In some cases, your doctor can tell whether you’re healthy — or pinpoint the cause of your symptoms — by asking you questions or through an examination.
Other times, doctors need a more in-depth view. Laboratory tests and imaging tests offer a glimpse into your body’s inner workings. For instance, they can show whether a tendon or bone is damaged, or measure chemicals that tell how well your organs and systems are functioning.
Putting off these screenings may have consequences for your well-being. Diseases like cancer are often easier to treat if they’re detected early. And if you already have a health condition, such as diabetes, testing can help you prevent complications.
Of course, you might be wondering whether it’s the right time to undergo testing. Working with your physician can ensure you get the care you need to manage existing health conditions and prevent new ones.
What Testing Entails
For lab tests, a health care provider might take a sample of your blood, urine, saliva or tissue. Imaging tests use a machine or other technique to produce a picture of your inner structures and systems. Types of imaging tests include:
- CT scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
In some cases, these tests involve putting part, or all, of your body into a machine at a health care facility. In others, a provider inserts a tube with a camera, called a scope, inside your body. With this method, physicians can peer inside organs like your lungs, heart or colon.
Painting a Full Picture of Your Health
Your physician can order a test to help:
- Diagnose or rule out a specific condition (like cancer, heart disease or infection)
- Monitor a condition you already have or check if your treatment is working
- Screen or check for health conditions before you even develop symptoms
- Track your health over time
Your Health Care Team Can Serve as Your Guide
If your physician orders a test, it’s because he or she thinks it will be very beneficial for your health. With convenience locations, AdventHealth is committed to providing the latest information to support you and your family.