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Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,997
Registered: ‎03-25-2012

Learn what your blood lab results mean . . .

. . . make sure the lab sends you a copy, and discuss any results with the doctor.  Most doctors scan the report and only look in the "out of range" or "high/low" columns.

 

Many times the outside number is only one digit off normal and that won't show up in those columns, but are still significant.

 

Just a heads up.

Formerly Ford1224
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel 1986
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,520
Registered: ‎03-04-2012

Re: Learn what your blood lab results mean . . .

I always have the doctor send me a copy of my lab results - good idea!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 28,904
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Learn what your blood lab results mean . . .

I have to have a lot of blood work done for a variety of reasons.  I always ask for a copy of all lab results.

 

You wouldn't believe all of the mistakes I've found and things Drs have omitted to tell me that I'd have like to have known.  

 

Besides when you go to another Dr for a followup or if you are referred to another Dr you will need it.

 

You must absolutely be your own advocate.  If you don't look out for yourself, no one else will.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,520
Registered: ‎03-04-2012

Re: Learn what your blood lab results mean . . .


@hoosieroriginal wrote:

I always have the doctor send me a copy of my lab results - good idea!


I also compare it to the past year's results just in case a number is way different from that year, then I can discuss it with my doctor.  They tend to look at the most recent results, but don't compare them to previous lab results.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,560
Registered: ‎12-31-2013

Re: Learn what your blood lab results mean . . .


@LilacTree wrote:

. . . make sure the lab sends you a copy, and discuss any results with the doctor.  Most doctors scan the report and only look in the "out of range" or "high/low" columns.

 

Many times the outside number is only one digit off normal and that won't show up in those columns, but are still significant.

 

Just a heads up.


True those that are a digit off may be significant, but keep in mind those ranges represent average numbers.  If someone is a point off  of the high or low  that doesn't necesarily mean there is anything to be concerned about.  That individual's normals just may fall outside of the average ranges.  It is as important to make a comparison over time of your results not just look at one visit in a vacuum.   As a basic example, my normal temperature is around 97.6 not 98.6 which often is considered normal. The result is that I start registering a fever earlier than "normal".   Everyone needs to to understand their normals, not just look at the lab results. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,888
Registered: ‎07-03-2013

Re: Learn what your blood lab results mean . . .

I can view my lab results on my hospitals website.  It comes in handy when I have a test a day or two before the Dr appt.  I can study the results and have my questions ready.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,319
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Learn what your blood lab results mean . . .

I always get copies of mine. Sometimes there are questions I have on a result that the doctor does not even mention.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,997
Registered: ‎03-25-2012

Re: Learn what your blood lab results mean . . .


@scotnovel wrote:

@LilacTree wrote:

. . . make sure the lab sends you a copy, and discuss any results with the doctor.  Most doctors scan the report and only look in the "out of range" or "high/low" columns.

 

Many times the outside number is only one digit off normal and that won't show up in those columns, but are still significant.

 

Just a heads up.


True those that are a digit off may be significant, but keep in mind those ranges represent average numbers.  If someone is a point off  of the high or low  that doesn't necesarily mean there is anything to be concerned about.  That individual's normals just may fall outside of the average ranges.  It is as important to make a comparison over time of your results not just look at one visit in a vacuum.   As a basic example, my normal temperature is around 97.6 not 98.6 which often is considered normal. The result is that I start registering a fever earlier than "normal".   Everyone needs to to understand their normals, not just look at the lab results. 


This is why I think it's important to discuss the results with the doctor.  My normal temp is 97.2, so I also show a fever (which is rare) at lower numbers than average.

 

I am seeing my RA doc on Monday and will discuss some of my lab results and ask her why she did not order an anti-CCP which has always been high and I wanted to see if it was higher.  Not there because it was not ordered.  Maybe the criteria has changed, but I doubt it.

Formerly Ford1224
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel 1986
Honored Contributor
Posts: 28,904
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Learn what your blood lab results mean . . .

My Drs have gotten 'an ear full' so to speak from me about these lab results.

 

It is so frustrating when the Dr orders all of these lab results and then you have some person (not even a nurse often) call and say, "Everythings fine".

 

Well, I've been dealing with an auto-immune disease and I told the Dr.  "Every Dr I go to tells me something is wrong, blood shows it but they leave me hanging.  I don't want to waste my time here if you are going to do that and just order more lab results".

 

He looked at me and said, "Do you see what it says about me?  Do you see that it says I also deal with autoimmune diseases?  That means I will work with you until WE find out what the virus is you can't get rid of AND then we will boost your immune system.  I think of myself as a detective who is a Dr".  

 

I looked at him and said, "OK, I'm in.  What do you need me to do".

 

Over the years so many Drs (when I didn't have this issue), I'm 70 so I've been to many Drs over the years.  They will often order tests and then someone calls and says it's OK.

 

I know it's because of insurance (which has only gotten worse).  However, there should at least be a followup to discuss the findings.  Most of the time there isn't.  Often I'll make an appointment anyway.  There have been a few times I've had to pay for that appt myself but it was worth it.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 641
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Learn what your blood lab results mean . . .

My doctor always sits down with me and goes over every test and what the numbers mean. A few times I've had numbers at either the low end or high end of normal but still within the normal range.  He'll usually say that he'll retest in another 6 months.  Anything that is outside of the normal range, he will explain what is could possibly indicate.  He always gives me a copy to take home. I'll turn 70 in May and so far, praise God, have enjoyed good health. My doctor is a treasure.   docsgirl