Laboratory tests check a sample of your blood, urine, or body tissues. A technician or your doctor analyzes the test samples to see if your results fall within the normal range. The tests use a range because what is normal differs from person to person. Many factors affect test results. These include
- Your sex, age and race
- What you eat and drink
- Medicines you take
- How well you followed pre-test instructions
Your doctor may also compare your results to results from previous tests. Laboratory tests are often part of a routine checkup to look for changes in your health. They also help doctors diagnose medical conditions, plan or evaluate treatments, and monitor diseases.
Clinical chemistry uses chemical processes to measure levels of chemical components in body fluids and tissues. The most common specimens used in clinical chemistry are blood and urine.
Many different tests exist to detect and measure almost any type of chemical component in blood or urine. Components may include blood glucose, electrolytes, enzymes, hormones, lipids (fats), other metabolic substances, and proteins.
The following are some of the more common laboratory tests: