When to take your follow-up test

When should I schedule my follow-up blood test? That’s one of the most-asked questions by our customers. There’s no standard reply, to be honest. However, we have a few suggestions.

When you should take the follow-up blood analysis depends on your health goals and therefore the time gap may differ from person to person. In this blog post, we list a few different scenarios (with some real examples), to help you decide what’s best for you.

6 to 12 months: to stay healthy and prevent illnesses

Choose this time interval if you want to ensure that your health is on the right track and to prevent diseases.

Example: Taru wants to know the real health numbers.

The 63-year-old retiree has upheld a healthy lifestyle for decades. Even today, her weekly routine includes at least three different kinds of physical activities. “I’ve tested my fitness. However, I never had any real proof if this lifestyle is really helping my body stay healthy in the long run,” she explains. Her son’s Christmas gift was, therefore, spot on. My Nightingale blood test results gave her proof she was looking for — biological data to measure her real health. And the results pleasantly surprised her. She has a health index score of 91 (out of 100). “My heart health and diabetes-resistance-related biomarkers show good results. However, under the fatty acid balance, I could improve my omega-3 levels, which I’ll now focus on improving,” Taru adds. She plans to take her follow-up test in the next 8 to 10 months to ensure that all her health results stay good and see if her new omega-rich diet improves the numbers even further.

Example. Eemil wants to get objective feedback for long-term health plans.

Big life events can affect your health too and that’s what motivated Eemil to take the My Nightingale blood analysis. “I'm finishing my studies at the university and taking on a career that can get demanding. I want to see how well I can take care of myself in this new environment and if the new career influences my health in the long-run,” says the 27-year-old management consultant. A demanding job can increase stress and shorten sleep cycles. Eemil says he’ll not only use the results to “get an objective indication of how things are going in the short-term but simultaneously use the insights to know which areas of the health need long-term focus.” He plans to take the follow-up test after 6 to 7 months.

Example. Matti wants to make sure there are no health risks.

Nightingale’s head of research and development, Matti says, “When you start feeling what it means to get older, you also start thinking about what kind of body you want to live in for the rest of your life.” Getting his results from My Nightingale made the abstract concept of health even more understandable and concrete for him. “My everyday life isn’t very physically active. So, I had to consciously correct it. I’ve started going for walks on a regular basis. Also, Friday mornings are now reserved for badminton with the colleagues. My game is terrible but they’re very forgiving,” he laughs. Matti has scheduled his follow-up test in later this year and is eagerly waiting to see if the lifestyle changes show positive results.

3 to 6 months: to improve health and stay motivated

Choose this category if you plan to improve your health scores by make lifestyle changes — such as improve your diet, exercise routine, change a habit and such. Use the follow-up tests to see even the smallest progress in your health and track your goals more closely.

Example. Merja wants to improve a particular health marker.

The 49-year-old PR professional has a very health-conscious lifestyle. “I exercise actively, participate in different sports, eat well and have been vegetarian for almost 30 years,” says Merja. So, when she got a high health index of 95 in her baseline blood analysis, it was no surprise. However, she noticed that her omega-3% was lower than expected. “I have always thought that I eat plenty of good fats — nuts, plant-based oils and sometimes even fish when I dine out, although I’m a vegetarian. But now I know that my intake isn't enough,” she says. Merja has therefore decided to tweak her diet to improve her results. “I have now started eating fish at home several times a week as well as increased my consumption of walnuts, which are rich in omega-3 fats. Also, on my chiropractor's advice, I’ve started to take molybdenum supplement,” she adds. Merja is super excited to take her follow-up analysis in next 3 to 4 months to see if all this improves her results.

Example. Ville wants to see the smallest improvements in health.

The 54-year-old says that he has been on-and-off weight-loss regimes for around 30-years or so. He says, “The My Nightingale blood analysis is exactly what I was searching for.” “I obviously know I should do something, and I have started doing things many times. But to be able to continue over a long period of time, that requires all motivation and support you can find,” he adds. Ville now plans to make some very specific diet and exercise changes: eat oats porridge with blueberries for breakfast, move towards a more vegetable- and fish-based diet, walk twice a day with the dog and engage in heavier exercises (like mountain biking) 2 to 3 times a week. Since the signs of improvements might take longer to reflect on the outside, Ville is counting on his blood biomarker results for motivation, as they can reflect the smallest progress made within months. “Most of the people already know that they need to take care of their health. I feel, My Nightingale’s biggest plus point is that it can be a source of constant motivation,” he adds.

1 to 3 months: to test out health hacks

Choose this time interval if you are someone who’s trying new methods to boost physical health and performance. These could be anything — from popular biohacks to trying a new trendy diet like Keto or intermittent fasting. As these usually require you to get quick feedback to test out how your health reacts to the new method, we recommend a time frame between 1 to 3 months.

Example. Douglas wants to track the effects of short-term dietary interventions.

“I took the My Nightingale blood test to get an overall picture of my health and the Nightingale Health Index was perfect for this,” says the 32-year-old marketing manager. “The other reason was to try and get a higher health index than my girlfriend,” he jokes. Douglas is a vegetarian and exercises several times a week. So, when the results came, he was not only pleased to win the competition with a health index of 94 (out of 100) but was also happy to see that certain health indicators already reflected the effects of his healthy lifestyle. “I felt motivated to improve even more,” he says. Next, Douglas plans to go on a no-added-sugar diet. “I’ve also started supplementing omega-3 to see if I can improve my inflammation levels even further,” he adds. Douglas plans to take his follow-up test in the next 2 to 3 months.