Navigating Out of Range Lab Results with Kindness


How many of you have been sent to get routine blood work by a physician only for some of the lab values to come back out of range and be provided information that puts you into panic mode? I know I have!!


Receiving out of range lab results back and then immediately being told that you need to make changes to your lifestyle can be extremely overwhelming. Physicians may be quick to assume that the reason for out of range lab values is within your control and is as easy as eating more fruits and vegetables and exercising every day. But this is rarely the case for most individuals. 


It is important to remember that blood work results reflect a tiny moment of time in your life. Receiving out of range values is not something to immediately panic about and feel like you need to completely change your lifestyle. It is definitely something to be mindful of in months to come as blood work results can change every time you complete them. You can receive an out of range blood work result and still feel completely fine which goes to show that there is not always something to worry about and that you must jump to conclusions. 



Factors that can Affect Lab Results

The following factors can lead to out of range lab results and should be considered when evaluating a higher or lower lab value than normal.


  • Certain Foods and Drinks: Some lab tests require you to fast beforehand to avoid out of range results. This is because sugars, fats, minerals, and cholesterol are all absorbed in your bloodstream. Consuming foods or drinks the night or morning before could result in false highs. The same thing could happen for a non-fasting lab test depending on if you ate or not within the hours leading up to the bloodwork. 
  • Medications: certain medications such as antibiotics, vitamins, steroids, or antidepressants can cause out of range lab results.
  • Stress: A highly stressed individual may receive false highs of glucose as cortisol which is the main stress hormone is released which causes an increase of glucose in the bloodstream.
  • Family History: Our family history and genetics play a HUGE role in our health. We carry down genes from our parents and their parents and so on and so forth. This makes avoiding certain hereditary traits nearly impossible. It also means that for our blood work we may always run high or low for a certain value which is out of our control/inevitable. 


So, there you have it. Just a few examples of certain factors that can affect the results of your blood work. Essentially having a certain value out of range is not something to immediately panic about. It can take months up to years to determine if there is a trend in a certain blood work value. 


Please, please, please, remember that numbers of any kind, not just blood work values do not determine your health let alone your worth. There are so many other indicators we can use to determine how healthy we feel that are not based on numbers!



How We Can Help:

If you need help interpreting blood work and working through some interventions, our dietitians are here to help! Send us an email to schedule a FREE 15-minute discovery call to see if our services could be right for you.

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