Self Ordering Lab Tests: Will I Be Able to Read My Own Lab Results?

People are ordering their own lab tests and it is increasingly popular with those that:
  1. Have high deductible insurance policies
  2. Are uninsured
  3. Want confidentiality so it is not reported to their health insurance carriers
  4. Impatient to see a physician or
  5. Do not want to pay for an office visit for a lab test order/prescription
Since the majority of those that are self ordering blood tests are not health professionals, the common question is whether or not they will be able to decipher the data on their lab results. Unlike an MRI, sonogram or x-ray, lab results are fairly simple to read. Each test component is listed along with a (1) reference range, (2) your actual values and (3) a flag notification if your values are outside the reference range. For instance, if you are testing your blood sugar, or glucose, the test results would look like this: Glucose High graphic The person’s Glucose level is 196 mg/dL and is flagged as HIGH because the levels should be within the Reference Intervals of 65-99 mg/dL. Uric Acid, Serum levels are normal and not flagged since they are within the reference interval provided. Reference Intervals are based upon gender and age and are constantly being updated for the current recommended standards. So, generally speaking, the lab test results can be easily read by those that order the test. It is recommended that you establishes a relationship with a health provider that can review your family history, your lab test results and conduct a physical examination to diagnose and further explain your test results. Go ahead and order those tests yourself – it’s simple, easy and inexpensive and can provide important health information. Take Control of Your Health.
Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.