Lab Tests You Can Order From Home (Without A Doctor)

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 6 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

Lab tests you can order without a doctor
Wellness Mama » Blog » Health » Lab Tests You Can Order From Home (Without A Doctor)

For years, my own health journey to finally getting a diagnosis of autoimmune thyroid disease came to a screeching halt because I couldn’t find a doctor in my area who understood thyroid disease and I couldn’t get a referral to a specialist unless I went through a doctor. I also couldn’t get lab tests without a doctor, and I had no way of trying to find answers for the problems I was having (like hair loss, trouble sleeping, fatigue, digestive issues and more).

Thankfully, this is one area of medicine that is rapidly changing and at-home lab tests you can order without a doctor are becoming more available in many areas.

Finding Ways to Get Lab Tests

After going through eight doctors (OBs, general practitioners, etc) who couldn’t find anything clinically wrong with my thyroid, I’m so glad to finally be working with an amazing doc who understands and specializes in thyroid health. He was able to finally diagnose my issues as Hashimotos Thyroiditis (by finally testing my antibodies and doing a thyroid ultrasound) and offer a treatment plan that has helped me resolve my symptoms.

At the same time, I still vividly remember the frustration of not being able to get the tests and help I need and I’m glad that some of the tests that were most helpful to me are now available without a doctor’s order. I also found that many of these tests were less expensive when I ordered them myself than when I went through insurance for previous tests.

As an example, I once asked my doctor to order a Vitamin D test during one of my pregnancies, since low Vitamin D levels are linked to certain pregnancy complications. Even with insurance, the test ended up costing over $400 at one of the major lab companies.

In comparison, one of the companies I’ve used for lab testing without a doctor order offers a Vitamin D test for under $50 and it is even less than that when in a panel!

Finding a Practitioner Who Gets You

Of course, if a test shows a problem, it is still necessary to have a doctor to prescribe any needed info and to correctly interpret the test, but I found that having tests already in hand made it easier to get an appointment with a doctor and also lessened the cost of most appointments.

Please note that it is still important to work with a doctor you trust to find a plan to treat any medical condition.

Lab Tests You Can Order (Without A Doctor)

These are the most helpful lab tests I’ve been able to order without a doctor. Of course, these tests are never made to replace a doctor’s care, but can be a less expensive or supplemental way to get tests, especially for those without insurance or with insurance that won’t cover certain tests.

Genetic DNA Testing

New data emerges weekly about genes and how they affect our daily lives. This seems overwhelming at first, but knowing my common gene mutations has helped me to create a plan to support my body in the best way possible. My husband and I both got tested (and tested all of our kids) through a new company with strict privacy and anonymity policies to protect our genetic data.

As we learn more about epigenetics, I think this data will also be helpful in optimizing our health through supporting our genes in more complex ways.

Here’s what I did:

  • Got my DNA Analysis from Nutrition Genome.
  • A few weeks later, I got back a detailed 50+ page report explaining how my genes may impact things like hormones, mental health and other aspects of my life. It also included some guidelines of foods that are healthiest for me based on genes and things I need to be especially important to consume (like foods rich in zinc, Vitamin C and antioxidants).

Another Option:

  • 23andMe is another popular genetic testing option, though many people have privacy concerns based on some recent information. I also did this test years ago.
  • When I got my results back, I submitted them to several websites to help interpret the health aspects of my genes. I found (free) and ($20 one time fee) the most helpful.

What I learned: The data I got from this test and the interpretation from the other websites helped me understand that I was genetically predisposed to B-12 deficiency, along with a few others. With my doctor, I found which forms of these nutrients were best for me to supplement with and they are now part of my daily regimen. The results also helped explain some of my thyroid and other health issues and how to know which supplements my body needs specifically.

Basic Labs

Often, getting basic lab testing requires something like this: Call doctors office and schedule appointment, go to appointment and ask for lab tests, pay co-pay for office visit, make appointment for lab tests, get lab tests and pay co-pay or full amount depending on deductible, make another doctors appointment to get results, get results and pay co-pay again.

Not only time consuming, but this can also be expensive depending on insurance. I found two options that make this process so much easier and cheaper!

Lab Testing at Home

If you can handle a relatively painless finger stick and don’t want to leave your house, EverlyWell is a great option. These lab kits are shipped to your door and you do the test at home and ship it back. It’s fast and easy and you don’t have to go anywhere. They offer panels for thyroid, hormones, food sensitivities, STDs and more.

The only downside is that since they are shipped to you, these are the best when you need immediate results.

Local Lab Testing Without a Doc

A couple of years ago, I found a company that lets me order labs online and get them at at a local lab at a fraction of what I’d paid… even with insurance. They test everything from Aldosterone to Zinc and everything in between. I’ve used their CBC, Thyroid Panel and Hormone Panel. (Click here and then click on “Lab testing” to see all of the options they have.)

What I learned: These tests were extremely helpful when I first started taking thyroid medication and needed to re-test my levels often while we determined how much I needed to take to normalize my levels. I also found that my iron was slightly low and was able to correct this. Again, I was working with a doctor to interpret these test results, but saved a lot of money by using an independent lab, since it is possible to order tests without a doctor through this company.

Blood Sugar

This is a simple test that doesn’t require a lab but that many people don’t even think about taking. It is possible and simple to measure blood sugar at home using a basic glucometer. This is the device that diabetics use to test blood sugar and many people are familiar with.

I’ve explained before how I use a glucometer during pregnancy as a more accurate and detailed way to make sure that my blood sugar levels are good and that I am not at risk for gestational diabetes, but this simple test can provide much more health insight than just gestational diabetes.

Chris Kresser details how at-home glucose monitoring can be a way of protecting against heart disease and diabetes (as well as a good early warning sign).

Personally, I check my blood sugar over a period of a week at two separate times during pregnancy and record it for my doc/midwife to check. I take my blood glucose levels four times a day and record. I also just do this at random intervals every few months to keep an eye on what my blood sugar is doing normally.

According to Kresser, levels should be:

  • Fasting blood glucose (first thing in the morning) of 86 or lower
  • 1 hour after eating= 140 or lower
  • 2 hours after eating= 120 or lower
  • 3 hours after eating= back to fasting level

Of course, if this or any test shows a problem, it would be important to see a health practitioner to review and form a plan of action.

I personally ordered this really inexpensive glucose monitor and these test strips for under $25 total and have used them in several pregnancies.

Important Caveat

As I already mentioned, these tests can’t replace the care of a doctor or health practitioner, but were a way that I could begin to find health answers when I was unable to find a doctor or get lab tests. These tests can be beneficial to help work with a doctor to find answers to health struggles.

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Robert Galamaga, whois a board-certified internal medicine physician. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor or work with a doctor at SteadyMD.

Do you struggle to find good medical care? Have you taken matters into your own hands? Please share and help others in the same boat!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


51 responses to “Lab Tests You Can Order From Home (Without A Doctor)”

  1. Blanca Avatar

    Hi katty, I have a very important question: what kind of lab test should I ask my doctor to order for my three years old daughter besides the iron and vitamin D? She has an appoitment on the 18. I have read you do some test on you kids, I just can not find where I read it. We don’t do vaccines and take good supplements. Thank you very much for your help.!!

  2. Dr. Deborah Avatar
    Dr. Deborah

    The Thyroid panel in the Direct Labs test panel linked to in this post is likely most useful for monitoring your thyroid hormone activity if, for example, you’ve already been prescribed and are taking thyroid hormone medication, to monitor appropriateness of dose. Because somebody asked in the comments about thyroid hormone testing, this panel wouldn’t diagnose autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s or Graves’ Disease) because it doesn’t include tests for antibodies.

    If you have a doctor who’s open to input and feel certain you need to be tested for Hashimoto’s, the test panel I typically run includes:
    1) TSH (most conventional doctors stop here)
    2) Free T3 & Free T4 [T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone; T4 is its precursor. It’s more useful in my opinion to measure “free” than “total” forms of these hormones, because only free hormones are capable of activity]
    3) anti-TPO and anti-TG: These are the 2 different antibodies that could be elevated in Hashimoto’s. TPO is the “famous” one, but both should be measured. You could have normal TPO antibodies, and elevated TG (thyroglobulin) antibodies, and that’s still autoimmune thyroiditis.

    The above 5 tests are an excellent Hashimoto’s test panel. To clarify one more important thing, somebody above mentioned “Reverse T4” but that’s not quite right: T3 is the hormone that can be reversed. Measuring reverse T3 doesn’t tell you about hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s per se. What it DOES tell you, is whether your body is “purposely” reducing your thyroid activity.

    How does it do this? If you have too much thyroid activity, your Vital Force, in its wisdom, will decrease thyroid hormone activity by deactivating T4, and turning it into Reverse T3 (inactive) rather than the proper T3 (which is active).

    What does that really mean? Anybody with elevated Reverse T3 should, in my mind, be looking for the cause of why your body wants to decelerate thyroid activity. Ask: what is your Vital Force trying to protect you from? When I see this, I look into these 2 possibilities:

    1) Is the person coming in from another practitioner who has put them on thyroid hormone (because I rarely find it necessary to prescribe it, myself)? If the person is taking thyroid medication and their reverse T3 is elevated, that means they’re on too high a dose, and the body is inactivating it.
    2) If not, I go looking for “reasons” the Vital Force might be slowing down metabolism: is there a chronic illness or a chronic toxicity (such as heavy metal toxicity)? If so, this is the body’s way of protecting you from the effects of those. Then the solution is to heal the underlying cause, not prescribe thyroid medication.

    And any time I see a patient with one or more autoimmune conditions, including Hashimoto’s, I think it’s worth looking at what’s going on with digestion. If Leaky Gut Syndrome (aka Intestinal Hyperpermeability) is present, then it’s possible (though not certain) that this could be the source of the autoimmune reaction, and it should be healed.

    One last tiny tip: Katie is so right that learning about your own blood sugar is one of the best things you can do for your long-term health. Since glucometers vary widely in their level of accuracy, I always advise my patients to take their glucometer with them when they’re getting blood drawn for a fasting blood glucose test. Measure your blood sugar with your glucometer just before or after the blood for the lab test gets drawn, record your result, and compare that to what you get back on the lab tests. This will give you a ballpark idea of how close your glucometer comes to approximating the “real” lab test.

    Many blessings,
    Dr. Deborah Epstein, ND (naturopathic doctor)

    1. Tina Peterson Avatar
      Tina Peterson

      This is very interesting. We have a naturopathic Dr here in Omaha and it’s very hard to get in to her. I have fibro and think I have some adrenal issues and I’ve been starting to wonder if I have some arthritis settling in my shoulders/hips/lower back areas. Of course I also have hypothyroidism and haven’t been tested or on meds for at least 8 years due to not having insurance. I’ll see if I can get an appt w the local Dr and see how much it is to visit with her. Thanks for posting – it’s encouraged me to keep trying to get in to see her

    2. Ms V Avatar

      Thank you so much Dr. Epstein!
      Your generosity, in terms of sharing your knowledge and caring enough about others to take your time and provide such valuable information, is much appreciated!!
      I wish that there will be more doctors like you and Dr. Kim, who care enough to reach out to help and educate others.
      Best to you!
      Ms. V. 1/21/19

  3. Kimi Rankin Avatar
    Kimi Rankin

    My husband has Sqaumas Cell Carcinoma in the Lymph Nodes the left side of his neck. He had to see doctors and they wouldn’t look him in the eye talking to him. So, we talked to a herbalist and he got hair samples and saliva and it shows all that is in him.
    So he has been on herbs to heal it and he is doing very well. His color is back and no dark circles under his eyes. Many do no believe in herbs to heal–but they do. Chemo and radiation puts poison into your body and destroys the fighting cells as well. He would have lost his teeth–muscle amount–hearing trouble-dry throat and mouth.
    Now, doctors do not even go into the hair samples and saliva to find out what is there.
    To me, it is all about making money and not telling people what is real because they really don’t know.
    The herbalist is not even expensive and he knows what is going on and he looked us in the eye and told he can heal it but it will take time. I asked him if he promised and he said yes because carcinoma can be healed easily. I asked him how many he had saved and healed–over 1,000 people who are so thankful. One who had that orange from the war was told he had only 6 months to live–18 years ago and he was healed and saved with herbs and how to do them.
    I believe herbs are better than pills and chemo and radiation.
    I have change many things here at home–new cookware and bakeware from Ceramco–which I seen on your pages. Very nice to use and safe. I have a 4 gallon Zenwater for pure water with nothing harmful in it. I will take care of my husband and we are both healthy and will continue.

    1. Rhnee Avatar

      Bless you for sharing! It is very difficult to find local herbalist, integrative doctor or other such Practioner who will help with cancer since our government would certainly raid their offices if they advertised. Fortunately, with a lot of researching they are getting a little easier to find.

  4. Erin Avatar

    I have learned over the last 15 years of research that all three of my children have autism due to hashis.(hashimotos). Also all my other other girlfriends who have autistic children, also now have hashis. Its interesting to finally be finding out that it is now linked to certain types of autism. All my kids had blood work, and are allergic to wheat, and dairy.

  5. Teresa Avatar

    If you are having Thyroid problems, you might also be interested in learning more about hormonal imbalances and how it can affect the thyroid. The book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause: Balance Your Hormones and Your Life From Thirty to Fifty by Dr. John R. Lee and Jesse Hanley is a good resource.

  6. Kristina New Avatar
    Kristina New

    I agree that ordering your own lab tests is a great way to save money and take control of your health. If you need T3 Free and T4Free in addition to TSH, T3, T4, I recommend you check out – it’s only $59. It’s a great test for monitoring thyroid issues.

  7. Dr. Kim Avatar

    Hello Katie and all,

    Since I’m seeing so many comments on food allergies/sensitivities/intolerances, I want to toss something out with the caveat that it is “for educational purposes only. The following information is not intended to diagnose nor treat any disease of any kind; nor should it be used in place of common sense; nor is it intended to replace the advice of your M.D., D.O., or other licensed, qualified healthcare practitioner.”

    There are several significant short-comings to most types of allergy/sensitivity tests that can cause the tests to be inaccurate; or provide unreliable results. (Katie, I would be happy to write to you about exactly why this is the case if you are interested; or think your readers may be interested.)

    If you do not have a pace-maker, and do not take any type of medication that affects your heart rate or pulse, this is the most accurate sensitivity/allergy test I’ve ever seen or used. It can be performed by anyone who can feel a pulse – your own or someone else’s – in the neck (easier if testing oneself) or in the wrist (easier if testing someone else). I have successfully taught this technique to children as young as seven years old — both for its practical application, and as a teaching tool about how the body works. (Also to demonstrate the negative effects of junk food on their bodies, not just using words, but in a way that is so real and immediate, they can literally touch and feel the results in the moment.)

    First, gather any foods or substances you wish to test (I strongly suggest including in the first session a wheat product of some kind, an egg, milk, chicken, sugar, iodized table salt, sea salt, commercial personal care products – shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, soap/body wash, and anything consumed on a daily basis) and place them on your kitchen table within your reach, or that of another person who is to be tested, while seated in a chair at the table.

    You only need a tiny piece/sample of each item you are testing, so you can line up small samples if you choose. However, since the test also works through containers of all types, I find it easier to just put whole items or containers on the table.

    If you are testing items that require refrigeration, you may want to test them either first, or separately, to minimize the time they are standing at room temperature during the testing process.

    Get a notepad and pen, and make a list of all of the items on the table.

    Have the person being tested sit in a chair at the table and just relax for five minutes (peehaps while writing the list of items on the table). Just a reminder, this works the same way whether the person being tested is yourself or someone else.

    Now have the person being tested find their pulse and feel it. It doesn’t matter if it’s located on the throat or the wrist. No need to count the pulse; just feel it. Nor does it matter if the person being tested feels the pulse or someone else does it. This is the “resting pulse.”

    Now take the first item on the list and place it in the hand of the person being tested. If the item is too large to hold in the hand, have the person touch it with his/her fingertips, while continuing to feel the pulse in the throat or the wrist (when testing oneself, it’s easier to use the throat than the wrist).

    If there is a sensitivity to the item being held or touched, the pulse will begin to speed up. If it is something the body regards as highly toxic, the pulse will begin to race. As soon as the item is released, the pulse will slow down again. If the item is held or touched again, the pulse will begin to speed up again. It is not a subtle change. It is very noticeable. This is why it isn’t necessary to count the pulse – just feel it.

    If the item in question is not causing a sensitivity or allergic reaction in the body, the pulse will remain constant. The resting pulse will not change whether the item is being held or touched or not.

    Move down the list of all of the items on the table. Note on the list however you choose, which items cause the pulse to speed up when held or touched. These items are causing an immune reaction in the body; causing or exacerbating inflammation; and several other responses. If at all possible, these items should be eliminated from use or consumption unless or until they are desensitized by a professional who performs allergy elimination/ desensitization.

    I hope you find this information useful. One last reminder that this information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease; nor should it be regarded as a substitute for medical advice; nor the recommendations of your licensed healthcare provider.

    Be well!
    Dr. Kim AP LAc DOM

    P.S. Especially since this post is about thyroid issues, one more advantage to feeling the pulse at the throat vs. on the wrist, is that you will find it close enough to the thyroid that you can gently feel the pulse on one side of the throat with your index finger while resting your thumb gently on the opposite lobe of the thyroid during the test. I test each item with and without my thumb touching the thyroid. By touching the thyroid while performing the test, it is a way to isolate the thyroid response to an item. While the body in general may not “object” to a specific item, when that item is “presented” to the thyroid specifically (by touching the item with fingertips of one hand, and having the thumb rest on opposite lobe of thyroid from the pulse in the neck/throat), the pulse may begin to speed up only while touching the thyroid. Any item causing this response should also ideally be eliminated if possible. Do note on the list though that it was the thyroid specifically responding to the item (I do this by marking it with a T).

    1. Stephanie Avatar

      This sounds like muscle testing but using the pulse instead. I do believe this works via muscle testing. We have treated by son with NAET for allergies that have come up via muscle testing.

    2. Ana Rose Avatar

      What an interesting concept. It seems almost too simple. Am curious to try it–thanks for sharing!

    3. Ms V Avatar

      Thank you very much Dr. Kim!!!
      How nice of you to take the time and so effectively provide such tool for everyone to use so easily. Providing this tool is not only empowering but also beneficial to anyone who wants to improve their health in so many ways.
      I wish that there will be more doctors like you, who care enough to reach out to help and educate others.
      Best to you!
      Ms. V. 1/21/19

  8. Kim Avatar

    Great info. There are also many other tests that can be done if you use a Functional Medicine Practitioner. Tests for Gluten and/or any other allergies, stool analyst which can test for parasites and other abnormalities, Adrenal and Cortisol testing, full male and female hormone panels and so many more. Doctors do not always run a full thyroid panel to include T3,T4, reverse T4 as well as antibodies. These tests are essential as it is possible to have subclinical thyroid disease. Also, Adrenal Fatigue is very common in our stressed out world and can cause a host of problems.

  9. Jodi Cohen Avatar
    Jodi Cohen

    Hi Katie,

    i am in the process of doing this for myself right now. i gained weight and feel tired so i got my TPO anti bodies tested – through the roof. My MD told me to quit gluten which i already do not eat, so i found this truly amazing clinic that does lots of tests – saliva, urine, stool and bloodwork to figure out what is off with digestion to provoke an auto immune response. it is so interesting to dig deep into what might be out of balance in the digestion, absorption, assimilation and elimination process to understand how to rebalance and heal the gut. i love that you are putting this out there. i have been reading a lot about letting the gut rest to heal with short term fasts. been playing with one with bone broth myself (modified GAPS) would love to see a blog on that.


    Jodi Cohen

    1. Carol Avatar

      I had suffered many years of weight gain, even though I eat almost NO cakes, pies, candy, cookies, etc. I was eating good, healthy organic foods. Maybe a few more carbs in the form of beans rice and quinoa, but very few breads. Then, after a long period of high stress, I broke out with a systemic yeast infection. Overnight! White tongue, the horrible insane itch “down there”. Stopped all sugar or sweeteners ( if you never have cravings for them, you WILL now, however!) And really trying to eliminate all gluten. Have used a protocol of about 30 pills of supplements, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes with probiotics as well. Have actually lost 38 # with NO exercise!!!!! (in about 3 months time.) I know it is the yeast infection that has caused me to gain. Certain now that I have had the systemic infection for years, just below the surface waiting for the stress to let it out.
      You might want to get a good candida cleanse one with undecenoic acid as its base, making sure you take a liver tonic, and molybdenum to help rid of the dead candida.
      Not a doctor, but this regimen has worked for me.
      Leaky gut is often a result of candida infections as well.
      Good luck!

  10. Nena Avatar

    Have you ever ordered allergy tests or have any recommendations for allergy testing?

  11. Joli Tripp Avatar
    Joli Tripp

    Fantastic information! Thanks for leading the charge for self-advocacy. Love your well-researched, simply explained articles.

  12. Deb Avatar

    Thanks for this post! I have several medical conditions that I believe need to be monitored more often than what my insurance covers. I don’t want to go from”Your kidneys are functioning at 50%” to, 6 months later, ” Well, unfortunately, you now need dialysis.” I don’t like those kinds of surprises! And the prices are reasonable!

  13. Maggie Avatar

    I sure do enjoy the information you share! Congratulations to you and your family on the new bundle of joy you will add to your family! I too have hashimotos, and I was just wondering if you have ever had a Lyme Test. I have Late Stage Lyme Disease, and have had it for up to 20+ years……and never knew it. I was sick, and I did go see Doctors, but Lyme was never on anybodies radar. It is also believed the the Lyme kicked my thyroid, which went back and forth then to settle on Hashimotos. Just something to consider, not to scare you. Thank you again for all you do and by sharing with all of us!

  14. Tracy Avatar

    Thanks for this! Unless I’m missing something, it’s not clear to me how these tests helped diagnose your Hashimotos. Did the wellness panel reveal something the thyroid tests performed by your doctors previously didn’t?

  15. Mariana Avatar

    That is really important information. I wish there was a DNA analysis service here in Brazil, but I’ve never heard of anything alike. I’ll take a look though.

  16. Rachele Brown Avatar
    Rachele Brown

    Great article. How did you go about getting your own blood samples to mail back for these tests? That freaks me or a little bit!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *