In this article, we will review the most popular lab tests. Most of them are not expensive but still informative and can be useful in serious medical conditions prevention. All of them can be ordered directly. It makes these blood tests affordable for uninsured people or people with high deductible medical plans. Why these tests are so cheap and why they can be ordered online without a doctor order we explained in our article called "What is online blood test? The first time order?"
1. CBC Blood Test (includes Differential and Platelets)
CBC blood test is presented in most of the overall wellness panels. It is usually ordered to calculate the number of red blood cells (RBC; these cells carry the oxygen) white blood cells (WBC; these blood cells fight infections) and platelets (responsible for blood clotting). However, there are many markers evaluated by this tests on the top to the most common, mentioned above.
Anemia is one of the diseases that is commonly diagnosed with the help of complete blood count test. Low RBC level means that a body does not get enough oxygen for functioning. Low level of platelets may cause long-time bleeding and blood loss.
Abnormal levels of blood cells may be caused not only mild health conditions but also lead to serious health issues (like stomach ulcer).
CBC blood test cost is from ~$30 to $45
2. Lipid Panel
Lipid Panel (Lipid Profile) is for evaluation of cholesterol in patient’s blood.
Several cholesterol types that measured are: HDL-high density lipoprotein (so-called “good cholesterol), LDL-low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol), Total Cholesterol. Also, Triglycerides (fat globules level) in blood is another item on the test list.
These tests altogether are called "Lipid Panel". This panel is widely used for heart attack risk evaluation since "bad" cholesterol can be a reason of lipid plaque build-up.
The cost of the lipid panel is ~$30 - $40.
3. TSH lab test
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is responsible for thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) hormones level changes in the body. It stimulates the thyroid gland to release these two hormones, which control how the body uses energy.
In case of abnormally high TSH level in blood, levels of T4 and T3 can also elevate and cause thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism).
With these medical conditions, a person may experience rapid heart rate, nervousness, weight loss, hand tremors and some other.
TSH blood test costs from ~$27 to $45.
4. Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel or simply CMP is one of the essential tests for overall wellness testing. It includes 14 tests to check kidney, liver functioning, parathyroid, and diabetic status, evaluate fluid and electrolyte balance.
This is a more advanced version of the basic metabolic panel (BMP) that also includes tests for a liver health evaluation.
CMP test also used to monitor patients with chronic diseases and as part of annual (or another routine) testing. However, it often shows false-positive results and should be repeated to confirm. Another option – order more specific tests to re-check abnormal results.
The cost of CMP blood test is ~$27 - $40.
5. Iron, Total and Total Iron Binding Capacity
Iron, Total and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) blood test is designed to evaluate overall iron level in blood and check what amount of iron can be transported by protein transferrin. The iron is very important for red blood cells production. In case if the iron level is low, the risk of anemia development is high.
When the level of iron in blood is low, a person experiences fatigue, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, a tingling feeling in the legs and some other.
The price for Iron, Total and Total Iron Binding Capacity blood test is ~$25 - $50.
6. Estradiol blood test
Estradiol (E2) is the major female sex hormone.
Estradiol (E2) is the major female sex hormone. It is involved in menstrual female cycles and regulation of oestrous. It is also responsible for the development of female secondary sexual characteristics. During the life, estradiol helps to develop and maintain female reproductive tissues.
This test is one of the most popular tests ordered for annual check-ups and during the pregnancy. It is also included in the all-female wellness test panels by most of the lab stores.
The price for Estradiol test starts from ~$35 and may reach $60 mark.
7. Testosterone, Free (Dialysis) and Total LC/MS/MS lab test
Testosterone is the major male sex hormone. It is responsible for the development of male secondary sexual characteristics. It is produced mainly in testes. Low testosterone level can cause low sex drive, hair and muscle mass loss, fatigue, increased body fat, and erectile dysfunction (ED).
In some cases, low testosterone level may cause even a depression.
Testosterone, Free (Dialysis) and Total LC/MS/MS test measures the level of free testosterone and its total amount in the blood. Free testosterone is the testosterone in the blood that is not bound to any protein and can be used by the body in future.
The cost of Free and Total testosterone blood test starts from $50.
8. Vitamin D blood test
Vitamin D plays an important role in the body since it helps to absorb calcium and so keep the bones strong. The body can produce Vitamin D by itself under UV rays. Another resource for this Vitamin are eggs, fish, and dietary supplements.
Vitamin D deficiency leads to brittle bones, frequent bone fractures, muscle weakness, changes in mood and osteoporosis.
Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy, Total, Immunoassay blood test helps to evaluate a total amount of Vitamin D in the body.
The cost of Vitamin D blood test is ~$49 - $75.
9. Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) test
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is responsible for ovarian follicles in women and the gonad development and sperm production in men.
In case if FSH level is low, getting pregnant is become harder. In women, FSH deficiency leads to irregular periods or menopause. In men, it leads to low sperm count. Low FSH level can also cause pituitary or hypothalamus disorders.
This blood test is a common test in men’s and women’s health profiles (panels) from the most lab stores.
FSH blood test costs from approximately $30 to $50.
10. Hemoglobin A1c test
One of the most important tests that are usually ordered by physicians for evaluating the amount of sugar in the blood for the last two-three months.
It helps to diagnose pre-diabetes condition as well as both types of diabetes. This test is performed periodically to detect pre-diabetes health condition and avoid its further development of diabetes.
The price of Hemoglobin A1c blood test is ~$27 - $40.
Should all these lab tests be ordered together?
This is the list of tests that are ordered the most and provide people with a possibility of checking their overall wellness. Most of them are available in the form of health panel, for example, "men's health" or "women's health" panel.
They can be ordered directly without doctor order, but still, it is better to consult with a doctor to check if all of the tests are useful in your particular case. Also, you can find more information regarding these lab tests at the site associated with The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). Most of listed blood tests help to evaluate the possible health issues without the information about the cause of the abnormality. It means that other, more specific tests should be ordered to detect specific health issues.