Have you ever considered getting a blood test? If you have, you may have also wondered how vital blood testing is. This article will cover just a few of the various blood tests that enable you to track your health.
The standard blood test is essential for everyone. This test is generally done by your GP, who tests for red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and haemoglobin.
But, under some circumstances, it may also be necessary to have blood tests to find other substances in your blood. These tests can help diagnose medical conditions that regular blood tests can't.
To view the Welzo range of at-home private blood tests, click here.
Red Blood cells
The first test we recommend is for "Red blood cells". Thankfully, when you get a routine blood test with your GP, finding out how many red blood cells you have is part of that process.
The purpose of red blood cells is to carry oxygen around the body. They collect it from the lungs and deliver it to each cell. From the brain to the toes, there isn't a single cell in the human body that doesn't require oxygen.
If your blood test shows less than 4.3 million (for men) or 3.5 million (for women) red blood cells per cubic millimetre, you could face health complications.
For example, you may often feel fatigued due to anaemia.
White Blood Cells
The second aspect of your blood health is immunity. It would be wise to track the number of white blood cells.
White blood cells form a vital part of the immune system. When a pathogen (bacteria or virus) enters the bloodstream, the white blood cells kill the said pathogen. They also remember what it looks like, so they can kill it again if it returns. For more information and our comprehensive guide to blood tests, click here.
With a white blood cell count of less than 4500 per cubic mm, your immune system will not be as strong as it should be, increasing the chance of serious illnesses.
Have you ever been injured?
The last time you were injured, notice how the wound healed and the blood stopped flowing out of the body?
The cause of your wound clotting was a particular type of cell called platelets.
The platelets will form a plug when there is damage to the skin or an organ. If they did not do this, every time we got a cut or wound, it would never stop bleeding.
If you have fewer than 150,000 platelets per cubic millimetre of blood, the likelihood of wounds taking longer than necessary to heal increases.
We already mentioned earlier in this article that red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to your body's cells.
But, to do so, you need to have enough haemoglobin in your blood.
When you do a blood test, doctors will see how much haemoglobin is in your blood. Because if you have enough red blood cells but not enough haemoglobin, the red blood cells will not be able to do their job.
Haemoglobin is a particular type of protein that holds oxygen or carbon dioxide.
Red blood cells are like the postman. Haemoglobin is like his bag. And oxygen is like the letters.
BMP: basic metabolic panel
So far, all the blood tests come under the general category of "routine blood tests". When your GP tells you that you're due for a blood test, they will usually test for white blood cells, red blood cells, haemoglobin, and platelets.
But, under certain circumstances, you may be required or wish to have more blood tests done—for example, the "basic metabolic panel" tests for eight different substances.
What is included in the "Basic Metabolic Panel" blood test?
Glucose. Our bodies need glucose for energy. But too much glucose could lead to diabetes.
Calcium. A mineral which is vital for nerves, muscles, and the heart.
The body uses electrically charged minerals to control acid balance and fluid levels.
- Carbon Dioxide.
Blood Urea Nitrogen. A waste product that the kidneys remove from the blood.
Not all forms of cancer can be diagnosed by a blood test. However, certain forms of cancer release antigens (chemicals that cause your white blood cells to produce antibodies to kill them).
Forms of cancer that blood tests can help diagnose
Prostate cancer can be diagnosed by testing for P-30 antigens.
CA125 is a test done to see whether someone has ovarian cancer
And high levels of BRCA1 and BRCA2 indicate a high likelihood of breast cancer
DHEA is one of the lesser-known hormones. DHEA Sulphate plays an important role in male and female puberty.
What is DHEA and why does it matter?
DHEA is short for Dehydroepiandrosterone.
Our body converts DHEA into testosterone and oestrogen. Although obviously, it should mainly turn into testosterone in males and oestrogen in females
If the blood test shows low levels of DHEA sulphate, a doctor may prescribe someone with additional hormones.
To view our DHEA Sulphate Blood Test, click here.
Tests from Welzo
At Welzo, we provide affordable, discreet, and personal blood tests.
The benefits of blood testing with Welzo
If you want a blood test but don't want the considerable costs of health insurance, or the long waiting lists of the NHS, Welzo offers a variety of blood tests ranging from thyroid function test to routine blood test.
For example, some of our blood tests can diagnose you with allergies. By knowing what you're allergic to, you'll know to avoid it
We also offer a bilirubin test. That's a chemical created from the breakdown of red blood cells, but too much can be dangerous.
Tests from Welzo can also help diagnose diseases such as hepatitis, diabetes, and HIV.
As we can see, blood tests are a vital part of taking care of your health. Whether you're just doing common blood tests, checking for white blood cell levels, having a complex test to check blood sugar levels, or doing other tests to find blood clotting, liver conditions, or other problems with organs. Regular blood testing is essential.
Your overall physical well-being depends on having blood test results in a range that your doctor is okay with. Most blood tests are quick, and painless, so there is no reason not to have them done.
When taking blood samples, you will usually have a small needle attached to a vein or other blood vessel. Your doctor will then collect blood, and send it off for lab tests. During these tests, your blood sample will undergo chemical processes. A routine blood test measures the types of cells that should be in your blood.
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