It is important to learn how to regularly monitor your own health, even if you have a doctor or other healthcare professional looking out for you.
More than 70% of all chronic diseases are preventable especially when detected early. And, far too many serious medical conditions go undetected for years due to the lack of proper health monitoring.
The most simple and inexpensive way to assess your current health and your future risk of chronic disease is with basic blood testing.
Unfortunately, getting a comprehensive blood test through the conventional healthcare system can often be a challenge. The testing that your doctor is able to order for you may be dictated by your insurance company, or your physician may be unwilling or unable to order specific tests.
Before we take a look at how you can get your own blood tests, let’s address some of the most common misunderstandings about blood testing.
Misconceptions about blood testing
Here are three common areas of confusion surrounding the topic of blood testing.
‘I only need to get a blood test when I am sick.’
Doctors use blood tests to diagnose illness, however many of these same blood tests can be used to determine your future risk of chronic disease.
Understanding what your blood work looks like when it’s healthy can help you to catch the beginning stage of chronic illness before it becomes more difficult to reverse, expensive, and time-consuming.
‘My doctor already orders a comprehensive blood test during my physical each year.’
I have seen many of my client’s blood tests that are included with their annual physicals and, in most cases, the blood tests ordered are not a comprehensive assessment of health.
But, there is a reason for this. Your doctor’s priority is to diagnose and treat disease when it occurs. Whereas, the proactive approach to blood testing is to regularly screen your body for any changes that may represent the red flags of chronic disease.
When you are in control of ordering your own blood test, you can monitor all aspects of your health, such as:
- Vitamin D and other vitamins
- Blood sugar balance and diabetes risk
- Inflammation levels
- Thyroid health
- Cardiovascular health and disease risk
- Blood markers of aging and longevity.
‘My blood tests are all in the normal lab reference range, which means that I am healthy.’
For every blood test, the lab includes a reference range that is considered to be ‘normal’. The problem is, this range represents 95% of the population, based on a bell curve. And, we all know that 95% of people are not a good representation of health. So, for many basic blood tests, there is a narrower range that represents optimal health and function.
You can very easily be within a ‘normal range’ on your lab report, but outside of what is optimal for you and your long-term health and well-being.
One important takeaway is to do blood testing regularly so that you can easily identify deviations from your typical values. This may be a signal of problems brewing under the surface.
I offer my clients a specialized assessment of their blood test from the standpoint of optimal function and preventing disease, rather than just diagnosing disease. And, with this information, they aim to move beyond the health of the average population and begin to optimize their habits for optimal health and longevity.– Dr. Alexis
If you really want to understand your health, the benefits of getting an independent blood test are obvious, but who exactly is this best suited for?
Who should get a blood test with Ulta?
- You need affordable testing because you do not have health insurance or you have a high deductible.
- You are interested in improving your health and want to understand any underlying problems that may lead to developing a chronic disease in the future.
- You want to get a baseline of your current health before making a big change to your diet, lifestyle, or a fitness routine.
- You want to regularly screen yourself for chronic diseases that run in your family.
- You have a chronic disease and have been unable to identify the underlying root cause.
- You haven’t had a blood test in over 12 months and want to get your head out of the sand so that you can start taking control of your own health.
There are many reasons to get a comprehensive blood test. When it comes to your health, focusing on prevention is always better than needing to find a cure. And, the best tool for helping you to prevent disease is regular blood testing.
How to order your own blood test
Ulta is a direct-to-consumer blood test provider. This means that they work directly with you, instead of requiring a physician’s lab order, and offer a full range of diagnostic tests.
Ordering a test from Ulta is a little different than when your doctor orders one for you. But, the entire process is designed to be simple and stress-free.
Step 1 – Search for the blood tests that you would like and add them to your shopping cart. Click here to see the list of blood tests that I recommend my clients get annually.
Step 2 – Complete the checkout, pay for your testing, and select a lab location in your area for your blood draw (see lab locations here).
*You need to be 18 years of age or older to order a blood test.
Step 3 – Take your printed document to the lab for your blood draw. *Residents of NJ, NY, and RI will not be able to order testing at this time as these three states do not allow for direct-to-consumer lab testing.
Step 4 – As soon as your results are ready they will be emailed directly to you. They will be available within 2-8 business days.
Take control of your health
Blood testing helps to paint a picture of your current health and provides a crystal ball for your future risk of chronic disease.
It has never been easier to access the testing needed to take your health into your own hands. Whether you want to optimize your health or determine the underlying cause of a health issue, regular blood testing is a key part of the process.
If you would like an assessment of your blood biomarker data, click here to book a Mini Health Review.