How often should you get a blood test? Most physicians recommend once a year around the same time as your yearly physical, but this is the bare minimum. If you have any additional health concerns or complicating factors you may be asked to get blood test and urine test more frequently than just once a year. These may include unusual or persistent problems (weight gain or loss), wanting to improve or optimize your health and lastly to reduce your risk of disease or complications. Regular blood tests can catch the warning signs of almost any disease early. Many heart, lung, and kidney conditions can be diagnosed using blood tests.
The most common chemistry testing is Complete Blood Count (CBC), Metabolic Chemistry panel, Thyroid, Lipid panel, Enzyme Markers, Food sensitivity, Vital Nutrient test (B12, Iron) and urinalysis. Everything you eat and drink contains vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients that can cause the related levels in your blood to temporarily spike or drop prior to your test. Fasting for 8–12 hours helps ensure that blood test results are free from these variables, making your test results as accurate as possible.
While your body is always changing and adapting to different stressors, dietary changes, environmental factors and physical exercise, it may be more medically necessary for you to get blood testing more than just once a year even if you're an overall good health. I personally get a blood test quarterly about every 3 to 4 months just to get an overall comparison and baseline present time health status. This philosophy is centered upon the changes that I make in my diet, nutritional supplements, stress levels, sleep quality and daily exercise programming intensity from my training. These regular blood test show my progress, deficiencies and or sometimes higher chemistry levels that I may need to modify my nutritional supplements or diet in order to stay within a more normal limits of optimal health.
It’s possible to order your own blood tests without a doctor or even health insurance, but it’s not recommended. Interpretation and a plan of action with the Blood Chemistry test results is the key to figuring out your current health status, so discuss options with your doctor. There is a local testing labs sites that I personally use is called LabCorp which is close to my house. I also use ZRT Labs, EverlyWell and the Standard Process Omega-3 test home test kits just to keep the inflammatory response in check, vitamin D, Iron and omega-3 level in balance as I am continually changing and modify my diet and training.
I do feel that it's important to have more than one blood and urine test a year, because as we all know a lot can happen during that year. My health is better overall knowing a more detailed understanding of my body’s chemistry and how the environment, food and stressor affect how your body works and functions. Thanks for reading, Dr. Joe.