Different Types of Blood Tests You Should Know About: A Guide
Estimates put the global blood testing market size growing by a compound annual growth rate of 8.3% through 2028.
Blood testing is increasing because as our technology advances, we’re able to detect more vital information through this form of testing. There are many different types of blood tests. The blood is sent to a blood testing laboratory where it looks for specific markers telling of a disease. You can also have a blood test done to track high cholesterol, check the health of certain organs, study the immune system, and much more.
Without further ado, here’s an in-depth look at the different types of blood tests.
Complete Blood Count
A complete blood count (CBC) is a routine check-up. It looks at ten different components of the cells in the blood.
A CBC test can measure your:
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
If an abnormal level is found, it can indicate a person is suffering from anemia, blood cancer, infection, certain nutritional deficiencies, and more. Should something unusual come up during the CBD test, your doctor will most often order for a follow-up test.
Basic Metabolic Panel
When you have a basic metabolic panel (BMP) blood test done, it looks at the levels of eight different compounds in the blood. These compounds are:
- Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
Most often, you will have to fast for at least eight hours before this type of test. Any abnormal results shown from the test might be an indication of kidney disease, hormone imbalance, or diabetes.
There are over 537 million adults who have diabetes. With so many people developing diabetes each year, it’s little surprise there’s a need for varying types of blood sugar tests and BMP tests.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
As the name suggests, this is a more in-depth look at the blood. A comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) includes all the things a BMP measures, in addition to proteins and substances that relate to liver function.
Any abnormal results found from a CMP might indicate the same issues as what a BMP uncovers. However, a CMP can also help show underlying conditions like:
- Paget’s disease
- Liver cancer
- Gilbert’s syndrome
- And more
You can think of a CMP test as a more conclusive and thorough blood test.
As the name states, a thyroid panel blood test is looking at how well the thyroid is working. The blood test checks to see if the thyroid is reacting to certain hormones like triiodothyronine or thyroxine.
The thyroid is a gland in the neck and is what helps to regulate certain body functions, including metabolism, mood, and even energy levels. When a thyroid isn’t working properly, this can lead to mood swings, weight gain, or weight loss.
If the doctor suspects a patient is struggling with cholesterol issues, they might order a lipid panel blood test. This test looks at the levels of two different types of cholesterol.
These two types of cholesterol are high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein. High-density lipoprotein is known as a “good” type of cholesterol because it works to remove harmful substances from the blood. It also assists the liver in breaking down waste. Low-density lipoprotein, on the other hand, is a “bad” cholesterol because it causes plaque in the arteries. If you have plaque developing in the arteries, you are at an increased risk of heart disease.
For a lipid panel blood test, you will likely have to fast for up to eight hours beforehand.
The body has enzymes, which are proteins that help with certain chemical processes. Enzymes are what help your body to break down food or clot blood when you get a cut.
When you have a blood test that looks at the enzymes, it’ll check:
- Creatine Kinase – An enzyme found in the brain, heart, and skeletal muscles. If there is muscle damage, creatine kinase seeps into the blood.
- Creatine Kinase-MB – Found in the heart. This type of enzyme increases in the blood after a heart attack or heart injury.
- Troponin – A heart enzyme. Troponin will leak into the blood in the event of a heart injury.
If the doctor suspects a person might have suffered a heart attack or a form of heart damage, they will often do a blood test to check the cardiac biomarkers.
When a doctor wants to know how well the blood is capable of clotting, they will order a coagulation test.
Clotting is vital as it helps the body to stop bleeding from a wound. On the flip side, a clot inside a vein or artery can be fatal. This is because a clot inside a vein or artery blocks the blood flow. When the blood flow is blocked, blood and oxygen aren’t reaching essential organs like the brain or heart. When that happens, a person can suffer a heart attack or stroke.
A doctor will order a coagulation panel to discover if a person has:
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Liver condition
Sexually Transmitted Infections
There are several different sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which a blood test can diagnose. Many times, both a blood test and urine test are done to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
A blood test can diagnose the following STIs:
It’s worth noting that a blood test isn’t always accurate if the STI was recently contracted. Take an HIV infection as an example. It can take up to a month before a blood test can detect this type of virus.
The Different Types of Blood Tests and You
As you can see, there are many different types of blood tests out there. Precision Labs is here to help with blood drawing for assisted living facilities, physician offices, and traveling physicians.
If you’re in need of blood testing services, get in touch with Precision Labs today. We provide accurate and thorough results in a timely fashion.