Do You Have Abnormal Blood Test Report? Lab Me Helps To Deal with
Blood mainly consists of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. These cell fragments and cells are suspended in plasma. When these components reach an abnormal range, it may signify various health problems and symptoms. An underlying disease may also be responsible for these abnormal blood test ranges. Abnormal blood counts are often treatable and are common. It is rare when an abnormal blood count indicates cancer or immune disorder.
However, always check with your primary healthcare provider about what your test results actually mean.
What is ‘abnormal’ by the way?
Blood work tests are the best tools for medical treatment. They are important to diagnose, screen, monitor, and confirm diseases. There are hundreds of blood tests out there and each of them is subject to both observation and interpretation.
There is nothing perfect in terms of lab test but all tests conducting these days use different methods which have been approved and tested by the Food and Drug Administration. The federal government inspects and certifies labs constantly to ensure that they stand ahead of national standards.
Fig: Abnormal Blood Test Report
A patient who follows the basic instruction so seriously, have nothing to drink or eat many hours before the test. They can have high blood urea nitrogen or BUN which determines the functioning of the kidney. Their kidneys are healthy but they are so dehydrated that the BUN reading is elevated. This is why it is recommended for patients to have small amounts of water, and don’t drink (besides water) or eat anything from dinner the night before. In addition, proper hydration can smoothly draw blood by plumping the veins as an added bonus.
In several routine blood tests, blood glucose levels and triglycerides are very sensitive to the last mealtime and reach the fasting baseline just after 8-12 hours without having to eat. So patients who are having a snack late at night and their blood samples are collecting early the next morning may have results that are out of range for lipids or glucose.
Other unusual readings may or may not indicate an issue. A high level of the muscle enzyme ‘creatine phosphokinase’ can signal a muscular or heart disease, or it may indicate that you have worked out just before your blood sample was collected.
If you are recovering from a broken bone or an adolescent, a high level of the liver (bone) enzyme, alkaline phosphatase, is absolutely expected. It could be a common sign of certain cancers or liver disease if you are not having this condition. Even though you take caution to get your results from the lab, you should still ask your doctor to weigh in and not decode the data on your own.
Low Red Blood Cells – Anemia
Red blood cells have hemoglobin, a protein that allows blood to transfer oxygen to all areas of the body. Anemia develops when the body is not able to produce enough amount of red blood cells or loss of red cells because of bleeding or any other causes. If you have anemia, blood is not able to supply enough amount of oxygen to your body. There are different causes of anemia. Some of the common symptoms are fatigue, dizziness, weakness, headache, irritability, chest pains, and shortness of breath.
Anemia may a problem for the short-term or a chronic condition. You can treat mild anemia with iron replacement, diet changes, and vitamin supplements. If you have severe anemia, you may get different medications to improve the production of red blood cells and stop the destruction of red cells. You may need a blood transfusion if you have extremely low red blood cell counts.
Low White Blood Cells (Leucopenia)
Patients having low white blood cells are more susceptible to infections. There are different causes of leucopenia, such as some medications, infections, and various common conditions like immune disorders, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancers like lymphoma and leukemia. Drugs that stimulate the body to produce WBCs are the perfect treatment for leucopenia.
Low Platelets (Thrombocytopenia)
Low platelets can cause bleeding and abnormal bruising. There are different medical conditions responsible for thrombocytopenia.
Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP)
In this condition, the body generates antibodies that are known to attack platelets. The most common cause of Immune Thrombocytopenia is low platelets.
It is a possible side effect of a blood thinner medication, heparin, which is used to cure blood clots. Blood clots are formed due to an immune reaction to the drug.
It is a mild condition that can take place during pregnancy. Bruising and abnormal bleeding can be caused by Von Willebrand disease, which is a bleeding disorder. Doctors can treat Thrombocytopenia on the basis of its cause. To calm down the immune-based reactions, one can use steroids. Also, there are many medications used to increase platelet counts. In some cases, patients are cured with a transfusion of blood.
Low Blood Cells (Pancytopenia)
This condition is marked by a low amount of all types of blood cells – white cells, red cells, and platelets. There are certain medications and infections responsible to cause this condition. The main cause of Pancytopenia is precancerous condition or cancer in some cases. Bone marrow scarring, Myelofibrosis, which can result from several types of hematologic cancers, usually cause low blood counts. Aplastic anemia is also the cause of pancytopenia, a disorder of bone marrow failure which affects the production of blood cells.
High White Blood Cells (Leucocytosis)
Inflammation and infections are the most common causes of high levels of white blood cells. The immune reaction is one of the causes of leucocytosis. Blood cancer is responsible for only a small number of cases. When it requires to increase white blood cells, treatments usually focus on the underlying disease.
High Red Blood Cells (Polycythemia)
The cause of low-grade cancer is the increment in the production of red blood cells. Increased production of red blood cells can also take place due to low levels of oxygen in body tissues. This treatment also includes medications to control the risk of clotting. Patients go through constant blood draws (phlebotomies) in some cases to reduce the number of blood cells.
High Platelets (Thrombocytosis)
There are different conditions responsible for high platelets, such as cancer, anemia, infection, and inflammation. Usually, the base of this treatment is the common disease or condition. Essential Thrombocythemia is a rare condition in which a lot of platelets are produced by the bone marrow. To control the risk of blood clots and platelets, patients may get medicines.
MGUS or Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance
This condition can determine by unusual plasma cells. It closely depends on multiple myeloma, even though it is not based on cancer.
What are Normal Ranges? How to interpret the numbers?
When we see the printout of lab reports, you will find normal ranges for each test along with personal results. For instance, if blood work consists of a test for calcium in the blood, your lab may list the range as 8.3 to 9.9 mg per deciliter for calcium. If your result reaches 9.1 mg/dL in the middle, you may be confident that there is a normal calcium level.
Fig: Normal Ranges of Blood Test On Far Right.
On the side, the reference ranges you see may slightly vary from one lab to another, according to which a lab chooses various possible methods to use. These test results often fall off the reference range for reasons that are not related to medications or diseases.
What if a blood test result is at a high or low end of normal or even just out of normal range? Is it a red flag? Dr. Salamon warns patients not to jump to conclusions. Abnormal blood test results are subject to vary a bit, according to the lab. There are many people who are on the side or other of normal range constantly and it is healthy for them.
It is important for you to discuss results with your primary healthcare provider.
Take a routine test of BUN or blood urea nitrogen, which is a waste product generated due to the breakdown of protein in the diet. The kidneys can remove excess urea from the blood. Hence, high levels of BUN show the declining function of the kidney in the blood. So what does it mean if the BUN level is at an extreme level of the normal range? Dr. Salamon says, “If it is high, I might ignore the same. BUN may go up if you don’t drink enough amounts of liquids, and it can take place if you are fasting before getting blood collected.” In test results, small fluctuations may also show recent infections, stress, side effects of medicines, gender, poor lab procedures, and age.
Dr. Salamon focuses on the requirement to look at the complete picture of someone’s health to interpret full blood test. A number just beyond the normal range in BUN example might be the symptom of bleeding ulcer in small intestine or stomach, not kidney failure. It may rely on the symptoms, person, and other underlying conditions.
When you should be concerned?
Rather than considering the one-time result of the test on the low or high end of normal, Dr. Salamon looks at trends. She says, “I feel concerned when I see the change from what has been normal for years. If the test result always remains in the high normal range, I am not worried. But if it has always been in low normal range, and it is different and high normal.”
Suppose you have your blood glucose (sugar) measured every 3 years (as recommended by the American Diabetes Association to test blood sugar for everyone above 45 years of age, if the last blood work results are normal). The normal test range is from 60 to 100 mg/dL. We know the levels from 100 to 125 mg/dL are ‘pre-diabetes, which is not full-blown diabetes. If your results are around 81 to 82 mg/dL, but your recent result suddenly reaching out to 98 mg/dL, it is still normal but the change might suggest conversation on your diet. For example, Dr. Salamon would ask questions like “Have you increased your weight? Are you eating more sugary foods and carbohydrates?” as part of an investigation on why blood sugar is going up suddenly.
Out-of-the-ordinary trends or spike warrant further investigation by your primary healthcare professional.
But some tests don’t have a chance for changes, including tests for liver enzymes like ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase). If these levels were normal always, but one of them starts to level up several points, there is something wrong in liver functioning and she would want to know the reason.
You should go for a check-up every year and avoid skipping routine blood test. Even though you feel that you are fine, it is still better to have a proper record of blood markers so your doctor can have a clear idea of trends. If you have some abnormal blood test results at the low or high end of normal, ask the doctor if you need to repeat the test or ask them further. Each abnormal blood test has different rules, and it takes years to find out how numbers work. Leave interpretation to the doctor.
Is it a matter of concern for Abnormal Blood Test Results?
Anyone who has had a major health issue ever – even a routine checkup – knows the process of the blood test. When it comes to evaluating the blood for abnormalities, lab tests are important for modern healthcare so blood tests are added in routine diagnosis and annual physicals. You have enjoyed such health hopefully that there has never been anything to be worried about or out of ordinary about blood work.
But the day may come. The doctor may enter the room to explain blood results and the report may be something less than desired. The doctor may suggest some concerns in an abnormal blood test and some results which are out of normal range.
It is good to have a baseline normal for you. Lab Me allows you this convenience through at-home blood testing and tracking. Every blood test you get is placed into a graph so you can see how it is trending. Stock investors wouldn’t invest in a company based on one day of trading data. Neither should you or your healthcare professional.
To see is to know, to not see is to guess – so why would anyone guess with your health? See our most popular at-home blood tests here.
Considering Blood Work
A blood test can definitely is helpful to provide some basic health parameters and metrics but let’s be clear, it doesn’t mean you have to worry even after getting abnormal results. Why is it so? Abnormal blood tests don’t work the way you may feel. They are not simple checkups of health and report cards. Instead, they are something that assigns a basic A-F score. Instead, they are used to find out whether something irregular or disease present in the body. Normal blood work is when there is no sign of disease found but the even abnormal result is not proof that you have something wrong in your body.
Rather than considering lab results as a report card, we can consider it as a reference range. Lab results generally serve as an indicator of what blood actually looks like for 95% of people. It implies that around 5% of the healthy population lands around the normal range. To put it in another way, a large number of healthy people have abnormal blood test results which seem not normal, worrisome, or problematic. But their blood test still doesn’t mean they have any serious illness or there is something wrong.
The same range may figure out just by testing enough blood from many people and taking an average of normal ranges. In the US, the leading Blood Labs change ranges over time, and the group of people makes up data may not seem similar, even with the claims. With science, the efficacy and accuracy of the test also evolve. These days, being out of this normal range can definitely point the healthcare providers to further observation or testing, but these results should be considered an ideal context.
For one person, what’s normal may not the same for someone else, what’s healthy or good for you may be out of the older range and it is fine. In addition, the technology of blood tests and others is about to explode rapidly. We will soon see easier, better, and more accurate testing methods to be common.
How reliable the blood work is?
There are several other concepts you need to keep in mind as you look at your blood work. First of all, there is an idea of variability. You can basically have the same blood test three times and get different outcomes all the time. If you have an abnormal result in one test, the best option may be to check it again. You may hopefully test which is somewhat close to each other, even though they are not similar.
We know this concept as reliability. A complete blood test can basically be performed several times to ensure accurate results. Consider these things as you think of blood work results and ask medical counsel to help you. Ask your doctor to check the implication of blood work and the next steps. You shouldn’t even worry about the abnormal lab test.
How Lab Me Works?
One thing you should know about Lab Me is that you can always rely on its results and it is always useful. It is true that misapplication or misinterpretation of blood work results can cause the diagnostic error.
To utilize the lab test at its best, you should find out what those results mean in that case. One of those challenges includes knowing how to interpret normal results. Another challenge is to know how to use the test properly and its limitations. It needs you to stay ahead with advances in testing technologies and evidence base. Failure in doing so leads to dependence on inferior, outdated, and/or inappropriate tests.
Lab Me allows you to select a blood test that best suits you, perform the test at home, and mail it back to our labs for highly accurate results delivered to your computer or phone in a way that you understand. Learn more here.
This laboratory platform features all the traditional testing concepts and extends them with complementary technologies and capabilities. In addition, it does the same with smooth and complete integration. As a result, you can have an individual system that meets the different needs of modern labs. Here are the benefits of using Lab Me Analytics –
The Improved transparency to lab test status
The efficiency, improvement, and lower costs
Improved compliance and quality
Flexibility to meet your needs (perform at home, no shifting things to make a schedule, etc…)
Removes driving and length fasting
We automate the MD sign-off so you don’t need an extra appointment
If your current way of tracking your blood work or even getting it done seems cumbersome then consider Lab Me. The cost of appointments, driving, and tracking your blood work adds up. Lab Me has been designed with years of patient experience so you can rely on it for an upgradable and flexible system. A system that delivers highly accurate results at an affordable cost compared to competitors.
We take pride in being flexible and having rapid customer support to meet your needs.
Find Your Normal Ranges and Benchmark Progress on Time to Time with Lab Me Analytics
Lab Me is easy to use with top-level encryption, state-of-the-art sample collection, and laboratory analysis.
It benchmarks your information and interprets the normal range according to your health. It helps avoid wrong diagnoses and missing issues. The best part of this program is that it works on machine intelligence so your doctor can easily help you and provide recommendations to provide the best possible result. Your data will help this engine to detect if you are at higher risk for a serious event. It helps manage the complete blood history of families or keep track of the loved one. You can get quick second opinions by sharing reports with doctors.
All you need to do is order a test kit from Lab Me, perform it at home and mail it back. It takes less than 3 minutes and gives you insight at speeds that conventionally aren’t feasible.
Your health needs immediate attention and you shouldn’t wait for someone. Every moment counts and it is not always important to wait for busy doctors and follow-ups. You can interpret blood work and compare it with the last tests with Lab Me. You can even share it with family and doctors. Also, you can get professional and rapid second opinions from doctors with one click.