Laboratory tests are used to examine the health of a patient. They are used mostly as preliminary tests to determine the general health status of a person. Everyone can read the numbers off of a lab test report, but not many people know what they mean. Knowing how to read blood test results can help you make lifestyle changes to better your health. The following are terms you will find in the most common blood tests.
Fasting glucose levels in a test result show the amount of sugar in your blood after you have fasted for eight to ten hours prior to taking the blood test. The lab norm for fasting glucose is set at 60-99 mg/dl. A reading of above 126 indicates diabetes. Mg dl to mmol l conversion can be calculated for glucose levels by dividing mg/dl levels by 18 or multiplying by 0.055.
It is important to note that not all blood tests you take will give the same glucose levels, especially if you have eaten directly before the test. Also, lab norms differ from country to country. If you have an abnormal glucose count in one test out of twenty, it may mean nothing. It is the job of your doctor to deduce whether the test results are any indication of something wrong in your body.
Enzymes help to stimulate all the chemical activities of your body. AST, SGOT, ALT, SGPT, and GGT as well as Alkaline Phosphatase are all enzymes. When your body is damaged, it sends extra enzymes into the blood. These enzymes can be found in your heart, liver, and muscles. Test results showing high levels of enzymes may reflect a number of diseases or damage from alcohol. Growing children and pregnant mothers may have higher levels of alkaline phosphatase. Low levels are not usually indicative of any problem in the body.
These indicate your C02, potassium, sodium, and chloride levels. Potassium is controlled by the kidneys and is important for the functioning of the heart. Variations from the norm should be immediately evaluated by your doctor. C02 is the acidity of your blood. Sodium is regulated by the kidneys as well. High or low levels of electrolytes could be indications of serious disorder in your body and should be looked at carefully by a physician.
Cholesterol is fat in your blood stream. High levels of cholesterol can cause heart disease. The optimum levels of cholesterol are: less than 200 total cholesterol and 100 or less Low density Lipoproteins (LDL). Not all cholesterol is bad. Your body needs a certain amount to function properly. There are also different kinds of cholesterol. LDL is considered bad because deposits can form in the arteries when the LDL count is high.
Lab tests results can be confusing at best. Having blood test results explained to you, or knowing how to read them yourself, will help you learn more about your body. This understanding can give you the chance to correct potential problems in the early stages when treatment or lifestyle changes may be most effective.