Did you ever wonder what your blood test reports can reveal about your health? Blood tests are the most common medium that your doctor may employ to evaluate your internal health condition when they suspect illness or infection.
Not just that, blood tests also form a part of your annual health check-up plans to determine your hemoglobin and blood sugar levels, blood cell counts, and cholesterol level.
Medical science continues to rely heavily on blood tests as a powerful diagnostic tool. However, what many people do not know is that blood tests may sometimes show false positive or false negative test results. Besides that, test results may differ for different age groups and genders.
It is always a good idea to follow up with your doctor about your blood test report and be sure about your health status. Even in the case of a seemingly perfectly normal report, a discussion with your healthcare provider can help in getting a better understanding of your health.
Routine Blood Tests
A routine blood test typically involves a complete blood count, commonly referred to as the CBC. This consists of a count of your red blood and white blood cells along with a measure of the hemoglobin levels and various other components in your blood. CBC is commonly used to uncover infections, anemia, and blood cancer.
Other common blood tests include the basic metabolic panel for checking the functioning of vital organs, including the heart, liver, and kidneys. These tests measure your blood glucose, electrolyte and calcium levels. For example, a lipoprotein panel is used to check the potential risk of heart disease by measuring levels of fats such as bad cholesterol (LDL), good cholesterol (HDL), and triglycerides in your blood.
A better understanding of the results of your blood tests can help you make informed decisions about your lifestyle and diet patterns.
Good News Is Often Not Communicated
Routine blood tests are typically done to identify problems. Therefore, your doctor may not discuss or communicate the test results when your CBC, cholesterol levels, and blood chemistry reflect values within normal ranges. In other cases, the doctor may send you your test results without any explanation.
However, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommends that even when your test results appear normal, make sure that you follow up and discuss the test results with your doctor, healthcare practitioner, or nurse.
In case you have had a blood test before, ask your healthcare provider if the test results reflect any changes compared to the previous tests and what those changes signify.