From the category archives:

Blood Test Reference Ranges

What does it mean when your blood test results are out of the normal range?
Since these laboratory reference ranges are designed to identify and diagnose diseases does this mean I am sick? The answer is: It depends.

For most tests the reference range that a person receives is based on their age and sex. However, without additional context a single test result such as this could be meaningless. This additional context is based on the person’s history, lifestyle, and other factors.

To understand what is normal for you, you must monitor these factors and be aware of how they affect your test results. This is something that patients historically depended upon their doctor to do for them. However, insurance companies continue to cover fewer preventative tests and our relationships with our doctors are becoming more distant.

In this new era of healthcare it is critical that a person take responsibility for their medical and preventative health. This includes being informed about all tests, therapies and procedures that you have done and managing a personal wellness plan. A key component of such a wellness plan is identifying personal “markers of health” and establishing personal ranges that make sense for each person – not normal ranges based on an average population.

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