If you have just had a blood test done, then you should definitely know how to read a blood test report. Here are some tips that will teach you not only to read the report, but to understand what it means.
The first thing to do is to get a copy of the blood test report. This can be done by contacting your doctor or the lab where the test was done. Remember, neither the doctor nor the lab can stop you from gaining access to the copy of your blood test report. It is mandated by law as per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. After you make a request for your blood test report, the lab has thirty days to comply to your request. You may have to sign a permission form before the report is handed over to you.
A look at the report will show that the lab has mentioned the result and the normal range for the various blood tests and also the reference range. You should to first compare the result of a particular test with the corresponding reference range. This will give you an indication whether the result is higher or lower compared to the normal range. In case the results are not normal, it will be flagged either by highlighting the result or with abnormal written besides the values. Alternatively, the result may have a separate column where L may be mentioned for low and H mentioned for high.
Even if the blood results are within the normal range, a person can still be borderline high or low. For instance, if a person has borderline high blood sugar levels, he or she is in the pre-diabetic stage and will be still monitored by the doctor until the blood sugar level comes down to a more acceptable level. Thereafter, the person will be informed how to control his or her blood sugar levels.
You can approach your doctor to help you understand what your blood test results mean. Alternatively, you can check the World Wide Web to understand the results. However, it is imperative that you search just medical websites that are reputable. And, any advice that you get from the websites should first be run through your doctor. Never make any changes to your diet or exercise routine without first checking with your doctor. Remember, the websites are just a way to get more information about your blood test results and the possible disease or disorder.
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