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Home Medical Tests

Blood Glucose Monitoring - Blood Pressure Monitoring - Tests for Blood in Stool - Home Pregnancy Tests

Many common medical tests are now available in home kits. Combined with regular visits to your health professional, home tests can help you monitor your health and, in some cases, detect problems early.

Home medical tests must be very accurate to be approved by the Health Protection Branch, Health Canada. However, they must be used correctly to give such accurate results. Follow the package directions exactly. If you have questions, ask your pharmacist or call the toll-free phone number on the product label.

Home medical tests are especially helpful if you have a chronic condition that requires frequent monitoring, such as diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure. Ask your doctor which home medical tests would be appropriate for you. Some common tests are described next.

Blood Glucose Monitoring

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If you have diabetes, you may already monitor your blood sugar levels using a finger prick and a test strip or an electronic monitor.

This test should always be used under a doctor's supervision. Never adjust your insulin dose based on a single abnormal test, unless your doctor has specifically instructed you to do so.

Check with your doctor if you have symptoms of abnormal blood sugar levels, even if the test is normal. See Diabetes.

Blood Pressure Monitoring

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If you have high blood pressure, it is important to monitor your blood pressure frequently. With a little instruction, you can easily monitor your blood pressure at home.

By checking your blood pressure at home, when you are relaxed, you will be able to track changes resulting from your Home Treatment and medications.

Tests for Blood in Stool

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The fecal occult blood test can detect hidden blood in your stools, which may indicate colon cancer or other problems. This test is inexpensive and easy to do, but it may not be able to detect colon cancer as well as other screening tests can. Your doctor may recommend a more accurate screening test for colon cancer called a flexible sigmoidoscopy. See Flexible Sigmoidoscopy.

Home Pregnancy Tests

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Home pregnancy tests are reliable and require only a few steps. Follow the package instructions and report all positive results to your doctor. See Home Pregnancy Tests.

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