An effective way of keeping oneself healthy is knowing the body’s current condition. This doesn’t just mean looking at the body mass index (BMI) or skin color, but the internal systems as well. To confirm how healthy you are, you can undergo blood testing.
Like other medical tests, blood tests are usually conducted to diagnose or screen a person for diseases. The blood indicates the overall health of every person, and there are several tests you can undergo to see what it shows. You can take them regularly or on your doctor’s orders.
Depending on how you feel and your medical history, your doctor can have you go through different blood tests to help them make the right diagnosis. These blood tests are specifically designed to confirm medical impressions or indicate irregularities with different aspects of your health. With that in mind, read the necessary blood tests that will help you stay healthy in this blog.
A CBC measures levels of 10 different components of each primary cell in your body. The most important components this test measures are red blood cell count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. Abnormal levels of these components can indicate the following:
- Anemia or iron deficiency
- Lack of enough blood cells
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Blood cancer
- Clotting problems
A BMP test usually checks for levels of eight components found in the blood. The eight components are as follows:
- Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
This test requires patients to fast at least eight hours before the blood draw, depending on the doctor’s instructions and what the test is measuring. Fasting is a basic requirement for multiple blood tests to free the blood of any vitamins and other nutrients that can cause a temporary spike or drop. So if you feel weak after fasting, it’s better to look for “blood work near me” online to avoid the hassle.
Abnormal BMP results may indicate diabetes, hormonal imbalances, and kidney disease.
A CMP blood test includes all BMP measurements and additional substances and proteins related to liver function. This means the same conclusions can be obtained from it for the same substances a BMP covers. The added scope of CMP are as follows:
- alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
- Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
- Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
Albumin and globulin are liver-made proteins, while bilirubin is the waste resulting from the breakdown of red blood cells (RBC) that the liver filters out. ALP, ALT, and AST are enzymes found in the liver, bones, and other tissues within the body.
Abnormal levels of said liver enzymes may indicate bone metabolism disorders, hepatitis, etc. For abnormally high bilirubin levels, Gilbert’s syndrome, bile duct blockage, and hemolysis are possible indications.
A lipid panel test checks for levels of two cholesterol types: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is also known as good cholesterol, while LDL is bad cholesterol. HDL is necessary for the body because it removes harmful substances from the blood and helps the liver break them down into waste, while LDL can increase the risk of heart disease because it can develop plaque in the arteries.
Normal levels of both cholesterol types can vary by age and gender. For example, Low HDL for males is less than 40mg/dL and less than 50mg/dL for females.
A thyroid panel is also known as the thyroid function test. It checks how well your thyroid produces and reacts to certain hormones, such as thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
T3 and T4 regulate metabolism while the former also regulate growth and the latter body temperature and heart rate. On the other hand, TSH regulates the hormone levels your thyroid releases.
Abnormal levels of these hormones may indicate numerous conditions, such as abnormal levels of testosterone or estrogen, thyroid growth disorders, and low protein levels.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diagnosed using blood samples and are often combined with urine samples and swabs of infected tissue for enhanced accuracy. Here are some STIs that can be diagnosed with blood tests:
Blood tests are essential procedures because they help save lives. In addition, taking them annually helps keep track of your health, which will empower you to make better decisions towards a better life.
Though not a medical professional, Hodge Racter knows a lot about health and medical topics, including on-demand modern laboratory services. When not writing, he spends his time with his wife and two dogs.