Lab tests are generally done for one of the following reasons:
- To find the cause of symptoms
- To confirm a diagnosis
- To screen for a disease. Screening tests are often done for people of a specific age or those who have a high risk for a specific disease.
- To help rule out a disease or condition
- To assess the severity of a disease
- To monitor the progression of a disease, how well an organ is working, or if treatment is helping
- To verify specific events (for example, DNA testing after a rape, or urine testing to look for drug use)
Many conditions can change your lab results. Your doctor will talk with you about any abnormal results as they relate to you.