If you are like most people, you probably haven't given much thought to blood testing. However, believe it or not, this simple procedure can provide a wealth of information about your health.
This article will tackle the various types of blood testing. We will also discuss the benefits of blood testing and some things to keep in mind when undergoing a test. So, if you're curious about blood testing, keep reading!
What is Blood Testing?
Blood tests are an essential segment of your health care. They can measure or examine cells, chemicals, and proteins in the blood, which helps doctors with various purposes, from generating lists for treatments to identifying problems before they become worse. They are also helpful to:
Help find out what's wrong with some chronic diseases
Keep an eye on a long-term illness or conditions, like kidney disease or high cholesterol
Find out if the medication used in treating a disease is working.
Check the health of your organs.
Accurately identify haemorrhaging or blood clotting abnormalities.
Check to see if your immune system is struggling to fight off infections.
What happens during a blood test?
A blood test usually involves removing blood from the blood vessels on the arms. It's usually a good place to take a blood sample at the inside of the elbows and wrists where veins are relatively close to the skin's surface. A tight band (tourniquet) can be placed around the upper arms. The band compresses your wrist and slows down your circulation to make your veins more visible.
How will my blood be taken?
The tourniquet is tightly held around your upper arm so the blood flow in the elbows is positioned at the surface and can be identified easily when needed. Vascular surfaces are scrubbed using a clean alcohol wand. A tiny needle can enter your vein and a tiny blood vessel will connect. Blood flows through the bottle and the needle is taken out once it's filled.
What happens to my blood after the test?
Generally the bottle contains little amounts of an agent to help stop blood clots in your tube and make it more precise for laboratory testing. The bottles are labelled with your name and birth date and the tops have different colours depending on the type of test the blood is taken for. It's time for analysis.
9 Essential Blood Tests
Blood tests come in many different forms. Some common ones are:
1. Complete blood count (CBC)
This method assesses various components of your blood, like your red and white blood cells. It also measures essential factors like the number of red blood cells, haemoglobin, and haematocrit.
2. Basic metabolic panel
Healthcare providers use this test to measure glucose, calcium, and electrolytes in your blood. You may be required to fast for at least eight hours before they begin obtaining blood samples if this is what your doctor recommends and depending on what the test is looking for.
A basic metabolic panel checks the blood levels of the following elements:
Glucose is a form of sugar that supplies your body and brain with energy. Blood glucose is another name for glucose. Frequently, elevated blood glucose is a symptom of diabetes.
While the bones keep most calcium, calcium is also required in the blood. Our blood needs calcium for healthy neurons, muscle, and cardiac function. Additionally, it aids in blood clotting when wounded.
Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
BUN is a measurement of urea, a waste material that the kidneys assist in eliminating from the blood.
Creatinine is a result of muscle contractions. It is a waste substance that the kidneys filter out of the blood.
3. Comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP)
The test measures 14 different substances in your blood. It includes crucial information on how often you have an infection or virus that makes it difficult for your immune system cells to fight off infections.
CMP is also a way to get all your bloodwork done. It gives doctors information about how well the patient is hydrated and what nutrients are needed for optimal health and even tells them if their patient requires more liquids or medicine.
4. Blood enzyme tests
Enzymes are substances in your body that control how chemicals react. There are many different kinds of enzyme tests for blood. Troponin and creatine kinase tests are two of the most common categories. These tests determine whether a person has had a heart attack or if the heart muscle is damaged.
5. Blood clotting tests
A coagulation panel is a group of tests that measure how well the blood clots. With these tests, the doctor can determine if you have a disease that makes you either bleed or clot too much.
Clotting is essential for stopping the flow of blood after you cut yourself. However, if it blocks an artery, there could be deadly consequences because they block blood supply to vital organs like the brain and heart. It also adds extra pressure in your circulatory system, which might cause strokes or emphysema.
6. Cardiac enzyme tests
The heart is a powerful muscle that pumps blood throughout your body. Symptoms of problems can include shortness of breath and chest pain (angina) when the heart stops working correctly. Diagnosing problems with the cardiac muscles requires a cardiac enzyme test. If you doubt whether or not this condition applies to you, you can ask your doctor about your concerns.
7. Sexually transmitted infection tests
Using a blood sample for diagnosing STIs has become more common in recent years. It is often combined with a urine test or swab samples from the infected area, giving doctors an accurate picture of what's causing your symptoms so that they can treat it quickly and adequately.
Blood testing can be used to find the following sexually transmitted infections (STIs):
To see our All-in-one STI test, click here.
8. DHEA sulphate serum blood test
A DHEAS test measures blood levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS). All sexes produce DHEA sulphate, a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. DHEAS levels peak during adolescence and then naturally fall with ageing.
DHEAS is converted to androgens (testosterone and androstenedione) and oestrogen by the body. Although males generate more testosterone and females create more oestrogen, both sexes generate and utilize these hormones. Therefore, DHEAS is essential for maturing male sexual features and reproduction in both sexes.
To see our DHEA Sulphate Test, click here.
9. C-Reactive Protein test
The C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test examines the amount of CRP in the blood. CRP is a liver-produced protein. It is discharged into the bloodstream as a result of inflammation. If you have been hurt or infected, swelling is your body's way of protecting your tissues. It might produce discomfort, inflammation, and warmth in the afflicted or wounded area. Some auto immunities and chronic illnesses can also cause inflammation.
Typically, your blood contains modest levels of c-reactive protein. However, high concentrations may indicate a severe infection or other illness.
To see our CRP Test, click here.
Blood testing can provide an accurate picture of your general well-being. They are also helpful in detecting underlying medical conditions beforehand and gauging how effectively your body responds to various treatments. Numerous individuals have standard blood testing at least once per year. Discuss any additional tests you might need to guarantee optimal health with your physician.
To see some of our most popular health tests, click here.
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