Advanced Alternative
Medicine Center

320 Robinson Ave Newburgh, NY 12550

Serving All Your Heath Care Needs ... Naturally!

Dr. Richard A. Huntoon

Newburgh Chiropractor


What Do Your Lab Results Really Mean?

You're at the doctor's office because you think something might be wrong. Rationally, you know tests are probably necessary, but getting the tests done sometimes provokes a lot of anxiety in all of us. We want to know the results, but are very concerned about the outcome."You need blood work" your doctor remarks casually. Your insides do an immediate flip-flop and you feel as if you've just begun hurtling down a very steep roller-coaster.

And when the results come back, it’s tough to understand the medical jargon, particularly if the tests are "positive". We've all had the experience of "going south" and not listening to another word that's said after the initial "your test results are positive". Our minds are racing ahead, imagining all the awful possibilities.

Rarely, a considerate physician will be able to put the lab results in a less-worrisome perspective for the patient. At Advanced Alternative Medicine Center, Dr. Huntoon always will go over your blood tests one item at a time and help you appreciate what each result means by itself, and then will help you appreciate the "Big Picture" as far as health goes vs. most doctors telling you what is wrong and reaching for the prescription pad.  For patients, it's important to know some key facts - facts that will empower you any time you need lab tests done.

First, statistically one out of every 20 tests performed will be reported as "abnormal" - even though the result is "normal" for the person being tested. If you are perfectly healthy and have 20 tests done on your blood sample, one of those 20 test results will be "out of the normal range" based on statistics alone.1

This is because a normal test range is calculated by eliminating the top 2.5% and the bottom 2.5% of results for a large group of  normal people. This leaves the "normal range" as 95%. So if 20 tests are done, statistically one will be "abnormal", because its results fall in the top or bottom 2.5%. The result is normal for you, but reported as "abnormal".  Be prepared for your doctor to now order more tests based upon that test being interpreted as "abnormal" and giving you a bad case of a nervous stomach for fear of there being something really wrong, when in reality, it is "your normal."  Don't let this happen to you. 
At Advanced Alternative Medicine Center, Dr. Huntoon always will go over your blood tests one item at a time and help you appreciate what each result means by itself, and then will help you appreciate the "Big Picture" as far as health goes.

Other factors to consider are the sensitivity and specificity of the lab test.2 Sensitivity relates to the test's precision in detecting the disease when the disease is present. If a test for colon cancer was 90% sensitive, it would miss ten cases of the disease out of every 100 cases. Specificity relates to whether a positive test actually indicates the presence of the disease you're being tested for. If a test is 90% specific, in ten cases out of 100 positive results, the patient does not actually have the disease.

So if a test has low sensitivity, actual cases of the disease may be missed. If a test has low specificity, test results reporting the presence of the disease may be wrong. All these factors need to be considered in accurately interpreting test results. Things are not always as they seem.3  
At Advanced Alternative Medicine Center, Dr. Huntoon always will go over your blood tests one item at a time and help you appreciate what each result means by itself, and then will help you appreciate the "Big Picture" as far as health goes.

Bottom line - test results always need to be evaluated in the specific context of the patient. An isolated lab result - or set of results - needs to be related to the patient's condition and circumstances. An accurate diagnosis is not based on lab results alone. That could be a big mistake. Similarly, x-ray, ultrasound, or MRI results need to be interpreted in context also.

Trying to interpret an x-ray without any clinical information is likely to lead to a wrong conclusion. Context is everything. If you have questions, we will be able to explain why certain tests are necessary.   And remember,  at Advanced Alternative Medicine Center, Dr. Huntoon always will go over your blood tests one item at a time and help you appreciate what each result means by itself, and then will help you appreciate the "Big Picture" as far as health goes.  If you have any blood work done, OR have an old test from 6 months ago, and you want a second opinion to know what it means as far as your health goes, please bring your blood results to Dr. Huntoon and he will review it with you. 

1Thomas SL, et al: How accurate are diagnoses for rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis in the general practice research database? Arthritis Rheum 59(9):1314-1321, 2008
2Friston KJ, et al: Classical and Bayesian inference in neuroimaging: theory. Neuroimage 16(2):465-483, 2002
3Kobayashi M, et al: Intraindividual variation in total and percent free prostate-specific antigen levels in prostate cancer suspects. Urol Int 74(3):198-202, 2005

Lab Test Analysis

All forms of health care practice have made great advances in the last thirty years. Laboratory testing has also improved, both in the range of tests available and the rapid turnaround-time of results.

But no lab test is perfect. Tests may miss the presence of the disease or may falsely suggest a patient has a particular disease. Either situation may create serious problems.

For example, MRIs are an important tool. They reveal more information than ever before. But this comes with a price. Not every suspicious shadow on an MRI means something. Experience in interpreting MRI images is gained over time. Often technology becomes available well in advance of our ability to accurately interpret the results.

Lab tests need to be interpreted with caution. Accurate diagnoses need supporting evidence - in terms of patient history, physical signs, and symptoms - in addition to lab results.  Taking all of this into consideration and getting a "Big Picture" understanding is important before jumping to conclusions and getting all afraid.

What are the Best Tests to have ordered when evaluating Your Health?

Having a Complete Blood Count (CBC) with a differential to help you appreciate the different cell ratios within the CBC is always valuable.  Adding the Complete Blood Chemistry to include each of the following will give your doctor the best understanding related to what your health was doing at the time of the blood draw to maintain balance within your body.  Unfortunately, as more and more specialists have evolved over the years and the Insurance Companies getting their hands in the mix, doctors will not have the Complete Blood Chemistry done any more.  So as the patient, you may have to ask your doctor to order all of these items to get the full picture.

Order the following:  Glucose, Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Anion Gap, Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN), Creatinine, BUN/Creatinine Ratio, Uric Acid, Calcium, Phosphorus, Carbon Dioxide, Total Protein, Albumin, Globulin, A/G Ratio, GGTP, SGOT, SGPT, Bilirubin, Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL, LDL, TSH, Iron and Magnesium.

Also be sure to ask for the Complete Blood Count (CBC) with a differential, as this is very necessary to evaluating your overall Immune System related to your health.

Many times, even when I order these tests for my Practice Members, the lab will forget the Phosphorus, the GGTP and even the Uric Acid.  Knowing these three values in relationship to the other values gives us a "Big Picture" of how all of your major organs and systems are doing and what they are needing to stay healthy.  From there we can then get an understanding of what your body is missing and what your diet needs help with.  After all, knowing what food ingredients are missing from your diet will go a long way towards supplying your body with what it needs to maintain its health.  This is always preferred over taking medication to mask your symptoms while still allowing your body to have the problem.  It will also help to prevent problems from getting bigger as you continue to age.  

If You Would Like Dr. Huntoon To Review Your Blood Results, simply call the Office to make an appointment after getting your lab test results from your Medical Doctor.  Please ask for the lab report, not the summary your doctor will put together that does not have all the results.  Doctors offices have been known to give you only the results they feel are abnormal and not the complete test results.  This will not allow for a complete picture when understanding the results.  Keep this in mind when collecting your results.  Also know that your doctor has to supply you with your results so you have them and can take them to other doctors.  They are "your" results, and you are entitled to a copy.  Always keep them in a file that you keep in a safe place.    


Dr. Huntoon has a single mission:

To support as many people as possible in their quest for health and enable them to improve and maintain their health to the highest level possible, while educating them about the benefits of Chiropractic, Natural Healthcare and Holistic Living, so they in turn can teach others to support us having a healthy community.

Your Choice

Health concerns are a major source of lost happiness and lost joy in all of our lives. Finding a solution that is agreeable and enables you to get back to your life is important. Please appreciate that you always have the more invasive surgery and prescription medication available to you as a last resort. What many Traditional Medical Doctors may not share is, many times, once you begin that journey into medication and/or surgery, it alters your original body from the one that you were born with. Unfortunately, at that time, more conservative and natural treatments may no longer be viable. I encourage you to consider that before making any decisions about treatment for your health. As always I am here to help. 
Your Choice:
  • Continue doing the same thing and nothing changes or it may get worse


  • Try something different and get a different result that makes you happier and healthier.
The Choice is Yours
Please call Dr. Huntoon at 845-561-BACK (2225) to discuss your options or click on our E-Visit to do it via e-mail. 
Thank You for your consideration.

Copyright 2014 Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

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