For years, my very own health journey to lastly getting a diagnosis of autoimmune thyroid disease got here to a screeching halt as a result of I couldn’t discover a physician in my space who understood thyroid illness and I couldn’t get a referral to a specialist until I went by means of a physician. I additionally couldn’t get lab assessments with out a physician, and I had no manner of looking for solutions for the issues I used to be having (like hair loss, hassle sleeping, fatigue, digestive points and extra).
Thankfully, that is one space of medication that’s quickly altering and at-home lab assessments you possibly can order with out a physician have gotten extra obtainable in lots of areas.
Finding Ways to Get Lab Tests
After going by means of eight docs (OBs, common practitioners, and many others) who couldn’t discover something clinically unsuitable with my thyroid, I’m so glad to lastly be working with an amazing doc who understands and specializes in thyroid health. He was capable of lastly diagnose my points as Hashimotos Thyroiditis (by lastly testing my antibodies and doing a thyroid ultrasound) and supply a therapy plan that has helped me resolve my signs.
At the identical time, I nonetheless vividly keep in mind the frustration of not having the ability to get the assessments and assist I want and I’m glad that a number of the assessments that had been most useful to me are actually obtainable with out a physician’s order. I additionally discovered that many of those assessments had been cheaper once I ordered them myself than once I went by means of insurance coverage for earlier assessments.
As an instance, I as soon as requested my physician to order a Vitamin D take a look at throughout one among my pregnancies, since low Vitamin D ranges are linked to sure being pregnant problems. Even with insurance coverage, the take a look at ended up costing over $400 at one of many main lab corporations.
In comparability, one of many corporations I’ve used for lab testing with out a physician order affords a Vitamin D take a look at for underneath $50 and it’s even lower than that when in a panel!
Finding a Practitioner Who Gets You
Of course, if a take a look at reveals a drawback, it’s nonetheless essential to have a physician to prescribe any wanted information and to accurately interpret the take a look at, however I discovered that having assessments already in handcrafted it simpler to get an appointment with a physician and in addition lessened the price of most appointments.
Please word that it’s nonetheless necessary to work with a physician you belief to search out a plan to deal with any medical situation. I personally now use and recommend SteadyMD, a new app and system that lets me work with my main care physician anytime I want him by means of video chat or textual content.
Lab Tests You Can Order (Without A Doctor)
These are essentially the most useful lab assessments I’ve been capable of order with out a physician. Of course, these assessments are by no means made to interchange a physician’s care, however may be a cheaper or supplemental approach to get assessments, particularly for these with out insurance coverage or with insurance coverage that gained’t cowl sure assessments.
Genetic DNA Testing
New information emerges weekly about genes and the way they have an effect on our every day lives. This appears overwhelming at first, however realizing my widespread gene mutations has helped me to create a plan to help my physique in the easiest way attainable. My husband and I each obtained examined (and examined all of our children) by means of a new firm with strict privateness and anonymity insurance policies to guard our genetic information.
As we be taught extra about epigenetics, I feel this information can even be useful in optimizing our health by means of supporting our genes in additional advanced methods.
Here’s what I did:
- Got my DNA Analysis from Nutrition Genome.
- A couple of weeks later, I obtained again a detailed 50+ web page report explaining how my genes could influence issues like hormones, psychological health and different elements of my life. It additionally included some tips of meals which can be healthiest for me based mostly on genes and issues I should be particularly necessary to eat (like meals wealthy in zinc, Vitamin C and antioxidants).
- 23andMe is one other common genetic testing choice, although many individuals have privateness considerations based mostly on some latest data. I additionally did this take a look at years in the past.
- When I obtained my outcomes again, I submitted them to a number of web sites to assist interpret the health elements of my genes. I discovered GeneticGenie.org (free), KnowYourGenetics.com (free) and Livewello.com ($20 one time charge) essentially the most useful.
What I realized: The information I obtained from this take a look at and the interpretation from the opposite web sites helped me perceive that I used to be genetically predisposed to B-12 deficiency, together with a few others. With my physician, I discovered which types of these vitamins had been greatest for me to complement with and they’re now a part of my every day routine. The outcomes additionally helped clarify a few of my thyroid and different health points and find out how to know which dietary supplements my physique wants particularly.
Often, getting primary lab testing requires one thing like this: Call docs workplace and schedule appointment, go to appointment and ask for lab assessments, pay co-pay for workplace go to, make appointment for lab assessments, get lab assessments and pay co-pay or full quantity relying on deductible, make one other docs appointment to get outcomes, get outcomes and pay co-pay once more.
Not solely time consuming, however this can be costly relying on insurance coverage. I discovered two choices that make this course of a lot simpler and cheaper!
Lab Testing at Home
If you possibly can deal with a comparatively painless finger stick and don’t need to depart your home, EverlyWell is a nice choice. These lab kits are shipped to your door and also you do the take a look at at residence and ship it again. It’s quick and simple and also you don’t must go wherever. They supply panels for thyroid, hormones, meals sensitivities, STDs and extra.
The solely draw back is that since they’re shipped to you, these are the most effective whenever you want speedy outcomes.
Local Lab Testing Without a Doc
A few years in the past, I discovered a firm that lets me order labs on-line and get them at at a native lab at a fraction of what I’d paid… even with insurance coverage. They take a look at all the things from Aldosterone to Zinc and all the things in between. I’ve used their CBC, Thyroid Panel and Hormone Panel. (Click here after which click on on “Lab testing” to see all the choices they’ve.)
What I realized: These assessments had been extraordinarily useful once I first started taking thyroid medicine and wanted to re-test my ranges usually whereas we decided how a lot I wanted to take to normalize my ranges. I additionally discovered that my iron was barely low and was capable of appropriate this. Again, I used to be working with a physician to interpret these take a look at outcomes, however saved a lot of cash through the use of an impartial lab, since it’s attainable to order assessments with out a physician by means of this firm.
This is a easy take a look at that doesn’t require a lab however that many individuals don’t even take into consideration taking. It is feasible and easy to measure blood sugar at residence utilizing a primary glucometer. This is the machine that diabetics use to check blood sugar and many individuals are acquainted with.
I’ve explained before how I use a glucometer during pregnancy as a extra correct and detailed approach to be sure that my blood sugar ranges are good and that I’m not in danger for gestational diabetes, however this easy take a look at can present far more health perception than simply gestational diabetes.
Chris Kresser details how at-home glucose monitoring may be a manner of defending towards coronary heart illness and diabetes (in addition to a good early warning signal).
Personally, I verify my blood sugar over a interval of a week at two separate instances throughout being pregnant and file it for my doc/midwife to verify. I take my blood glucose ranges 4 instances a day and file. I additionally simply do that at random intervals each few months to regulate what my blood sugar is doing usually.
According to Kresser, ranges ought to be:
- Fasting blood glucose (very first thing within the morning) of 86 or decrease
- 1 hour after eating= 140 or decrease
- 2 hours after eating= 120 or decrease
- 3 hours after eating= again to fasting stage
Of course, if this or any take a look at reveals a drawback, it will be necessary to see a health practitioner to overview and kind a plan of motion.
As I already talked about, these assessments can’t change the care of a physician or health practitioner, however had been a manner that I might start to search out health solutions once I was unable to search out a physician or get lab assessments. These assessments may be useful to assist work with a physician to search out solutions to health struggles.
There are additionally now packages (like SteadyMD) that assist sufferers who can’t discover a physician or specialist of their space get lab testing, interpret the outcomes, and develop a plan of motion.
Do you wrestle to search out good medical care? Have you taken issues into your individual palms? Please share and assist others in the identical boat!