You can now get a “personalized” blood test. You pay on line, go to a local Quest Diagnostic lab for a blood draw, and then view your results on line. I happened across Wellnessfx.com, and started poking around their website. The baseline package, which costs $198, includes a cholesterol panel, “liver and kidney health” (AST/ALT, BUN, Cr, total protein, albumin, total bilirubin,) “basic nutrients” (calcium, vitamin D, electrolytes, bicarbonate) and “thyroid and blood sugar” (TSH, glucose, HbA1c). For $75 more dollars, depending on what state you live in, you can consult with a nutritionist or a medical doctor.
Here’s the caveat: if you go to your primary care physician, she should already be getting these blood tests. For example, every 5 years, your doctor should be getting a cholesterol panel. However, Wellnessfx will get an ApoB level in addition to the usual cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. There is some evidence (click here ) that ApoB AND triglyceride may be good predictors of future coronary artery disease.
Every three years your doctor should be checking a fasting blood sugar (glucose) or an A1C to look for diabetes.
They Wellnessfx test includes the TSH screen. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force says there is not enough evidence to support thyroid screening in ASYMPTOMATIC patients. They also suggest that there is not enough evidence to screen for vitamin d deficiency in healthy asymptomatic people.
The Wellnessfx folks are doing screening tests in asymptomatic people. If you are having symptoms you should probably be seeing your doctor! However, I am not totally against getting a personalized test. I think that results may motivate people to pursue healthier lifestyles, and act as a wake up call of sorts. And if anyone wants to send me the $273, I will act as a human guinea pig, get my blood drawn, and report back. Any takers?
The take away: get a blood test if you are willing to make some changes in your life, but know that standard Western medicine doesn’t support this approach (yet).
PS: for you Tim Ferris junkies, he is one of the success stories on the Wellnessfx.com website. I am not sure if that is a plus or a minus… See below.
“Achieve Peak Performance
Tim Ferriss is a New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur, and biohacking pioneer. In his ongoing journey of self-experimentation, Tim uses WellnessFX to optimize hormone and metabolic function to achieve peak performance.”