Paloma Health offers an at-home thyroid test kit that can help you understand how your thyroid is working and if there may be a need for further evaluation of your thyroid function.
Many labs look only at Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) to assess thyroid health. Paloma Health's holistic approach means their complete thyroid panel additionally measures Free Triiodothyronine (fT3), Free Thyroxine (fT4), and TPO antibodies.
Here's the play-by-play as I gave it a shot...
Day 1: Ordered Kit
Ordering a kit is super easy! I am able to instantly buy a thyroid test kit with just a couple of clicks. I enter my credit card information, and I actually use my FSA card! I immediately get an email that my order is being processed, and I spend two minutes to create my account, which I will use to get my results. They ask for name, password, address, and date of birth, then ask two simple questions (biological sex and if you’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism).
Day 5: Received Kit
My kit arrived quickly in cute packaging. Inside, there’s a little instruction booklet, alcohol prep pads, gauze, two safety lancets, collection card, bandaids, biohazard storage bag, and a prepaid return envelope.
I’m excited to take my sample, but actually kind of nervous. They say “pain free,” but how can that be true when I’m pricking my finger?!
Day 6: Took Sample
Here we go.
I watch their awesome instructional video on the website, and it suggests I wash my hands under warm water and swing my arms by my sides to prepare my blood flow for easier collection.
(Okay, honestly, I forgot to swing my arms by my sides.)
I twisted the long, thin cap off one of the lancets, then pressed it firmly on the side of my ring finger on my non-dominant hand (you could also choose your middle).
Press the yellow button to activate the device.
Like I said, I was a little nervous to prick my own finger, and while I wouldn't call it a massage on the beach, it only stung for about 5 seconds.
The blood took a little bit of time to start flowing naturally (maybe because I forgot to swing my arms!) but with a little massage (starting from palm all the way down to fingertip), we were off to the races pretty quickly.
I filled all five circles by letting the blood drip freely, and then I left the card to dry for 30 minutes.
I wiped my finger with the alcohol pad, and my partner put down the camera to help me put a BandAid on my finger.
Once dry, I filled out my name and the date on the collection card and put it in the funny biohazard sample storage bag, and then into the pre-paid shipping envelope.
Now we wait! It's the weekend, so I'll need to wait until Monday for the mail to go out. It says I’ll receive an email when my results are ready in about one week.
Day 9: Update
I received an email today to inform that the lab has received my blood sample and I should receive my results within the next 5 business days. Good to know my sample made it to the lab!
5 Days Later: Results Are Ready
Today I received an email that said my results have been reviewed by a certified physician and can be viewed by logging into my dashboard. It feels like Christmas!
I quickly log in and my dashboard says, “Your results contain your levels of each marker tested, providing you insight into how they compare to the appropriate standards.”
I like that underneath each marker tested, it shows my result, the normal range, and an easy-to-understand explanation of what it means for thyroid function if that marker is too low or too high.
I tested within normal ranges for fT3, fT4, TPO antibodies, and TSH, indicating that I do not have hypothyroidism. As such, I will not book a consultation with a Paloma Health thyroid doctor, but they do recommend I share my results with my primary care practitioner just so the information is available.
It’s super easy to download my results as a PDF and have an easy-to-share document (though the download is not quite as playful-looking as the Paloma Health dashboard).
Overall, the experience was easy! I was eager to read my results, so the email updates were definitely appreciated along the way. Most of all, the finger prick wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought.
I have already recommended to a few friends (and my mom!) that they do the home test kit as well. If you've been experiencing fatigue, hair loss, or any other symptoms of hypothyroidism—OR if you already know you have hypothyroidism—I highly recommend you order your own at-home test kit to keep in touch with how your thyroid is functioning. I could not have asked for an easier experience!