Blood Test

An overview

Blood tests help doctors check for certain diseases and conditions. They also help check the function of your organs and show how well treatments are working.
Specifically, blood tests can help doctors:
• Evaluate how well organs—such as the kidneys, liver, thyroid, and heart—are working.
• Diagnose diseases and conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, anemia (uh-NEE-me-eh) and coronary heart disease.
• Find out whether you have risk factors for heart disease.
• Check whether medicines you’re taking are working.
• Assess how well your blood is clotting.
During a blood test, a small sample of blood is taken from your body. It’s usually drawn from a vein in your arm using a needle. A finger prick also might be used. The procedure usually is quick and easy, although it may cause some short-term discomfort. Most people don’t have serious reactions to having blood drawn. Laboratory (lab) workers draw the blood and analyze it. They use either whole blood to count blood cells, or they separate the blood cells from the fluid that contains them. This fluid is called plasma or serum.

Blood test abbreviations

Blood test results generally use the metric system of measurement and various abbreviations, including:2
• cmm: cells per cubic millimeter
• fL (femtoliter): fraction of one-millionth of a liter
• g/dL: grams per deciliter
• IU/L: international units per liter
• mEq/L: milliequivalent per liter
• mg/dL: milligrams per deciliter
• mL: milliliter
• mmol/L: millimoles per liter
• ng/mL: nanograms per milliliter
• pg (picograms): one-trillionth of a gram.

Some other blood test

People worried about their health can also use the free Ada app to carry out a symptom assessment.
Some of the most common Blood test are: Blood Test Results, Blood test, rare Blood types, Blood disorders.

  • Allergy Blood Testing
  • Blood Tests for Autoimmune Diseases
  • Blood Diseases Testing
  • Cancer Detection Blood Testing
  • Blood Cholesterol Test
  • Diabetes Blood Tests
  • DNA, Paternity and Genetic Testing
  • Blood Tests for Drug Screening
  • Environmental Toxin Blood Testing
  • Fitness, Nutrition and Anti-Aging
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases Revealed by Blood Tests
  • Blood Testing for Heart Health
  • Hormones and Metabolism
  • Infectious Disease Blood Tests
  • Kidney Disease Blood Test
  • Liver Diseases Blood Testing
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s) Blood Tests
  • Thyroid Disease Blood Tests

Blood tests have a wide range of uses and are one of the most common types of medical test.
For example, a blood test can be used to:
• Assess your general state of health
• Check if you have an infection
• See how well certain organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are working
• Screen for certain genetic conditions
Most blood tests only take a few minutes to complete and are carried out at your GP surgery or local hospital by a doctor, nurse or phlebotomist (a specialist in taking blood samples).

What happens during a blood test?

A blood test usually involves taking a blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm.
The arm is a convenient part of the body to use because it can be easily uncovered. The usual place for a sample to be taken from is the inside of the elbow or wrist, where the veins are relatively close to the surface.
Blood samples from children are often taken from the back of the hand. Their skin may be numbed with a special spray or cream before the sample is taken.

How often should I get routine blood work?

Your doctor will typically recommend that you get routine blood work at least once a year, around the same time as your yearly physical.
But this is the bare minimum. There are several major reasons you may want to get blood tests more often than that:
• You’re experiencing unusual, persistent symptoms. These could include anything from fatigue to abnormal weight gain to new pain.
• You want to optimize your health. Knowing levels of various blood components, such as HDL and LDL cholesterol, can allow you to tweak your diet or fitness plan to minimize unhealthy habits (that you may not even realize are unhealthy). This can also maximize the nutrients you put in your body and more.
• You want to reduce your risk of disease or complications. Regular blood tests can catch the warning signs of almost any disease early. Many heart, lung, and kidney conditions can be diagnosed using blood tests.

Why do some blood tests require fasting?

Everything you eat and drink contains vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients that can cause the related levels in your blood to temporarily spike or drop.
Fasting for 8–12 hours helps ensure that blood test results are free from these variables, making your test results as accurate as possible.
Some common tests that may require fasting include:
• cholesterol tests
• blood sugar tests
• liver function tests
• kidney function tests
• basic metabolic panel
• glucose tests

Complete blood count (CBC)

The complete blood count (CBC) concentrates on the three types of blood cells: white blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs) and platelets.

After the test

Only a small amount of blood is taken during the test so you shouldn’t feel any significant after-effects.
However, some people feel dizzy and faint during and after the test. If this has happened to you in the past, tell the person carrying out the test so they’re aware and can help you feel more comfortable.

Blood culture

This involves taking a small sample of blood from a vein in your arm and from 1 or more other parts of your body.
The samples are combined with nutrients designed to encourage the growth of bacteria. This can help show whether any bacteria are present in your blood.
At least 2 samples are usually needed.

Blood gases test

A blood gases sample is taken from an artery, usually at the wrist. It’s likely to be painful and is only carried out in hospital. A blood gas test is used to check the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood, and the balance of acid and alkali in your blood (the pH balance).
A pH imbalance can be caused by:
• problems with your respiratory system, such as pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
• problems affecting your metabolism (the chemical reactions used by the body to break down food into energy), such as diabetes, kidney failure or persistent vomiting.

 

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