Blood tests are usually taken when there is a need to check for a disease or health problem in your body. Besides that, a routine blood test is not just for testing for diseases, it is also used to count your red blood cells and white blood cells, known as Complete Blood Count (CBC), and also measure your level of haemoglobin or some other blood components.
If there are changes you need to make concerning your health or diet, you can get tips from the results of your blood tests. Sadly, some information about your blood tests will be withheld from you by your doctor, especially if you have had private blood tests. They only give out information that you need to hear at that point.
Below are 10 things your doctor won’t tell you about your blood tests.
- Normal results differ between men and women
Normal results of different sexes for the same test is usually different. This means that what is seen as a typical result for a particular blood test for a woman is different from that of a man for the same blood test. A good example is the count of red blood cells after a CBC test for a woman and a man. The normal count for a woman is between 4 to 5 million per microliter of blood, whereas, for a man, it is between 5 to 6 million.
- You don’t always get the good news
Usually, blood tests are to check for diseases. However, when there are commendable results like your CBC and cholesterol level being normal, you may not receive such reports concerning your results. The best you can do would be to follow up on those tests, even if you don’t need them. It will help you keep track in case there are any future changes.
- Abnormal results are not always as a result of diseases
Frequently, you can get an abnormal result after a blood test. Relax, sometimes it is not always the case. A little mistake can cause a hike or change in your result. For example, eating something you’re not supposed to, not eating at all, or even drinking alcohol can cause you to have an abnormal result. To prevent this, you should first speak with your doctor before any test, and find out if there is anything you should eat or avoid before the test.
- A positive result is not always good
We have grown accustomed to seeing the positive sign as a good thing. Sadly, it is not the same with blood tests. When you go for a blood test to check for a disease, if it comes out positive, it means you are infected with the said disease. Examples are HIV, Sickle cell diseases, and STD tests. If these tests come back positive, it means you are infected.
- Negative results are not always bad
When it comes to blood tests, a negative result is good news. It simply means you do not have the disease you were tested for. Whether it is a risk factor or a check for the disease itself, a negative blood test result shows you are not infected; neither are you at risk of being infected.
- Normal results can vary with age
For some blood test, the normal result can vary with age. This means that what would be deemed normal for a child, may not be seen as same for an adult male or female. For example, a haemoglobin result of 11 to 13 grams/deciliter is typical for a child, whereas a result of 14 to 17 g/dl is normal for an adult male and about 12 to 15g/dl is normal for an adult female. On the other hand, a cholesterol level result of less than 100 milligram/deciliter is normal irrespective of age.
- Mistakes are inevitable
Sometimes, our human nature can influence the result of a blood test. Factors like a mixup of a blood sample, storing in inappropriate temperature, shaking inappropriately or storing blood sample for too long can affect the result in the end.
- False-positive results can happen
Sometimes, you can have a false-positive result. This means the test result is positive, whereas you don’t have the disease. This usually happens when there is an interference with the antibodies in the blood, and it can give rise to a positive result where the patient is negative. To prevent this, the test would have to be taken multiple times to be sure.
- False negatives happen too
Sometimes, you may be infected with a disease, but during a blood test, the evidence of the disease may not be picked from your blood sample. When this happens, the result can come back negative while you are infected with the disease. This is usually the case when your body has not developed antibodies in response to the disease. This does not change the fact that you are infected, but you would have to be tested again.
- Results vary from lab to lab
Every laboratory has a range they consider normal and is different for every lab. Having a blood test in a lab means they compare your results with their range, and this can be different in another lab. So when your blood test results from different labs vary, know that it is from the lab.
At Blood London, you can walk into our clinic for a private blood testing in London. Reach out to us today for more information on how we can help you.