If this is your first time using an at-home health test, you’re likely going to have a few questions. Since your sample is arguably the most important part of the collection process, let’s start there.
With all of our health tests, it's important to reference the collection instructions you received in your test kit and make sure nothing is missing. Depending on the type of test you ordered and the coinciding collection method (I.e., dried blood spot vs. saliva), instructions will vary.
Dried Blood Spot Collection:
Most of our tests – including the food sensitivity tests and Vitamin D Test – utilize the dried blood spot collection method. For these, your test kit should include two lancets, sterile gauze, two bandages, a blood collection card and a biohazard bag with a desiccant.
After you follow the first few steps, you’ll reach the “collection” portion of the instructions. For the dried blood spot method, you’ll start by washing your hands with soap and warm water. This not only ensures your finger is clean and the sample is valid, but also helps increase blood flow to make the collection process easier.
Next, you’ll break the seal on the lancet and press it into the outside edge of your fingertip until an audible click is heard. You’ll then gently squeeze just below your finger’s puncture site and wipe away the first drop of blood with gauze. Hold your finger above each of the spots on your collection card until each circle is not only filled, but completely saturated to the back of the card. Make sure you don't directly touch any of the collection circles during this process.
The number of required blood spots will vary depending on the test you take. Below is a simple, test-specific reference to help guide you as you collect your sample. Keep in mind that if you are taking a combination of tests (such as a food sensitivity test and vitamin D test) you'll need to provide the combined number of spots requested below.
- Vitamin D Test: 4 blood spots
- Essential Food Sensitivity Test: 4 blood spots
- Expanded Food Sensitivity Test: 5 blood spots
- Complete Food Sensitivity Test: 7 blood spots
- Mexican Food Sensitivity Test: 5 blood spots
- Japanese Food Sensitivity Test: 5 blood spots
- Asian Food Sensitivity Test: 5 blood spots
- Vegetarian Food Sensitivity Test (96): 5 blood spots
- Vegetarian Food Sensitivity Test (168): 7 blood spots
- Airborne Allergens Test: 2 blood spots
If you have continued blood flow, we recommend filling more than the required number of spots to ensure we have an ample (and valid) sample. When you’re done, examine your card to confirm that each circle is filled and fully saturated to the back. Lastly, make sure your blood spot collection card is completely dry before placing it back in the biohazard bag.
A growing number of our tests – including the COVID-19 Test – utilize a saliva collection method. If you ordered one of these tests, your box should include a plastic saliva collection kit, a biohazard bag with an absorbent pad, a FedEx 3373 Pak and a FedEx Express return shipment label.
Before collecting your saliva, rinse your mouth out with water for at least 10 seconds. Note that eating, drinking, smoking, chewing tobacco, chewing gum, brushing your teeth or using mouthwash within 30 minutes of collecting your sample will likely invalidate results.
Inside the plastic collection kit, you’ll find a collection tube, cap and detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to collect your sample. After you’ve followed the initial instructions, try to pool as much saliva as you can in your mouth. Note that this process could take as long as five minutes in order to produce a quality sample.
Start by using the funnel to fill the collection tube with your saliva until it reaches the black fill line. Examine the tube to make sure it’s primarily filled with saliva and not bubbles. Once complete, press the attached lid onto the tub until it snaps, releasing a clear liquid. Remove the funnel and lid, replacing it with the small plastic cap.
Once your tube is secured, shake it for at least five seconds, allowing your sample to mix with the liquid. You'll then place the tube in the biohazard bag along with the absorbent pad and discard the funnel. Make sure the tube is tightly secured, as a leaked sample can invalidate results.