Why Blood Tests?
You may think that your doctor is just trying to make money from you or your HMO when they order lots of blood tests, but the reality is usually the opposite.
Blood tests actually help doctors diagnose your illness. Many diseases have similar symptoms, and some can be quite serious, so your doctor wants to narrow down the possibilities, making sure he doesn't miss anything. After all, doctors don't want you suing them either!
In medicine every disease has an agent:- a bacteria, a virus or in diseases like cancer this agent can be cell mutations and tumors. By doing a series of blood tests, your doctor is better able to find out what is causing your symptoms, and to decide on the best course of treatment.
Testing For Mono
Mono is caused by the Epstein Barr virus, so if your doctor suspects mono he will order 2 simple blood tests to see if you have this virus.
If you fit the profile of mono: if you are complaining of fatigue with swollen glands, then the doctor will probably order a ‘mono spot' test. The most modern of these tests available can give a pretty quick result, and many clinics have small scale labs to do these types of tests, with results while you wait.
However, if you are above the age of 25, and therefore not really within the usual profile of someone with mono, your doctor may suspect other illnesses which can give the same symptoms and he will order a CBC or complete blood count as well.
Taking Your Blood
When the blood technician or nurse takes your blood he uses a closed system, which means that no one has any contact with the blood itself. This prevents infection of the medical workers and cross contamination. Each test tube that receives your blood already contains a different combination of chemicals, an anti-coagulant to prevent blood clotting and the tops are color coded depending on the test required. The nurse then sends the tube or tubes to the lab for testing.
At The Lab
The lab technician will calibrate the machine and run batch tests of several racks of test tubes at once. These days the whole process is computerized and the computer is programmed to give a results report. This is then checked by a specialist lab technician who will review the test results manually if they are not clear. If the results are ok they will send them back to your doctor so that he can make the diagnosis
When Your Results Come Back
When your doctor gets the results indicating the presence of the Epstein Barr virus, he will be able to confirm that you do indeed have mono.
Don't expect to walk away from your doctor's office with a prescription if you have mono, as the main treatment, unless you develop complications, is lots of rest and recuperation. Check our site for tips on how to deal with mono, and you'll soon be back on your feet before you know it.
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