Blood draws are inevitable in health care, whether it’s for preventative care, disease management or managing risk.
The good news is that more than ever before health is now in the hands of the consumer. This means you have more tools and technologies to help you be your best self. Knowledge is empowering!
We also know that receiving a bulk of information all at once – especially as digits in a stack of papers – can be overwhelming. Don’t get lost in the sea of numbers, symbols and values. Here is a short and simple guide to managing your blood test results when they come back.
6 Things to Do As Soon As Your Blood Test Results Come Back
We know that navigating your lab results can be confusing. A reminder that when it comes to interpreting your health, Google is no substitute for a medical professional.
Think of this as a guide to help you organize and create your own process for optimizing your health based on your data.
1. Learn the biomarkers
To understand the function of the biomarker and why it matters, try entering your data into
a dashboard that already has the detailed descriptions of each biomarker – this is a feature we made available to all in a free WellnessFX account.
You can also look each biomarker up via a trusted resource like The Mayo Clinic.
Remember that with education, you can improve your health over the long haul, by learning how to make healthy choices throughout your lifetime
2. Identify where you’re doing well
Typically a doctor will flag you where you might be at risk. However, if your results fall within normal ranges, the doctor’s office won’t necessarily discuss your report at length, under the guise of “no news is good news.” When you get your copy of your report, this is your opportunity to acknowledge what you are doing well and learn about what nutrition and lifestyle habits keep you out of the high risk category.
3. Take note of context
When it comes to assessing your overall health, it’s important to keep in mind the big picture that your body is a system of many parts working together.
In reviewing your results, it’s important to understand the difference between Less Sick versus Optimally Healthy. Just because a marker is in the normal range, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s optimized.
Additionally, always look deeper. For example, you might be familiar with Cholesterol, Triglycerides, and Blood Sugar because they are the most commonly tested and discussed blood tests. While those familiar markers are important and serve a purpose, there are many additional pieces of data that help inform us even more about our health and disease risk. Biomarkers outside of those commonly tested ones, such as hs-CRP or ApoB, tell a more complete picture of what your body is up to and what is going on behind the scenes.
While one abnormal biomarker could indicate a serious condition, a deeper look with other related markers could indicate a different level of risk.
4. Identify risks and potential risks
It’s as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. Make note of risks and potential risks to set you up for this next step.
5. Put an action plan in place and set a goal
Your blood regenerates every 120 days. When you check in on your biomarkers over time, it’s easy to see the differences that diet, supplement, and lifestyle changes can make on your health. Seeing the connection will help you make strong correlations between what you’re doing to stay healthy and how it’s affecting your numbers and goals.
For goal setting, try making specific and attainable goals. Which is more actionable: “lose weight,” or “Lose 6 lb.”? Having a clear understanding of where your path is headed sets perimeters to show you when you achieve success. It also can make the process less daunting and, instead, more manageable and easy to conceptualize.
To put a plan in place and create new habits, try committing to consistency. Sustained change over time is part of the backbone of habit creation. Set up small, attainable goals that you can reach, which move you toward the overall goal in increments. Once you reach the goal, create another. Consistently participating in your healthy habits will keep you on the path to a healthier lifestyle.
6. Find a safe place for your biomarker results
With a secure place to store your results, you can:
- View your progress over time. This can give you the insight you need to make big changes in the right direction and the ability to look back over your progress.
- Store them in one place – this is especially helpful if you have lived in multiple cities and prefer records to stay on you
- Have 24/7 access to your health data, for convenience OR emergency. Storing it in a centralized yet easily accessible place, such as a computer or mobile phone, makes owning your health data easier than ever.
It’s important to note that all health companies must adhere to strict HIPAA compliance standards so your health data is private and safe. This is to protect your rights around your health data. Double-check that the blood testing company you choose follows HIPAA compliance standards.
How WellnessFX Can Help
Want to try blood testing on your own? Before you do, ask these 7 questions. You can also check out 5 Tips For Making Your Next Blood Draw a Better Experience.
The most accurate way to understand how exercise, nutrition and lifestyle affect your long-term health is through your biochemistry. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, improve your fitness performance, or just deciding to take control of your overall health, having the data puts you in the driver’s seat. Even WellnessFX’s most basic package includes more tests than the typical checkup.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.