How to Understand Your Lab Results


Preparing for Your Next Appointment

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My MedlinePlus

January 23, 2019

doctor and patient talking

Talking with Your Doctor

How well you and your doctor communicate with each other is one of the most important parts of getting good health care. Being prepared can help make the most of your visit. Here are some things you can bring:

• Lists of all the medicines, herbs, or vitamins you take
• A description of symptoms – when they started, what makes them better
• A trusted friend or family member to assist you
• A way to take notes during your appointment

Make sure you understand your diagnosis and any treatments. Ask your health care provider to write down his or her instructions to you.

Question Builder: Be Prepared for Your Next Medical Appointment

Be prepared for your next medical appointment. Create a list of questions that you can take with you whether you are getting a checkup, talking about a problem or health condition, getting a prescription, or discussing a medical test or surgery.

How to Understand Your Lab Results

laboratory (lab) test is a procedure in which a health care provider takes a sample of your blood, urine, other bodily fluid, or body tissue to get information about your health. Some lab tests are used to help diagnose, screen, or monitor a specific disease or condition. Other tests provide more general information about your organs and body systems.

Understanding Medical Research

It seems to happen almost every day – you hear about the results of a new medical research study. Sometimes the results of one study seem to disagree with the results of another study. It’s important to be critical when reading or listening to reports of new medical findings. The MedlinePlus page on Understanding Medical Research can assist you.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine, or telehealth, uses electronic communications to provide or get health care services. You can get health care using phones, computers, or mobile devices. You find health information or talk with your health care provider using streaming media, video chats, email, or text messages. Your provider can use telehealth to remotely monitor your health with devices that can remotely record vital signs, medicine intake, and other health information. Learn how to use telemedicine services.

Apple Coffee Cake

A tasty recipe for either dessert, mid-day snack or breakfast.