Feeling unwell, struggling with a particular health issue, or simply want to optimize your wellness? We've rounded up the best health tests and kits you can conveniently take at home to gain insight on your hormones, gut health, genetics, food sensitivities, and more so you can make informed lifestyle changes that will actually make a difference in your health and wellbeing.
UPDATE: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been updated to reflect new information, tips, and reputable companies.
Nearly seven years ago, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Finally I had an explanation for the chronic fatigue, constipation, acne, and anxiety that had plagued me for years.
So why did it take so long for doctors to figure out what was going on with me? In part, it was due to a lack of health testing, and then, even when I did have thyroid tests run, many doctors used outdated ranges or only tested for TSH. So my diagnosis went under the radar.
It wasn't until I started seeing a holistic doctor who ran a complete thyroid panel that I was finally diagnosed, and more importantly, treated!
But having to pay for expensive doctor's visits, and being forced to rely on a doctor to write up the lab order (not to mention the high fees labs charged on top of the visit) quickly became impractical.
So I was beyond thrilled when I came across EverlyWell, a revolutionary company providing at-home health test kits for anyone to take in the comfort and convenience of their own home.
EverlyWell's at-home thyroid test kit (which costs just $159) arrived in a cute little box with clear and simple instructions. A little finger prick (I was shocked at how little it hurt, as I was nervous about using a needle on myself, but it was easy to do and I barely felt it), a few drops of blood on their test sheet and I just mailed it back in the pre-paid envelope.
Even better? The results arrived in my inbox just a few days later, and they were easy to understand in a clean and precise format that makes treatment easier!
Though I often lament modern life and how it can make us all sicker, I have to admit that being able to take control of my health from the comfort of my own house was pretty amazing.
Today, it's as easy as taking at-home health tests to discover your current health risks, conditions, and imbalances, showing you what you need to do to become your healthiest self!
After I became a fan of EverlyWell, I realized there are other companies out there too offering similar at-home tests from genetic, DNA and hormone test kits to food sensitivity and metabolism tests and many more. We've rounded up the best at-home health tests and kits so you can conveniently understand what's ailing you and make informed diet and lifestyles changes that matter. Read on!
First, a quick disclaimer: health tests aren’t perfect. They reflect a snapshot in time to give you insight, so take your results with a grain of salt and don’t let any of the potential results completely freak you out. You don't need to overhaul your entire life based on what one test recommends. Regular testing can help give you a more complete picture, but also monitoring how you actually feel, what symptoms you're having and looking at your body holistically is key. Work with your doctor, and keep in mind that while these tests are great at providing us with useful information, they are also for-profit companies who want to sell you their products. You do what's best for you!
The Best At-Home Health Tests
EverlyWell provides reliable and convenient at-home health tests that work with the same labs doctors' offices use, only deleting the middle man so you don't have to take time off work to go to a doctor's office multiple times! Using a blood sample that's taken from the convenience of your home, you're given easy to understand results that are verified by a board-certified physician in your state prior to you receiving them.
While EverlyWell doesn't diagnose specific diseases or ailments, they do offer lifestyle guidance based on your health results, and make the results easy to interpret and share with your health care provider, family or friends!
EverlyWell's partner labs are certified to meet CLIA standards (the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988), which means that the labs must meet certain quality standards, including qualifications for individuals who perform the test and other standards that ensure the accuracy and reliability of results.
In addition to the Thyroid health test I took, EverlyWell offers a huge range of other tests including but not limited too:
- Women's Health / Men's Health
- Food Sensitivity
- Vitamin D and Inflammation
- Cholesterol and Lipids
- Heavy Metals
- Sleep and Stress
- Sexual Health (see website for various options)
What's the cost? From $59 to $399, depending on the test, and they're usually HSA/FSA covered.
Body Health IQ
Body Health IQ, similar to EverlyWell, has a wide range of tests from CLIA-certified labs including thyroid and metabolism, Vitamin D, food sensitivity, sexual health, and women's and men's health. Once you get your results, you can schedule a telehealth wellness session to review them with an expert provider.
We recently took the Female IQ Bundle ($229) that tests Progesterone, Free testosterone, Cortisol trend with four samples, Estradiol, DHEA, TSH, FT3 and FSH. This is a comprehensive panel and testing your cortisol throughout the day (with four samples) will give a much better overall picture than testing just once. Once we get the results, we'll be sure to update this post!
What's the cost? $69 – $279, depending on the test
Take Wellnicity's health quiz to find out which test is right for you, or choose from a huge variety of tests including hormone health, gut health, stress, thyroid, food sensitivities, and all kinds of tests related to your brain's wellness (like sleep, mood, focus, and memory).
I took the Brain Balance Test ($239) that tests your neurotransmitters like Serotonin, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, Norepi/Epi Ratio, GABA, Glutamate, and Histamine levels. I found my results fascinating, but I'll admit that when I shared them with my holistic psychiatrist, she encouraged me to not live and die by these numbers as they can change significantly throughout the day. So, what's the point? I think it can be helpful to see where you might have some deficiencies and you can use food, supplements and lifestyle changes to try to combat those. But do you need to buy hundreds of dollars worth of the supplements they recommend and/or freak out that your body is all out of whack. Probably not. Grain of salt, people!
What's the cost? $59 – $345, depending on the test. Use the coupon code ROOT+REVEL for 20% off until November 30th, 2019–don't delay!
At-Home DNA + Genetics Testing
23andMe is a health test service that offers genetic DNA testing and analysis by studying your 23 pairs of chromosomes through a simple saliva sample. The DNA analysis is performed in US laboratories that are also CLIA- certified.
The health reports include a Genetic Health Risk report, telling you about the genetic variants you have that are associated with increased risk for certain health conditions, and a Carrier status report, telling you whether you carry genetic variants that may not affect your health, but could affect the health of your family.
- Ancestry Service – get a breakdown of your global ancestry by percentages, connect with DNA relatives and more
- Health + Ancestry Service – a more comprehensive service including 75+ reports on your ancestry, traits, health and more
What's the cost? $99 for Ancestry Service; $199 for Health + Ancestry Service
Read this post that breaks down my results in detail to see what you can expect:
Nutrition Genome is a comprehensive analysis covering 85+ clinically relevant genes across all of the major biochemical pathways, giving you a personal blueprint of your epigenetics. While our DNA remains fixed for life, nutrition and lifestyle turn ‘on' or ‘off' certain genes, and therefore we can learn more about how to optimize our health through this powerful technology.
What's the cost? $399
At-Home Gut Health Tests
UNI KEY Health Solutions
UNI KEY Health offers a huge range of wellness products, including at-home tests for hormones, adrenal stress, parasites, testosterone, tissue mineral analysis, and an expanded GI panel. I took the expanded GI panel, which can detect parasites, pathogenic bacteria, candida, yeast, fungus, worms, protozoa, common food allergies, and intestinal function markers. This is incredibly important for anyone with digestion issues!
The results go directly to acclaimed nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS., who analyzes the results. From there you receive a personalized letter of recommendations and test results which may include natural herbal formulas, nutritional supplements, diet, and lifestyle changes.
I thought this test was really cool to see your levels of things like parasites, pathogenic bacterias, and candida, but just remember that some companies (like UNI KEY, for example) also have supplements that they may try to sell you on after you take their test. Don't get scared into taking all the things they recommend, unless that truly feels like the right thing for you to do. Be your own detective and health advocate and remember that these tests are a snapshot in time. You know your body best!
What's the cost? $475
I like how this company is truly personalized, and their product lines and results are really clear cut.
What's the cost? $99
At-Home Food Sensitivity Tests
First, a caveat to food sensitivity testing: a food sensitivity shows up because there is stress in your gut, which may or may not be due to food. Practicing stress management techniques can sometimes heal your gut more than an elimination diet, and unhealthy patterns like disordered eating actually increase your risk for GI disorders. (source) While food elimination diets may serve some people in some cases, they can also cause a ton of stress. I recommend learning more about intuitive eating and how this gentler approach to nutrition helps create peace around food.
Amazingly, Intolerance Labs tests your tolerance for 350 foods and 350 non-foods (like pollen, pet hair, detergents, etc.) for a super reasonable price. Within three days of receiving your hair sample, you'll receive a list of foods that are classified as having an 85% or greater chance of being problematic for your body at this time. They even have a 6-week money back guarantee if you're unhappy with the results!
What's the cost? £47 (about $60)
Modern Allergy Management
In addition to using a hair sample to test for 750 intolerances, Modern Allergy Management can also test for heavy metals, candida, and even has special intolerance tests for dogs, cats, and horses! They also offer targeted supplements based on what you need given your results.
What's the cost? $55 – $325, depending on the test
Pinnertest is a food intolerance blood test that identifies potential problem foods in an individual's diet. Basically, by analyzing a small blood sample, advanced microarray technology can determine the foods that may cause digestion problems, inflammation, and contribute to negative symptoms like fatigue, migraines, bloating, weight gain, acne and more. Your results will indicate what foods to avoid (and whether it’s a low, moderate or high reaction) plus the foods that you have no reaction to and can eat freely.
What's the cost? $380
What at-home tests have you done to get a window into your health? Let us know in the comments below!