Blood tests show whether the levels of different substances in your blood fall within a normal range.
For many blood substances, the normal range is the range of levels seen in 95 percent of healthy people in a certain group. For many tests, normal ranges are different depending on your age, gender, race, and other factors.
Many factors can cause your blood test levels to fall outside the normal range. Abnormal levels may be a sign of a disorder or disease. Other factors—such as diet, menstrual cycle, how much physical activity you do, how much alcohol you drink, and the medicines you take (both prescription and over-the-counter)—also can cause abnormal levels.
Your doctor should discuss any unusual or abnormal blood test results with you. These results may or may not suggest a health problem.
Blood tests alone can't be used to diagnose many diseases or medical problems. However, blood tests can help you and your doctor learn more about your health. Blood tests also can help find potential problems early, when treatments or lifestyle changes may work best.
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