Contributed by – Healthians team
A blood test is one of the ways to keep an eye on your health. Blood tests can be the best way to assess your health. A blood test isn’t only for diagnosing diseases; it can help you catch a host of health issues before they become serious. For those of you who already suffer from serious illnesses or chronic conditions, blood tests are the best way to monitor your condition, track how your treatment is working, and check if your condition is worsening.
Some common blood tests include complete blood count, a blood glucose test, kidney function test, liver function test, HDL, LDL and lipid profile test, etc. While blood test reports are best explained by healthcare professionals, there are some things that you should know that can help you be better prepared and also understand your reports easily. Here are 7 things you need to know about your blood test.
Obtained test results can be different based on age and gender
Blood test results can vary according to age, gender, and medical conditions. Hemoglobin levels vary greatly for infants, young girls, women, men, and elderly people. Similarly, each parameter can vary and thus may not be a cause of concern, unless diagnosed so by a doctor.
Understanding the positive and negative sign
A positive sign in your blood test may not necessarily be good news for you because in tests like hepatitis B or C, HIV test, anemia, and malaria the results are considered positive if they are present in your body. Similarly, a negative test result is not always bad news. For example, if you were being tested for some infection in your blood, the negative news means you weren’t infected.
Repeat testing may be required
Your doctor may recommend a second round of testing to confirm the diagnosis. There are chances sometimes that a test might not be clearly indicative of a condition, so a doctor may recommend a second round of testing or suggest more specific tests to diagnose a condition. For example, the CA125 is usually done to check for ovarian cancer, however, if it is done during your menstrual cycle, then it may be positive even if you do not have ovarian cancer. Hence, the second round of testing or an ultrasound may be recommended.
Some blood tests require fasting
Your food contains carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other nutrients. If you eat before your blood test then it can impact certain parameters. For example, consumption of sugar can affect your blood sugar levels. So fasting before your blood test keeps your body free from these variables and you can get the correct blood test result.
Your results may vary at different labs
Each lab generally has a reference range of results based on tests performed previously. Lab technicians compare your blood results with a range that is considered for the lab. Hence, comparing results from two labs isn’t advisable.
Blood tests aren’t that painful
Many of us fear blood tests not just because of the results, but, also due to fear of pain. However, there are many new technologies out there that make blood sample collection quite painless. Even if the lab isn’t using any special technology, the technicians are usually skilled at drawing the sample quickly and as painlessly as possible and you might feel a very tiny prick in most cases.
Time of sample collection also impacts results
In the case of certain tests, the timing of the test can have an impact on the test result. This is because levels of some elements in the blood might vary. For example, prolactin levels are generally high in the morning, hence getting an early morning prolactin test might not reflect the correct values.
Your blood test results are the tools that can help you track your lifestyle and choices which impact your health. Getting regular checkups done can help you in preventing illnesses as well as monitoring your health.
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