When a person has a blood test, the results can be very confusing, especially if the doctor does not make an effort to explain what the blood test results mean. Hence, it would be prudent for any person to have the basic knowledge of blood test results, so that they can comprehend their results without getting alarmed or confused.
Usually, a blood test will check your blood for a variety of things, like the RBC count, WBC count, cholesterol level, triglyceride levels and lipid levels. Also, a blood test can be a very specific test wherein the doctor may request the lab to do a test for a particular pathogen, bacteria or virus. Usually, the test will show the levels of the substances in a person's blood with regard to the normal range. The normal range is the level that is present in ninety-five percent of the healthy population for a particular group. It is important to note that the normal range can vary depending on a person's gender, age, race and several other factors.
When there is something wrong with a person, then the blood test results will not be in the normal range. Usually, this will happen when the person is suffering from a disease or disorder. Many other factors can also influence the blood test results, like the food a person eats, the menstrual cycle, the amount of physical activity a person does, the amount of alcohol a person consumes and the kind of medications that a person takes. All these factors can also result in the blood test results being abnormal.
The blood test results are important because they allow a doctor to diagnose a disease or disorder. However, just the blood test is not used on its own. The doctor will also correlate the symptoms with the results.
The most common type of blood test that is ordered by doctors is the Complete Blood Count, or the CBC. In this blood test, the blood is checked for various problems like anemia, infection and other diseases. The Complete Blood Count will check the RBC count, WBC count, WBC differential count, level of hemoglobin, hematocrit, the count of the platelets as well as any vitamin deficiency. This kind of blood test gives an overall picture of person's health. For instance, if the RBC count is low, then the person could be suffering from anemia. If the hemoglobin count is low, then the person has iron deficiency. If the WBC count is high, it is possible that the person has some type of cancer or leukemia. However, if the WBC count is low, then the person could have an autoimmune disorder, maybe taking some medication or suffering from failure of the bone marrow. The levels of hemoglobin and hematocrit give an indication about the RBC count. Platelet count can be low due to bleeding, inherited disorders like Wiskott Aldrich disorder, pernicious anemia, leukemia, or hypersplenism.
If a person is suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency or folate deficiency, then the mean corpuscular volume will be high. However, the person is suffering from deficiency of iron or has thalassemia, then the mean corpuscular volume will be low.
Hence, knowing what blood test results mean can be of great help to a layperson.
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