You can order blood tests without a doctor. It can be faster and cheaper and you run what you want, when you want. Insurance will not cover it.
If you have quick access to a doctor who’ll run the exact tests someone else suggested, that’s fine. But this is often not the case.
Functional Medicine Doctors (or FM Coaches like me) sometimes run unusual labs and check labs more than once a year. Insurance won’t cover our long Consults (30 to 90 minutes) or unusual labs. Or regular labs your doctor did not bother to order. Vitamin D and Ferritin for example, and the correct Thyroid tests.
Order Blood Tests Without a Doctor
Consumer access or consumer direct labs are almost everywhere now. The process is simple: pick a test; pay for it; get their list of local labs such as Quest and LabCorp; make a pre-paid appointment. Print your receipt and go. Results are emailed or online. Simple!
The Northeast US has several states that do not allow self-ordering, including New York. See my NOTE below.
One lab I often use with clients is HealthCheckUSA.
This test is the one I request the most. Clients have paid up to $500 for these tests through their doctor, and usually had to argue for all of them. It’s a good deal at $297.
The test has an unwieldy title. Bookmark or Print this article so you can find it. If it’s not $297, it’s the wrong test. “Super Chemistry Heart + Ferritin + Thyroid II”. (Notice the number II on there). Ferritin alone could be $65. Free T4 and Free T3 thyroid can be $150, so right there the combo is a huge savings. There are 60 items on this test. Why settle for the skimpy 10 to 20 items your provider may be running?
Another HealthCheckUSA test I urge my male clients and post-menopausal women to get annually is the one in this article. This Iron Panel ($60) tests Ferritin, Iron Saturation and Iron Binding. Please read my article and check for iron overload. Accumulating Iron is common as we age but resolved by donating blood annually. Excess Iron can cause joint pain, cardiac symptoms, blood sugar and liver issues. Plus falling hair, weight gain and many other things…
Make sure the Iron Panel Test is the $60 one, no more, no less…
More Labs to Order Your Own Blood Tests
NOTE: Several states do not allow ordering blood tests. These may include for LABCORP : NY, NJ, RI, MA or MD. For QUEST DIAGNOSTICS : NY, NJ and RI. Go to the labs below and enter your zip code. It will tell you the closest place available, perhaps Connecticut or PA.
Request A Test: this company offers testing by LabCorp or by Quest. Quest prices are usually better.
Walk In Lab: They offer a very similar test to the complete panel above from HealthCheck but it’s $179 vs. $100. It’s called the “Wellness Express with CBC, Thyroid and Ferritin”. It’s a good choice though if that’s your only option. The website says “lowest price guaranteed” so they might price match HealthCheck.
Any Lab Test Now – I have used this lab myself but find their prices higher than HealthCheckUSA.
Lab Corp offers direct testing but the prices are higher and the test packages are not as good.
Life Extension has great prices and will review your lab results with you. Their “consultants” however are trained to sell their supplements. Not a bad thing but they may not be doing more than selling by the book. A good option though.
Other Lab Tests to Order for Your Health
Vitamin D (annually!)
Thyroid: As referred to in this article, most doctors don’t run the best Thyroid tests. Run them yourself and be pro-active. This means FREE T4 and FREE T3, not just TSH, T3 Uptake and Total T4.
Check your Hashimoto’s antibodies too. If you have an autoimmune disorder you should know about it. I have many clients who have reduced these antibodies and saved their Thyroid from destruction. Track your numbers, follow your progress and take action! Hashimoto’s CAN be reversed.
The HealthCheckUSA test above tests Thyroid correctly but does not include antibodies. Order those separately.
STD’s: Test any STD such as Chlamydia, HIV, Gonorrhea and more
Urinalysis: Check for infection, blood in the urine, Crystals (a sign of “baby” kidney stones) and Ketones
HgA1C: Hemoglobin A1C tests your 3 month average blood glucose level. If you are working on reducing your carbs you can see how effective you are. No more “Pre-Diabetes”!
Sed Rate (ESR) and CRP (C-Reactive Protein): markers for inflammation and auto-immune function
Methylmalonic Acid: This is the true and correct test for B-12. I have never seen a doctor run this but I run it on clients taking Metformin, acid-blockers, the elderly, those with neurological problems and those with various anemias.
Homocysteine: Associated with heart disease, can be supported with B6, B12 and Folate (not Folic Acid) if low. Or have a Consult with me to find what’s wrong with your diet or digestion. Read more about Folate vs. Folic Acid here.
Serum Iodine: If low, eat Seaweeds a few times a week or take our TMI (Thyroid Metabolism plus Iodine) a few times a week, long term. Avoid Ioderal – it’s too high a dose.
Tests to Run by Saliva and not by Blood
I test Cortisol, Estrogen, Progesterone, DHEA and Testosterone by Salivary Testing ONLY. I do not feel blood is the way to test these. They change quickly in your blood. Saliva tests a pooled value over time, without surges.
Cortisol (the main Adrenal hormone) varies widely by time of day. Saliva testing checks 4 samples over your day to look for the correct cycle.
Progesterone and Estrogen vary widely during a menstrual cycle. We do Salivary Testing on Day 20 or 21 of the cycle. Blood work seldom differentiates and the result ranges are huge. This is not useful information.
I offer Salivary Testing to most of my clients on the second or third appointment.
Interpreting Your Lab Results
As a Clinical Nutritionist, I find lab ranges are often useless. Do you want to be at the bottom of Bell Curve averages? Clinical Nutritionists are not Nutritionists or Dietitians. We’re an elite field working with the chemistry and function of the body. We have our own ideas on where results should be and how numbers should relate to each other. Many tests are self-explanatory and the web can help. Or have a Consult with me or another Functional Medicine Coach. It will save you time and money to show up with Labs already run.