Lab Test Tips

  1. Keep your own records.  If you have diagnostic testing done, ask your medical doctor for a copy, you are entitled to it. That way it can be readily shared with other health care providers if needed.
  2. Look back.  Sometimes blood work from previous years can be compared to current tests to spot a trend that may indicate a health problem.  For example, if cholesterol in 2010 was 4.25, then in 2011 it went to 4.95 there may be an upward trend that you want to correct before cholesterol goes outside the normal range.  Your MD probably won’t take time to look through previous years’ results to spot that kind of trend.
  3. Be your own advocate.  Doctors aren’t perfect, sometimes they make mistakes, sometimes they make judgements based on limited information.  If you feel you need further investigation into a problem, diplomatically request that your doctor look into it further.
  4. Take a look at your own numbers/results.  Doctors can also be somewhat black and white when it comes it test results, i.e. it is either inside the normal range or not.  However if your test result is inside the normal range but very close to being out, that’s helpful to know because that’s where naturopathic intervention can turn things around before you become abnormal.
  5. Be Proactive. When blood work comes back slightly off, doctors often take a “wait and see” approach, retesting again in say 6 months.  In many instances the test result is not going to turn itself around, but you can be proactive about addressing the underlying cause and improving the result on the next test, avoiding medical interventions like drugs or surgery.   
  6. Be Prepared.Make sure you know if there is preparation that you need to do before your test such as fasting.
  7. Don’t badger the lab or ultrasound technologists for test results.  They are legally not allowed to disclose this information, only your doctor can.