Staying healthy is a challenge. First, we are surrounded by vices that are constantly calling for our attention. From tasty ice cream to cheap alcohol, available cigarettes, and much more we are tempted on a daily basis. On top of dodging temptation and being healthy, there is the challenge of exercising and occasionally seeing a doctor and dentist for routine visits. While time consuming and at times frustrating, all of these things can help us to live full and meaningful lives.
One of the first ways that a doctor will check your health is through a battery of tests that include blood testing. Blood testing is frequently done and requires taking some blood and testing it for a range of conditions and symptoms. So what exactly is a blood test and what are the pros and cons associated with it? Lets take a moment to get to the bottom of this question and review everything there is to know about blood testing.
The Pros of Blood Tests
Blood tests are a way of ensuring that you are healthy and finding ways to help you if you are not. A tool designed to inform and aid in treatment, the blood test is relatively routine and can help in later stages of treatment.
1. If You Have A Medical Question, You Could Get A Definitive Answer
If you fear that there may be something wrong with you, especially if it is life threatening, then you may not want to get it checked out. It is a common occurrence for people to delay seeing a doctor if for no other reason but to hope that there is nothing wrong and ignore it until it goes away. The truth is however that the only way your anxiety and fear regarding whatever you think you might have is going away is through taking the steps to address the problem straight away.
A blood test can be an amazing tool that helps your primary care physician take care of your needs. In addition to making you aware of what you may or may not have, the blood test can help to direct future therapy and potentially even save your life. When considering the risks to the rewards, it is always better to know and the quicker you have the work done the sooner you will be to take the next step in your life.
2. Help To Predict The Course of a Condition
If you have a condition that will last a while or even over the course of your entire life, then blood work can help track the condition. By taking measurements every week, month, or year, you and your doctor can gauge where it is and where the condition is going. In addition, this information can be used by you and your doctor to plan a course of action regarding the condition, ensuring your continued health and well-being.
3. Testing May Make You Aware Of Something Important
If you go in for a standard blood test, the results may be that you have something that you should be aware of. The test may make you aware that there is something worth investigating further. Along with providing the information for what future tests you should take, the blood test can help your doctor tell you what is going on. If nothing else, getting a blood test can stop make your doctor aware of a wide range of things that may save your life if addressed at this time.
4. Fairly Routine Process
While maybe not pleasant, a blood test is relatively routine. It is frequently done, has very low if any risk associated with it and is generally quick. As it is done by a trained professional, you do not even have to watch. As a final consideration, compared to other medical treatments and tests, a blood test is less expensive.
The Cons of Blood Tests
While blood tests may provide a range of answers, they can also provide more questions then can be answered. Along with the anxiety of waiting for your test results there is also the blood test procedure itself, which many people who dislike blood will be uncomfortable with.
1. There Is Always The Potential For False Positive In Tests
Say you go in for a blood test and there turns out to be something terribly wrong with you. As you begin to make plans and re-evaluate your life, it turns out the results from the blood test were false positive, meaning that you do not have anything wrong with you. While not all that common, it can still happen freaking out people who are suddenly faced with a problem they do not actually have. The reverse of this and even potentially worse is the false negative test. This is where you actually have something and it does not show up in the blood panel work.
2. The Process Can Be Uncomfortable
Drawing blood can make some people squeamish. Ranging from a slight discomfort to creating a panicked and fearful state, some people would rather not get blood work taken unless it was absolutely necessary.
3. Significant Anxiety Can Surround Waiting For Test Results
If you believe you may have something, then waiting for the results of your blood test can generate a great amount of anxiety. Along with making your day more uncomfortable, it may be strong enough to effect the rest of your day, taking your mind off of work and other important things.
4. Testing Is Not Always Definitive
When testing provides us an answer, it is a fantastic test. However, blood tests are not always definitive. Sometimes instead of providing a solution and answer they instead raise more questions. Along with the potential for a blood test not telling you anything at all, there is al the confusion and uncertainty that comes from mixed results. While considered by many a necessary evil of ensuring one’s health, it does not make the subjective experience any more tolerable.
What Exactly Is A Blood Test?
Simply put, a blood test is an analysis performed on a blood sample. While the analysis is done in a laboratory setting, the blood is usually extracted from the arm via needle by a trained physician or physician’s assistant. In addition, a blood sample can be taken via a finger prick as well depending on the amount of blood that is required and the testing that will be carried out.
The tests themselves can serve a wide range of purposes. Along with creating a basic medical history regarding the patient, a blood test (also sometimes known as blood panel or blood work) can help to determine biochemical or physiological properties in the blood that relate to diseases, conditions, drug use, and much more. In the United States, blood tests may be required for certain things.
Where Does That Leave Us?
Blood tests are a great tool that can provide a range of answers. When the blood test raises questions it cannot answer, other tests can be ordered. While this information can lead to your continued health, having to wait for the test results as well as going through the procedure can be a challenge.