What Is Health and Wellness Testing?

Health and wellness screenings are laboratory tests performed during routine health checks to assess the likelihood of particular diseases. They are intended to identify red flags that could indicate your susceptibility to certain diseases or health conditions.

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The Role of Health and Wellness Tests

Health and wellness tests are a part of routine checkups and can assist your doctor in establishing a routine baseline for your health. This helps your doctor better understand what test results are appropriate for you, specifically, as well as establishing a health history so your doctor can monitor trends and spikes in specific health metrics.

Who should get testing?

Since it is a part of routine health screening, everyone who completes an annual health checkup has probably already taken several health and wellness tests. If you do not have annual checkups, these screenings are a big part of why they are important — there are many common diseases and conditions that are caught early thanks to standard screenings. Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, these checks can help you identify what conditions your body is particularly vulnerable to and how to treat or even completely avoid them.

The regularity of the testing is particularly important, as each person’s baseline health varies somewhat. What is normal for one person may be unusual for another. The only way to tell the difference is to establish a health baseline for your doctor to compare results against.

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Getting Health and Wellness Tests

Health and wellness tests are typically ordered by your doctor as a part of a routine checkup. The results are considered alongside factors such as family history, symptoms, and test results from previous checkups. If any action needs to be taken, your doctor will help you determine the most appropriate follow-up treatment.

While these routine health tests are typically performed at your family doctor’s clinic or another medical setting, they can also be obtained from commercial testing facilities or even ordered online. Some community health centers may even offer the most common routine health screenings for free to the uninsured who would not be able to afford them otherwise.

Costs of health and wellness testing

The price of testing can vary greatly depending on location and test type. Some clinics, typically community testing centers or nonprofit clinics, may even offer free to low-cost health screenings. Labs, clinics, and at-home testing companies may accept insurance to cover or lower your cost of testing.

Testing can also be ordered online through services such as Testing.com if you want to keep a close eye on a particular health metric. A basic health check is available from Testing.com for $114.

Types of sample collection

The particular sample required for a test will depend on the specific test you’re taking. Blood and urine are the most common specimens used for routine health screening tests.

Getting test results

You will typically receive your results during either a follow-up appointment with your doctor, over the phone, or through online medical charts. If there are any irregularities, a follow-up appointment with your doctor will usually be scheduled to answer any questions you may have and let you know how to deal with the results.

It is not unusual for a doctor to order another test if any concerning health trends are noticed. This may be the same or a more specific test, though this is typically used to confirm whether or not the results of the initial test are consistent or just an anomaly.

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