What Does Abnormal Blood Test Results Mean?

What Does Abnormal Blood Test Results Mean?

Abnormal blood test results may be due to some complications or diseases that a person is suffering from. Other factors such as menstrual cycles, the level of physical activity an individual may be involved in, intake of medicines that a person has been prescribed by their doctor or have been obtained over the counter without a prescription are predisposing factors which may lead to an individual having such abnormal results.

So, one who is ordered to undergo some blood tests should not panic if the results come out abnormal. They just should be aware of what the abnormal blood test results mean to their health.

What Does Abnormal Blood Test Results Mean?

Sometimes when the blood test does not give the desired results and the results are not within the normal range, it is not automatically deemed that one has some complications or ailments. There are other reasons which may cause the blood test values to be abnormal.

For example, for an individual who goes for a fasting plasma glucose test and had eaten some food, the results may be abnormal. The same abnormal values may result with the intake of alcohol the previous night or even after taking certain drugs.

To get the desired correct results there is a need for a person to stick to the guidelines before going for any test. If they are not fully aware of the guidelines to follow, there is a need to check with their doctor on the same.

Blood Tests at Times are Carried Out in Order to

  • Count the population or the total number of red blood cells, white blood cells and blood platelets in the collected blood sample from an individual.
  • Assist in determining the ratio of the red blood cells to the plasma which is also known as the hematocrit or packed cell volume ratio.
  • Help in determining the total number of each of the white blood cells subsets.
  • Assist in working out the average hemoglobin amount in the red blood cells also known as the mean cell hemoglobin.
  • Help in measuring the optimum size of the red blood cells or the mean cell volume.
  • Check the look of the blood cells under a microscope or a blood smear film.
  • Examine the particular condition a person may be suffering from in order to prescribe them to the correct treatment plan.

What Can Cause Abnormal Blood Test Results?

The results obtained from blood tests are likened to charts that show the normal range of values for the different blood tests. When the results realized from the tests lie above or below the usual range, it may be an indication of an existing abnormality. These abnormalities at most times are due to a person suffering from ailments, conditions or body system infections.

Abnormalities in The Results of The Blood Tests May be due to

Low Levels of the Red Blood Cells and Hemoglobin – Which leads to a person suffering from anemia due to inadequate iron levels in the meals a person takes. Inadequate levels of blood due to excessive blood loss or from having long-lasting ailments. For example, kidney diseases, polycythemia which may indicate suffering from Polycythemia Vera, diseases that affect the lungs or when one has physiological problems especially for those people who live in areas of high altitude.

Lower Than Normal Ratio of Red Blood Cells – When a person suffers from a lower than normal ratio of red blood cells when compared to the plasma, is an indication of being affected by anemia. When the ratio is higher than normal it is a clear indication that an individual is suffering from dehydration or they have extra red blood cells in their blood system a condition known as Polycythemia.

Suffering from Leukopenia – Which is a condition brought about by having low white blood cells in the blood system. This condition is caused by factors such as, being affected by a virus, diseases that attack the bone marrow in the bones or they have been affected by chemotherapy or radiotherapy. When the condition is such that one has high levels of the white blood cells a condition known as Leucocytosis, it is a clear indication of having been infected by bacteria, having the swelling ailment or the bone marrow suffering from a certain condition.

Having Low Levels of Blood Platelets – A condition described as Thrombocytopenia especially when a person has been taking certain medications, having been subjected to a virus infection, conditions that affect the bone marrow, or having an autoimmune ailment. Thrombocythemia is a perfect exhibition of the existence of ailments that may affect the bone marrow or cause inflammations to the body.

Having Raised Tumor Markers, Anaemia or Abnormally Functioning Liver – May lead to having abnormal blood test results. Most of the patients suffering from malfunctioning of the liver may exhibit no symptoms at all or minimal ones and the tests done on their blood is commonly abnormal.

What to Do If The Blood Test Results Are Abnormal?

When the blood tests have been found to be abnormal one should go for further screening to determine the conditions affecting them. One should ensure they go for their regular annual checkups and not to avoid basic blood tests.

Blood tests results are explained as follows, for red blood cells count tests the results are explained as below normal levels if someone is suffering from certain ailments though at the moment may be unspecific.

For Hematocrit Blood Test – When the results have inadequate red blood cells, it may be an indication of anaemia, among other diseases.

Haemoglobin Blood Test – If does not have the normal levels of haemoglobin within the red blood cells, it may be an indication of a person suffering from anaemia.

Abnormal levels of albumin which is a protein produced by the liver can be due to conditions affecting the kidney.

Abnormal Blood Clotting Test Results – Show why the blood has lost its ability to clot and why it takes longer to do the same. Clotting ailments can lead to harmful levels of bleeding or clotting and may be due to diseases which affect the liver, excess clotting, haemophilia.

Abnormal Blood Tests for Pregnant Women is linked with an added risk of the chromosomes being abnormal, a hormone known as Chorionic Gonadotropin which is produced by the placenta in the early stages of the pregnancy when produced in abnormal levels leads to this chromosomal abnormality. As an expectant mother, it is always good to know what abnormal blood test results mean.

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad