Female Weight Management Biomarkers

Order our weight loss blood tests if you struggle to lose a few pounds and keep it off? Read on to learn about tips that should aid in weight management for women.

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C-Reactive Protein Cardiac (hs CRP) Useful in predicting risk for cardiovascular disease.

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported.

A Complete Blood Count (CBC) Panel is used as a screening test for various disease states including anemia, leukemia, and inflammatory processes.

A CBC blood test includes the following biomarkers: WBC, RBC, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW, Platelet count, Neutrophils, Lymphs, Monocytes, Eos, Basos, Neutrophils (Absolute), Lymphs (Absolute), Monocytes(Absolute), Eos (Absolute), Basos (Absolute), Immature Granulocytes, Immature Grans (Abs)

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported.

Reflex Parameters for Manual Slide Review
  Less than  Greater Than 
WBC  1.5 x 10^3  30.0 x 10^3 
Hemoglobin  7.0 g/dL  19.0 g/dL 
Hematocrit  None  75%
Platelet  100 x 10^3  800 x 10^3 
MCV  70 fL  115 fL 
MCH  22 pg  37 pg 
MCHC  29 g/dL  36.5 g/dL 
RBC  None  8.00 x 10^6 
RDW  None  21.5
Relative Neutrophil %  1% or ABNC <500  None 
Relative Lymphocyte %  1% 70%
Relative Monocyte %  None  25%
Eosinophil  None  35%
Basophil  None  3.50%
Platelet  <75 with no flags,
>100 and <130 with platelet clump flag present,
Instrument Flags Variant lymphs, blasts,
immature neutrophils,  nRBC’s, abnormal platelets,
giant platelets, potential interference
The automated differential averages 6000+ cells. If none of the above parameters are met, the results are released without manual review.
CBC Reflex Pathway

Step 1 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes:

  • Confirmation of differential percentages
  • WBC and platelet estimates, when needed
  • Full review of RBC morphology
  • Comments for toxic changes, RBC inclusions, abnormal lymphs, and other
  • significant findings
  • If the differential percentages agree with the automated counts and no abnormal cells are seen, the automated differential is reported with appropriate comments

Step 2 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes: If any of the following are seen on the slide review, Laboratory staff will perform a manual differential:

  • Immature, abnormal, or toxic cells
  • nRBC’s
  • Disagreement with automated differential
  • Atypical/abnormal RBC morphology
  • Any RBC inclusions

Step 3 If any of the following are seen on the manual differential, a Pathologist will review the slide:

  • WBC<1,500 with abnormal cells noted
  • Blasts/immature cells, hairy cell lymphs, or megakaryocytes
  • New abnormal lymphocytes or monocytes
  • Variant or atypical lymphs >15%
  • Blood parasites
  • RBC morphology with 3+ spherocytes, RBC inclusions, suspect Hgb-C,
  • crystals, Pappenheimer bodies or bizarre morphology
  • nRBC’s

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

DHEA-S is the sulfated form of DHEA and is the major androgen produced by the adrenal glands. This test is used in the differential diagnosis of hirsute or virilized female patients and for the diagnosis of isolated premature adrenarche and adrenal tumors. About 10% of hirsute women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) have elevated DHEA-S but normal levels of other androgens.

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Measuring the circulating levels of estradiol is important for assessing the ovarian function and monitoring follicular development for assisted reproduction protocols. Estradiol plays an essential role throughout the human menstrual cycle. Elevated estradiol levels in females may also result from primary or secondary ovarian hyperfunction. Very high estradiol levels are found during the induction of ovulation for assisted reproduction therapy or in pregnancy. Decreased estradiol levels in females may result from either lack of ovarian synthesis (primary ovarian hypofunction and menopause) or a lesion in the hypothalamus-pituitary axis (secondary ovarian hypofunction). Elevated estradiol levels in males may be due to increased aromatization of androgens, resulting in gynecomastia.

IMPORTANT - Note this Estradiol test is not for children that have yet to start their menstrual cycle.  If this test is ordered for a child that has yet to begin their menstrual cycle Quest Diagnostics labs will substitute in Estradiol, Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS - #30289 at an additional charge of $34

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Useful in the diagnosis of hypochromic, microcytic anemias. Decreased in iron deficiency anemia and increased in iron overload.

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Folic acid deficiency is common in pregnant women, alcoholics, in patients whose diets do not include raw fruits and vegetables, and in people with structural damage to the small intestine. The most reliable and direct method of diagnosing folate deficiency is the determination of folate levels in both erythrocytes and serum. Low folic acid levels, however, can also be the result of a primary vitamin B12 deficiency that decreases the ability of cells to take up folic acid

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Elevated levels of homocysteine are observed in patients at risk for coronary heart disease and stroke.

Serum iron quantification is useful in confirming the diagnosis of iron-deficiency anemia or hemochromatosis. The measurement of total iron binding in the same specimen may facilitate the clinician''s ability to distinguish between low serum iron levels caused by iron deficiency from those related to inflammatory neoplastic disorders. The assay for iron measures the amount of iron which is bound to transferrin. The total iron binding capacity (TIBC) measures the amount of iron that would appear in blood if all the transferrin were saturated with iron. It is an indirect measurement of transferri

A lipid panel includes:Total cholesterol —this test measures all of the cholesterol in all the lipoprotein particles.High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) — measures the cholesterol in HDL particles; often called "good cholesterol" because it removes excess cholesterol and carries it to the liver for removal.Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) — calculates the cholesterol in LDL particles; often called "bad cholesterol" because it deposits excess cholesterol in walls of blood vessels, which can contribute to atherosclerosis. Usually, the amount of LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) is calculated using the results of total cholesterol, HDL-C, and triglycerides.Triglycerides — measures all the triglycerides in all the lipoprotein particles; most is in the very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL).Very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C) — calculated from triglycerides/5; this formula is based on the typical composition of VLDL particles.Non-HDL-C — calculated from total cholesterol minus HDL-C.Cholesterol/HDL ratio — calculated ratio of total cholesterol to HDL-C.

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Prealbumin is decreased in protein-calorie malnutrition, liver disease, and acute inflammation. It may be used as an indicator of nutritional requirements and response to therapy during total parenteral nutrition and as a biochemical marker of nutritional adequacy in premature infants.

Levels increase sharply during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. The level increases from 9 to 32 weeks of pregnancy.

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Elevated serum PSA concentrations have been reported in men with prostate cancer, benign prostatic hypertrophy, and inflammatory conditions of the prostate.

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This test is used to diagnose hyperthyroidism and to clarify thyroid status in the presence of a possible protein binding abnormality.

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The free T4 are tests thelps evaluate thyroid function. The free T4 test is used to help diagnose hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Free T4 is the active form of thyroxine and is usually ordered along with or following a TSH test. This helps the doctor to determine whether the thyroid hormone feedback system is functioning as it should, and the results of the tests help to distinguish between different causes of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Helpful in assessing testicular function in prepubescent hypogonadal males and in managing hirsutism, virilization in females

This is an uncapped test. Reference ranges above 1100 ng/dL can be reported with a quantitative result.

Testosterone circulates almost entirely bound to transport proteins: normally less than 1% is free. Measurement of Free Testosterone may be useful when disturbances in Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) are suspected such as when patients are obese or have excessive estrogen. Testosterone measurements are used to assess erectile dysfunction, infertility, gynecomastia, and osteoporosis and to assess hormone replacement therapy.

Almost 37% of adults in the United States are obese, and another 32% of adults are overweight. Obesity continues to be one of our greatest health problems, and the problem isn't going away anytime soon.

Weight management for women faces its own unique challenges. Women are influenced most by the change in hormones from puberty to menopause.

But the most important thing about weight loss is knowing where your body stands and what you can do with it. This is why proper weight management for women includes weight loss blood tests. 

If you've lost some weight but are struggling to keep it off, then keep reading this guide. You'll learn everything you need to know about weight management for women. 

What Is Weight Management for Women?

Weight management for women is a lifelong process, and this process changes throughout the phases of life. And sometimes, it doesn't seem as easy to lose weight as it does for your male counterpart. But this is not entirely true.

While men lose weight more quickly at first, over time, the weight loss evens out. Men have more muscle than women, and because muscle burns more calories than fat, they tend to lose weight faster.  

And since men have more muscle to support, they can eat more calories than women and still lose weight. For this reason, portion control is much more important in women looking to manage their weight. Weight loss for women takes proper care and management, but it's not impossible.

Menstrual Cycles and Weight Gain

Your menstrual cycle in itself doesn't affect weight gain, but having periods affects your weight in other ways. Weight management during menstrual cycles is more difficult due to premenstrual syndrome. When you're close to starting your period, you naturally crave more sweet and salty foods than you usually would.

And while your menstrual cycle doesn't affect your weight, gaining or losing weight too quickly can cause you to have irregular periods. Some women even have their periods stop altogether, which is not good for your health overall. A regular period is a signal of good health, and reaching a healthy weight can help you regulate your menstrual cycles.

Menopause and Weight Gain

Managing your weight after menopause can become much more difficult. It is harder to lose weight after menopause, and most women gain anywhere from 5 to 10lbs after menopause. 

After menopause, your estrogen levels decrease, which plays a massive role in weight gain after menopause. Also, after menopause, women tend to get into the habit of not eating healthy and being less active. The loss of estrogen combined with the lack of activity slows your metabolism way down. 

If you've been through menopause and struggling with your weight, the best thing you can do is stay active and track the foods you eat each day.

Aging and Weight Gain

Women need fewer calories than men, and this becomes more prevalent as we age. Women tend to be smaller, with less muscle and more body fat. On average, a woman needs between 1,800 and 2,000 calories a day, depending on age and activity. 

Once you're over 50, your daily calorie requirement dips down to 1,600 calories a day if you live a sedentary lifestyle. As you age, it's more important than ever to increase the amount of physical activity you get.

Risk factors of Not Managing Your Weight

Your weight plays a huge role in your overall health. When you're obese, you put yourself at higher risk for developing chronic medical conditions. Being overweight is linked to health problems like:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Certain types of cancers
  • Gallbladder issues
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Sleep apnea

Generally, if you're at least 40% overweight, you're twice as likely to die prematurely as someone with an average weight. Most doctors advise anyone that's at least 20% above a healthy weight to lose weight if they have risk factors such as:

  • A family history of chronic disease like diabetes or heart disease
  • A pre-existing medical condition like high cholesterol or high blood sugar levels
  • If you have an apple-shaped body and carry weight around your abdomen

The great news about weight loss is that it takes only a small amount to make considerable changes in your health. Losing just 10 to 20lbs can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Causes of Being Overweight and Underweight in Women

Managing weight loss is almost impossible until you understand the causes of being both overweight or underweight. Lifestyle habits are the common cause of obesity, but certain medical conditions and medications can also play a key role.

Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of obesity. If you're sedentary, you burn far fewer calories than people who are active do.

And if you don't incorporate any physical activity in your life, overeating will lead to even more weight gain. Eating fast food, fried food, or foods high in fat and sugar pave the path towards obesity.

Sometimes genetics play a part in obesity. If your parents are obese, then you're more likely to develop obesity yourself. There is also a genetic cause of obesity called leptin deficiency. A hormone produced in fat cells, leptin controls weight by sending signals to your brain to eat less when your body fat is too high. If you don't make enough leptin, this signal is lost, and obesity occurs.

Diseases like polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, and insulin resistance also contribute to obesity. Causes of being underweight include:

  • Family history of being underweight
  • A high metabolism,
  • Frequent physical activity
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Mental illness like depression or anxiety

Your mental health overall suffers overall when you're overweight or obese, and there is a tendency to turn to alcohol more often.

Signs and Symptoms of Being Over and Underweight in Women

When you're overweight or obese, you'll develop various symptoms that will start to hurt your daily life. These symptoms often include:

  • Extra fat accumulation around your waist
  • Sweating more
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Back and joint pain
  • Feeling depression, shame, or low self-esteem

Being underweight can lead to malnourishment and poor overall health. If you're underweight, you'll notice certain signs and symptoms like:

  • Dizziness or fatigue
  • Bone loss and fragile bones
  • Hair loss
  • Trouble getting pregnant
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Weak immune system
  • Poor growth in children

In children, you'll notice they're smaller for their age, become sick more often, and don't put on weight.

Weight Management and Lab Testing

Lab testing is crucial in weight management. Oftentimes, being either underweight or overweight is at least partly due to a medical or hormonal condition in your body.

Lab testing for weight management includes checking your thyroid, hormones, blood sugar, and blood levels. It's also important to have your cholesterol and lipids checked to see where you stand overall.

Lab Tests for Weight Management in Women

There are excellent weight loss blood tests for weight management you can order. One of the first tests is a complete blood count (CBC), which checks your red blood cells, hemoglobin, and the overall health of your blood.

Next is a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) which checks the status of your glucose, electrolytes, protein levels, liver, and kidney function. The CMP is an excellent indicator of how your organs are functioning.

total iron-binding capacity test will determine if you have low iron levels or an inflammatory process that can contribute to your overall health and weight management.

lipid panel will measure your total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, giving you a clearer picture of your heart health and what foods to focus on eliminating.

It's also a good idea to have a TSH test done. This test will establish a baseline of how your thyroid is functioning and screen for diseases like hypothyroidism. 

vitamin B12 level is also a great tool to identify causes for anemia, malabsorption, and more. 

An estrogen level is helpful to know where you stand, as hormone levels and menopause have a direct influence on your weight.

FAQS About Weight Management

How do I know if I am a healthy weight? The two best ways to check your weight are to measure your body mass index and waist circumference.

Is a healthy weight the same for each person? The answer to this is a big no. Each person is a unique individual. Some people are short, and some are tall. Your healthy weight target can vary depending on your age, especially for women after menopause.

Is there really a fast way to lose weight? The answer is no. While you may see plenty of television ads promoting products that promise weight loss, but they don't bring long-term results. You're best to set realistic goals, eat healthily, get active, and change your lifestyle slowly, one day at a time.

Weight Management in Women With Ulta Lab Tests

Ulta Lab Tests offers tests that are highly accurate and reliable, allowing you to make the best decisions about your health. Here are some things to love about Ulta Lab Tests:

  • Secure and confidential results
  • No need for health insurance
  • No need for a physician's referral
  • Always affordable pricing
  • Always a 100% satisfaction guarantee

Order your weight management lab tests today, and you'll receive secure online results in 24 to 48 hours in most cases.

Take charge of your health and order your tests from Ulta Lab Tests today!