How to Interpret Medical Lab Test Results

April 15, 2023

Wondering how you can interpret medical lab test results? Well, it’s not that difficult. There are a few things that you can need to learn to determine the results. Read further to learn easy tips to know the results.

Understanding Test Results

When you get the test result, here are a few things that you need to look for:

Positive Vs Negative

Many lab results answer yes or no to the question. For example, whether you have a certain infection or are pregnant. You can see "positive" or "negative" written on these results. In this case, negative doesn't mean bad, and positive doesn't mean good. Instead:

  • Negative:  The test doesn’t show signs of the illnesses or diseases you were tested for. For instance, a negative strep throat result is that you don't have any strap bacteria in your sample. This means you don't have this problem.
  • Positive- This indicates the signs of illness and disease in your body. So, if you get tested for strep throat, a positive result confirms you have strep throat.

In some cases, results can be inconclusive. This means the test doesn't have a clear no or yes answer based on your sample. Your health expert may ask you to repeat the test or take other tests.

Reference Ranges

Many lab tests don’t give clear answers. These types of tests give you ranges such as cholesterol levels. Note that these numbers don't refer to anything, so you need to see how your number falls in the range. Is it comes to a healthy range or a dangerous range? The specific range of the tests will be present in the lab tests.

Why are Lab Tests done?

Lab tests are important for various reasons. This includes:

  • To confirm a diagnosis before starting the treatment
  •  To understand the cause of symptoms
  •  They evaluate the severity of the condition
  • To screen for an illness or disease. Screening tests work for people of specific ages or with a high risk of health issues.
  • To help rule out conditions or disease
  • To verify certain events, such as urine testing for drug use
  • To determine the condition of an organ to check whether the treatment is working on you

What Factors can affect Results?

 Here are the factors that affect the test results.

  • Medicines
  • Certain drinks and foods
  • Stress
  • Having an illness
  • Vigorous exercise
  • Variations in lab procedures

Bottom Line

 If your health expert has asked for any test, complete it immediately. Use our steps to interpret the results. Make sure to visit the nearby urgent care center to get fast results. Also, laboratories that offer walk-in patients should be your option.

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