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  • Metabolism Testing: What To Expect, How To Interpret

Metabolism Testing: What To Expect, How To Interpret

Recent years have seen increasing adoption of various diet types, workout regimes, and other lifestyle changes for a healthier life. With an aim to understand our bodies better, we see many advancements in the field of nutrition & health. So it comes as no surprise when metabolism testing has gained popularity in recent years to analyze the body’s unique energy expenditure and nutritional needs. At its core, it assesses an individual’s metabolic rate or the speed at which their body burns calories at rest and while performing various activities. The results of these tests can provide valuable insights for optimizing weight loss, improving athletic performance, or managing specific health conditions.

An image of medical testing equipments such as glucose meters, gloves.

There are several types of metabolism testing available, each comes with merits & demerits. Let’s see some of the types that provide valuable insights into an individual’s unique metabolic profile:

  1. Resting Metabolic Rate Testing (RMR): RMR test measures the number of calories your body burns at rest, which can help determine your daily caloric requirements. RMR testing typically involves breathing into a specialized device that calculates your metabolic rate based on the oxygen consumption. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the average RMR for women is approximately 1,400 calories per day, while the average for men is roughly 1,800 calories per day. However, these values can vary significantly based on factors such as age, weight, and muscle mass.
  2. Indirect Calorimetry (IC): IC is another method used to measure RMR but can also assess the energy expenditure during physical activity. This test is more comprehensive than RMR testing alone and often used in research settings or to fine-tune athletic training programs. IC testing can provide valuable data on an individual’s respiratory exchange ratio (RER), which indicates the proportion of carbohydrates and fats being utilized for energy. This information can help tailor nutrition and training programs to optimize performance and recovery.
  3. Metabolic Blood Tests: These tests measure various blood markers, such as glucose, insulin, and cholesterol levels, to provide insights into your body’s metabolic health. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), a fasting blood glucose level of 100-125 mg/dL is considered prediabetes, while a level of 126 mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes. These tests can be particularly helpful for individuals with diabetes or other metabolic conditions, allowing for early intervention and appropriate management of the condition.
  4. Genetic Metabolism Testing: This type of testing analyzes your DNA to uncover any underlying genetic factors that may influence your metabolism. Although it’s still a relatively new field, genetic testing can offer deep insights into how your body processes nutrients and burns calories. According to a study published in the journal Obesity Reviews, it was observed that individuals carrying specific gene variants related to obesity were more likely to lose weight on a high-protein diet compared to a low-protein diet. By understanding one’s genetic predispositions, it’s possible to create tailored dietary and exercise recommendations that can result in healthy weight loss and sustainable lifestyle improvements.

Each of these metabolism testing methods has its unique advantages and can provide valuable information for optimizing an individual’s health and well-being. By understanding your metabolic profile through these tests, you can make informed decisions about your diet, exercise, and lifestyle to achieve your personal health goals.

Insurance Coverage

Navigating insurance coverage for metabolism testing can indeed be complex. Coverage often depends on factors such as the specific test being performed, the reason for the test, and your insurance plan’s provisions.

To successfully work through this process, consider the following actionable tips and examples:

  1. Review your insurance policy: Begin by thoroughly reviewing your insurance policy documents, including the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) and the Evidence of Coverage (EOC). These documents will detail the types of tests that are covered and under what circumstances. For instance, some policies may cover metabolic testing for specific medical conditions, such as diabetes or thyroid disorders, while others may only cover these tests as part of a weight loss program prescribed by a physician.
  2. Obtain a referral from your primary care physician: Having a referral from your primary care physician can increase the likelihood of coverage. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your interest in metabolism testing and the potential benefits it may offer. If your physician agrees that the test is medically necessary, they can provide a written referral, which may be required by your insurance company.
  3. Document medical conditions or symptoms: Keep a detailed record of any medical conditions or symptoms that may warrant metabolism testing. For example, if you have been experiencing unexplained weight gain or fatigue, make a note of the duration and severity of these symptoms, along with any other relevant factors, such as changes in diet or exercise habits. Submit this information, along with your physician’s referral, to your insurance company to strengthen your case for coverage.
  4. Be prepared to advocate for yourself: In some cases, you may need to be proactive and persistent in advocating for coverage. If your initial claim is denied, consider filing an appeal with your insurance company. In your appeal, provide any additional documentation that supports the medical necessity of the test, such as recent lab results, a letter from your doctor, or relevant research articles. Additionally, familiarize yourself with your state’s insurance laws and regulations, as some states have specific protections or requirements that may be applicable to your situation.

By following these tips and examples, you can increase your chances of securing insurance coverage for metabolism testing. Keep in mind that each insurance plan is different, and the process may require patience and persistence. Open communication with your healthcare provider and insurance company will be crucial in advocating for your needs and ultimately obtaining the testing that can benefit your overall health and well-being.

The price without Insurance

Without insurance, the price of metabolism testing can vary widely, depending on the type of test and the facility providing the service:

  • RMR testing: $100 to $250
  • IC testing: $300 to $500
  • Metabolic Blood Testing: $100 to $500, depending on the specific tests ordered
  • Genetic Metabolism Testing: $200 to $1,000 or more, depending on the extent of the genetic analysis

To find the right metabolism testing for you, consider visiting:

  • Medical Facilities: Hospitals and specialized medical centers often provide a range of metabolism testing services.
  • Nutrition Clinics: Registered dietitians and nutritionists may offer metabolism testing to help create personalized nutrition plans.
  • Fitness Centers: Some gyms and fitness centers have trained professionals who can perform RMR and IC testing to guide exercise and weight loss programs.
  • Online Metabolism Testing Services: Many companies (including some listed below) now offer at-home testing kits for metabolic blood tests and genetic analysis, allowing you to obtain results without visiting a facility.

Take Action

There are numerous companies and service providers that specialize in metabolism testing, offering various testing methods to cater to different needs. Below, we’ll discuss some of the prominent players in the metabolism testing space:

  1. PNOĒ: This company offers a portable indirect calorimetry system that measures your metabolic rate both at rest and during exercise. PNOĒ’s innovative device is often used by fitness professionals and athletes looking to optimize their training and nutrition. Their system provides detailed reports on oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, and respiratory quotient, helping users understand how their body utilizes energy sources. Website: mypnoe.com
  1. KORR Medical Technologies: KORR specializes in metabolic rate testing, offering both RMR and IC testing through their state-of-the-art metabolic analyzers. Their devices, such as the MetaCheck and ReeVue, are designed for use in medical offices, fitness centers, and nutrition clinics. KORR provides comprehensive training and support for professionals using their equipment. Website: korr.com
  1. InsideTracker: InsideTracker focuses on metabolic blood testing, providing personalized insights into a range of biomarkers related to metabolism, inflammation, and nutrition. Their tests are designed to help users optimize their health and performance through evidence-based, individualized recommendations. InsideTracker offers various testing packages, including their Ultimate Plan, which analyzes 43 biomarkers and provides actionable guidance based on the results. Website: www.insidetracker.com
  1. Nutrigenomix: Nutrigenomix is a genetic testing company that specializes in nutrigenomics, the study of how individual genetic variations affect a person’s response to nutrients and impact health. Their tests provide personalized nutrition recommendations based on an individual’s DNA, helping users make informed dietary choices to optimize metabolism and overall health. Nutrigenomix works exclusively with healthcare professionals, such as dietitians and physicians, ensuring that their genetic insights are integrated into a comprehensive health plan. Website: www.nutrigenomix.com
  1. Everlywell: Everlywell offers a range of at-home health testing kits, including their Metabolism Test, which measures key biomarkers related to metabolism, such as thyroid function and cortisol levels. Their user-friendly test kits are designed for convenience and accessibility, allowing users to collect samples at home and receive results through a secure online portal. Everlywell also provides personalized recommendations and resources based on the test results. Website: www.everlywell.com

These companies and service providers represent just a sample of the options available for metabolism testing. As you explore these offerings, it’s essential to consider the specific testing methods, the credibility of the company, and the level of support and guidance provided. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before undergoing any metabolism testing to ensure that you’re making the best choices for your individual needs and goals.


Metabolism testing can be a valuable tool for understanding your body’s unique energy needs and optimizing your health. By researching the various types of tests available, exploring different testing locations, and considering insurance coverage you can find the right option to achieve your personal health goals. As with any medical test, it’s important to discuss your options with a healthcare professional to ensure you’re making informed decisions about your health and well-being.