Interpreting Your Blood Test Results

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interpreting blood test results

There are actually many types of blood test procedures and the results are interpreted in different ways. So if you have taken a low-cost blood work recently and you have a hard time comprehending the figures from the test results, then allow us to shed some light into this matter as we are going to talk about interpreting your blood test in this entry.

Why Doctors Require Blood Test?

For those who are afraid of needles, the thought of undergoing a blood test can be scary. But the fact of the matter is blood tests are necessary tools for the doctors to make a proper diagnosis. To be more specific, doctors use the blood test results in various ways:

  • If a patient undergoes a general checkup, the doctor will use the result to determine the blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • The blood test result can also determine if a patient has a strep throat or a bacterial infection in your throat area.
  • And the same result can also be used to monitor an ongoing condition and see if a particular treatment is working or not.

What Do My Blood Test Results Mean?

Here are the details you need to look for after receiving your low-cost blood test result:

Positive Vs. Negative – Some results are made in yes-or-no format and it is written as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. Medically speaking, the positive results do not necessarily mean “good” and the negative do not necessarily mean bad as:

  • The “positive” result may indicate whatever your resident doctor is looking for. So if you have undergone a blood test for pregnancy, then testing positive means that you are pregnant.
  • The “negative” result means that the lab was not able to find whatever you’re tested for. So in other words, if you have undergone a test for strep throat and it came up negative, then it goes to show that you are free from this type of infection.

Sometimes, the results will be “inconclusive”. This means that the lab does not have a clear yes or no answer based on the sample you have given to them. And if this happens, your doctor might require you take other kinds of tests until a definitive result is produced.

Reference Ranges – Other lab test results show numbers like when you undergo a CBC test or a test for determining cholesterol levels. Now, these figures don’t mean anything as is as you still have to compare these numbers to a “reference value” or “reference range”.blood testing

To better understand this let’s say you took a CBC (Complete Blood Count) test for dengue fever. In order to determine if you have dengue fever, the doctor will usually look for the platelet count in your blood work result and compare it to the normal plate count range of 150-450 billion/L (or a reference range of 150,000-450,000 mcL).

* mcL = Microliter

If your platelet count from the test result shows a number less than 150,000 mcL, then it means that you are suffering from dengue fever because it is under the normal reference value of 150,000-450,000 mcL.

On the other hand, if your platelet count from the test result shows a number more than 150,000 mL but less than 450,000 mcL, then it means that you don’t have dengue fever because it is within the normal reference value of 150,000-450,000 mcL.

Likewise, the same interpretation also applies if your platelet count is more than 450,000 mcL, but the doctor may require you to take other types of test to know what’s causing your platelets from exceeding the normal range.

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Oliver Gauss
Oliver has a degree in physics and mathematics and has completed all but his dissertation for a Ph.D. in Physics. He believes actual science should decide scientific disagreements, and that most people who use "science" to defend their emotion-based opinions have no idea what science actually is. Oliver is the editor of WeWantScience.com and has two new sites coming out soon. Stay tuned!