Sep 28

How to Find and Read Labs

What do your labs mean?

By: TLC Surgery

Hi, everybody. Welcome. In today’s video, you’re going to find out where to find your labs, how to read your labs and exactly what do your labs mean? As a reminder, you should be reviewing your labs on a computer and not a cell phone, a computer or a tablet. If you’re trying to look at your labs on your cell phone, it won’t allow you to scroll down. You’ll only end up seeing one page and you’ll be a little confused. So look at your labs on a computer or a tablet. I’m going to take you through the steps on where to find your labs, how to read them and exactly what to do based on those results. After I review your lab results, we will put them in your online patient portal, and then you’ll get a notification, you’ll get an email from noreply@advancedmd to notify you that there’s a message waiting for you in your patient portal. So let’s click on this view message button.

It’s going to take us to your patient portal. So we’ll sign in. And at the top where you’ll see messages, we’ll click on that, there will be a notification and let’s see what our message says. It says, “Hello, Lin Lin, your dietician has reviewed your labs. Please use a computer to log in.” Then you’ll click on view records and then images, and then you’ll be able to see your lab report. So remember, you’ll want to use a computer and not a phone. If you use your phone, you’ll only be able to see one page. So let’s click out of the messages. Let’s click on the home button and we’ll click on view records. Then we’re going to click on images and the first, the most recent attachment, which will be your lab results. And then here it is. If you’re able to scroll through multiple pages, then you know you’re in the right place.

So the first one to two pages are going to be the most important pages for you to read, because this is where you will see my recommendations. Please take the time to read over these one to two pages very carefully, because this will explain what your numbers mean and what should you do about them. If you have any labs missing or you need to complete extra labs, we will attach your lab order here. We will electronically send a lab order to Labcorp or Quest, but we will also include a lab order in this report so that you get a copy. And also you can see what labs are missing, what other extra labs that you might need to complete. And as you scroll down, that’s when you’ll see your actual lab report from either Labcorp or Quest. So then you can see the numbers. Look for the areas where I have highlighted, the numbers where I have highlighted. Those are the numbers that you’ll see are out of range. And then you can go back to my recommendations page to see, well, what do those numbers mean? And what should I do about them?

When you receive your lab report, you will receive one or two different of lab recommendation letters. You might receive a lab recommendation letter with this alert notification on there. And what that means is there are some lab values that are concerning, that are critical. So please reach out to me so that I can go over these lab values with you. Some of the lab values that are concerning might be a very low hemoglobin level, which could indicate severely low iron levels. Another concerning lab could be an elevated white blood cell count, which might indicate that you have an infection. If you are preparing for surgery and you have a very high white blood cell count, or you have a very low iron level, you could be denied by the hospital from having surgery. That is why this is on alert. That is why you need to call us, contact us so that we can verbally go over these labs with you so we can get them addressed immediately.

So this is one type of lab letter. You might receive another type of lab letter with no alert on them. So this is what I want to go over in more detail, because many of you will probably receive a lab letter that looks like this. And there are multiple parts to this lab letter.

The first section is a section for lab results that you should discuss with your primary care physician. This doesn’t necessarily mean that something is totally wrong and you should be alarmed and you should be worried. No, all this means is that some of these levels, some of these lab levels are out of range. They are not within the normal range. And you might want to show them to your PCP to see if they want to investigate any further. For example, your blood sugars might be a little high. So you should talk about this with your PCP, with your family doctor to see should we get started on blood sugar medication. Or perhaps if they just want to monitor your blood sugars and see how it improves with diet, with lifestyle, with weight loss.

Another lab that may pop up is your kidney levels and your liver levels might be abnormal. Abnormal just means out of range. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have kidney failure or you have cirrhosis of the liver or liver disease. All this means is that they were out of range and you should discuss your kidney function, your liver function with your PCP to see if it’s something again that they just want to monitor, or if they want to investigate further. So please don’t be alarmed if you have numbers that show up in this section. Sometimes it just means that you should share it with your PCP, just so they’re in the loop, just so that they are aware and see if they want to move further with some more testing. So that’s the first section.

The second section is where you will find the numbers, the lab results that are out of range. What came out high, what came out low. So this second section we’ll show you what your results have, what your lab results have, what your lab results show. So if your iron was low, this will tell you what in your iron panel was low. If your vitamin D was high or low and exactly how low was it. So this is the section where you will see what numbers were out of range and exactly where did they fall. So for example, if your iron levels are low, what does that mean for your body? What does that mean for your health? If your vitamin D was low or deficient, what does that mean? So the second section is important because this will tell you what was out of range.

And as you scroll down to the third section, this is where you will find my recommendations. This is what you need to do based on these lab results. So if your iron levels were low, then I might recommend that you get started on taking extra iron. If your vitamin D was low, or if your vitamin D was really low, it was deficient, I might recommend that you get started on the following and I will select one of the options for your vitamin D. Here’s another example, if your cholesterol levels were abnormal, they were high. What does that mean? And we scroll down. What should you do? And here are some basic lifestyle changes that you can start adding into your daily, healthy routine to help naturally improve your cholesterol levels. So the third part of this lab report will tell you what you should start doing now to improve these out of rage numbers.

Let’s scroll down a little bit more. If you have this paragraph on your lab report, that means that the lab report that we received did not have everything that we need. So, as you saw earlier, you would have a lab report attached in that file. And we have also sent a lab order to Quest or Labcorp. So you can head off to any Labcorp, any Quest, there will be a lab order waiting for you, but I have attached it in this lab report so that you can have a copy. So if you have this paragraph, that means you still got to go back and get some more labs completed.

This last section is basically a summary of what you need to do. So these are the vitamins that I want you to start taking now, in addition to your bariatric vitamins. So let’s start back a little bit earlier to this section. Your iron levels were low. So I’m going to recommend that you take extra iron. If your vitamin D was low, I’m going to recommend that you take extra vitamin D. Because you are a bariatric person, I recommend that you get bariatric products. And the brand that we recommend is Bariatric Advantage. You can get some of these products in our office, otherwise you can buy them directly online from our e-store. So it’s up to you. You can buy some of these products, we carry some of these products in our office, but you can also buy these directly online. So take a look at this list. This will show you exactly what you should be taking now, in addition to your bariatric vitamins.

Now, a very common question I get asked is, well, I’m taking a multivitamin that has iron. And you’re telling me that my iron levels are low. So should I take extra? Yes. Because the vitamin that you’re taking right now doesn’t have enough extra iron. And that’s why your iron levels are coming out low. So remember, in addition to your bariatric vitamins, you need to take the following extras. So if you are taking a bariatric multivitamin with iron, such as the Ultra Solo that has iron and you are also low in iron, you need to take extra iron on top of that. And all of these extra vitamins, I would like for you to continue taking them for at least three months after surgery, or until we recheck your labs again. So let me show you. I want you to continue taking any extra vitamins, the extra iron, the extra vitamin D for at least three months after surgery in addition to your bariatric vitamins. Or at least continue to take your vitamins until we recheck your labs the next time.

So I hope this has helped you out a little bit more in understanding how to read your lab levels, how to read your lab report. If you still have extra questions, you’re not exactly sure what these lab levels mean. Please give us a call. My name is Lin Lin. I’m your dietician. You have my direct number listed on that lab report, and you also have my email. So let us provide the support that you need to be successful. Let us provide the support that you need in order to get the results that you want. All right, everybody. Thank you all so much. And I will see you next time. Bye-bye.

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