What Is A CDT Blood Test?

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Carbohydrates deficient transferrin (CDT) is a minor isolated tetracycline isoform that includes disialotransferrin and asiago monosialo. When combined with CDT alone, % CDT is considered an alcohol biomarker. Continuous usage of 50-60g of alcohol each day increases the average growth rate in the CDT. The CDT has a ten-year half-life between 14 and 17.

Moreover, the average value returns throughout the long period. Women may be more prone to CDTs than males. On the other hand, the absolute % CDT value is not gender dependent.

Just continue reading to discover more about carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT), from its definition to how the test works, when it is tested, and its accuracy.

What Exactly Is A Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT)?

Iron molecules are bound by it in bone marrow, spleen, and adipose tissue. If you previously recorded alcoholic beverages, the rise in transferrin levels was primarily due to carbohydrate depletion. 

Transferrin has been found to improve iron absorption in the blood and lower blood pressure

Additionally, CDT increase is assessed in the bloodstream as it serves as a biomarker for alcohol use. Those who are consuming alcohol less are more likely to have a lower carbohydrate-deficient transferrin CDT level in their blood.

Alcohol Consumption Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin Blood Test

It examines the blood for carbohydrate-depleting transferrin (CDT). Transferrin is a protein required for iron transfer, such as in bone marrow. It may vary in many ways, but CDT is commonly detected in those who predominantly drink alcoholic beverages.

Elevated CDT levels generally imply alcoholic consumption in the first 2-3 days. Although people's definitions of alcohol overconsumption differ, it is commonly defined as 4-6 drinks or more per day.

After a few days, CDT levels change, but it usually recovers after 2 to 5 weeks without alcohol.

Heavy Alcohol Consumption

% Carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT) is a blood laboratory test to diagnose heavy alcohol consumption (four or more drinks each day over the past two weeks). This biomarker may help physicians evaluate and track clients in treatment for heavy alcohol consumption disorders in an objective manner.

Moreover, you may use it to see whether heavy alcohol consumption worsens other illnesses such as cocaine or psychiatric conditions.

What Exactly Is A CDT Blood Test?

blood test

You may be wondering, "What is a CDT blood test?". As the name implies, blood tests assess CDT levels in the blood. Carbohydrate deficient transferrin is an iron-infused compound found in the spleen, brain, lungs, and intestine. When alcohol consumption is excessive, the CDT levels in the body may rise and consequently, CDT can be detected on the skin in blood tests. The increase in these levels is a sign of too much alcohol consumption.

How Would You Like To Collect Your Blood Sample?

If you need a private venous blood sample collection to be tested with a carbohydrate-deficient transferrin blood test, you may go to one of many clinics around the country or buy it online. A doctor may advise on how to read your data, although this is not required. If you have already made a purchase, you will be contacted via email and instructed on how to schedule a clinic visit.

Alcohol Abuse Biomarkers

Around 20% of primary care patients use alcohol (ethanol) in dangerous amounts. A blood-alcohol abuse of more than 250 mg/dL is considered hazardous and may cause motor function loss, altered awareness, respiratory failure, and fatality.

Other side effects of alcohol abuse are cardiomyopathy, fibrosis, fatty liver disease, stroke, pancreatitis, an increased chance of developing cancer, psychiatric problems, and vitamin deficiencies, as well as fetal alcohol syndrome in individuals exposed during pregnancy.

How Does The CDT Test work?

People with low CDT levels in their blood are known to have lower alcohol consumption. Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin CDT off at less than 1% implies that you are drinking within limits. A person who consumes at least five drinks per day for two weeks before the blood test has elevated CDT levels. They are very accurate in detecting high-level drinking.

Unlike the A1C test, which evaluates glucose over the previous 90 days, the carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) blood test identifies alcohol over an extended period. Blood sugar levels recovered to average about 2 to 4 weeks after someone quit drinking. When they start drinking, their CDT levels climb similarly.

When Is CDT Tested?

The carbohydrate-deficient transferrin CDT blood test is more accurate than standard brief-alert tests, which depend on the patient and are more subjective. Patients who have heavy alcohol use are unlikely to self-describe appropriately. 

  • Medical Conditions 

Several medical conditions contraindicate drinking. People with diabetes should avoid alcohol consumption. 97% of people with diabetes who drank alcohol had a higher risk of diseases. There is data that may suggest that millions of diabetics and hypoglycemics drink alcohol. A blood test to see whether individuals consume less might avert problems and enhance health.

  • Drug Interactions

Prescription and OTC drugs may cause alcohol-related side effects. Overconsumption of liquor may cause anxiety and panic attacks. Carbohydrate deficient transferrin testing identifies alcohol relapses in medical situations generating adverse effects.

  • Recovery

Because it identifies increasing and reduced drinking levels, carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) may also help healthcare practitioners & doctors track absorption and relapse. 


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