Lab Test Results

During the time you are in our office for a Physical Examination we will rapidly gather an enormous amount of information about your current health status. The doctor will personally review the results of any test you have done in this office. If there is a problem with any of your tests, we will contact you immediately and explain what needs to be done. If your tests are all normal, we will not routinely telephone you to report that. We will, however, mail you a copy of the lab printout which shows all your test results. When you receive your lab printout in the mail, you can refer to the information below to help you understand what each test means. (Note: All of the tests listed below may not have been done on you; so those results will not appear on the report you received in the mail.)

We are always available and enthusiastic about answering your questions. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your tests or treatment with us, we encourage you to call us.  We are happy to take the time to be sure all of your questions are answered.

TEST NAME     ABOUT THE TEST
ECG (Electrocardiogram)

This test records the electrical activity of the heart from 12 different angles which allows us to determine if there are any irregular heartbeats, any scarring or enlargement of the chambers of the heart, or any hint of other types of heart problems such as areas where the blood supply is marginal because of partially blocked coronary arteries. (Incidentally, you may have heard this called an “EKG”. That’s also correct and comes from the original German spelling of the test, “electrokardiogram”.)

 

Pulmonary Function

This test measures how well your lungs are working. First, we measure the total volume of air your lungs can hold, and then we record how rapidly you are able to move air when you blow as hard as you can. People with asthma, emphysema, and certain other lung conditions are not able to move air very rapidly.

 

Audiometry

Measures your hearing

 

Tonometry

A test for glaucoma

 

Urinalysis (UA)

This simple test gives us an enormous amount of valuable information. Someone with diabetes will show sugar and other changes in their urine. Chronic kidney or liver disease will almost always be associated with urine abnormalities. And, of course, we can detect any trace of infection in the kidneys or bladder.

 

Stool Guaiac

This may seem like a mundane test (and no one likes the idea of having to obtain three small specimens of their stool), but it is very important that you complete it according to the instructions you were given. If there is a problem anywhere in your entire bowel (esophagus, stomach ulcer, small intestine, or colon), it would occasionally be bleeding a drop or two of blood. You would not see this as blood in your stool because it would already be digested by then, but the test would pick it up; and we would then be warned to look very closely at your entire bowel to find out where the blood came from.

 

Pap Smear

For early detection of changes in the cervix that could progress into cancer of the cervix if not treated promptly

 

    BLOOD TESTS
Glucose(Blood Sugar)

Abnormal in diabetes, hypoglycemia, and certain other illnesses

 

HbA-1-C
A test used to determine how well a diabetic’s blood sugar has been controlled over the past three months
BUNCreatinine

Your kidneys clear waste from the body.   BUN and creatinine are normal metabolic waste products. If the blood levels of these substances are higher than normal, we know we must look closely at the kidneys.

 

Potassium

Abnormal readings are often associated with diabetes, kidney disease, blood pressure medication, and other problems.

 

SodiumChlorideCarbon Dioxide

Abnormalities are sometimes seen in dehydration, kidney disease, etc.

 

Bilirubin

Elevations of bilirubin might be seen either if the liver is not doing its chemical processing properly or if a gall stone (or something worse) is blocking normal bile drainage from the gall bladder

 

ASTALTLDH

Abnormal values are most commonly observed when there is irritation of the liver (perhaps from viral hepatitis, obstruction, or alcohol)

 

GGT

This is another test of liver function similar to those above, but the GGT is especially sensitive to liver irritation due to alcohol.

 

AlkalinePhosphatase

Associated with liver problems and also abnormal if there is something unusual happening to the bones somewhere in the body

 

CalciumPhosphorus

Indicators of bone abnormalities

 

ProteinAlbuminGlobulinA/G Ratio

These are all tests of protein metabolism and might be abnormal in certain kinds of liver or kidney disease as well as when there is malnutrition.

 

TotalCholesterol

The fatty component of the blood most commonly associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease

 

LDL

This is one type of cholesterol, the BAD kind, that tends to sludge up the coronary arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle.   Ideally, we want the LDL always to be below 100.

 

HDL

This is the “good” cholesterol that is thought to float around scavenging fatty deposits from the walls of the arteries.   We want this value to be as high as possible.

 

Triglyceride

This is another fatty component of the blood that can increase the risk of heart disease. As with cholesterol, some people are born with a tendency to run high levels of triglyceride. High levels are often seen in people who consume large amounts of alcohol.

 

Uric Acid

High levels are associated with gout

 

WBC

The White Blood Cell count is elevated in certain types of infections

 

Hgb, HctHemoglobinHematocrit

Low levels indicate anemia

 

 

TSH

A screening test for thyroid function

 

PSA
A blood test for early detection of prostate cancer