For most people, a blood test comes once a year along with the annual check-up. Ideally, within a week or so, your doctor calls with the results, assuring you that they are normal. You might even receive a copy of the test in the mail, complete with columns of numbers supposedly confirming your health. But to most of us, those numbers are meaningless and confusing. So we put the lab results aside, file them away with other personal records, and carry on with our life. After all, the doctor said you are in the “normal range,” so why worry? While this may be the case, blood tests still raise really important questions that even the healthiest of patients should be asking him- or herself:
- Does “normal” necessarily mean “healthy”?
- What can the lab values of a blood test tell me about the current state of my health?
And, perhaps most importantly:
- What can these lab values tell me about my future health?
Blood testing generally has one purpose, and that is to check for disorders, dysfunction, and disease. When blood test results point to a certain condition, measures are taken to bring the appropriate number – the abnormal value – into the “normal” range. However, when test results are normal, only rarely is a patient told how to stay in this range or, better yet, how to achieve an optimal, or target, level. It becomes a matter of waiting for the other shoe to drop, leading up to the day when you walk into the doctor’s office or pick up the phone and are told, “You are diabetic” or “You have a thyroid disorder.” But it does not have to be this way.
A blood test is essentially a blueprint of your health and a glimpse of its future!
A blood test tells you so much about what is going on inside your body, and it can speak volumes about what may go on inside your body somewhere down the line. The information obtained from the lab results can push you to take the needed steps to put (or keep) your health on the right track. A blood test can motivate you to change your dietary habits, start a fitness habit, or alter certain aspects of your lifestyle, such as your stress level and sleep pattern. A blood test can also be precautionary, helping you to monitor conditions that may be a running concern in your family or personal medical history. If you are already being treated for a particular condition, a blood test is one of the best ways to ensure that your medication is doing its job. In sum, a blood test is a quantitative way of measuring your health so that you can manage it more effectively and easily.
Be in charge of your lab results! Upload them to www.healthmatters.io today.