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Testing Available Direct to Consumer

Pipetting Samples and Test Tube

Lab testing is one of the pivotal parts of figuring out what is wrong when you feel ill.  I do generally advocate having a trained health care professional both select appropriate testing and provide interpretation of the results when they arrive.  Health care workers spend years of intensive study learning how all the body systems connect and what those lab tests really mean in the full context of your health. I do think people should be able to advocate and participate in their own health care journey, but I have also watched in horror as people have spent thousands of dollars ordering the wrong tests for themselves, misinterpreting them, and then attempting to treat themselves, often with disastrous results.  So, with that "don't try this at home" disclaimer, there are times when having direct access to labs can be a great benefit if you just need to monitor an ongoing issue, or want a first look at something that you can take to a variety of health care experts.  Health care is regulated separately in every state, so access to direct testing will vary depending on where you live.  

There are two main types of lab tests 

  • Reference Labs

    • Mainstream, FDA approved, known reliability and established reference ranges

    • Used for both screening and diagnosis of illness

    • This is the standard blood or urine test you get when you go to the doctor for a check-up

    • There are tens of thousands of tests in this category, most really should not be used by folks who don't have specialist training

    • A handful are used very commonly and give a great general picture of how the main body systems are doing

  • Functional "Kit" Testing

    • Newer tests, not yet approved, may not have solid reliability or established reference ranges​

    • Used to assess function but not necessarily precise enough to use for diagnosis, they can still be clinically useful in context

    • These are the kit tests you might get from a holistic practitioner that use saliva or urine to look at things like adrenal function, hormone balance, nutrient levels or neurotransmitters


Here are some labs that allow you to order your own Reference Lab tests for yourself

Genomic Testing

  • These are not tests for genetic diseases, but are services that map your genome to look at ancestry, common traits, and subtle differences in function.  Some do offer reports on potential risk for developing diseases that have a genetic component.  

  • 23andMe


Microbiome Testing

  • This is also a screening and general information test. These are not adequate for diagnosis, and microbiome testing that is available to the public is usually not that useful clinically. 

  • Viome

Functional Tests (not diagnostic)

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