IMPORTANT: Best practice for posting lab results

Dear all,

With more people asking for input into their lab results, I thought I would outline best practice in how to do this to (safely) get the most out of the expertise we have in the community.

Read up on the background: We’ve provided a handy guide here explaining what common blood tests mean - EXPLAINER: Lab results and their interpretation. This post or questions other people have posted in this topic may help to answer your query.

Be responsible for your own privacy: We try to make this a safe space, but this is the internet and a public space. Be mindful of this and make sure to crop out or blur out any identifying information before posting any results. I have already edited some pictures in the forum, but please don’t count on me to keep doing it for you (particularly as the forum grows).

Provide background: A single test doesn’t usually provide enough information about the bigger picture. Please provide as much information as you can in your first query so that we can give you the best advice.

Have an actual question or concern: It is unhelpful for experts to simply ask for an interpretation. There are many reasons to run lab tests, and the interpretation really depends on what your question is. Make sure you provide the reason your doctor asked for the test, your concerns, or what you want to know. Doing so will ensure there’s a productive conversation for everyone.

Understand that this advice is not a replacement for seeing your health professional: Experts are limited to what they can tell you over the internet. People, conditions, and health care systems are complicated, so there is a lot to consider. Your health professional is in the best place to provide you with care, and the advice you get here hopefully is a good complement to that.

Show appreciation: Experts are on here on a completely voluntary basis and provide their services out of their own (usually limited) free time. Don’t just take the advice and leave; please thank them for the time and expertise they donate to you and the site. It is a small gesture and helps maintain the good-will that this site runs on.

Thanks for understanding,