Everything you need to know about lab testing

Last Updated: July 19, 2024

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Michael Rosenberg

Specializes in translating complex information into readable, engaging content. Michael@top10us.com

Lab testing is a procedure in which a doctor can check the health condition of a person. In clinical chemistry testing, chemical protocols are used to check the amount of specific chemical components according to the desired test prescribed by the health specialist. The components may be glucose, hormones, lipids, enzyme, metabolic substances, and protein depending on the nature of the test. The health care professionals take samples of your blood, different liquid substances of the body, urine, or induced tissues.

The samples are analyzed by a technician to see if the test report falls within the normal range. All the tests use a specific range because the normal condition varies from person to person.

The factors that affect the test results

  • The age, race, and sex
  • The medicine that you take and your daily consumption of food and drinks
  • The procedure of sample collection

Some laboratories are accustomed to facilitating the diagnosis of a selective condition or illness. The lab test helps the doctor in diagnosing your condition more accurately and efficiently. Doctors can embody the health history and the physical examination, but the lab test helps them in choosing the right treatment for any disease. 

The quality of the lab test matters the most. There are 99% chances of an accurate result if the sample is carefully collected and analyzed. But if there is only 1% inaccuracy in the test result, it can cause huge consequences. For example

  • Complications and unnecessary treatments
  • Unnecessary and additional tests for diagnosis of the disease. 
  • These lab tests can cost a lot and are time-consuming, which can be dangerous if the patient is in serious condition. 

Purposes of lab testing

  • For the treatment of any disease
  • Case finding or screening

Types of lab testing

  • Tumor markers
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests

Tumor markers

In the case of any type of cancer, the tumor markers are usually present in the urine or blood that indicate the presence and the type of cancer cells. These tests are conducted to identify those tumor markers.

Blood tests

The blood test is performed to measure and check different cells in the body and the presence of any inflammation. More than 100 blood test types available now which are used to identify several health issues. 

Urine tests

A urine test is performed for the examination of different chemicals and cells in the urine. For example, white blood cells, excessive proteins, red blood cells, or any infection. In the process of urinalysis, the components in the urine are broken down to monitor the presence of proteins, blood, drugs, and other substances. The presence of protein in the urine indicates the problem in cardiovascular or kidney.   

Other types of lab tests

Blood Urea Nitrogen test

This test is performed to check the function of the kidney.

Basic metabolic panel test

BMP includes the test of electrolytes, blood glucose, and kidney function.

Hepatic function panel

This test calculates the enzyme level and liver function.

Complete blood count

The doctor asks for a CBC test to check the signs of anemia, or any infection and to look at different components of blood, like white, red blood cells, and platelets to detect the abnormalities related to the blood.

Amylase or lipase test

This test is performed to check the activity of enzymes related to the function of the pancreas. 

TIBC or iron test

This test measures the ability of red blood cells to absorb iron and the iron level in the body. The result of the test can help to measure the deficiency or excessive amount of iron in the body.

Calcium test

The test is performed to check the absorbed level of calcium in the bones and the other parts of the body. Calcium is an important component of the body’s muscle, heart, and nerve functions. It also involves the formation and maintenance of the bones.

Fecal Occult blood test

This test is performed to screen colon cancer.

Importance of laboratory tests

Lab tests are utilized in various alternative ways. The health care professional can ask for one or multiple tests to:

Screen test for any disease:

The screen test will provide you the detail about your disease, whether it is at high, mild, or very little risk. If you don’t have a symptom, this test will give you accurate information about your condition.

Diagnose the specific condition or disease

The HPV (Human papillomavirus) test is the type of test that helps you to diagnose the human papillomavirus.

Monitor a disease for the best treatment

If you are diagnosed with any type of disease before the lab test, after the test report, you will be able to know about your conditions whether it is worse, or you are recovering, and you can also monitor if the treatment is working or not. 

Example: The blood sugar test could be a sort of check that’s accustomed to monitor diabetic disorder and diabetes treatment. It’s jointly typically accustomed to analyzing the disease.

Monitor the complete health of a person

Lab tests are specifically enclosed in very extreme conditions on a daily basis. Your service provider might ask for tests of assorted organs and systems to check if there are changes in your health with time. Testing will help to notice the health issues before symptoms appear.

Example: A complete blood test could be a routine test to measure the different substances in the body. It will provide the health care professional with necessary information regarding the complete health condition and the risk of the disease.

Tips that make your lab experience more accurate and easier 

  • If you go for a biopsy, drink a lot of water at regular intervals before going, this will keep your blood pressure level from dropping and avoid fainting or vertigo throughout the procedure. 
  • Always follow the instructions that doctors have given to you.
  • Always go to the best labs for any type of test. The minor error in test reports can lead to serious health issues if the doctors start medications according to that test report.
  • Book an appointment online for the test and visit the lab at your specified time to avoid the hassle.
  • Order testing kits at home for the tests you can perform yourself, rather than taking professional help.

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