Health, technology, and supplement company Thorne has introduced 5 at-home health tests: sleep, fertility, thyroid, stress, and heavy metals. According to Thorne, the tests measure an individual’s unique biomarkers and can uncover specific health insights, which are converted into a personal plan for what to eat, how to exercise, and whether to add nutritional supplements to improve health outcomes.
“Our new home tests represent the intersection of data, technology, and personalization,” says Paul F. Jacobson, CEO of Thorne, in a release. “Through follow-up testing, people can compare results after making changes based on our recommendations, which will help them to better manage their health by clearly seeing what works and what doesn’t.”
The Sleep Test costs $250 and analyzes urine taken 4 times in 24 hours (nighttime, morning, daytime, and evening) for melatonin (specifically the melatonin metabolite 6-sulphatoxymelatonin) and cortisol.
“If melatonin never rises properly at night or if production is disrupted by light or other factors, you may experience symptoms of sleep deprivation,” the Thorne site says. “Low levels of melatonin in the evening/night are related to the following symptoms: difficulty falling asleep at night, waking up during the night, waking up too early, fatigue, not feeling rested, and daytime tiredness or sleepiness. On the other hand, if your levels of melatonin are higher than the normal range in the morning/daytime, you may experience fatigue, grogginess, or reduced core body temperature.”
Regarding cortisol, the site states, “When cortisol levels are too high, then your body feels “on” all the time. You may have disturbed sleep, excessive hunger, weight gain, and anxious mood….Cortisol levels that are too low could indicate that your adrenal glands are persistently depleted and unable to meet the demands that your body puts on them. As a result, you can feel fatigued all the time, have low mood, get sick more frequently, have challenges with pain and inflammation, and have a hard time responding to normal stress.”
Thorne’s newly designed website expands functionality for Thorne’s network of healthcare practitioners around the world. Practitioners will be able to interact with patients through secure messaging, and will be able to send patients personalized supplement recommendations and instructions, all with the goal of bringing the doctor and patient closer together through technology.
Let’s say this home test tells me that my night-time cortisol is high. Though melatonin is easy supplemented, I know of no effective home treatment for significantly high cortisol. Even most doctors will just shrug their shoulders. What’s the point of this knowledge if there are no trestments available?
Just speculating here, but this home testing seems fairly new. It would be ideal if home testing could lead to informed self care. One speculation I might have if my cortisol levels were high (and can I really get a reading over “time” with one very expensive test?), perhaps my adrenals are stressed, and I could do something about that, like take adaptogen herbs and other herbs to restore my adrenals, and attempt to identity stressors in my environment. (noise, conflict, etc). My personal interest is to help myself and others have more understanding of their own physiology and less depencendy on the medical industry as to seeing doctors in clinics for simple things.