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Blood Tests: Their Importance and What They Tell You About Your Health

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Regular blood testing is a crucial element in making sure you are healthy. Consecutive blood tests allow you to keep track of how your body changes over time while helping you make informed decisions regarding your health.

What Do Blood Tests Show?

Blood tests are designed to help your doctor see how your organs work. Some organ functions that can be detected with blood testing include your kidneys, liver, and thyroid.

Your doctor will also use blood tests for finding disease markers and signs of other health conditions, such as HIV, diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancer, and anemia. Even if you don’t have heart disease, blood tests can tell you if you are at risk of developing this condition.

Other blood tests are used to determine if the medications you take work properly and to see how well your blood clots. Keep reading to learn more about the most important blood tests. You can also find out more about these when you contact NovoPath.

Complete Blood Count

Having a routine CBC (complete blood count) will measure 10 components for all the main cells in your blood, including your platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells.

The most important components this test measures include hematocrit, hemoglobin, and red blood cell count. If the numbers revealed by the test are abnormal, they may show signs of an infection, blood cancer, clotting issues, anemia, nutritional deficiencies, and immune system disorders.

Basic Metabolic Panel

The basic metabolic panel (BMP) usually checks for eight different compounds in your blood. This includes chloride, bicarbonate, potassium, sodium, glucose, calcium, creatine, and blood urea nitrogen (BUN).

The test often requires you to fast for a minimum of eight hours before the blood is drawn, depending on your doctor’s instructions and what the test is measuring.

If abnormal results are seen with this blood test, it can indicate hormone imbalances, diabetes, or kidney disease. Your doctor will provide additional testing to confirm this diagnosis.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

The comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) includes measurements of a BMP and other substances and proteins related to your liver function. This includes ALP, total protein, albumin, ALT, bilirubin, and AST. Your doctor can gather the same information from the CBM and BMP for substances the BMP covers. If abnormal levels are detected, it may indicate various underlying conditions, including gallbladder issues, hepatitis, liver damage, heart conditions, Gilbert’s syndrome, and more.

Lipid Panel

The lipid panel provides checks for two types of cholesterol: HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol). HDL is considered good because it removes harmful substances from the blood and helps the liver break it down into waste. LDL is considered bad because it may cause plaque to form in your arteries, which increases your possibility of developing heart disease. If your doctor orders this test, you must fast for a minimum of eight hours before it.

Endnote

Regular blood tests provide a snapshot of your overall health. They are a good way to detect disease or illness early and to see how your body responds to treatments for different conditions. Most people get regular blood tests annually, which helps your doctor ensure no issues need to be treated or investigated further.

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Current Issue December 2023

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