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

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Lab tests you can order without a doctor
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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 GeneticGenie.org (free) and Livewello.com ($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!

Sources
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. WellnessMama.com 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.

Comments

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

  1. Viola leery Avatar
    Viola leery

    Hi. Great review. I have been a DIY health tester as well for years (also with an AI condition). My question is have you found a HOME cbc or chem panel? I know i can get these easily in a lab but thats difficult for several reasons and i dont want to arrange a visiting phlebotomist. Really what id like is finger stick at home for WBC (lymphocytes . mostly) and some of the items from a chem panel. My recollection is that years ago there were some kind of kick starter or equivalent funding for home CBC tests but I guess nothing ever came of it because I have not seen it. Do you by chqnce know of any- or know why these are not available. Thanks.

  2. Fiona Cherukara Avatar
    Fiona Cherukara

    Do you know of any labs that will do heavy metal testing and toxin tests on kids? Every lab that I have called need abductors referral.

  3. aimee Avatar

    5 years after your post but still very very helpful! My naturopath neglected to share anything about cash labs with me, telling me to go to the local hospital for my thyroid labs saying my insurance would cover it (she never checked) and with my high-deductible plan, we have to actually meet the $3250 deductible before ANY labs are covered. The local hospital charged over $300 for a simple thyroid panel and over $700 for basic metabolic and cholesterol tests. I about died and told my ND that I could not do this anymore as we just can’t afford this. Her office is over an hour from me and she THEN mentioned a ‘cheaper cash method’ for $49 but that I’d have to drive out to her office to do this (and schedule an appointment – I’ve learned quickly about how some Naturopaths like her refuse to answer ANY questions between appointments because they want to charge you/insurance for even the basics -like “could you provide me a summary of what we talked about” or if I had a question about one of her recommendations since she wanted me to take about 14 supplements…which made it impossible to tell what was/wasn’t working). She was holding my thyroid refill hostage until I came to her office, it’s been awful (but I can’t afford to start the process over this year with another ND as the wait time to get in is many months out here). After a 30 second google search for cash labs in my town, I found one 10 minutes away and for only $27, ordered it myself and told her I’d forward her the results when they came in.

    thanks for this article – super helpful and I’ve shared it on LinkedIn as well so those who are uninsured or underinsured know they can keep an eye on some of the basics for much less $$!!!

  4. Randy Avatar

    How can I go about getting a home test on checking if I have a parasite in my body and to identify it. Thank you and God bless

  5. Jennifer Avatar

    “The only downside is that since they are shipped to you, these are the best when you need immediate results.” Katie, I’m wondering if you meant to say these are NOT the best when you need immediate results? If that’s not what you meant, perhaps you could elaborate on what you mean. I am getting ready to start working with SteadyMD and I’m wondering if I should go ahead and get some Everlywell test or wait until after I talk to them. Thanks for your input! Your blog has changed my life more times than I can count!

  6. Kathleene Parker Avatar
    Kathleene Parker

    Oh gee, this makes me tired (Oops, there goes the adrenals!) just reading it. Come on! The testing you suggest is useless because, as always with symptoms-based testing, it focuses on one thing, nor the entire picture. Also, adrenaline, cortisol, thyroid, everything is interconnected with other things, especially the gut (where any insult or microbe can throw a wrench into the works) and the liver–where P-450 liver enzymes are hit first, last and always by gut issues.
    Rather than focus on adrenals (or anything) or testing that is too narrow and too little information, just do whole-body, broad-spectrum healing. The best program I know is Anthony William’s new book LIVER RESCUE because most illness starts there, the idiots of modern medicine (medical doctors) will be telling the patient everything is fine, even though they know perfectly well they aren’t testing the P-450 liver enzymes (where degenerative illness begins) and in the times in which we live, our livers take a hit from the world around us and even, often, have been hit even before we’re born by a legacy from our parents, even grandparents. (My mother chain smoked, died young of cancer, so little wonder I began life with, as LIVER RESCUE defines, a “stagnant” liver and resulting health issues.
    If our adrenals have problems, it’s fairly likely it’s coming out of liver and gut issues. His program–which recognizes a broad range of possible liver glitches and how to fix them (and directly addresses adrenal issues)–if adhered to will promptly produce healing, balancing and the growth of understanding how one WANTS to eat for a more healthful way of living. It’s the sort of whole-body healing I searched for for years, but found even alternative “healers,” like medical doctors, too focused on specific parts of the body.

  7. Marissa Avatar

    Do you know what Everlywell does with your genetic material once they’ve finished testing it? Do they dispose of it or store it? Thanks

  8. Jacqueline Muscha Avatar
    Jacqueline Muscha

    Thanks for these. Would have also loved a list of other tests to take at home like Viome included in the list above.

  9. Nancy Avatar

    Hi Katie,
    Just FYI.. Amazon is no longer offering the glucose monitoring system you mentioned.
    Love your emails.
    Nancy

  10. Tina Peterson Avatar
    Tina Peterson

    I am uninsured and can visit the salvation army clinic if necessary it’s just hard to get in. There is a $25 copay regardless if you have insurance or not. I can get my meds and most lab tests if I need it. I’ve asked the dr if she’d be willing to help me with my fibro but she didn’t want to deal with that I’ll essential and I don’t blame her. I don’t handle meds well and so far have discovered that I do better with natural methods over meds (like herbs & CBD) to control pain and discomfort. I do have hypothyroidism but haven’t been tested for years nor on meds. CBD is supposed to be helpful for regulating the thyroid and I’m looking forward to seeing if it helps me.

  11. Jill Avatar

    I am looking for a whole house water purification system But it is overwhelming to me. Can you please tell me what you use .
    Thank you

  12. liz Avatar

    It looks like Everlywell will not let you test for minors. Do you have any experience with other tests that could be used for children? I have a strong suspicion my 2.5 yr old has celiac. We have taken him off gluten and dairy and seen good results, but I’d like to know what his allergies are. My husband and I are self-employed and testing is very expensive. We considered going through our primary and doing the tests (despite the costs), but I am interested in an online option, if there is one you trust. Thank so much.

  13. Leslie Avatar

    An integrative doctor gave me the name of another lab that is has a complete thyroid panel that is $100 with an add on of a reverse t3 for $40. The name is Spectracell labs. They perform a lot of other testing as well. You can check them out at their website at spectracell.com. She also gave me the name of two of lab testing companies she has used Sunset, and Quest. They didn’t have draw sites near me so I wasn’t able to use them, but maybe they might be helpful to someone else. I’ve also checked with direct labs, but found these to be better priced.

  14. Kat Avatar

    CHEKD.com is also a great resource to order your own lab tests. They send a health practitioner to your home also. It’s in-home, high-end, concierge service! Especially convenient with my kiddies home with me all day, I don’t have to leave my home to go to the lab. Also affordable.

  15. Jessie Avatar

    Does anybody know if this service exists for children? I know Direct Labs can only serve people over 18. (Maybe it’s a liability issue?)

    Thanks,

    Jessie

  16. Jenny Avatar

    Do you know of any at home tests to test for levels of metals and different toxins in your body?

  17. Jenny Conard Avatar
    Jenny Conard

    Do you have a blog article on how you increased your low iron levels?

  18. Kitty Avatar

    I would like to add something about getting your Thyroid tested; I have read several articles that in order to get a true reading of your Thyroid functions is with a urine test not blood test! Any thoughts?

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