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Doctors and specialists order blood tests when they want to understand more about your health. The blood test results help the physician understand your overall health, or identify the cause of a symptom. Blood tests, along with other tests and assessments, ultimately help diagnose health conditions. Normal blood tests have provided doctors with a clear concept of the normal limits, so they can compare a patient's results to see whether they fall inside or outside these parameters. Sometimes, blood test results diagnose a condition on their own. At other times, they direct the doctor to the further tests required.

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1. Positive vs. Negative

Many blood test results come back either positive or negative. This means the result answers a yes or no question about something present in the blood. A positive test may mean a substance is present that shouldn't be, but it can also mean the opposite. A test that is positive for bacteria that shouldn't be present will help the doctor prescribe the best treatment. However, if the test is positive for a healthy level of immunity against a disease for which the patient was immunized, this tells the doctor nothing more needs to be done.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.