Typical routine blood tests include the complete blood count, also called CBC, to measure your red and white blood cell numbers as well as hemoglobin and other numbers. This test can uncover anemia, infection, and even cancer of the blood.
Another common blood test is the basic metabolic panel to check your heart, kidney and liver function by looking at your blood glucose, calcium, and electrolyte levels. And to check for heart disease risk, you may have a lipoprotein panel that measures levels of fats in your blood, like good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL), and triglycerides.
Here are 10 things that your doctor may not tell you about results of blood tests like these, unless you ask.
1. Doctors often skip the good news
Your doctor should discuss all blood test results with you. But often the rule is, “No news is good news.” If your CBC, blood chemistry, and cholesterol results fall within normal ranges, the doctor’s office probably won’t reach out to you about your report. Or they may send you a copy with little or no explanation. Even if things appear normal, be sure to follow up and discuss your blood test with your doctor, nurse practitioner, or nurse, recommends the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Ask if there have been changes since the last test of the same type, and what those changes mean.