How to translate lab test results?

You have gotten your blood test results back, but you have no idea what they mean. People are often confused when they are reading lab results. Sometimes it is hard to understand what those laboratory words and terms mean. Here is a short overview and some tips on how to translate the numbers, and what they actually mean.

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When we are talking about blood test, it refers to a procedure wherein a blood sample is collected from a person's vein for laboratory examination. It is probably one of the most often guided medical tests. The objective of producing a blood test may differ from one individual to another. For a disorder free and healthy person, blood test is performed to identify the blood type, glucose and other blood elements. On the opposite, a person can require blood examination to define hemoglobin levels, cholesterol levels, or presence of pathogens in the blood sample. For this case, fasting before blood test is needed to get accurate results.

There are many types of blood lab tests, being up to the approach for which the examination has been performed. For instance, examination of the chemical constituents of blood is done to check the concentration of electrolytes (calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, chloride), creatine, glucose, and urea. The readings of the test are then collated with the reference ranges established for correct functioning of the body metabolism. For this case scenario, blood test is performed to evaluate the health status of a person.

It needs to be taken into consideration that not all lab blood tests require fasting before to the examination. Types of blood tests that call for fasting are lipid profile's tests, glucose, and lactose tolerance test.

Within the post-meal state, the concentration of glucose in your blood will be increased as the glucose liberated from your food comes pouring in. So, the amount of glucose present in the blood sample after having a meal will be higher than any time of the day. Moreover, blood cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations tested before food is lower than the test taken after a meal. In a few words, taking a meal before a blood testing gives incorrect results, that are affected by the type of food and its amount.

Cholesterol is not a fat, but a waxy alcohol. As you probably know, wax does not mix with water. So in order to move cholesterol through the watery medium of blood, the body has to package cholesterol in a "carrier" protein shell called a lipoprotein. You have probably heard of these lipoproteins; some are named HDL, others LDL, and also VLDL. All of these names mean the same thing really; they are all just parts of cholesterol in different packages.

Interpreting blood test results correctly requires an understanding of how the tests were devised at times. Knowing more about how to read the numbers can help you take control of your health care and avoid unnecessary and often dangerous drugs. Most of these tests can be normalized by switching to a diet that is low in carbohydrates and processed foods, and high in natural fats and clean protein sources.

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