Understanding blood test results

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Every diagnostic test includes the individual result along with a “range.”
This range is supposed to be derived from testing “healthy” people in
the general population. The reality is that “normal” ranges do not tell
the whole story:

• Who is to say that the population that was tested was, indeed, healthy
• The goal should be optimal, not so-called “normal”
• The balance between two or more results may be as important – or
even more important – than the actual values

Unfortunately, when lab results are reviewed, if the results are “in
range” usually no one looks further. Individuals with thyroid and adrenal
issues need to pay particular attention to test results. It is in your best
interest get copies of all test results and learn what they mean.

Understanding Range
Because different laboratories use different assays and each laboratory
bases its normal range on the population it serves, it is generally not
possible to express optimal results as a finite number. Rather, optimal
results or targets are more easily expressed as a percent of the range.

Calculating Percent of Range
• Subtract the lower number of the range from the higher number
• Subtract the lower number of the range from the test result
• Divide the second result by the first result

Example:
Range 55 - 130
Test result 115
130 minus 55 = 75
115 minus 55 = 60
60 divided by 75 = .80 or 80% of the range

Lab result details