Think about the last time you needed tests run at the doctor’s office. Come on, just try. Not knowing the issue prior to the tests can produce anxiety. The uncertainty can be awful, sometimes leading to sleepless nights and loss of appetite. This is only complicated further when invasive methods like X-rays, or worse, needles are part of the process.
OUCH, That Hurt!
Because let’s face it: no one likes needles!
Well, according to a new study, there may be a more palatable way to undergo testing in the future. Yes, a future without needles. Someday, there is a belief that markers for disease may be detectable through saliva. Much like the uniqueness of a fingerprint, experts suggest that this could be a reliable way to determine disease somewhere down the line.
So wait, you’re telling me I could provide a spit sample for you rather than be stuck by that needle?! Where do I sign up?
Initially, researchers focus centered around urine. Samples of urine have “specific metabolic signatures” that change when a health problem occurs. However, certain factors like one’s environment and diet can impact the compounds found in urine. As a result the reliability of testing urine is not deemed as valid.
Nothing To Spit At
Saliva, on the other hand, has similar promise to urine, but is less affected by these same factors. During a trial, researchers tested a series of healthy volunteers over the course of 10 days. While urine and saliva samples were “distinct and consistent for each participant,” the spit samples varied less due to dietary changes than their urine.
These tests are preliminary, and will require much greater scrutiny. But, it is possible that future visits to your physician could involve fewer “you’re going to feel a small pinch” type conversations.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
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