The Most Common Reasons for a Blood Test
When taking routine blood work, you lose around 10 milliliters of blood, even though sometimes it feels like they’ve taken out your entire supply. However, humans have over 4,500 milliliters of blood, so when your doctor asks for a blood panel, they’re really not taking that much out of your body. But no matter how much your doctor takes for a blood test, what are the common reasons they ask for blood work to begin with? In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most common reasons for blood panels.
Your doctor may ask for one of these tests, even if everything else looks good, as blood work helps them get a more accurate picture of what’s going on with your body.
Read on for more information.
CBC, or Complete Blood Count
This is probably the most common blood test you can have done.
Whenever you have a blood panel, a doctor will order this test just to check on things. A complete blood count measures the types of blood cells you have and can tell a doctor a lot about your health. For example, it can help clue a doctor if you’re ill or what kind of illness you might have.
A low white blood count can mean you’re at risk of a serious illness, and it is a cause for concern if you have a low white blood count and symptoms like a sore throat or swollen glands.
A CBC can also help a doctor find clues about complaints like fatigue and weakness and tip them off to more serious illnesses like leukemia.
A Lipid Panel
You’ve likely heard your doctor talk about the importance of keeping your “bad” cholesterol (HDL) down and your “good” cholesterol (LDL) up. The way they measure this is by a lipid panel.
A lipid panel is a great way for your doctor to measure your heart health. While some people find this test controversial today, it is still necessary if your doctor is concerned about your heart.
Vitamin D Levels
To the layperson, it may seem odd to test for one specific vitamin and not others. However, a low Vitamin D level is extremely common in the United States and can lead to symptoms like depression and fatigue. It can also contribute to aching muscles, lower back pain weakened immunity and even obesity.
Vitamin D comes from red meat and oily fish, as well as egg yolks. If you’re vegan or don’t tend to eat these foods, you’re at risk of developing low Vitamin D.
Vitamin D can also be something you acquire from the sun, which means those in countries where the sun isn’t out very often, like northern Europe, may suffer from Vitamin D deficiencies if their diet is not rich in meat, eggs, or fortified food. It can also happen in the United States in the winter months if you do not go out often and your diet lacks the proper supplementation.
Thankfully, upping your Vitamin D levels is very easy from a medical standpoint and can help ease some of your symptoms.
Basic Metabolic Panel
A basic metabolic panel is one test you’ll need to fast for. It can be ordered if your doctor suspects something is wrong with you or ordered as part of a regular health screening.
This test can help measure things like potassium, calcium, sodium, glucose, and carbon dioxide. If you take high blood pressure medication, it can help your doctor monitor some of the side effects.
This test also helps a doctor measure your blood sugar level, electrolytes, fluid balance, and kidney function.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
A comprehensive metabolic panel is similar to a basic metabolic panel but adds six more tests to the mix. It can help your doctor see how other organs in your body function, such as your liver.
This test is usually done for high blood pressure, kidney damage, liver damage, or diabetes. This panel can help them see if the disease is progressing and by how much.
Some labs do not have the capability to perform this test, so instead, a doctor may order each of the six extra tests one by one.
Your thyroid is responsible for the regulation of both your energy and metabolism. This test will measure your thyroid-stimulating hormones and can also tell if your thyroid is overperforming or underperforming.
While most people have hypothyroidism who have thyroid issues, they can have hyperthyroidism, which often is not detected and sometimes overlooked. Hyperthyroidism can be responsible for unexplained weight loss, a higher than normal heart rate, and anxiety. It can also cause you to have tremors.
Getting a Blood Test
Having a blood test is routine, and everyone will have one a few times in their lives. Whether it is to test for specific symptoms and monitor medication side effects and disease progression or simply part of an overall health check-up, they are crucial to providing the best care possible.
As such, phlebotomists are an extremely important part of healthcare as a whole. Doctors would be operating on guesswork without them unless a symptom was very clear in front of them. As such, the ability to draw blood is a skill that should not go unnoticed or underappreciated.
If you’re interested in becoming a mobile phlebotomist and help care for your local community, click here. You can spend your days in care homes, doctors’ offices, and other facilities, helping provide care for a wide variety of people.