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Common Blood Tests and Why They’re Important

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  • Written By: Frederick Health
Common Blood Tests and Why They’re Important

Blood tests are important and can help you stay ahead of your health. They can help catch diseases or conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, anemia, and more before you start having any symptoms. Blood tests also help providers check the function of organs such as your kidneys, liver, thyroid, and heart and see if your treatments are working. During a routine checkup, your Primary Care provider may recommend blood tests to check how your body is functioning. There are certain tests you should be getting every year.

A Thyroid Panel

A thyroid panel checks on how well your thyroid is working. Your thyroid helps regulate body functions like your mood, energy level, and metabolism. A thyroid panel shows how your thyroid is producing and reacting to certain hormones, such as triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which help regulate your metabolism, heart rate, and body temperature, as well as thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which helps regulate the levels of hormones your thyroid releases.

Irregular levels of these hormones can be a sign of numerous conditions, such as low protein levels, thyroid growth disorders, or abnormal levels of testosterone or estrogen.

Nutritional Tests

Nutritional tests check for levels of nutrients like iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and magnesium. Many people are deficient when it comes to these nutrients. However, they’re essential for normal body functions such as blood sugar regulation, gut health, hormone function, and more. Nutritional testing can help avoid or pinpoint nutritional imbalances, which can lead to symptoms like weight gain or loss, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and more.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

A comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) measures 14 different substances in your blood and provides important information about your body’s chemical balance and metabolism. Some of the things a CMP tests for include glucose, calcium, sodium, potassium, and chloride. A CMP is used to check liver and kidney function, blood sugar levels, blood protein levels, and more. Abnormal levels of any of the substances tested in a CMP can be a sign of a serious health problem like liver or kidney disease.

Complete Blood Count

A complete blood count (CBC) can help detect blood diseases and disorders like anemia, clotting problems, blood cancers, and immune system disorders. A CBC measures red and white blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. Your provider may order a CBC to review your overall health, diagnose or monitor a medical condition, or monitor a medical treatment.

Metabolic Marker Tests

Metabolic markers like hemoglobin A1c, glucose level tests, and a basic lipid panel are essential to understand how your body processes nutrients. High levels in any of these tests show that your body isn’t processing glucose properly, which can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. If you have a high risk of heart disease, your doctor may request an extensive lipid panel.

Inflammatory Marker Tests

A high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test and homocysteine test can show if something inflammatory is happening within your body. High levels of hs-CRP can be from physical trauma, a bacterial or viral infection, autoimmune diseases, allergies, or food sensitivities, and can lead to an increased risk of coronary artery disease.

Additionally, high levels of homocysteine could be a sign of vitamin deficiency or heart disease. Your provider may recommend a homocysteine test if you have symptoms including dizziness, weakness, fatigue, pale skin, or a sore tongue and mouth.

Having these blood tests done every year can help you and your provider keep track of your overall health and well-being. These tests can catch diseases or conditions before they progress, getting you the treatment you need that much quicker. At Frederick Health, treatment through prevention is the focus of your care. Contact your Primary Care provider today and being scheduling your yearly blood tests.