What Can You Detect From a Blood Test?
A regular blood test allows you to monitor numerous areas of your health. In fact, the blood gives us more insight than you might think.
Blood can tell us very specific things about a person’s body, including whether or not they have a number of illnesses. We’re going to explore what’s possible to learn through blood testing today, helping you understand why it’s so important to get tested.
Hopefully, the information below will inspire you to get a blood test for yourself. Let’s take a look.
So, What Is a Blood Test?
Blood tests (also known as blood work) can be taken in a number of ways. You might have a finger prick, use dried blood, take blood from a vein, or even an artery. There’s even information we can take from bone marrow.
All of these methods are used to take samples of blood and examine them. Blood is then spun in a centrifuge, where it separates into three parts. Those parts are plasma, hematocrit, and buffy coat. Healthy blood should have about half plasma and half hematocrit, although the scales tend to tip in the direction of plasma, especially in females.
Plasma contains water, nutrients, proteins, and other contents that indicate the state of a person’s body. The buffy coat contains white blood cells and platelets, while the hematocrit contains red blood cells.
The distribution and contents of the blood, once they’re separated, give us insight into the health of the individual. Let’s explore some of the things that we can glean from these tests.
1. Healthy Distribution of Contents
One primary measure in blood tests is looking at whether or not the blood holds a healthy amount of various components.
Exploring the hematocrit, platelet, hemoglobin, white blood cell, and red blood cell contents can tell us a number of things. When those ratios are out of balance, an individual might have an infection, vitamin deficiencies, problems with bone marrow, inflammation, and more.
Interestingly, these can even suggest that a person might have cancer of some kind. When there’s a potential issue, the doctor will schedule a more specific examination to identify the source of the issue.
2. Metabolic Panel Issues
A metabolic panel gives us insight into a few specific ingredients that constitute our blood. This includes things like electrolytes, carbon dioxide, urea nitrogen, potassium, and more.
A complete metabolic panel gives insights into the state of the liver and kidneys, looking for things like alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and albumin.
High or low levels of these various contents can tell us whether a person has hormonal deficiencies, Paget’s disease, heart conditions, medication reactions, and dozens of other potential health issues.
A person can also have a lipid panel done to inspect their levels of cholesterol. you can look at levels of good and bad cholesterol, indicating whether you’re at risk for heart disease.
High-density lipoprotein is considered good because it’s the cholesterol that aids the body in removing and disposing of harmful contents of the blood. Low-density lipoprotein is considered bad because it actually introduces harmful substances, such as plaque, into the arteries and can lead to blockages and disease.
3. Brain Injury
If you’ve fallen or hit your head in any way, blood tests can actually suggest whether or not you’ve had a concussion. The accuracy of these tests approaches 100%, and could serve as a more cost-effective alternative to CT scans.
Blood tests are very good at identifying head injuries but even better at ruling out whether or not a person has one. In other words, you can take the test and be almost positive that you don’t have a concussion.
If the results are inconclusive, it may be time to take more tests to see what the issue is. In those cases, you might require a CT scan to get a full picture of what the brain is going through.
4. Mental Illnesses
Interestingly, there are a number of biological markers that come as a result of various mental illnesses. These markers may be present in the blood and body before there are any environmental stressors to speak of.
Because mental illness tends to hang in the balance of biology and environment, it can be hard to treat the issues on a physical level. That said, it’s now possible to get some insight into the mental illness before the individual actually experiences symptoms.
Blood tests are almost able to accurately suggest whether a person has a range of mental illnesses. What’s more, is that these tests can pinpoint specific illnesses.
So, you’ll know if you have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, specifically. The particular toll that these disorders have on the body leaves a unique imprint. The imprint from depression is distinct from the one left by anxiety, for example.
5. Predict Diseases
One of the most wonderful benefits for patients is the fact that serious diseases can be predicted early on. Alzheimer’s Disease, for example, is marked by a couple of contents of blood that start presenting themselves dozens of years before the disease manifests.
When the disease can be prevented, then, it’s possible to push it off or eliminate it from ever occurring. In most cases, that means finding dietary or lifestyle changes that can prevent the onset of the disease.
As technology advances, the predictions of these diseases will become more wide-ranging and accurate.
6. Behavioral Predictions
The contents of our blood can tell doctors a lot about what we might enjoy doing or fall victim to. For example, there are a lot of similarities among the blood contents of binge drinkers.
Specifically, binge drinkers are more likely to have high levels of PEth. Knowing that about yourself in advance might make you more cautious around alcohol, preventing a serious dependence issue.
Need Blood Testing Done?
Getting a blood test is an important thing for everyone to do, and we’re here to help you gain access to effective and easy blood testing options.
If your practice is in need of professional blood testing services, look no further. Explore our site for more insight into our services, options, benefits, and much more.