Additional information regarding your lab results from Aayu Clinics

How to Understand Your Lab Results

Lab results are often shown as a set of numbers known as a reference range. A reference range may also be called “normal values.” You may see something like this on your results: “normal: 77-99mg/dL” (milligrams per deciliter). Reference ranges are based on the normal test results of a large group of healthy people. The range helps show what a typical normal result looks like.

But not everyone is typical. Sometimes, healthy people get results outside the reference range, while people with health problems can have results in the normal range. If your results fall outside the reference range, or if you have symptoms despite a normal result, you will likely need more testing.

Your lab results may also include one of these terms:

Negative or normal, which means the disease or substance being tested was not found

Positive or abnormal, which means the disease or substance was found

Inconclusive or uncertain, which means there wasn’t enough information in the results to diagnose or rule out a disease. If you get an inconclusive result, you will probably get more tests.

Even if a medical test shows an abnormality, you may not need to worry about it

Normal is a squishy concept in medicine. For some routine tests, including blood counts, standard ranges were determined decades ago based on studies of soldiers, Jha says. But it has become increasingly clear that a measurement that is normal for a fit 20-year-old man will not necessarily be normal for a 60-year-old woman.

And even though reference ranges for some tests now vary by gender and other categories, those scales are rarely specific enough to correlate to a person’s exact age, race and other circumstances. Different labs, meanwhile, can set their normal range at different levels.

Doctors are used to seeing abnormal results, and they generally look at the context to determine whether there is something to be concerned about. But online patient portals that allow people to see results before talking to their doctors may end up scaring people, even if atypical results are clinically irrelevant…

Why You Need A Follow-Up Appointment to Review Abnormal Lab Results & Modify Your Care Plan

It is not uncommon to hear people complain that their doctors require them to make an appointment to get the results of routine medical tests. While this may seem unnecessary, both in time and expense, there are often reasons why a face-to-face visit may be appropriate—and even essential.

There are four main reasons a doctor will order a lab test:

To diagnose a condition

To measure how effective a treatment is

To track the progression of a chronic illness

To check for the recurrence of a treated condition