advertisement

Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Are Home Medical Tests Worthwhile?

What do you think of do-it-yourself cholesterol tests? What about C-reactive protein home tests?

A
Answer (Published 3/11/2011)

Do-it-yourself medical testing is becoming increasingly popular as patients shy away from the costs of seeing a physician and the time involved. The Wall Street Journal reported in January, 2011, that home testing is now a $20 million business. (If you include home genetic testing, which I think is ill advised, the market approaches $100 million per year.)

Related Weil Products
The Weil Vitamin Advisor for Heart Health - A healthful diet and lifestyle, along with prudent supplementation, can help prevent or lessen the risk of heart disease and related illnesses such as hypertension, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Start your free evaluation now!

The FDA has approved many do-it-yourself cholesterol tests as well as other medical tests you can perform at home. Some, like pregnancy tests, are fairly reliable if you carefully follow directions. But I'm not sure about home cholesterol testing. Some of the products measure only total cholesterol, which won't give you a true picture of your risk of heart disease. Some give you more information - your HDL ("good" cholesterol) level, LDL ("bad" cholesterol), and triglycerides (blood fats). But the more comprehensive tests are much more expensive (more than $100) than those that measure only total cholesterol (as little as $15 or less), and you may need medical guidance on how to interpret the results and what, if anything, you should do about them.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a blood marker for inflammation in the body. High levels of CRP are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. If you're testing at home, you should be aware that CRP test results can be affected by birth control pills, statin drugs used to treat high cholesterol, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Results have to be interpreted within the context of all of your risks of heart disease - something that's worth a discussion with your doctor.

If you are tempted to use any do-it-yourself tests, check online to make sure that the labs involved are certified by the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and accredited by the College of American Pathologists. If not, I would stay away. I would also advise passing up any testing service that also sells treatments for whatever disease or condition its tests are designed to diagnose.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Learn more: Dr. Weil's Personal Heart Health

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Q
Are Home Medical Tests Worthwhile?

What do you think of do-it-yourself cholesterol tests? What about C-reactive protein home tests?

A
Answer (Published 3/11/2011)

Do-it-yourself medical testing is becoming increasingly popular as patients shy away from the costs of seeing a physician and the time involved. The Wall Street Journal reported in January, 2011, that home testing is now a $20 million business. (If you include home genetic testing, which I think is ill advised, the market approaches $100 million per year.)

Related Weil Products
The Weil Vitamin Advisor for Heart Health - A healthful diet and lifestyle, along with prudent supplementation, can help prevent or lessen the risk of heart disease and related illnesses such as hypertension, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Start your free evaluation now!

The FDA has approved many do-it-yourself cholesterol tests as well as other medical tests you can perform at home. Some, like pregnancy tests, are fairly reliable if you carefully follow directions. But I'm not sure about home cholesterol testing. Some of the products measure only total cholesterol, which won't give you a true picture of your risk of heart disease. Some give you more information - your HDL ("good" cholesterol) level, LDL ("bad" cholesterol), and triglycerides (blood fats). But the more comprehensive tests are much more expensive (more than $100) than those that measure only total cholesterol (as little as $15 or less), and you may need medical guidance on how to interpret the results and what, if anything, you should do about them.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a blood marker for inflammation in the body. High levels of CRP are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. If you're testing at home, you should be aware that CRP test results can be affected by birth control pills, statin drugs used to treat high cholesterol, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Results have to be interpreted within the context of all of your risks of heart disease - something that's worth a discussion with your doctor.

If you are tempted to use any do-it-yourself tests, check online to make sure that the labs involved are certified by the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and accredited by the College of American Pathologists. If not, I would stay away. I would also advise passing up any testing service that also sells treatments for whatever disease or condition its tests are designed to diagnose.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Learn more: Dr. Weil's Personal Heart Health

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Follow Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet and save 30%. Start your 14-day free trial now!

Stay Connected with Dr. Weil
Promote the health of your body, mind and spirit - sign up for Dr. Weil's FREE newsletters today!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

 
Copyright © 2016 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here

  

Q & A Library



Q
Are Home Medical Tests Worthwhile?

What do you think of do-it-yourself cholesterol tests? What about C-reactive protein home tests?

A
Answer (Published 3/11/2011)

Do-it-yourself medical testing is becoming increasingly popular as patients shy away from the costs of seeing a physician and the time involved. The Wall Street Journal reported in January, 2011, that home testing is now a $20 million business. (If you include home genetic testing, which I think is ill advised, the market approaches $100 million per year.)

Related Weil Products
The Weil Vitamin Advisor for Heart Health - A healthful diet and lifestyle, along with prudent supplementation, can help prevent or lessen the risk of heart disease and related illnesses such as hypertension, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Start your free evaluation now!

The FDA has approved many do-it-yourself cholesterol tests as well as other medical tests you can perform at home. Some, like pregnancy tests, are fairly reliable if you carefully follow directions. But I'm not sure about home cholesterol testing. Some of the products measure only total cholesterol, which won't give you a true picture of your risk of heart disease. Some give you more information - your HDL ("good" cholesterol) level, LDL ("bad" cholesterol), and triglycerides (blood fats). But the more comprehensive tests are much more expensive (more than $100) than those that measure only total cholesterol (as little as $15 or less), and you may need medical guidance on how to interpret the results and what, if anything, you should do about them.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a blood marker for inflammation in the body. High levels of CRP are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. If you're testing at home, you should be aware that CRP test results can be affected by birth control pills, statin drugs used to treat high cholesterol, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Results have to be interpreted within the context of all of your risks of heart disease - something that's worth a discussion with your doctor.

If you are tempted to use any do-it-yourself tests, check online to make sure that the labs involved are certified by the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and accredited by the College of American Pathologists. If not, I would stay away. I would also advise passing up any testing service that also sells treatments for whatever disease or condition its tests are designed to diagnose.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Learn more: Dr. Weil's Personal Heart Health

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Q
Are Home Medical Tests Worthwhile?

What do you think of do-it-yourself cholesterol tests? What about C-reactive protein home tests?

A
Answer (Published 3/11/2011)

Do-it-yourself medical testing is becoming increasingly popular as patients shy away from the costs of seeing a physician and the time involved. The Wall Street Journal reported in January, 2011, that home testing is now a $20 million business. (If you include home genetic testing, which I think is ill advised, the market approaches $100 million per year.)

Related Weil Products
The Weil Vitamin Advisor for Heart Health - A healthful diet and lifestyle, along with prudent supplementation, can help prevent or lessen the risk of heart disease and related illnesses such as hypertension, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Start your free evaluation now!

The FDA has approved many do-it-yourself cholesterol tests as well as other medical tests you can perform at home. Some, like pregnancy tests, are fairly reliable if you carefully follow directions. But I'm not sure about home cholesterol testing. Some of the products measure only total cholesterol, which won't give you a true picture of your risk of heart disease. Some give you more information - your HDL ("good" cholesterol) level, LDL ("bad" cholesterol), and triglycerides (blood fats). But the more comprehensive tests are much more expensive (more than $100) than those that measure only total cholesterol (as little as $15 or less), and you may need medical guidance on how to interpret the results and what, if anything, you should do about them.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a blood marker for inflammation in the body. High levels of CRP are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. If you're testing at home, you should be aware that CRP test results can be affected by birth control pills, statin drugs used to treat high cholesterol, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Results have to be interpreted within the context of all of your risks of heart disease - something that's worth a discussion with your doctor.

If you are tempted to use any do-it-yourself tests, check online to make sure that the labs involved are certified by the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and accredited by the College of American Pathologists. If not, I would stay away. I would also advise passing up any testing service that also sells treatments for whatever disease or condition its tests are designed to diagnose.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Learn more: Dr. Weil's Personal Heart Health

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.