9 Things that every adult should know about blood tests

It is recommended to have blood tests at various ages to detect any underlying problem. A set of basic tests, such as the level of sugar in the blood, the thyroid status, the amount of calcium and hemoglobin testing should be done at regular intervals to make sure that the health is not being affected. As a general rule, the laboratories are often diagnosed in a general way the results according to age, family history, and lifestyle.

In Great.guru we have highlighted some points that the doctors and lab technicians generally do not report, but that you should definitely know.

1. What is “normal” can be different for men and women

With the invention of the internet, we now have a window open to the world and knowledge available around the globe. But there is a field in which there has not been much progress, and that, unfortunately, we cannot solve from the comfort of the internet. We refer to the analysis of blood. Experts do not recommend to cross check the results on the internet, since these can differ a lot between one person and another. This is especially clear when it comes to comparing test results of men and women.

For example, what is a box of normal blood (CBC) in men may not be normal for women. It is estimated that between 5 million and 6 million cells per microliter for a man, and between 4 and 5 million cells for women before entering menopause.

2. There will be a new way to extract the blood, painlessly and without needles

If you are among those who fear the needle, we have good news for you. A new invention is about to be launched into the market. It is a device without a needle to replace the usual method of extraction. This device has not yet been released to the market, but is expected to go on sale soon.

It also allows you to extract your own blood in the comfort of your home. Not require the supervision of a health care professional to be able to use it, and everything that you’ll need to do is place the device on your arm. This will extract automatically the amount of blood enough, in almost the same time that it takes to do it in an analysis of blood conventional.

3. The doctors usually choose not to tell you the good news

It is said that “No news is good news”. Doctors in particular seem to believe in this phrase. Sometimes, when the results of your CBC (abbreviation of box full of blood) are good, it is possible that the doctors and nurses do not take the initiative to discuss it with you. However, there may be a small possibility that the results of the analysis are not desired.

It is therefore of vital importance that you ask your doctor to compare the results of previous tests with the most recent, to determine if there is any difference, either positive or negative.

4. You need to fast for certain blood tests

Some technicians might not mention it, but many blood tests require you to fast beforehand. Depending on the type of analysis that needs to be done, a person should fast a certain number of hours before the extraction. As a general rule, it requires a fasting of 8 to 12 hours. However, you should confirm with your doctor or the laboratory technician.

It is recommended not to smoke, not to chew gum or do exercise before a blood test that requires fasting.

5. The amount of blood removed depends on the analysis to be done

If you ever wondered why the lab draws as many samples, there is nothing to worry about. There are many tests for which is required a greater quantity of blood, and thus extracts more. Perhaps you’ve noticed that there are caps of different color in each tube of each sample. Each color means something.

Some tubes of blood samples they have in their interior agents, anti-coagulants, that the blood does not clot. Some are conservative, others should be kept at room temperature, while others need to be frozen. There are very few blood tests, and it requires a single sample.

6. The findings mean different things for different age groups

As many know, there is a difference in the results of the analysis of blood according to the age, and therefore there is a range of normal different for adults and children. For example, for children, normal levels of hemoglobin are lower: from 11 to 13 grams or deciliter (g/dl), higher for adults: 13.5 to 17.5 grams or deciliter (g/dl), and 12 to 15.5 grams or deciliter (g/dl) for adult women.

Similarly, the levels of cholesterol and calcium, change as a person ages.

7. A false positive or a false negative can also happen

Don’t consider all the blood tests positive as good and all negative tests as bad. Like a pregnancy test false, the results could be defective. Sometimes, there are viruses that appear in the analysis of blood a little later. Therefore, doctors recommend re-testing, if still persist the symptoms of the disease.

For example, if you have been infected with the hepatitis C virus a few months ago, it is possible that the results of the blood test does not show anything. But yes you can feel symptoms. The false positives are, on the other hand, very common for HIV testing. According to the centers for control and prevention of diseases in the united States, in any community, 1% of people are infected with HIV, and about 2 out of every 10 tests give a false positive result.

8. The results of the analysis of blood may vary in different laboratories

The fact here is that each lab has normal ranges are different for the different tests that are done. These depend on the blood that has been extracted in the past, and in the results. On this basis, we established the reference ranges of different blood tests. So, while a lab can tell you that you are in full form and good of all, the other can ask you to see a doctor.

In addition, there may be a difference in the results of the test in function of the hour and the day on which the same is conducted, and also influences if you’ve eaten something specific before.

9. The results are not affected by the disease

Not all the results of the blood tests are affected if there is any pre-existing disease. On the other hand, even eating something sugary or drinking the night before can affect the results of the glucose the next day.

Therefore, it is recommended to consult the doctor before having any blood tests. The doctor will be able to tell you if a particular disease will affect the result of the test or not.

Do you know more facts or myths about blood tests? Please share your answer with us in the comments section!

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