When should I request lab tests for a medical condition?
Lab tests are essential for diagnosing mystery illnesses or symptoms; they provide a picture of what’s going on inside the body, giving you valuable insight into your health. But when should you request labs for a medical condition? When are lab tests necessary, and how will they help guide your medical care?
If you are experiencing persistent symptoms that are unexplained, such as fatigue, unexpected weight loss or weight gain, recurring infections, abnormal bleeding or changes in bodily functions, you likely need lab testing. These symptoms (and others) can warrant further investigation to get to the root cause of the problem. Without doing so, it’s unlikely you and your doctor will be able to adequately address and improve these symptoms. Blood tests, urinalysis or even tissue samples can guide you and your doctor to the right diagnosis so your treatment is successful.
Lab tests are also an important part of preventative care. Cholesterol panels, complete blood counts, glucose tests, pap smears or vitamin deficiency screenings can all detect early signs of trouble. By identifying potential markers for disease or health issues early on, timely interventions can be made to steer you away from a poor health outcome. Your doctor can help you determine the right screening tests for you based on your age, gender, lifestyle and family medical history.
Another reason to request lab tests is when monitoring chronic health conditions. Fine tuning your treatment plan is often necessary when dealing with a chronic health condition, so lab tests are crucial for monitoring disease progression and treatment effectiveness. If you have diseases like diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease or a thyroid disorder, regularly monitoring your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, hormone levels and organ function can ensure optimal management of your health. Monitoring medication levels for these diseases is also useful for evaluating the therapeutic levels of a dosage in the blood and allowing your doctor to manage your medication dosages safely and effectively.
Lab tests personalize your healthcare; your unique medical conditions, your unique risk factors, your unique response to treatment. By utilizing lab tests for medical conditions, you are enhancing your health. At Westgate Family Physicians, we offer many lab tests in-house, saving you time and improving communication of your health status. To schedule lab testing today, call (864) 574-0070.