Blood Tests

The standard recommended blood tests when evaluating obesity are:

  • fasting lipid panels
  • liver function studies
  • thyroid function tests, and
  • fasting glucose tests

A lipid panel includes testing cholesterol, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, cholesterol levels when in a fasting state. Obese individuals often exhibit dyslipidemia, or abnormal lipid levels.

Liver function tests often demonstrate normal results in obese patients, though elevated levels of transaminase can indicate an infiltration of fatty tissue into the liver.

Thyroid function tests also typically yield normal results, but testing for hypothyroidism is valuable, even though this condition rarely causes more than mild obesity.

Because increased insulin resistance is usually found in obese patients, fasting glucose tests should be performed in order to screen for diabetes.