What is a blood test and why is it essential?
It’s a good practice to do a follow-up on your health regularly. Periodic visits to the doctor can help you with this.
Blood tests help the doctors or healthcare workers to delve deeper into your symptoms and diagnose a disease or deficiency if any. Blood tests are also used to assess organ health and monitor chronic conditions like diabetes, BP, etc.
For people aged 25 and above, annual blood work can go a long way in keeping your health in check, taking corrective steps like starting medicines, supplements, making diet modifications, etc.
Lab tests can also be beneficial for disease prevention. With timely screening and efforts, conditions like breast cancer can be treated if caught in time. Chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes can be reversed with lifestyle and diet changes if lab tests are run timely.
The correct lab test diagnosis can help you improve energy levels, mood, and cognitive functions.
Top 5 essential tests for your health
1. Complete Blood Count(CBC)
The most commonly ordered blood test is Complete Blood Count(CBC). Your blood health is an essential indicator of your overall health.
CBC is used to diagnose multiple diseases, including:
Abnormal CBC test results can also indicate dietary imbalance. With certain nutrients missing from your body, it’s possible that the CBC report is disturbed.
The Normal ranges are:
|Haemoglobin||PhotometricMeasurement||g/dL||Adult: Male -13.0 to 17.0 Adult:Female -12.0 to 15.0|
|RBC||Electronic Impedance||mili/cu.mm||Adult: Male -4.5 to 5.5 Adult:Female -3.8 to 4.8|
|PCV||Calculated||%||Adult: Male -40 to 50 Adult:Female -36 to 46|
|MCV||Derived from RBC Histogram||fL||Adult: Male -83 to 101 Adult:Female -83 to 101|
|MCH||Calculated||pg||Adult: Male -27 to 32 Adult:Female -27 to 32|
|MCHC||Calculated||g/dL||Adult: Male -31.5 to 33.0 Adult:Female -31.5 to 33.0|
|RDW-SD||Derived from RBC Histogram||fL||Normal : 39 to 46|
|RDW-CV||Derived from RBC Histogram||%||Normal:11.6 to 14|
|Total Leucocyte Count||Electronic Impedance||10^3/I||Normal: Male :4 to 10|
|Neutrophils||Optical/Impedance||%||Normal:40 to 80|
|Lymphocytes||Optical/Impedance||%||Normal:20 to 40|
|Monocytes||Optical/Impedance||%||Normal :0 to10|
|Eosinophils||Optical/Impedance||%||Normal:0 to 4|
|Basophils||Optical/Impedance||%||Normal :0 to 1|
|Absolute Neutrophil Count||Calculated||10^3/I||Normal: 2.0 to 7.0|
|Absolute Lymphocyte Count||Calculated||10^3/I||Normal: 1.0 to 3.0|
|Absolute Monocyte Count||Calculated||10^3/I||Normal: 0.2 to 1.0|
|Absolute Eosinophil Count||Calculated||10^3/I||Normal: 0.02 to 0.5|
|Absolute Basophil Count||Calculated||10^3/I||Normal:0.02 to 0.1|
|Platelet Count||Measured||10^3/I||Normal: 150 – 450|
2. C-Reactive Protein Test (CRP)
CRP is a protein produced by the liver. CRP is released into the body by the liver into the bloodstream when bacteria or other infections are entering the body to help organise the body’s defenses. This early response is called an acute phase response. It is also referred to as inflammation or an inflammatory response.
Higher CRP levels can be indicative of obesity, high BP, diabetes, and emotional stress, among other things.
Normal Range: Normal Range: 1mg/L to 6 mg/L
3. Glycosylated Hemoglobin Test (HbA1c)
HbA1c is essential for diabetes diagnosis. It’s also used by people with diabetes for management. This quarterly test provides average blood glucose levels for a 3 month period.
While it’s recommended that people with diabetes check their glucose levels daily, the immediate numbers can be too high or too low depending upon what was eaten previously. It is not indicative of the levels throughout the day.
Hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells, helps transport oxygen across the body. Sugar present in the blood combines with one type of hemoglobin (hemoglobin A), resulting in a combination molecule is called glycated hemoglobin. On average, red blood cell lives for up to 120 days, or 4 months. Thus, measuring this combination molecule gives a fair estimate of your blood sugar levels in the last 2-3 months.
- Less than 5.5 – Normal
- 5.6 – 6.4 – Pre-Diabetic
- More than 6.4 – Diabetic
4. Thyroid Function Test (TFT)
Thyroid function test helps to monitor if the thyroid gland is working properly. It’s advised to get this test done quarterly if you are on any medication to treat thyroid disorders.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland situated in our neck. It produces two hormones, T3 and T4. These hormones travel through the bloodstream and control or regulate how fast your body uses energy. The release of T3 or T4 in the bloodstream is controlled by Thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH, produced by the pituitary gland. The production of TSH is automatically controlled and monitored depending upon the blood thyroid hormone concentration.
TFT helps to diagnose hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism by testing T3, T4, and TSH levels.
- TSH – 0.465 to 5.0 mIU/L
- T3 – 0.970 – 1.69 ng/mL
- T4 – 5.53 – 11.0 ug/dL
5. Lipid Panel
Lipid panel or lipid profile is an important test to measure your heart health. This test measures cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Our body usually has two cholesterols: good cholesterol(HDL) and bad cholesterol(LDL).
This test is usually helpful in:
- To screen for any kind of heart condition or disease, especially in people with prominent risk factors such as genetic predisposition, obesity, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and drinking habits, and old age.
- To assess the risk of developing heart diseases and monitor the treatment of an ongoing heart ailment.
- Cholesterol – 120 – 200 mg/dL
- Triglyceride – 60 – 160 mg/dL
- HDL Cholesterol – 35 – 70 mg/dL
- LDL Cholesterol – < 130 mg/dL
- VLDL Cholesterol – 0 – 35 mg/dL
Few points to remember when taking blood tests
- Consider if the test has any pre-requisite like fasting
- Blood tests are usually done Venipuncture where trained professionals called, phlebotomists draw blood from the veins using a small needle.
- Test report availability is different for each test. But usually, the time varies between a few minutes to a few days for normal routine blood tests.
- Test reports usually contain the following terms:
Negative or normal, indicative of the disease or substance not being found
Positive or abnormal, indicative of the disease or substance being found in the sample
Inconclusive or uncertain means there wasn’t enough information available to diagnose or rule out a disease. An inconclusive test usually requires a re-test or further tests to find the correct diagnosis. Now, you can book a lab test online that provides a home collection of samples and accurate report delivery on time.
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