Certain medical situations, such as a suspected pregnancy, or the desire to know your cholesterol level, can give us the idea of having a blood test without necessarily going to your doctor. But is it possible? Response from Dr Gérald Kierzek, medical director of TipsForWomens.
Are you worried about your state of health and would like to have your blood taken without delay to reassure yourself? Is this possible and provided for by the health course?
A blood test possible, but without any reimbursement
Dr. Gérald Kierzek emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens reassures us: “Yes, you can take a blood test without a prescription.”. Several tests are available by visiting an analysis laboratory. “The question that arises is rather what is the point of doing it without a prescription?” he continues.
Because if the act is possible, it will not be reimbursed in any way by Social Security. The laboratory, or nursing office, must then have you sign a consent form. You will then have to pay for the blood test itself, the cost of which varies from 17 to 25 euros per procedure, but also the costs of biological analyzes, which depending on the type requested, can increase quickly.
“By going through your treating doctor, the requests are invoiced and you are reimbursed by Social Security, it does not require much more effort” recalls Dr. Kierzek.
What blood tests are possible without a prescription?
Certain simple examinations are thus accessible by simple appointment.
- HIV screening tests;
- Pregnancy tests;
- Blood sugar tests or cholesterol tests without a prescription;
You can also ask:
- A TSH test, if you suffer from thyroid problems;
- Determining your blood group;
- Your ferritin level in case of recurrent anemia.
But not all laboratories offer the same offer. In this case it is better to contact the chosen laboratory in advance to obtain details on the services offered and the associated prices.
Don’t deprive yourself of a doctor’s expertise, however.
Practice still questions Dr. Kierzek: “Generally, we order this additional test when we ask ourselves a question: why does the patient feel unusual fatigue? Why is he jaundiced?… Each examination raises an underlying clinical question, which induces the need for a clinical examination first.” The interpretation must also be done by a professional who is the only one who can confirm a diagnosis.
So, if taking blood without a prescription for reassurance is completely legal, it is better not to see it as a way of avoiding your doctor.
Blood tests to detect food intolerance to avoid
Other blood tests without a prescription have also become common since the 2000s, our expert reminds us. These are tests aimed at detecting possible food intolerances. Not reimbursed by Health Insurance, available online or in certain biological analysis laboratories without a medical prescription, these tests cost from €79 to more than €500, and aim to test up to 200 non-tolerated foods.
“The problem with these tests is that they don’t need a prescription, but people don’t really know what to do with them and don’t know how to interpret these tests. There is no tracking. We can’t exclude everything from our diet because we receive a test that indicates an intolerance, we don’t know what that means today.” regrets our expert.
It is up to the doctor to establish a diagnosis of food intolerance or allergy using diagnostic tests and the person’s medical history. In other words, if you believe you are intolerant or allergic to one or more foods, discuss it with your doctor or allergist instead.