Find the Right Lab Test for You
A growing number of today's healthcare consumers are no longer satisfied with a passive role in the doctor-patient relationship. They are more informed about medical care and more health conscious than previous generations of healthcare clients, and more apt to take an active role in maintaining their own health. If this description fits you, chances are that services, like Health Testing Centers, that provide you with the ability to choose and purchase lab tests directly are an option you would be interested in exploring.
However, if you're used to getting your testing done through your doctor, you may be wondering just how the process works. How does the average person, who is not a medical professional, go about choosing the right lab tests for their needs? The good news is that ordering the right tests for you is not as difficult or complicated as it might seem. Here we'll go over some of the basic information you'll need to make solid testing choices.
Includes a complete blood count (CBC), comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) and a urinalysis to help assess overall health
Includes a complete blood count (CBC), comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), urinalysis, hemoglobin A1c, and lipid panel
This test includes the Expanded Wellness Package plus testosterone, thyroid, and vitamin D
This test includes the Expanded Wellness Package, plus thyroid and vitamin D
This test includes the Men's Basic Health Package, plus additional tests including hormones.
This test includes the Women's Basic Health Package, plus additional tests including hormones.
This package combines the Men's Expanded Health Package ,Men's Cancer Screening, Vitamin Package, plus Free T3, Free T4 and Homocysteine.
This package combines the Women's Expanded Health Package , Cancer Screening, Vitamin Package, plus Free T3, Free T4 and Homocysteine.
Used to determine blood group (A, B, AB, or O) and Rh type (positive or negative)
Measures the level of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), an enzyme found in the liver and kidneys
Measures levels of 8 individual components to assess overall health
This test measures BUN and creatinine levels to evaluate kidney function and how well the kidneys are able to filter waste products.
Measures the level of C-reactive protein (CRP) to help assess risk for heart disease
Measures red and white blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin and platelets
Measures levels of 14 individual components to assess overall health
Measures level of ferritin to assess iron deficiency or iron overload
Measures glucose level to screen for diabetes or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Measures level of iron to assess iron deficiency or iron overload
Measures the amount of iron available to bind to proteins, providing additional information about possible iron deficiency or iron overload
Measures levels of cholesterol and triglycerides to assess risk for heart disease
This OmegaQuant at home test kit may be used to measure your Omega-3 index, Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio, AA:EPA ratio, Trans Fat index and a full Fatty Acid Profile by a simple finger stick.
This OmegaQuant at home test kit may be used to measure your Omega-3 index, Omega-6 :Omega-3 ratio, AA:EPA ratio and a Trans Fat index by a simple finger stick.
Measures the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to evaluate prostate function in men age 40 and older
The Prothrombin Time(PT/INR) and Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT) test is used to measure how long it takes the blood to clot.
Measures the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to evaluate thyroid function
Measures the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (T4) to evaluate thyroid function
Examines a urine sample for the presence of proteins and other signs of infection
Measures the amount of vitamin D, an important factor in bone strength
Common lab tests
While there are thousands of lab tests in use today, some are much more commonly used than others, and therefore are more likely to be on the to-do list of doctors' tests for average patients. These include screening tests designed to help evaluate a person's risk for common chronic diseases and health conditions, detect markers of communicable diseases, diagnose nutritional deficiencies, measure vital hormones or assess overall health and well-being. Among the health tests laboratories are most frequently asked to perform are:
- Complete Blood Count – A blood test that measures red and white blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin and platelets in the blood. It can be used to screen for blood disorders, like anemia, as well as nutritional status and toxin exposure.
- Metabolic Panel – This blood test analyzes various markers, including electrolytes, glucose, enzymes and proteins, to evaluate the health and function of a number of vital bodily organs and systems.
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP) – Another blood test, this lab test detects inflammation related to the buildup of plaque in blood vessels, a major risk factor for heart disease.
- Homocysteine Test – This blood test measures levels of homocysteine in the blood, a substance that, when present in high levels, can indicate increased risk for the development of heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis.
- Cholesterol Test – This test helps assess risk of cardiovascular disease by providing measurements of cholesterol and triglycerides levels in the blood.
- Thyroid panel – A blood test that helps evaluate the health and function of the thyroid gland by measuring levels of thyroid hormones, including TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), T3 and T4, in the bloodstream.
- STD tests – Screening tests for sexually transmitted diseases. Blood tests are used to detect some STDs, including HIV, syphilis, herpes and hepatitis, while urine tests detect others, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis.
- Vitamin D, 25 Hydroxy – A blood test that measures levels of this activated form of vitamin D in order to screen for deficiency.
- Hemoglobin A1C (HgbA1c) – A blood test that measures the average amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood over a period of 2 or three months. It is used to screen for diabetes and related metabolic syndromes or to aid in monitoring these conditions.
- Lyme Disease – This blood test looks for antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, to aid in diagnosing the disease.
- Blood Type – These laboratories tests are used to identify blood groups (A, B, AB, or O) and Rh types (positive or negative) of individuals.
- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) – Levels of PSA, an antigen produced by the prostate gland, are measured via blood testing. High levels of PSA can indicate the presence of an enlarged prostate, prostate gland inflammation or prostate cancer.
If you still aren't sure what lab tests you should order, our website's test category directory can offer a lot more information on testing for a wider range of conditions and purposes. Alternatively, you can consult our clinically trained nursing professionals for help, either via our online chat feature or by phone.
What can lab results mean?
The meaning of lab results differs according to the specific tests done. Some tests, such as those designed to detect STDs and other communicable diseases, for instance, yield clear positive or negative results. Others present results that require some interpretation, giving measurements of hormone levels from thyroid testing, for instance, or levels of HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides after a lipid panel. Interpreting these types of results means comparing your numbers to normal lab results ranges.
What are normal lab result ranges?
A normal lab results range, also often called a laboratory reference range, is typically based on statistical ranges in healthy people – basically an average of results found in a large group of healthy people who have had the same test as you. If your numbers fall within the normal results range for a given lab test, that generally indicates that there is no cause for concern. Meanwhile, a result that is outside the normal range does not always, depending upon the specific test and your specific results, indicate a health problem. However, such results often do signal the need for further examination and/or testing.
If you receive test results that you don't understand, our nurses are readily available to help. Via confidential consultations, they can explain your results in clear, simple terms and advise you on whether those results should be brought to the attention of your personal healthcare provider for further examination.