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Author Topic: For all of those who freak out at test numbers (myself included)  (Read 279 times)

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Offline wegngis

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This one goes out to all the people prone to freak-outs over test results, of which I am your king  :yes:.  I've gotten my blood drawn each of the past two Mondays to monitor low potassium.  Along with checking potassium (it's improving) they're testing other things, including fasting glucose, BUN, creatinine, etc.  Well, last week a couple of things were just a touch out of "normal" by about 1 number.  But the real weird thing is that things that were normal last week are now outside of the normal range, but not by a lot.  For example, my BUN number was 22 today after being 17 last week.  (8-21 "normal")  My "fasting" glucose was 104 today after being 95 last week (100 being the 'pre-diabetic' threshold.)  I think if anything, these tests are helping me to realize that we are not stamped machinery when it comes to tests.  We are living, breathing organisms that have fluctuations based on all sorts of factors.  I didn't go from "great" to "Ahh, diabetes and kidney disease, noooooo" in the course of a week.  So, the explanation is what doctors have been telling us all along.  You have to look at the big picture and consider many factors before going off the deep end.
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Offline stephtronic

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Re: For all of those who freak out at test numbers (myself included)
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2014, 07:00:53 PM »
Exactly.

The numbers vary due to so many things - the time of day, your activities, what you've eaten lately, etc.

Also, the "normal" range is not absolute. It's more of an average. That's why so many labs are different with their ranges. You can be outside of a lab's normal range and have perfectly normal numbers for you.

 :yes:
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Offline wegngis

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Re: For all of those who freak out at test numbers (myself included)
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2014, 07:25:06 PM »
Also, the "normal" range is not absolute. It's more of an average. That's why so many labs are different with their ranges. You can be outside of a lab's normal range and have perfectly normal numbers for you.

Precisely.  100% of the population will not be in this "normal" range, there are statistical allowances for people be be slightly outside, yet be fine.
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MOST anxiety happens at the subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state.  - AnxietyZone member Sixpack

Offline Sunlover

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Re: For all of those who freak out at test numbers (myself included)
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 05:22:37 AM »
Another thing to remember is they keep LOWERING the numbers for "normal"  (probably to get more and more people to take medication!)
126 fasting used to be pre-diabetic, now they lowered it to 100.  When my mother was younger the top blood pressure number that was considered fine was 100 plus your AGE!  So a person who is 55, if they were 155 for their top number they were "good", then until just recently they said that anything 140/90 and under was good, NOW it's 120/80 or under!  They keep lowering and lowering the numbers!  (it's not that more and more people are getting diabetes, it's that they keep lowering the numbers and it's just INCLUDING more people) Pretty soon you'll have a paramedic examine someone and say, "Hmmm, blood pressure 0/0; cholesterol 0; glucose 0... great numbers!  But too bad they had to die to achieve them."
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Offline wegngis

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Re: For all of those who freak out at test numbers (myself included)
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 10:02:52 AM »
"Hmmm, blood pressure 0/0; cholesterol 0; glucose 0... great numbers!  But too bad they had to die to achieve them."

 :laugh3: :laugh3: :laugh3: :laugh3:
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MOST anxiety happens at the subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state.  - AnxietyZone member Sixpack

Offline eva1227

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Re: For all of those who freak out at test numbers (myself included)
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 10:48:35 AM »
I've said this all along. My hematologist once told me that the 'norms" are set for 90% of the population. 10% will always fall below the norm and 10% will fall above the norm. He then said that some labs set their own norms, which they really shouldn't do. This is why doctors don't worry when numbers are only slightly above or below the norms.

Eva
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Offline stephtronic

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Re: For all of those who freak out at test numbers (myself included)
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2014, 03:35:34 PM »
Another thing to remember is they keep LOWERING the numbers for "normal"  (probably to get more and more people to take medication!)
126 fasting used to be pre-diabetic, now they lowered it to 100.  When my mother was younger the top blood pressure number that was considered fine was 100 plus your AGE!  So a person who is 55, if they were 155 for their top number they were "good", then until just recently they said that anything 140/90 and under was good, NOW it's 120/80 or under!  They keep lowering and lowering the numbers!  (it's not that more and more people are getting diabetes, it's that they keep lowering the numbers and it's just INCLUDING more people) Pretty soon you'll have a paramedic examine someone and say, "Hmmm, blood pressure 0/0; cholesterol 0; glucose 0... great numbers!  But too bad they had to die to achieve them."

This is also very true and something to keep note of. For example, the acceptable range for ALT used to be about 0-55. Now a lot of labs use 10-30. They lowered it in order to catch more people who have fatty liver disease.
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Offline wegngis

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Re: For all of those who freak out at test numbers (myself included)
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2014, 03:54:00 PM »
I've also heard that it's not just the lab lowering it arbitrarily, but speaks more to their testing methods as to what's "normal" or not.  It's hard for me to explain, but a 50 may not be a 50 if you use X method.
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MOST anxiety happens at the subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state.  - AnxietyZone member Sixpack

Offline AOKAY

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Re: For all of those who freak out at test numbers (myself included)
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2014, 05:38:39 PM »
I've told this story before on these boards, but it's worth telling again under this topic.

My sister was given 2 scripts by 2 different doctors for blood tests.  She went to the lab and asked if they could do just one blood draw since most of the tests on the two scripts were the same.  She was told she would need to have 2 blood draws and get 2 results.  So they took one blood draw from her right arm and the other from her left arm minutes later.
When the test results came back there were variations in the results taken from the left arm from that taken in the right arm moments before.  One item slightly above normal on one test was slightly below normal on the other.  None of the numbers matched entirely. 
The two doctors who had ordered the tests could not explain the variations, other than the fact that each blood test is a snapshot of that exact moment in time.
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Offline Sunlover

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Re: For all of those who freak out at test numbers (myself included)
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2014, 06:02:41 PM »
Also to add to AOKAY's post - my husband is diabetic and has a meter here.  I take my sugar sometimes (no reason, I just like to see what it is)  I was going for a blood test and right before I went I took my reading and got 98.  I went right to the place to get my blood drawn and when it came back it was 86.
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Offline wegngis

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Re: For all of those who freak out at test numbers (myself included)
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2014, 06:36:25 PM »
Also to add to AOKAY's post - my husband is diabetic and has a meter here.  I take my sugar sometimes (no reason, I just like to see what it is)  I was going for a blood test and right before I went I took my reading and got 98.  I went right to the place to get my blood drawn and when it came back it was 86.

That could be due to the fact that a lab is more sensitive, basically the margin of error is greater on a home device.  I'm guessing my glucose was up since I had eaten 9.5 hours prior.
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MOST anxiety happens at the subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state.  - AnxietyZone member Sixpack

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