pick up location for collection of your samples or drop them off at a drop-off point. Your results should be ready to be viewed on your password-protected personal account within 2-5 business days from the date that the lab receives your sample. You will receive an email notifying you when your results are ready. If you receive an abnormal result from specific tests, you may be contacted by a registered nurse to discuss your results and the next steps. If possible, the nurse will provide you with a prescription for treatment, and answer any questions you might have.

Reports and Features

Sexual Health

LetsGetChecked offers inexpensive specific STD tests for Hepatitis B & C, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea, and Herpes Simplex 1 & 2, but for all other STDs it is necessary to purchase a kit containing a more complete STD panel.

Herpes Simplex 1 & 2

Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) causes periodic development of cold sores, but is possible to be infected with the HSV-1 virus and experience no symptoms. The virus is most commonly passed on through kissing, sharing towels, or sharing water bottles or cups while a cold sore is present.

Herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) is also called genital herpes, as it causes sores around the genital regions. Once again, it is possible to be infected with the HSV-2 virus and experience no symptoms, and in this case the virus can be passed on to someone else even when you have no symptoms and practice safe sex.

Viruses like herpes are almost impossible to cure, but there are treatments and medications that can manage outbreaks of sores and other symptoms. It is especially important to know your herpes status if you are pregnant, as it is possible for herpes to pass from a mother to a newborn (neonatal herpes simplex), and this can be fatal for the baby. Bleeding sores from HSV-2 can also increase your risk of passing on or contracting HIV when engaging in vaginal, oral, or anal sex.

Hepatitis B & C

Hepatitis B and C are both serious infection of the liver caused by viruses. If left untreated, they can both cause permanent and potentially life-threatening damage to your liver, but luckily it is now possible to treat or cure infections in most cases. Infections are often asymptomatic for many years, with affected persons only realizing they have Hepatitis when the liver has already been damaged, sometimes significantly. The viruses are spread via blood-to-blood contact, and rarely can be contracted through unprotected sex. The CDC recommends that all adults born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for Hepatitis C, as well as people with specific medical conditions, and people who are part of particular high-risk groups such as current or former IV-drug users.

It is recommended that you wait a minimum of 30 days after a potential exposure before taking a Hepatitis test, and if this test comes back positive, that you get re-tested 3 months after your first test to confirm the positive result.

Simple 2 (Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea)

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are two of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the US, and infection with either can have serious health consequences if not caught and treated early. The good news is both are easily curable in most cases, and early detection and intervention is the best way to prevent long-term damage. A large number of people infected with chlamydia and gonorrhoea don’t have any symptoms at all, so if you think you may be at risk of exposure, testing is a good idea!

The company recommends that you wait a minimum of 3 weeks after a potential exposure before taking a chlamydia and gonorrhoea test, and if this test comes back positive, that you get re-tested 2 weeks after your treatment has been concluded to make sure the infection has completely cleared. Unfortunately, the LetsGetChecked Simple 2 kit will not be able to tell you the specific area of your body that is infected (vaginal, anal, or oral infection), but this will only be relevant to some customers.

Basic 3 (Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, and Trichomoniasis)

The LetsGetChecked Basic 3 package includes tests for both STDs covered by the Simple 2 package (see above), along with Trichomoniasis (“trich”). Trich is another of the most common curable STDs in the United States, and over 70% of affected people never develop any symptoms. It is caused by a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas, and infection is more common in women than it is in men. Trich testing is very accurate for women, but slightly less accurate for men, who are more likely to receive false-positive or false-negative results. The company recommends that you wait a minimum of 3 weeks after a potential exposure before taking a chlamydia and gonorrhoea test, and if this test comes back positive, that you get re-tested 2 weeks after your treatment has been concluded to make sure the infection has completely cleared.

Standard 6

The Standard 6 box is composed of tests for six different STDs: Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Trichomoniasis, HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B. For more information on Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, and Trich testing, see the Simple 2/Basic 3 product reviews above. It is recommended that you wait a minimum of 30 days from the time of your last sexual contact before using the Standard 6 package to get tested, as many STDs take a period of time before they become detectable in the blood. In this case it is the HIV test that requires the longer time to become detectable.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Once you become infected with HIV, you will always carry the virus, and so must continue antiretroviral treatment for life. A diagnosis of HIV would be devastating to many people, but it is important for customers to know that diagnosis with this virus is far from the death sentence it once was. Treatments have come along way over the past decade, and it is now possible to bring HIV infections under control, giving patient’s a life expectancy that is very close to that of the rest of the population. The CDC recommends that screening for HIV should be routinely performed for everyone aged 13-64, but testing is especially important for those who engage in unprotected sex, IV drug users, those who have come into contact with blood products, or persons whose mothers were HIV positive when they were born. It is normally recommended that you wait a minimum of 1-3 months after a potential exposure before taking an HIV test, but as the LetsGetChecked HIV test includes analysis of p24 antigen, you only have to wait 28 days to get tested. There is no need to re-test, as once a person is HIV positive, they will always be positive.

Syphilis

Syphilis is an STD caused by a bacteria. It can cause serious and even life-threatening medical issues if left untreated, but affected persons will often have no symptoms in the early stages. Luckily, it can often be cured with a short course of antibiotics, so testing is a good idea if you have engaged in unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex with someone who may be infected, have come into contact with an infected sore, or are an IV drug user.

Complete 10+

The LetsGetChecked Complete 10+ package is the most comprehensive (and expensive) STD panel the company provides, and includes testing for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Trichomoniasis, HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Ureaplasma, Gardnerella, Mycoplamsa, and Herpes Simplex 1, and Herpes Simplex 2. Mycoplasma genitalium and ureaplasma are of significance to both sexes, while Gardnerella is a potential cause of bacterial vaginosis, and so is more relevant to female customers than men, although men can also contract infections (often asymptomatic). As with the Standard 6 package, it is recommended that you wait a minimum of 30 days from the time of your last sexual contact before using the Complete 11 package to get tested, as many STDs take a period of time before they become detectable in the blood.

General Wellness

Basic Vitamin

The LetsGetChecked Basic Vitamin package tests your levels of three key nutrients; vitamin D, vitamin B12, and folate. A lack of vitamin D can decrease your body’s ability to absorb calcium, and so has negative consequences for bone strength, the growth and development of teeth, and the prevention of osteoporosis. A number of studies have also linked low levels of vitamin D to the development of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which manifests as fatigue, weakness, and depression. Vitamin B12 and folate have a huge number of important functions inside our bodies, and are particularly vital for maintenance of the nervous system and for the creation of healthy new blood cells. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause serious permanent damage to the brain and the nervous system, with symptoms including fatigue, depression, memory problems, and breathlessness. A lack of either vitamin B12 or folate can also result in a specific type of anaemia. There are exceptionally few known plant sources of vitamin B12, and so vegetarians and vegans are particularly at risk of deficiency. It is especially important for pregnant women to be aware of their folate levels, as low intake of folate during early pregnancy has been linked to neural tube defects in infants. Evaluation of folate levels is also of special relevance to those suffering from Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, as these conditions can interfere with folate absorption. The Basic Vitamin test requires the collection of a small blood sample.

So are vitamin-based tests worth the money? There are essentially no downsides to increasing your intake of vitamin D, vitamin B12, or folate, and nutritionists will advise that it is a good idea for everyone to ensure that their diet includes enough sources of essential vitamins to meet their daily requirements, or to add vitamin supplements to their diets. This means that if you do not belong to a group at increased risk of vitamin D, vitamin B12, or folate deficiency, this test is probably not necessary for you, as the only advice you are likely to receive is to increase your vitamin intake, which you might as well do anyway. However, if you are particularly worried, are experiencing symptoms of one of the disorders mentioned above, or part of a high risk group (vegetarians/vegans, Crohn’s or celiac sufferers, those on long term antacid therapy), this test could help you to keep on top of your health by identifying potential deficiencies, or simply give you piece of mind. Tests for each of these vitamins are also available individually, so if you are worried about one vitamin in particular (for instance pregnant women who wish to keep track of their folate levels), you may want to consider only taking the test for that particular vitamin, which is less expensive.

CRP Check

The CRP Check test will evaluate levels of C-reactive Protein (CRP) in your blood. CRP is produced by the liver in response to inflammation, and so the presence of high levels of CRP can indicate that you have an infection, a chronic inflammatory disorder (such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or vasculitis), an autoimmune disorder, a traumatic injury, coronary heart disease, or cancer. This test requires the submission of a small blood sample.

CRP testing is generally not advised as standard for apparently healthy adults, as there are numerous possible reasons for CRP levels to be temporarily elevated, many of which are fairly harmless. However, there have been reports of cases in which abnormally high results from home CRP testing kits have flagged up serious medical conditions, and have facilitated the early diagnosis of autoimmune diseases, inflammatory conditions, heart disease, and cancer. Testing may also be particularly relevant to customers who already know that they have an autoimmune or inflammatory condition, and want to keep track of their inflammation levels. It is important to note that the results of this test cannot tell you the cause of the inflammation, and so if you do receive abnormal results, it would be a good idea to seek medical attention for further investigation.

Heart Check

This test is for you if you are looking for a comprehensive insight into the overall health of your heart, and includes an evaluation of your levels of cholesterol (total), triglycerides, HDL (high-density lipoprotein: good cholesterol), LDL (low-density lipoprotein: bad cholesterol), and HDL as a percentage of your total cholesterol. More information on the significance of each of these metrics and how to interpret your results is included with your report. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in almost all western countries, but early identification and monitoring of high cholesterol can allow you to make lifestyle changes or start medications that may significantly improve your prognosis.

Anyone can take this test, but it is particularly relevant to; people with family histories of high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, or diabetes; people who are overweight, smoke, or do not exercise; and those who take cholesterol medication. This test involves the submission of a small blood-spot sample.

Thyroid Check and Thyroid Check Plus

The thyroid is an endocrine (hormone-secreting) gland in your neck that has a number of different functions, most notably regulating your metabolic rate. Disorders of the thyroid result in either excessively high or insufficient production of thyroid hormones, and cause symptoms that can be summarized into two categories; hypothyroidism, symptoms of which include weight gain, hair loss, constipation, sensitivity to cold, and fatigue, or; hyperthyroidism, symptoms of which include weight loss, fast heart rate, sweating, diarrhoea, and anxiety. The LetsGetChecked Thyroid Check evaluates thyroid function via analysis of three biomarkers; thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free triiodothyronine (T3), and free thyroxine (T4). The more comprehensive Thyroid Check Plus includes analysis of these three biomarkers in addition to three more; thyroxine (T4), thyroglobulin antibodies (TGAB), and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPEX). More information on the significance of your levels each of these biomarkers and how to interpret your results is included with your report. There is a full list of the potential symptoms of hypo- and hyperthyroidism on the LetsGetChecked website, and if one of these lists matches up with symptoms you have been experiencing, or you have a family history of thyroid disease, one of these tests may be the first step in the diagnosis of a thyroid condition. The main difference between the two testing kits is that the addition of TGAB and TPEX antibody testing in the Thyroid Check Plus kit can tell you whether or not your thyroid dysfunction is likely to be related to an autoimmune disorder, whereas the basic Thyroid Check kit can only tell you that there may be an issue with your thyroid, but cannot tell you the cause. The test requires a small blood-spot sample, and any abnormal results should be discussed with your physician.

Liver Check

The liver is a large organ in your abdomen that performs a dizzying number of essential functions inside your body relating to digestion, immunity, metabolism of toxins, and production of hormones and bile. The liver check test from LetsGetChecked evaluates the health of your liver by analyzing levels of the following key enzymes and proteins; Albumin, Globulin, Bilirubin, Alkaline Phosphatase, Gamma GT, and Alanine Transferase (ALT). In general, elevated enzyme and/or abnormally low protein levels may indicate acute or chronic liver disease. More information on the significance of your levels each of these biomarkers and how to interpret your results is included with your report, and if you have questions, the staff at LetsGetChecked would be more than happy to help you out. Anyone can take the Liver Check test, but if you aren’t experiencing any of the symptoms of liver disease (including jaundice, loss of appetite, abdominal swelling, dark urine or pale stool, and vomiting) and don’t fall into a group at increased risk of liver disease, it’s probably not necessary for you. Groups at increased risk include persons who; drink alcohol frequently, have been diagnosed with hepatitis, use performance enhancing drugs, have a family history of liver disease or gastrointestinal disease, suffer from an eating disorder, or are taking medications that can harm the liver.

Kidney Check

Your kidneys are normally located on each side of your spine just below the rib cage, and are responsible for filtering your blood to remove waste and excess water to create urine, along with a number of other important functions. The kidney check test from LetsGetChecked evaluates the health of your kidneys by analyzing levels of urea, creatinine, and eGFR Glomerular filtration rate. Abnormally high levels of urea and creatinine, along with a low eGFR Glomerular filtration rate can indicate acute or chronic kidney disease, which can be very serious. More information on the significance of each of these biomarkers is available on the LetsGetChecked website. As with the Liver Check, anyone can take this test, but if you aren’t experiencing any of the symptoms of kidney disease (including reduced amount of urine or increase in frequency of urination, swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet as a result of fluid retention, nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, or blood in the urine) and don’t fall into a group at increased risk of kidney disease, it’s probably not necessary for you. Groups at increased risk include persons who; have a high protein diet; use/used gym supplements or performance enhancing drugs; take anti-inflammatory medication; suffer from high blood pressure or diabetes; have persistent urinary tract infections; or have a kidney disease/kidney stones, or a family history of these conditions. As there are often few symptoms of early stage kidney disease, it is recommended that people at high risk should ideally be tested regularly.

Cortisol Check

Cortisol is an important steroid hormone that is released by the adrenal gland in response to stress or low blood-glucose concentration. It performs many functions, including increasing blood sugar levels, suppressing the immune system and thus decreasing inflammation, regulating metabolism, and maintaining electrolyte balance. During pregnancy, cortisol is also important for the maturation of the lungs in a developing foetus. A number of different medical conditions relating either to the adrenal or the pituitary gland can cause abnormal cortisol levels, such as Addison’s disease, Hypopituitarism, Cushing’s disease, or other tumors that affect cortisol production. This test requires the submission of a small blood sample that must be collected before 10:00 am, and before eating. An abnormal result from a Cortisol Check will require further analysis by a medical professional, as the report will not tell you the cause of the increased hormone level.

Vitamin B12 Check

The Vitamin B12 check test unsurprisingly evaluates the level of vitamin B12 in your blood. Vitamin B12 has a huge number of important functions inside our bodies, and is particularly vital for maintenance of the nervous system and for the creation of healthy new blood cells. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause serious permanent damage to the brain and the nervous system, with symptoms including fatigue, depression, memory problems, and breathlessness. Severe cases may result in the development of psychosis and mania. A lack of either vitamin B12 can also result in a specific type of anaemia. There are exceptionally few known plant sources of vitamin B12, and so vegetarians and vegans are particularly at risk of deficiency. To read about a product that provides a more complete evaluation of your levels of three important vitamins, and to read our evaluation of the usefulness of vitamin tests, see the Basic Vitamin Check section above.

Vitamin D Check

Vitamin D deficiency is reasonably common among those who live in the Northern Hemisphere, and can contribute to a number of health issues, including an overall pre-disposition to inflammatory responses, which can then increase your likelihood of developing more severe diseases. A lack of vitamin D can also decrease your body’s ability to absorb calcium, and so has negative consequences for bone strength, the growth and development of teeth, and the prevention of osteoporosis. Luckily, if your results indicate that you are suffering from vitamin D deficiency, this can in most cases be rectified by increasing your time in the sun, your dietary consumption of vitamin D, or by taking supplements. To read about a product that provides a more complete evaluation of your levels of three important vitamins, and to read our evaluation of the usefulness of vitamin tests, see the Basic Vitamin Check section above.

Folate Check

Folate is an essential vitamin found in a variety of foods that is particularly vital for the creation of healthy new blood cells, and to prevent foetal neural tube defects in early pregnancy. A lack of folate can result in a specific type of anaemia. Keeping track of folate levels is particularly important for those suffering from Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, as these conditions can interfere with folate absorption, and for pregnant women. To read about a product that provides a more complete evaluation of your levels of three important vitamins, and to read our evaluation of the usefulness of vitamin tests, see the Basic Vitamin Check section above.

Diabetic Check

Diabetes is a very common yet serious and lifelong condition that results when a person’s body looses the ability to control their blood sugar levels. There are a huge number of people who have blood sugar levels that are higher than the healthy range, but not yet high enough over a period of time to diagnose diabetes - this is known as pre-diabetes. A Diabetes Check test is used to determine your risk of developing diabetes in the future, or by diabetics to check that they are managing their diabetes properly. This means it is particularly aimed at people who are overweight, are presenting with symptoms of diabetes (including a feeling of constant thirst, frequent urination especially at night, feeling tired, weight loss, blurred vision and slow wound healing), people with a family history of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, or those already diagnosed. The LetsGetChecked Diabetes Check uses your levels of HbA1c to evaluate your average blood glucose level over roughly the last 2 months - high HbA1c means a high average blood glucose level. If you receive an abnormal result and have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes, it would be a good idea to make certain lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of developing the condition, including modifying your diet and loosing excess weight through exercise.

Iron Check

The element iron is an essential component of haemoglobin - the molecule that carries oxygen around our bodies and gives red blood cells their distinctive color. If there is not enough iron available in the body, a condition called iron-deficiency anaemia may develop, characterized by a feeling of tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath, cold hands and feet, brittle nails, and when severe, a pale color to the skin. Another unusual symptom can be a craving for non-food substances such as dirt or ice. There are a number of reasons you may be lacking in iron, including insufficient dietary intake, a lack of absorption of iron from your food, or blood loss. Women who menstruate are thus particularly susceptible to low iron levels, as well as those with disorders that can affect nutrient absorption such Crohn’s disease, vegetarians or those who do not eat red meat, and those with HIV. An Iron Check test may be useful if you are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with the disorder, or fall into one of the risk groups mentioned, but the any advice you will receive is almost certainly going to be to increase sources of iron in your diet or to take iron supplements, which is often a good idea for those that fall into the high risk groups anyway.

It is also possible to have too much iron in your body, and this is known as hemochromatosis. Symptoms of hemochromatosis include abdominal or joint pain, tiredness and weakness, low libido/impotence, diabetes, and heart or liver failure. It’s many nicknames reveal one of the groups at particular risk of this disorder - ‘Celtic curse’, ‘Irish illness’, ‘Scotts sickness’ and ‘British gene’. It is most commonly genetic, so a family history of hemochromatosis may indicate that a test would be a good idea, especially if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above.

The Iron Check test measures the level of iron in your blood, your total iron-binding capacity (TICB), your levels of ferritin, and your transferrin saturation. More information on the significance of each of these biomarkers is available on the LetsGetChecked website.

Omega-3 Check

Recent scientific papers have called into question the validity of claims that Omega-3 supplements have a significant effect on heart health, but Omega-3 fatty acids still represent an essential part of a healthy balanced diet, and Omega-3 index testing can help you identify any dietary changes you could make to improve your overall heart and brain health. The LetsGetTested Omega-3 Check tests involves the analysis of two specific fatty acids; Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-3 is the good fat found in high quantities in oily fish, nuts, and seeds, while Omega-6, though essential in small amounts, is thought of as the not so good fat, as it can cause increases in cholesterol and blood pressure. This test may be of interest to those who are trying to kickstart a health eating regime or who have a family history of heart disease, but if your Omega-3 and Omega-6 levels do fall within unhealthy ranges, the advise will be - you guessed it - try a more balanced, nutritious diet.

Celiac Check

Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder that is caused by an abnormal immune response to gluten - a protein found in wheat and other grains such as rye and barley. There are literally hundreds of different symptoms of celiac, but the most common are gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, diarrhoea, and malabsorbtion of vitamins, along with all the other symptoms that can result from vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It is thought that there are a number of genetic factors that increase your likelihood of developing celiac disease, so this test may be of particular interest to those who have first-degree relatives with the condition. Others who should consider getting tested include those who have been experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms for more than a couple of weeks, and those who suffer from thyroid issues, type 1 diabetes, colitis, Turner syndrome, or rheumatoid arthritis. The LetsGetChecked Celiac Check analyses two different biomarkers - tissue transglutaminase (TAA/IgA), and endomysial antibodes (EMA/AEAB) - both of which are discussed in detail on the company website. Low levels of tissue transglutaminase, or high levels of endomysial antibodies can indicate celiac disease. However, diagnosis of celiac disease is notably difficult and the biomarkers covered by this test cannot be used to diagnose all forms of the disease, so the test cannot provide you with a definitive answer. The only effective treatment for celiac disease is a life-long gluten free diet, so you should consult your doctor if you receive an abnormal result, or if you receive a normal result but continue to experience symptoms.

Lyme Disease Check

Lyme disease is a serious infectious bacterial disease that is most commonly contracted from deer tick bites. The first sign of infection is a distinctive target shaped rash, or painless area of redness, that develops around the bite location around a week after you are bitten. If you do receive a tick bite and develop such a rash, testing for Lyme disease is definitely a priority. However, the rash does not develop in every case, and often people simply don’t notice it, especially if it’s located in an out of the way spot such as on the back of the leg, so it is important to be aware of the other signs and symptoms of Lyme. These include fever, headache, and feeling tired and weak. If left untreated, more severe symptoms can develop, including Bell’s palsy (loss of movement on one side of the face), meningitis, joint pains, and heart palpitations. The illness can eventually progress to cause paralysis of the lower limbs and neurological issues, which may be permanent. Unfortunately, Lyme disease is notoriously difficult to diagnose, so we would recommend going to your doctor if you have reason to believe you may have contracted Lyme.

Cancer Screening

Bowel FIT

Bowel cancer is common in both men and women and, like all cancers, can be deadly if not caught early. The LetsGetChecked Bowel FIT test screens for the early stages of bowel cancer by identifying tiny amounts of blood in your stool, and for this reason a positive result does not mean you definitely have cancer, as many other conditions or injuries can cause small amounts of blood in the stool. If you do test positive, LetsGetTested will refer you to a gastroenterologist or to your GP for further testing to determine the source of the blood. The Bowel FIT test is particularly relevant for those aged over 50, and for those who have a first degree relative who has had any form of colorectal cancer.

Cervical HPV

HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is an incredibly common virus that often generates no symptoms in infected individuals. There are over 150 different types of HPV, some of which have been strongly implicated in the development of cervical cancer (HPV16 and HPV18), genital warts (HPV6 and HPV11), and other types of cancer. HPV strains are said to be high-risk if they may cause lesions and cancers, and low-risk if they commonly cause warts. The LetsGetTested HPV test will check for 12 high-risk HPV genotypes giving you detailed insight into your risk of developing cervical cancer. This information can be extremely useful as it allows you to create an appropriate cervical screening plan with your physician. This test takes the form of a vaginal swab and is particularly relevant to women over the age of 30.

Prostate PSA

Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death in males around the globe, as it is difficult to catch in the early stages, and so often goes undiagnosed until it has become quite severe. The LetsGetChecked Prostate PSA test evaluates your levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA), which is produced by both normal and cancerous prostate cells alike. A high level of PSA can indicate cancer, but can also indicate a host of other conditions, so a positive result should not be an immediate cause for alarm. However, it is definitely worth looking into, and so if you test positive, LetsGetChecked will refer you to a urologist or GP for further testing. This test is particularly relevant to men over the age of 45, or those with a first degree relative who has had prostate cancer.

BRCA Check

A test for BRCA1 or BRCA 2 is truly one of the most useful home-tests a woman can buy, especially if she has a family history with more than 2 known cases of breast or ovarian cancer, or a first degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer. A positive result indicates a hugely increased cancer risk (BRCA 1 mutations can increase your chance of breast cancer up to 81% and ovarian cancer up to 54% by age 80), but this risk can be massively reduced with preventative measures such as mastectomies or oophorectomy. In this case, knowledge really is power, and with proper planning and medical care, young women who carry BRCA gene mutations can dramatically increase their prospects, and can harvest and freeze eggs to protect their ability to have children. If you choose to take this test with LetsGetChecked, complimentary genetic counselling is included in the price of the test.

Fertility & Hormone

Female Hormone

There are a number of hormones that play important roles in regulating a woman’s fertility, and imbalances in there hormones can result in a variety of troublesome symptoms. The Female Hormone package is generally aimed towards women who are considering starting families, who are concerned about their fertility, or who are concerned about polycystic ovary syndrome. The package provides a ‘broad picture of a woman’s hormonal health’, and includes evaluation of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Lutenising Hormone (LH), Prolactin, and Oestradiol levels in the blood. This test must be taken on day 3 of your menstrual cycle. More information on the significance of your levels of each of these biomarkers is available on the LetsGetChecked website, as well as inside your results report. The results of this test are in no way diagnostic, as individuals baseline hormone levels may differ, and so any worrisome results should be discussed with a clinician.

Ovarian Reserve

This home-test uses AMH (anti mullarian hormone) levels in your blood to estimate a woman’s ovarian reserve (how many more times she is likely to ovulate/release an egg) compared to the average for her age. This does not tell you how likely it is that you may achieve a successful pregnancy from one of these eggs, but can help with family planning. Don’t expect an exact number - this test is only designed to give you an idea of your fertility with respect to average levels. Abnormally low levels of AMH may indicate a fewer number of viable remaining eggs, while abnormally high levels can be an indicator of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Progesterone -Ovulation

The progesterone-ovulation kit is designed for women who are actively trying to conceive, and will tell you whether or not ovulation has occurred by day 21 of your menstrual cycle. The way that this test works is that you self-test on day 21, your progesterone levels are evaluated (they should rise after ovulation), and your results are available 5 days later. A low 21-day progesterone level suggests that you did not release an egg this cycle, and so cannot get pregnant. We are struggling slightly to see the use of this test, as it does not make much sense to refrain from sexual activity until you receive the results of this test, as it would then likely be to late to conceive during that cycle, and so all that the results of this test can tell you is that your efforts have been in vain this time around, which you will soon realize yourself without the test. Cycle lengths also vary hugely between women, and so inaccuracies in results due to bad timing are likely to be very common. The test may be of limited use if you are trying self-diagnose infertility, but our advice would be to save your money.

Testosterone Check

Testosterone is a sex hormone secreted by the testes in men that is essential for the development of muscle tissue and male reproductive tissue, as well as for promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as the growth of body hair. Low levels of testosterone can cause erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, infertility and cardiovascular disease in men. Reasons your testosterone levels may be low include obesity, testicular injury, chemotherapy or radiation treatment, genetic abnormalities, diabetes, hemochromatosis, or the use of performance enhancing drugs or supplements. Testosterone is also also produced in low levels by the ovaries in females, and abnormal levels of the hormone in women can cause a range of symptoms, but it is not clear whether this particular test can be taken by women.

Male Hormone, Male Hormone Plus, and Male Hormone Advanced

There are a number of hormones that play important roles in regulating a man’s overall health, and imbalances in their hormones can result in a variety of troublesome symptoms. The three Male Hormone packages are each designed to give an overview of a man’s hormonal health with progressively higher levels of specificity. Common reasons to take this test include the development of erectile dysfunction, enlarged or tender breast tissue, an increase in abdominal far or decrease in muscle mass, a decrease in libido, or fertility problems. While this test cannot diagnose any specific conditions or pinpoint the causes of any abnormal results, it can flag up any potential issues that may require further testing, or rule out hormonal imbalance as a cause of any symptoms you may have. The basic Male Hormone package includes an analysis of Testosterone, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), and Free Androgen Index, while the Male Hormone Plus package also adds Oestradiol to this list, and the Advanced package includes all four of these plus Prolactin. Which test you chose depends largely on your budget, and which symptoms you are experiencing. For help in picking which one of these tests is best for you, use the live chat on the LetsGetChecked website to speak to a company representative - they should get back to you within a couple of minutes.

Other Considerations

Privacy

LetsGetChecked state that they are highly committed to protecting your privacy and data, and that the testing process is completely confidential, although we have identified one potential imperfection in their policy. Test results are password protected and only accessible to you, although you can choose to share them with whomever you wish, and you are encouraged to share worrisome results with your doctor. Your name will not appear anywhere on your testing kit when it is sent to the lab for analysis - instead it will be liked to you through a unique identification code. Your personal data will never be shared with a third party without your explicit consent, except insofar as is necessary to fulfil your order. Only a limited number of LetsGetChecked internal staff are authorized to access, delete or modify your data, and any payment information shared with the company is encrypted using SSL technology. If you contact the company by email, they may keep a record of that correspondence, and may also collect and store personal information including your name, billing/delivery address, contact information, and any other information you choose to share with the company.

The privacy policy states that you have a right to be given a copy of the personal data the company has concerning you, and that you can exercise this right in the ‘privacy settings’ section of your user account. You also have the right to have any inaccurate personal data corrected, or to request that your personal data be deleted free of charge, but interestingly the policy states that this may take ‘not more than 430 days’ and that ‘to exercise this right you would generally be expected to identify some contravention of data protection law in the manner in which the Site processes the personal data concerned’. If this concerns you, we would recommend contacting the company to clarify their position regarding your data before you purchase a test.

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