Weight loss treatment: Testing along the weight loss journey

March 20, 2024

Weight loss medications such as GLP-1 receptor agonists [SA1] are growing in popularity because they can help reduce appetite and boost feelings of fullness, typically leading to weight loss, often significant. However, it's important to work closely with your healthcare provider to determine if a weight loss medication is appropriate for you. To help make that determination, your healthcare provider may want to conduct testing at baseline and ongoing for tracking of key health markers.


Read on to learn more about the important role of baseline and maintenance testing during your weight loss journey and what you can expect throughout that process.


Understanding your baseline

Before starting any weight loss program, it's crucial to understand your body's baseline health and determine if you have any underlying conditions, like high cholesterol or diabetes, through testing that looks at your metabolic health. These key health markers can be associated with weight and can provide insights to inform your weight loss decisions.


If you're considering a prescription weight loss medication, your healthcare provider will likely want to check baseline levels of:

  • Blood sugar: High blood sugar is linked to weight gain. A HbA1c test can also screen for prediabetes or diabetes
  • Cholesterol: Obesity can be associated with high LDL, so called “bad” cholesterol and low HDL, or “good” cholesterol. Since high cholesterol typically has no symptoms, testing your levels is important
  • Thyroid levels: Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) plays a role in metabolism control, so it’s important to test your TSH levels to see if they may be impacting your weight loss efforts


Labcorp OnDemand's Weight Management Baseline Test checks all these markers and more in a single test. It also includes a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) that measures essential components in your blood (e.g., sugars, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, waste products) that contribute to overall health and provide information about how your metabolism, liver and kidneys are functioning. Understanding your baseline empowers you and your healthcare provider to make informed decisions about weight loss management as part of a tailored treatment plan.


The importance of maintenance testing

Once you begin a weight loss journey, it remains essential to monitor your health with follow-up maintenance testing. As your weight and habits change, your cholesterol, blood sugar and other biomarkers will likely shift, too.


Ongoing testing allows you and your healthcare provider to:

  • Track your progress and adjust medication or lifestyle as needed
  • Catch any new or worsening health issues


Labcorp OnDemand's Weight Management Tracking Test includes HbA1c and cholesterol tests—two markers that typically improve as a result of weight loss.


Work closely with your healthcare provider

While weight loss medications may help many people who want to address their weight health or other metabolic disorders, they aren't a quick fix. A multifaceted approach, guided by your healthcare provider, is crucial for safe, effective weight management.


Baseline testing and maintenance testing are key parts of this process when considering prescription weight loss medication. Labcorp provides convenient testing options to support your weight loss journey.