Hacking Self-Access To Lab Testing

The biggest barrier to hacking and improving our biologies today is, IMHO, 'ease of access' to lab testing in the U.S.. I've yet to find a physician who is okay with ordering the wide range of specialty lab work. It takes a lot of explaining, and can take time also - if they are willing to do it for you as often they don't understand the use of the tests.


 


There are some self-serve options I'm going to list below that I've discovered so far - however they still don't stretch to cover all tests.


 


Basic Blood Work


wellnessfx.com


insidetracker.com


 


Access to Broader LabCorp/ Quest Diagnostics Testing


http://www.theranos.com/test-menu - access via wallgreen's wellness centers, very recent - has anyone been able to use this with a nearby center?


 


Doctor's Data Tests


http://www.holisticheal.com/health-tests -> Dr. Amy Yasko (methylation specialist) lets you order a range of doctor's data tests through her, and on which she will comment (from a methylation defect / optimum process angle) 


 


Self-Order Labs: These labs will send you tests without physician requisition form - at least I have ordered some tests directly.


Mycometrix.com


dxos.com


 


Other self-serve hacking approaches:


- Friendly physician: On a number of occasions friends who are physicians have been kind enough to order tests for me, however it quickly becomes too high on 'pest' factor if you're testing a lot. 


- Medical Tourism: I routinely get access to labs in foreign countries where getting tests is straightforward. Thailand is great (http://biohacked.net/getting-blood-tests-in-bangkok-private-labs-vs-hospitals/), and other countries have been ok (e.g. Mexico). However, the range of tests is pretty basic in most cases.


 


 


How have you been getting access to lab tests? Have you found any options to get tests more conveniently?


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Comments

  • I order almost all of my tests for myself and my wife through - http://www.privatemdlabs.com/


     


    You can search for 10% off coupons, and once you order your first test and subscribe to their newsletter they send a 15% off coupon every month that you can use 3 times. With the coupons and their testing packages they are significantly cheaper than other websites I've looked at.


  • There's also www.labtestingdirect.com and www.directlabs.com  and www.forresthealth.com  


     


    You just order what you want over the internet. The situation in the US is actually much better than it is elsewhere in the world, for now anyway. Only problem is being able to interpret them properly. The metametrix and Genova tests come with interpretive reports (the physicians version always has more detail).


  • I also found a chiropractor locally who is a functional medicine specialist who will interpret lab results over the phone. He is extremely affordable and will make suggestions in regards to vitamins and minerals needed to correct certain things, like on the CBC panel. Not sure on his stance in regards to cholesterol but for things like Hashimoto's he recommends gluten free and doing other food allergy testing, etc.,


     


    As far as those other labs Hackgirl posted, I've looked through those as well, and doing a price comparison privatemdlabs almost always appears to be cheaper, especially with the coupon. Definitely compare before you purchase.


  • Great. Thanks for adding to this thread.


     


    For the labs you have cited they have a wider but not complete array of tests.


     


    Unfortunately for me, I'm testing for more specific and sometimes specialized labs - that are less common. So even where LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics has them, they aren't being offered on these sites that I've seen.


     


    I'm checking into them one by one and contacting them to see if any of them can do a case by case order of special labs they are given a list of. Will report back on what happens.


    The Quantified Body Podcast 

     

    Gain Confidence in What You Invest Your Time & Money In.

    Learn from Data-Driven Experiments using New Tools & Tactics to Improve Health, Performance and Longevity

  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
    edited February 2014

    Thanks for the post, Damien. I've been waiting 7 days for my WellnessFX data, I think it's being snail mailed to San Francisco. Makes me think I should have used Inside Tracker since they're based here in Boston... (annoyed to be waiting for blood tests you're excited about, biohacker problems, right?)


     


    I have related questions: I've read about the Spectracell micronutrient test...


     


    1. Is that the gold standard, at least as an initial test for micronutrients without diving deeper?


     


    2. Some of these companies seem to use different titles for tests. For example Hackergirl's Lab Testing Direct lists a "spectracell comprehensive nutrition test." Is that micronutrient? Is there an easy system for figuring out exactly what's what across different providers, or do I have to compare tests biomarker by biomarker?


     


    3. Does anyone have an online source for the spectracell, or whatever the best micronutrient test is? Right now the only way I can confirm I could get it is by driving an hour and a half to New Hampshire. 




  • Thanks for the post, Damien. I've been waiting 7 days for my WellnessFX data, I think it's being snail mailed to San Francisco. Makes me think I should have used Inside Tracker since they're based here in Boston... (annoyed to be waiting for blood tests you're excited about, biohacker problems, right?)


     


    I have related questions: I've read about the Spectracell micronutrient test...


     


    1. Is that the gold standard, at least as an initial test for micronutrients without diving deeper?


     


    2. Some of these companies seem to use different titles for tests. For example Hackergirl's Lab Testing Direct lists a "spectracell comprehensive nutrition test." Is that micronutrient? Is there an easy system for figuring out exactly what's what across different providers, or do I have to compare tests biomarker by biomarker?


     


    3. Does anyone have an online source for the spectracell, or whatever the best micronutrient test is? Right now the only way I can confirm I could get it is by driving an hour and a half to New Hampshire. 




     


    I like the Spectracell micronutrient test a lot (I've done it three times). I think it's one of the best tests you can do for the money. Not only does it test micronutrient status but also the strength of your immune system, overall antioxidant function and some measurement of glucose control. Above all, the results are actionable. When I first took the test I had 12 micronutrient deficiencies (I was a mess). 9 months later I corrected all of them through diet and supplementation. The only thing that's borderline low (but not deficient) is selenium.


     


    I also noticed a lot of companies call the test by different names. I have it done at a local AnyLabTestNow location and I believe they call it the Micronutrient 3000 test or something ridiculous like that. Every test you're looking at is likely the same. They should all be within $30 or so of $400. If it's any cheaper than $370, it may be something else.


     


    I'm not sure there's a single test that's going to test for as many micronutrients as the Spectracell test does. Most doctors would try to test serum levels individually, which gets very expensive, and certainly more than $400. Serum levels are also not a good reflection of long term micronutrient status. 


     


    If you do drive to NH, make sure you call ahead of time and make sure they have enough kits and get there as early as possible. The blood needs to be shipped out that day (usually by 3 PM or so) to make it to the lab within 24 hours of being drawn.

    My personal blog : healthbydiet.net

  • Also, I wrote a blog post about direct testing awhile back. Since writing the post, I tend to use Life Extension for everything. If you have a membership, the tests are considerably cheaper than anywhere else. For instance, their CBC + chemistry + lipid panel is only $35, whereas I paid $60-90 with healthcheckusa.com or directlabs.com for the exact same test.


     


    http://healthbydiet.net/blog/2013/7/4/testing-without-a-doctors-order


    My personal blog : healthbydiet.net

  • Any Lab Test Now is what I was referring to in NH. Is this 3PM thing true of all tests? I got WellnessFX last Friday at 2pm via Quest Diagnostics. As I was looking around the room to see anything other than the needle in my arm (I hate needles) I noticed a mini fridge that said "no food! blood samples only." Literally what I would describe as a college dorm room single 30-rack fridge. Wanna shotgun a beer, brah? I'm sitting there thinking, crap, it's a Friday afternoon... is my blood going to sit in there until Monday? And do they actually have a problem with employees putting their lunch in there?


     


    So... did I waste $650 by getting my blood drawn at the wrong time on the wrong day? (I do see Quest Diagnostics cars driving around Boston all the time.) 


     


     




    If you do drive to NH, make sure you call ahead of time and make sure they have enough kits and get there as early as possible. The blood needs to be shipped out that day (usually by 3 PM or so) to make it to the lab within 24 hours of being drawn.



  • edited February 2014


    Any Lab Test Now is what I was referring to in NH. Is this 3PM thing true of all tests? I got WellnessFX last Friday at 2pm via Quest Diagnostics. As I was looking around the room to see anything other than the needle in my arm (I hate needles) I noticed a mini fridge that said "no food! blood samples only." Literally what I would describe as a college dorm room single 30-rack fridge. Wanna shotgun a beer, brah? I'm sitting there thinking, crap, it's a Friday afternoon... is my blood going to sit in there until Monday? And do they actually have a problem with employees putting their lunch in there?


     


    So... did I waste $650 by getting my blood drawn at the wrong time on the wrong day? (I do see Quest Diagnostics cars driving around Boston all the time.) 




     


    No, I was speaking specifically about the Spectracell test. Since Quest is doing your labs for WellnessFX, they may have processed several of the tests later that day and Saturday. I wouldn't worry about it. Did your WellnessFX panel cover any micronutrient tests like RBC magnesium? If so, it would be interesting to compare those results with the spectracell results.


    My personal blog : healthbydiet.net

  • OK, good! And I got Performance and Advanced thyroid, so yes, it at least has RBC mag. 


     


    Spectracell Micronutrient testing may or may not be done depending on my WellnessFX results. I'm kind of expecting thyroid issues, and if that's all I see I might try to address them from there. But if other stuff is out of whack I'll probably do further testing. If I find discrepancies between tests I'll post them here. 


     




    No, I was speaking specifically about the Spectracell test. Since Quest is doing your labs for WellnessFX, they may have processed several of the tests later that day and Saturday. I wouldn't worry about it. Did your WellnessFX panel cover any micronutrient tests like RBC magnesium? If so, it would be interesting to compare those results with the spectracell results.



  • checked out theranos today, they require a physicians order to do any tests :mad:


  • StevoStevo Upgrade in Progress


    checked out theranos today, they require a physicians order to do any tests :mad:




    =====


    Hacker hat on, what is their minimum criteria for qualifying as a physician? How easy would it be to obtain it?

  • Star ChaserStar Chaser Powered by Shred

    The real challenge is finding testing in Canada. I've only been able to pry the most bare bones metrics out of my MD's hands.


    I am a Video Game composer under the pseudonym Star Chaser.

    twitch.tv/starchaservgm (streaming most saturday and sunday nights EST)

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    https://youtu.be/8L0SkovqEf4

    Next cover is Die by the Sword by Dragonforce.

    Music/Health/Biohacking Blog and Podcast currently under construction.

    Thanks to the internet, health experts, and my unending curiosity, I have overcome: excessive sweating (adrenal fatigue), anxiety and panic attacks, extremely high estrogen levels (man boobs), chronic brain fog (yeast overgrowth), depression, and am currently battling SIBO (took it from being so bloated it felt like my stomach skin was going to rip, slept 2 hours per night for a week because of upset stomach and being chronically fatigued to very mild, manageable but still annoying symptoms) and currently battling sleep deprivation/insomnia probably due to the SIBO/Leaky Gut and resulting histamine intolerance.



  • The real challenge is finding testing in Canada. I've only been able to pry the most bare bones metrics out of my MD's hands.




     


    Try the UK, I'm betting it's the most restricted worldwide ;)

    The Quantified Body Podcast 

     

    Gain Confidence in What You Invest Your Time & Money In.

    Learn from Data-Driven Experiments using New Tools & Tactics to Improve Health, Performance and Longevity

  • Well that sucks. I just tried to put "Self" on the Theranos req form https://www.theranos.com/content/pdf/theranos_lab_form.pdf


     


    but they denied it saying I needed to have an NPI number in Cali :(


     


    It so messed up that one cannot order tests yourself. I've used privatemdlabs before, but they don't do Theranos, which is a shame because it's so much cheaper.


     


     


  • Your parents the Government, do not believe you are smart enough to interpret test information yourself, that is why blood tests are restricted to a physician ordering them. Plus it helps create a monopoly.


     


    Privatemdlabs gets around this by having a physician sign off on all the tests you want.


     


    Are NPI numbers verified? Maybe you can make one up.


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