lab testing for food allergies

(img thanks to wikimedia/creative commons)
(img thanks to wikimedia/creative commons)

Have you ever been to the doctor and had blood taken for laboratory tests?

Do you always get your lab results? Do you even hear back at all from the doctor?

All too often in medicine people have lab tests run and then never learn the outcome of those tests. It’s tempting to assume that no news is good news and therefore everything is normal, but we all know what can happen when you assume things.

You may be surprised to learn that it is quite common for patients to be unaware of positive lab results from tests run by their doctors. This isn’t usually the case with regard to procedures such as colonoscopies, endoscopies, and biopsies, but patients are more likely to be uninformed of the results of blood tests.

One example of this is anemia. Several times per year, while reviewing lab records that patients have brought with them, we will notice the presence of an anemia (iron deficiency) that had not been disclosed to the patient. Upon asking, “Did you know you were anemic?” or “How did you treat your anemia?” they will respond with disbelief, or “What anemia?”

Why does this happen? That is an excellent question.

Maybe it was overlooked. Maybe it wasn’t seen as all that important. Neither answer is acceptable, but unfortunately it is not the standard of practice for all medical professionals to review all lab work with patients. This is the opposite of our standard at the IBS Treatment Center.