Health Conditions and Diseases That Require Blood Tests Before a Diagnosis
Did you know that on average, blood makes up around 10% of our entire body weight? That’s about 1.5 gallons coursing through the body. Blood is crucial for keeping the components of our body in balance. For example, the white blood cells present in blood help protect the body from infections, and red blood cells, filled with hemoglobin, carry oxygen throughout the body.
Due to the specialized nature of blood, blood tests have become a crucial way in which health care practitioners deduce a multitude of health problems. Apart from keeping track of overall health and wellness, blood tests provide essential insight into common illnesses.
In this article, we’ll explore which conditions and diseases require a blood test. Continue reading to find out what conditions and diseases may require blood testing.
Why is Blood Work Important?
You’ve likely gone in for routine blood work with your doctor before. Routine blood work is individualized according to a patient’s situation and needs. Blood tests are used to confirm your organs like the heart, liver, and thyroid are properly functioning. They can help monitor diabetes or cholesterol, as well as find out how well your immune system is working.
There are a variety of blood test types that exist today. For example, a complete blood count, or CBC, measures all of the components that make up blood such as red and white blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. A basic metabolic panel looks at various compounds and their levels within the blood such as calcium, sodium, chloride, and potassium.
The more in-depth blood panels are what health care providers use to diagnose diseases like diabetes or cancer.
What Can a Blood Test Diagnose?
In-depth panels may include tests such as comprehensive hormone panels or enzyme markers. The variety of diseases that can be identified through such tests may include:
- Heart disease
- Hepatitis C
- Thyroid disease
- Clotting disorders
It should be of note, however, that a blood test diagnosis may simply be the first step in a series of steps to confirm illness or disease. Let’s take a closer look at what a couple of these tests entail.
Blood Enzyme Tests
A blood enzyme test might get administered by a doctor if they suspect a patient may have an inherited disease or abnormality.
There are thousands of different enzymes located within the body, with each holding a specific job. Enzymes help with crucial functions in all the body’s systems such as breathing, muscle building, and proper nerve function. A blood test is necessary to properly identify a specific disease or disease progression.
For example, liver disease may show up as elevated liver enzymes during a test. Additional metabolic disorders related to enzyme imbalances include:
- Crohn’s disease
- Lactose intolerance
- Fabry disease
One of the more common uses for a blood enzyme test is to confirm if the muscle of the heart has gotten damaged due to a heart attack.
Hormone Blood Tests
Hormone blood tests are a good way to confirm fertility problems, thyroid issues, ovarian cysts, or even diabetes.
A variety of hormones can be tested during a visit such as estrogen, testosterone, or thyroid hormones. For example, a progesterone test is used to confirm if a patient is at risk of miscarriage or premature labor. If high levels of progesterone are found during testing, it could also be an indication of breast cancer risk.
Among other things, high levels of testosterone found during blood testing could be a sign of cancer of the adrenal gland. In short, various hormone tests can be administered to help diagnose a variety of disorders including PCOS, thyroid issues, as well as cancer.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
Your doctor will typically administer a basic metabolic blood panel when you go in for your annual check-up. A comprehensive metabolic panel, however, provides a more in-depth look that allows your doctor to screen for a variety of issues.
This grouping of blood tests paints a picture of your body’s chemical balances and fluids, as well as metabolic functions. The highlight that the test looks for is whether or not the body’s kidneys and liver are functioning properly. The test will be able to tell if those organs are filtering as they should be. Overall, this battery of tests looks for:
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
Various Heart Health Tests
The systems in our body are all interconnected, firing off of each other at any one time. Many blood tests cover an array of clues that help doctors diagnose illness or disease in relation to these systems. However, there are a variety of tests specifically used to confirm the health of the heart.
You may be familiar with certain terms like cholesterol or fasting blood sugar. Other tests done to check the health of the heart may include:
- Apoliprotein B
- Hemoglobin A1c
These tests confirm anything from protein levels in the blood (fibrogen) to amino acids (homocysteine). High levels of which can increase the risk of heart attack or heart disease.
Test for Health
The amount of blood tests available today are vast. Doctors are able to screen for genetic disorders and diagnose pregnancies, assess fertility and see how well treatments for cancer are going. Blood testing a medical condition keeps us healthy and aware of any potential health risks.
At Precision Labs, we recognize the importance of a thorough and accurate blood test. If you’d like to set up a blood draw for your location, please don’t hesitate to contact us here today. We’re happy to answer any questions you have and provide you with efficient, accurate results.