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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.


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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

Child Has an Unhealthy BMI? What to Expect from Your Child's Doctor

by Francisco Arnold

Baby visits with your child's doctor are important in making sure developmental milestones are being achieved and to keep tabs on growth. Height and weight are annotated at each well check. Then, the height and weight are compared to previous records as well as to a Body Mass Index chart that is used by healthcare providers. When the BMI falls into a dangerous range of either underweight or obese, a child doctor may recommend additional appointments and testing. Here's what to expect:

Complete a Medical History Form

Your child's doctor will want you to complete a thorough medical history of the family, both maternal and paternal sides. He or she may ask if there are other family members who have weight problems. This information may help the doctor determine whether or not there are any genetic conditions or traits that could be a factor in your child's unhealthy weight. But it can also give the doctor an idea of if the family has a healthy relationship with food. 

Get Diagnostic Tests

The doctor will likely order a complete blood test workup to determine whether or not there is an underlying medical problem that is contributing to your child's unhealthy weight, such as a thyroid disorder or a metabolic syndrome. Other tests that may be ordered include a urinalysis, an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, and imaging scans. 

Meet with a Nutritionist

You can also expect to be given a referral to a nutritionist, whether there's an underlying cause for the weight concerns found or not. A nutritionist will work closely with your child's doctor to help your child achieve a healthy weight goal while monitoring any health conditions. The nutritionist will ask you to provide him or her with a typical menu of the different types of meals you prepare for your child, as well as what types of snacks they enjoy. 

Go to Follow-FchilUp Appointments

You'll need to take your child to follow-up appointments with your child's doctor on a regular basis, particularly if any underlying medical condition is found. The doctor will track the height and weight of your child as well as their BMI to see if there are any improvements and either continue with the plan or make changes, if necessary. Of course, the frequency of the follow-up appointments will vary based on the urgency of your child's weight concerns and any health conditions that may be found.