Insights provided by laboratory testing can help inform life-changing decisions, like for Jessica, who seeks help for her lifelong weight struggles on the TV series The Doctors. During the recent episode, Jessica is sent to see Dr. Kai Nishi to evaluate her health. As part of her evaluation Jessica is weighed, has her vitals checked, and receives laboratory testing from Quest Diagnostics to provide baseline information on her health.

Jessica’s test results (called bloodwork on the show) reveals that she has diabetes (which she was already aware of), is deficient in vitamin D, has concerning liver enzyme counts, and fatty liver disease. Dr. Nishi assures her that most of these conditions can be reversed through diet, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. Without blood tests, Jessica and her physicians would not have access to this vital data.

Laboratory testing, like that performed on Jessica, provide crucial information for patients and their clinicians. They are truly the window into the health of your body. Preventative laboratory testing can help assess risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and other conditions.

If you have an abnormal blood test, like Jessica, your doctor may confer with you about steps you can take to address the problem. These next steps will depend on how abnormal the results are, your current state of health and your medical history, among other factors. For patients, blood tests aren’t typically the definitive way to diagnose a medical problem, but your blood can provide vital clues about what’s happening inside your body in order to better assess your health.

At the end of the episode, Jessica vows to make changes to improve her health — spurred on in part by her laboratory test results. Watch a clip of Jessica’s episode of The Doctors below. To learn more about Jessica’s story, watch the entire episode on The Doctors website.