Delays in seeing a GP and a rise in the number of people suffering with food intolerances have sent sales of at-home health tests soaring as people take investigating their medical symptoms into their own hands.
East Midlands-based Test Your Intolerance, which is one of the country’s biggest suppliers of at-home health tests, says it has experienced a 200% increase in sales of its products over the past 12 months from customers wanting to take control of their own well-being.
The award-winning company, which is based in Castle Donington, supplies a range of allergy, intolerance and health tests. They receive finger-prick blood samples to find out what their customers are allergic to or what food intolerances they might have, giving them tthe information, they need to amend their diets or makes changes to their lifestyle.
The firm, which uses state-of-the-art equipment to produce scientifically validated results, which are approved by the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), has doubled in size in the last 12 months to keep up with demand.
Cris West, who runs Test Your Intolerance with business partner Jason Wootton, said: “We have never been busier and this January we tested more samples than ever before. This is almost certainly because the NHS is in crisis and people can’t get an appointment to see their GP, never mind the ability to ask for a blood test.
“Our own research, innovation and laboratory place us at the forefront of our industry and we are proud to give people invaluable information about their bodies, that can potentially change their lives for the better.”
The tests work by measuring IgE and IgG4 antibody reactions in the body which can uncover evidence of an allergic reaction – when the body mistakes a protein for a harmful substance and creates antibodies as a defence system to fight it – or an intolerance.
Test Your Intolerance, which has been in business for 14 years, also supplies tests which can measure a person’s kidney and liver function, as well as a prostate health test and a kit that measures levels of Vitamin D.
And it has also released a menopause kit, which allows people to detect elevated levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), which is a sign that they have started going through the menopause.
Cris also believes that the experience of using self-test kits during the COVID pandemic, when millions of people became used to checking for symptoms using lateral flow tests at home, has also increased awareness and trust in how the technology can help them.
He said: “Our tests are clinically proven and because people have more faith in carrying out self-testing, as they did during Covid, there is increased confidence in the kits we produce.
“The majority of our tests are identical to those used by medical professionals, which means that presenting your GP with evidence of an allergy or intolerance will place you a step nearer to suitable medication, or an appointment with a specialist.
“Our tests will provide answers to unexplained rashes, wheezes or reactions to food or insect stings and our repeatability, which tests how consistent the results are, is among the best in the UK.”