- Aaron Hartman, MD, integrative and functional medicine doctor
- Heather Huddleston, MD, Dr. Heather Huddleston is Director of the PCOS Clinic at UCS and Advisor at Allara.
- Heather Moday, MD, author of The Immunotype Breakthrough
- Laura DeCesaris, functional-medicine trained health strategist and founder of Heartroot Health
PSA: Keep in mind that having test results and reports on hand is different from understanding them, so always consult your doctor or a medical professional if you have any questions or before you start making any significant lifestyle changes.
Best Gut Health Tests
“The microbiome test market has exploded as people are interested in their gut health and how it may relate to their current symptoms and future health,” says Heather Moday, MD, an immunologist/functional medicine doctor and the author of The Immunotype Breakthrough.
Dr. Moday says the Viome Gut intelligence test is comprehensive in that it measures bacteria, fungi, and digestion markers. Using a stool sample the test gives you a snapshot of your gut microbiome health across 20 scores.
She does, however, caution that you’re getting a computer-generated report that may not take into consideration specific needs that could be addressed with a specialist.
Similar to Viome, Thorne uses a stool sample to measure digestion, inflammation, immune readiness, and more. Dr. Moday says Thorne also measures intestinal permeability, which is a helpful marker to understand your risk for leaky gut. Whether you’re experiencing GI issues or looking to optimize your gut health, the Thorne test can give you a good snapshot.
Best DNA Tests
“There is a lot that we can learn about our health from our DNA and although our genes do not determine our health, it can be very helpful in picking up risk factors to focus on so you can be preventative,” says Dr. Moday.
While many DNA test focus on ancestry, Nebula Genomics also measures health genes via whole genome sequencing. You can learn about any common genetic mutations and oral microbiomes and get new DNA reports every week. There are also more in-depth tests that decode 100 percent of your DNA and give you access to tools to browse and analyze your data.
“The tricky thing with DNA testing is you really should work with a practitioner with this because there are a lot of nuances,” says Aaron Hartman, a functional and integrative medicine doctor. However he says Ancestry.com is one of the best and affordable platforms where you can test a majority of genes through saliva tests. Your results include ethnicity estimates, geographic origins, and ways to sort through DNA matches.
This nutrition DNA test can provide insights on how you metabolize caffeine and alcohol, any vitamin deficiencies, and how you may respond to different types of exercise.
“We know there’s evidence linking certain genetic markers to things like slower caffeine metabolism, but evidence is still lacking for the clinical effectiveness of DNA tests in general. Essentially, it’s information—most people will need a qualified provider to help them understand it, but it can help shape overall lifestyle choices in conjunction with paying attention to how you feel when you make changes in your diet or life,” says Laura DeCesaris, a functional medicine practitioner.
Best Women's Health Tests
While straightforward urinary tests can tell you a general fertile window, Mira takes this a step further and provides hormone levels from urinary samples. You’ll be able to track your hormone patterns and predict your six-day fertile window and ovulation day. The kit includes an analyzer you can connect to the Mira app, and 10 test wands and collection cups.
Proov is another test that may be helpful if a urinary (stick) test is giving confusing or equivocal results, says Dr. Huddleston. This kit includes two tests: one to help identify your most fertile window, and a second one that measures progesterone to understand ovulation quality. The connect app can give you additional information and recommendations.
For anyone who may have PCOS, Allara measures hormonal and metabolic health (e.g., LSH and testosterone levels, insulin resistance, vitamin deficiencies, and more). You can do the blood draw at home and the samples are run in a standard clinical lab. You’re then paired with a medical provider to virtually walk through your results and what they mean. “To me, this is an optimal way to provide home testing as it offers the convenience of getting tested at home, but still allows the patient to receive professional guidance and interpretation,” says Dr. Huddleston.
Everlywell is a good starting point for most people looking for home health test options, says Dr. Hartman. “Everlywell testing uses standard test methods that are reliable and reproducible, and then repeat testing can be done within their platform to track how you’re doing,” he says. And because they have a whole suite of different tests, you can measure them all in one place.
This women’s health test uses a blood and saliva sample to measure 11 different biomarkers including estradiol (the main estrogen in women), progesterone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and cortisol, among others. After you get your report, you can attend a live webinar with a healthcare professional to learn more and ask questions about your results.
The myLAB Box At Home Metabolism Test uses a combination of blood and saliva to measure cortisol, testosterone, and thyroid-stimulating hormone levels, and the results are fully lab-certified.
There are several other types of tests including heart health, women’s health, family planning, and more. “Keep in mind these tests are a snapshot in time, but they can provide insight into areas that may need support, and that someone may want to look into further alongside their practitioner. It’s fairly cost-effective and easy to use,” says DeCesaris.
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