Patients

Why You Need a Lab Test

Laboratory tests provide healthcare professionals vital information to assist with making important decisions regarding your health.

 

Why do I need a lab test?

Lab tests are done for many reasons, including:
 

Check Your Overall Health

Some tests are part of a yearly or routine physical so your healthcare professional can get a clear picture of your health. An example of a general test to get a snapshot of your health is a complete blood count (CBC).
 

Help Diagnose Your Symptoms

If you have certain signs and symptoms, your healthcare professional may run certain tests to help determine whether you have a certain medical condition. This is helpful when there are several medical conditions that could be causing your signs and symptoms. An example is a urine test to see if frequent urination is being caused by a simple urinary tract infection or something more complex, such as diabetes.
 

Diagnose Medical Conditions That Do Not Have Symptoms

Not all medical conditions have signs and symptoms in the early stages of a disease. Lab tests can help. An example is a cholesterol screening. High cholesterol levels usually do not cause any symptoms but may lead to serious medical conditions.  
 

Monitor the Effectiveness of Treatment

Lab tests help your healthcare professional know how you are doing with treatment. An example is a blood test such as prothrombin time, which is administered to see if your anticoagulant medicine is working to keep your blood clotting to the proper level.

 

For more information on laboratory testing visit labtestsonline.org.