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Metabolic tests look at a person’s hormone levels or output of carbon dioxide and oxygen. They can also indicate a hormone imbalance or help an individual with their weight goals. Several companies offer metabolic tests for home use that people can purchase online.

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A metabolism test measures the rate at which the body uses oxygen or burns calories. It can provide an estimation of how many calories a person burns when at rest or during activity, which can help them with their fitness and weight goals.

Metabolism refers to the body’s process of converting food into energy. The body uses this energy for everyday tasks, including keeping warm, movement, and other activities.

Learn more about metabolism.

An individual can receive metabolic testing at some healthcare facilities and fitness centers. In addition, several companies offer home tests to help people determine their metabolic rate.

It is important to note that no home test can diagnose a health condition, so people should interpret their results with the help of a doctor.

Some metabolism tests look at key hormone levels that can affect a person’s metabolism. These test results could indicate a hormone issue that could be affecting an individual’s weight and other aspects of health. For example, many hormone metabolism tests look at cortisol levels, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), and free testosterone.

Cortisol

A hormone metabolism test may indicate a person has too much or too little cortisol. This hormone plays a role in regulating metabolism, the immune system, and how the body responds to stress.

Having too much cortisol for an extended period can lead to low libido. People with uteruses may have irregular periods or periods that stop altogether, which doctors call amenorrhea.

Having too much cortisol can also lead to Cushing’s syndrome. This condition can cause many symptoms, including high blood pressure, mood swings, and rapid weight gain around the face, chest, and abdomen.

In contrast, having too little cortisol may also be a sign of Addison’s disease, which can be life threatening without treatment. Some symptoms may include dizziness, fatigue, and unintentional weight loss.

Thyroid stimulating hormone

A hormone metabolism test may indicate whether a person has too much or too little TSH. This hormone plays a role in maintaining metabolism, muscle control, brain development, and heart and digestion functions.

Having too much TSH may indicate an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism. Some symptoms of this condition include feeling cold, fatigue, and experiencing unintentional weight gain.

In contrast, having too little TSH may indicate an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism. Some symptoms of this condition include unintentional weight loss, feeling hot, and having symptoms of anxiety.

Learn more about TSH levels.

Free testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone that is present in both females and males.

Learn more about testosterone.

In females with too much testosterone, it can be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome. Some symptoms of this condition include acne, more body and facial hair, and a deeper voice.

Males with too little testosterone may experience symptoms such as increased body fat, sleep disturbances, and erectile dysfunction.

There are four types of metabolic tests. The most common home test that screens certain possible health conditions are metabolic hormone tests.

Home metabolic testing often looks at hormone levels in the blood or saliva. In addition to screening for hormone levels that may suggest an underlying condition, these tests may also indicate causes of weight gain.

The following hormones may play a role in weight gain and loss:

  • Cortisol: Research has shown that higher levels of cortisol could predict more weight gain.
  • TSH: Researchers are not sure how much of a role the thyroid and the TSH have on weight loss. However, a 2017 study indicates that a higher presence of free thyroid hormones predicts more weight loss in adults with obesity.
  • Free testosterone: Research indicates that testosterone therapy may help males with low testosterone and obesity lose weight. The researchers suggest that testosterone therapy may encourage sustained weight loss and maintenance of a person’s weight goal compared with other treatments.

However, people should always interpret their metabolic test results with the help of a doctor. If a person receives a test result that indicates hormone levels that are too low or too high, they should contact a healthcare professional for further tests.

The following products are potential at-home metabolism tests to may consider.

Everlywell Metabolism Test

Everlywell offers a wide variety of at-home tests a person can use to assess their health. The company’s metabolism test provides information on an individual’s cortisol, testosterone, and TSH levels.

Learn more about Everlywell.

Once a person buys the test kit, they need to register it on the Everlywell website. They then use the included lancet and equipment to collect a blood and saliva sample. People then place the samples in the prepaid envelope and send them to the lab for analysis.

Everlywell will display the results of the test on an app for the person to review. The company also offers guidance on what the numbers could suggest. However, this test is not a substitute for medical advice, so people should always contact a doctor to discuss their results.

Everlywell offers a membership subscription, in which individuals pay monthly for regular testing at a reduced individual test cost.

myLABBOX At Home Metabolism Test

This test checks a person’s cortisol, TSH, and testosterone levels.

To use this test, people must perform a finger prick and take a saliva sample. They then send the samples to myLABBOX’s Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified lab in a prepaid envelope.

The company states that individuals will receive a free consultation from a doctor if the results show hormone levels that are too high or too low.

Verisana Weight Hormone Check

Verisana states that its weight check test can inform people whether an imbalance of hormones is affecting their weight. This test looks at the following hormone levels:

This test requires one saliva sample. People then send the sample to the lab partnered with the company. The company checks the person’s hormone levels against the average levels for others their age. When individuals receive their results, they will see that a hormone indicator is green, meaning it is within the average hormone range, or red, which means it is too high or too low.

People should contact a doctor if they receive a result that shows hormones are too high or too low or if they believe they require further tests.

An individual can speak with a doctor if they receive a metabolism test result that shows their hormone levels are too low or too high. Although the test cannot diagnose what is causing these uncharacteristic levels, a doctor can.

A person interested in using the home metabolic test for weight loss or maintenance should speak with a doctor, nutritionist, or fitness professional, who can help design a diet and exercise program that meets their requirements.

The following are some frequently asked questions about home metabolism tests.

Is an at-home metabolism test accurate?

The accuracy of home metabolism tests is difficult to determine. Home tests can give a general indication of a person’s overall metabolic health. However, people should always consult with a doctor to discuss any concerns about test results or if they experience any symptoms they believe may be due to a hormone imbalance.

A doctor may recommend further testing, and if they diagnose a condition, they can talk a person through their treatment options.

Do you need to fast before a test?

An individual should follow all instructions that come with their test kit or device regarding fasting.

What is the metabolism’s function?

Metabolism is a reaction that provides the body with energy. Food and drink provide energy, which the body metabolizes to keep it healthy. The body uses this fuel for movement, growth, reproduction, and development.

The rate at which a person metabolizes food and drink depends on several factors, including:

  • age
  • sex
  • race
  • exercise
  • diet

Home metabolic tests can indicate whether a person’s hormone levels are too high or too low. Having hormone levels that are too low or too high can lead to symptoms, such as fatigue, mood swings, and unintentional weight loss or gain.

People should contact a doctor once they receive their test results to determine the cause of these uncharacteristic hormone levels.