WellnessFX offers blood testing on many indicators of health without having to pay physician fees. The idea behind this service is simple: you get your blood tested at a local lab, the tests are mailed off for analysis, and then you get to check your own results via the Internet. This consumer-directed product fits with the idea of the quantified self and helps athletes set physiological goals in relation to their health and performance.
The procedure was fairly easy. I chose the Performance Diagnostic testing at WellnessFX and found a testing lab nearby (scheduled directly from WellnessFX). They have locations throughout the United States and work with three major testing companies (Quest, LabCorp, and HDL).
The blood work was similar to other blood work procedures (i.e., testing in the morning in a fasted state). The only exception was that many vials needed to be taken for such comprehensive tests. I wouldn’t recommend planning a big workout right after the blood tests. However, I felt fine by the evening. I received my results within a few days, and I was notified by WellnessFX by email.
Comprehensive, Easy-to-Understand Results
The results are color coded to make them easy to read (green is good, yellow means caution, and red means not so good). You can also learn more about particular tests by clicking on the title of each specific test when you view your results online.
When you click on the title of each test, a pop-up appears with basic information. Sometimes there are also links to videos with even more information. As these health indicators are often linked together, the videos were quite informative. The videos also provided a great deal of information on how individual differences can affect results. All test results must be interpreted within the context of age, gender, and conditioning level, as well as other indicators.
I would strongly recommend these tests as an adjunct to regular physician visits, rather than a replacement. The company seems to also convey this message. WellnessFX has a package that includes an expert consultation for $78.00 more. This additional package was not available to me, as WellnessFX has not yet linked to a physician in my area.
Beyond the Basics
One of the best benefits of these tests is that it is a more thorough review of performance indicators than traditional physician visits. Many check-ups are focused on finding problems in your health. The Performance Package tests bad health indicators, but also indicators that are important for performance. Below are the tests that were contained in the Performance Package.
- Cholesterol – Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides, Lp(a), ApoB
- Inflammation – C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)
- Thyroid and Glucose – TSH, Glucose, HbA1c
- Liver and Kidney Functioning – BUN/Creatine, AST & ALT, Total Bilirubin, Albumin, Total Protein
- Nutrients – 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D, Calcium, Electrolytes, Bicarbonate, Ferritin (serum), Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC), Folate, Vitamin B12, RBC Magnesium
- Hormones – DHEA, Free Testosterone, Testosterone, Estradiol, SHBG, Cortisol, IGF-1, Insulin
The different packages range from $78.00 (a basic package with 25 biomarkers) to a complete package, which runs $988.00 (but also takes eighteen tubes of blood). For athletes, the Performance Package contains most all the tests you need and it costs $497.00. There are also specialized tests for thyroid and reproductive health.
One of the best features of getting these tests completed is that I get the data. It is now in my online profile, and I can use these results to compare to my next set of tests. I certainly am motivated to improve my red categories, and I have made changes to my diet that I think will affect those results.
Furthermore, I can add previous tests manually. Being able to keep track of results and managing my health allows me to have ownership of the outcomes. One feature that would be helpful is export of the data or integration with other health products, such as a scale and body fat measurement. These features will probably come with time as health monitoring software improves.
I would strongly suggest a service like WellnessFX. They provide a comprehensive set of tests that are vital for any athlete who is trying to improve his or her health and performance. I am planning my next visit. As I have attempted to fix my nutritional deficits noted on my first lab test, I feel my performance improving. These tests can be one more tool to assist anyone in their goals of improving their health.
WellnessFX blood tests are available for $78.00 to $988.00 at WellnessFX.com.