Advices about your health care

Are Home Diagnostic Kits Reliable As A Substitute For Professional Medical Opinions

Are Home Diagnostic Kits Reliable As A Substitute For Professional Medical Opinions?

Let’s face it. A trip to the drugstore is a whole lot easier than a costly and time-consuming trip to the doctor’s office. No time wasted waiting for the physician; no embarrassing questions to answer; and no sticker shock when the bill comes. Just head for the section of your pharmacy with all of the gadgets and home test kits and you are ready to “play doctor.”

With skyrocketing medical costs and increased concerns about privacy, more and more Americans are taking advantage of products designed to help monitor existing conditions or to help diagnose new ones. Blood glucose monitors help diabetics manage their condition, blood pressure kits help monitor hypertension while those with cardiovascular concerns can track cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Of course, home pregnancy kits have been available for years. But now it is possible to go well beyond health management with these off-the-shelf products and individuals can now perform diagnostic tests in the comfort and “safety” of their homes.

But is this trend really safe?

Health care professionals have expressed concerns that the use of home test kits may cause users to delay or avoid proper medical care. Misinterpreting the results of self-administered tests can lead to decisions that are based on false assumptions. For example, there have been reports of people changing their medication dosage based on results of blood pressure readings at home. Decisions about any treatment based on self-administered tests should be deferred until a physician confirms them.

The list of conditions for which home diagnostic products are available is expanding rapidly. It is now possible to test for drug use, alcohol use, HIV, prostate cancer, hormone levels, diabetes, blood type, anemia, allergies, hepatitis, cholesterol levels, fertility and even certain strains of flu.

The opportunity is always present for a user to improperly administer a test or to misunderstand the results. Delaying treatment based on these results could have serious consequences. Now that the number of tests available is so large, and the conditions so potentially serious, it is absolutely critical that these test results be validated by a doctor.

Given this diverse menu of tests, users are sure to get results for which they may be unprepared. A positive reading for HIV could be devastating. Health care professionals are trained to address the concerns and possible psychological issues faced by a patient receiving bad news from a test. Individuals trying to cope with a similar result at home may find themselves alone and unable to cope.

Home health tests should be used with great care and should never be considered as a replacement for proper medical care. If you are seriously concerned about your health and well-being, it is fine to practice a bit of do-it-yourself medicine… as long as you get a second opinion.

Can Hair Dye Cause Cancer In Women

Can Hair Dye Cause Cancer In Women?

Women want the dye to be present on the hair, but not on the scalp. Among women with other slow genes (the "CYP1A2 slow" phenotype), exclusive permanent hair dye use was associated with a 2.5-fold increased risk.

Large epidemiological studies show no elevated health risk for women using hair dyes. Now, an equally important part of the study is those women who were not at increased risk despite using the hair dye. It state that women who used permanent hair dye once a month had a 25% higher rate of bladder cancer.

Women who dye their hair might be different from the average woman in many ways. Those women have turned to at home hair dye kits. I heard of women going bald from over-dyeing their hair, or braiding it. The study of 1,300 women claims that those who started dyeing their hair before 1980 were one-third more likely to develop NHL. The researchers did not find any larger risk of cancer in women who started using hair dye later than 1980. The exception was women who used black hair dye for more than 20 years. Another study found that women who dyed their hair one to four times a year had a greater risk to develop ovarian cancer. Women who smoke and use permanent hair dyes have an even higher risk of cancer.

More studies might look at the risk of cancer from exposure to hair dye at work, which the researchers excluded from this analysis. For hematopoietic cancers, studies found a slightly increased risk of cancer in people who had used hair dye. For bladder cancer and breast cancer, the results indicate that there was no effect of hair dye use on cancer risk.

Risk of salivary cancer increased three times in hair dye users and risk of brain and ovarian cancer almost doubled. Personal use of hair dyes and risk of cancer: a meta-analysis. The researchers found no strong evidence of a link between personal hair dye use and an increase in cancer risk. But researchers have not been able to find a clear link between using hair dye and cancer risk, including the risk of breast cancer. Take-home message. This study supports previous research that found no link between hair dye use and increased risk for breast cancer.