Read the article, "What to expect: Blood test reveals stat of your health."
Everett Clinic director of Laboratory Services, Karen Thomas, contributed:
“When you look in the mirror, you're looking at the book cover. When you look at blood work, you're looking at the pages within,” said Karen Thomas, director of Laboratory Services at the Everett Clinic.
Most primary care doctors want patients to have blood work done as part of an annual checkup. The process takes less than three minutes.
A blood test lets you know that your body is working the way it should. “It's kind of like a clean bill of health,” Thomas said.''
“The doctor wants to see what the true glucose result is, and not what the result is because you ate four candy bars before you went in,” Thomas said.
And fess up if you didn't follow through on the fast — otherwise the doctor will think your heightened levels are normal.
Squeamish? Close your eyes or look away. Better yet, Thomas says, exhale slowly right before the needle hits your skin.
“You can't breath out and be tense at the same time,” she said.
The amount of blood taken varies by test. If four CC's (cubic centimeters) are needed the phlebotomist will take five CC's, just to be safe. Don't worry, you have a few thousand more.
For most tests, the lab delivers results to the doctor by the end of the day. You can receive them in the mail or see them right away with an online program like Everett Clinic's MyChart.
Results show how you compare to normal ranges. You can see things like blood cell count — both red and white — and a metabolic panel that shows how your liver and kidneys are doing.
Elevated glucose? Time to cut back on sweets. Two years of high glucose might signal pre-diabetes. Exercise and a better diet can get you back into the normal range.
“You are the only you on the planet,” Thomas said. “If you want to have a healthy life, it's important to see how things are going within you.”