Checking Up: Which Lab Work You Should Definitely Do Yearly
No one likes having lab work done. It requires a visit to the doctor, a prescription to have the tests run, and usually a trip to a separate lab. All this is saying nothing of having your blood drawn itself, which most people don’t like one bit.
There are a number of tests you should do regularly, though. We have put together a list of the five most important annual blood tests below. Check it out and don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information or to schedule your appointment.
One important piece of information we should mention before getting into the list is that all these tests should be done while fasting. This mean you shouldn’t eat for up to twelve hours before the test, and should drink only water.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
The CMP is your go-to test for establishing an overall picture of your health. While it won’t tell your doctor about any specific conditions, it’s a great way to see where further examination is necessary.
The CMP looks at several different bodily functions, including: liver health, kidney health, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, calcium levels, electrolyte levels, and protein levels. It also measures the amount of CO2 and creatinine in your blood.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
Another test that looks at your overall health is the CBC. This test evaluates your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Again, this test won’t signal anything specific, but will let your doctor know what to keep an eye on.
CBC tests are used for determining diseases that affect your blood such as: anemia, cancer(s), bleeding disorders, infection(s), and inflammation.
A lipid profile is a blood test that looks at your overall heart health. It tests your cholesterol, including HCLs (often called “good cholesterol), LDLs (often called “bad cholesterol”), and your triglycerides. It also looks at the ration of good to bad cholesterol.
The lipid profile is helpful for screening and monitoring your risk of cardiovascular disease. If your doctor is using this test to monitor cardiovascular disease, then you will likely need to have it done more than once a year.
Blood Glucose Profile
Much like the previous tests have been used to look at the overall health of a specific part of your body, the blood glucose profile is used to determine how your blood sugar levels are performing. This test can be done at home with a blood sugar monitor (the device diabetics use to check their levels) or at a lab for more detailed results.
Cervical Cancer Screening for Women & Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) for Men
Here we have two important tests that are gender-specific. Cervical cancer screenings and prostate-specific antigen tests are for the likelihood of HPV and prostate cancer, respectively.
Cervical cancer screenings are commonly called pap tests. It is a swab-based test that looks for the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV), which can turn into cervical cancer. Women between the ages of twenty-one and sixty-five should get regular pap tests.
Prostate-specific antigen tests look at levels of PSA in the blood. This is a protein that, if elevated, may signal prostate cancer. The good news is that men don’t need to start getting this test until they are around forty or fifty years old.
October 20, 2017 4:28 pm
Categories: Lab Work