Your Guide To Reading Blood Work Results
All of us need to get our annual blood panels done. This procedure is one of the most effective ways of preventing life-threatening diseases in people of all ages. The fact is, most people don’t know what the results actually mean. In order to guide you along a path of health, we are going to go over the blood work basics. Once you’re done reading this article, you’ll be able to analyze your blood work like a pro.
Here is your guide to reading blood work results:
Your blood tells a lot about you. Some of the first indications of diseases and conditions will come from analyzing a patient’s blood. Blood work results allow doctors to see the nutrients and waste in your blood, and how your organs are functioning. While each test has normal ranges, it’s important to take note that due to age, gender, weight, lifestyle, and medical history, blood work values can vary. If you are out of range for a blood test, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have a disease.
What Am I Being Tested For?
During an annual blood test, a blood sample will usually go through these specific tests: a complete blood count (CBC), lipid profile, and a metabolic profile. The CBC evaluates your blood cells while the lipid and metabolic profile analyze cholesterol and other factors.
The complete blood count test analyzes your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets by measuring the amount, size, and volume of each element. This test is used as a broad screening tool that allows doctors to spot infections, diseases, and even allergies. Conditions like anemia and leukemia are identified through a CBC test.
A CBC test is broken down into 5 items:
- White Blood Cell (normal range: 4,300 – 10,800 cmm) – White blood cells, also called leukocytes, are one of the body’s most crucial immune system components. When you have an allergic reaction, infection, or sickness, your body will produce excess white blood cells to fight off the infection.
- There are 5 types of white blood cells that are measured in a CBC test. These include basophils, eosinophils, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes. Basophils are on-site during inflammatory reactions like allergies or asthma. Eosinophils combat parasites and infection in the vertebrate. Neutrophils are one of the most important components of the blood. When they sense an infection, they rush to the site to kill it. Lymphocytes eliminate antigens in the blood by releasing antibodies, cytotoxic granules, or signaling the help of other cells in the immune system. Monocytes migrate to tissues, like bone marrow, the lungs, or the liver, and become macrophages. These macrophages kill microorganisms, remove dead cells, ingest unknown materials, and increase the immune response.
- Red Blood Cell (normal range: 4.2 million – 5.9 million cmm) – Red blood cells have a very important job. These cells deliver oxygen to all of the tissues in our bodies. A high red blood cell count can indicate dehydration or a heart condition. Low red blood cell count can mean you have anemia or bone marrow damage.
- Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, Mean Corpuscular Value (MCV), Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) – These blood test results allow the doctor to dive deeper into the function of your red blood cells. Each of these elements plays a crucial role in the health of your blood and have their own specific normal ranges. Hemoglobin (normal range: 12 – 16 g/dL for women, and 13 – 18 g/dL for men) is the protein that delivers oxygen from the lungs to the entire body. These proteins then carry carbon dioxide back to the lungs where we are able to exhale. Hematocrit (normal range: 45% – 52% for men, 37% – 48% for women) measures the total amount of blood volume in the body. Mean corpuscular volume (normal range: 80 – 100 femtoliters) measures the amount of space each red blood cell fills. Lastly, mean corpuscular hemoglobin (normal range: 27 – 32 picograms) measures the amount of hemoglobin in on red blood cell.
- Platelets and Mean Platelet Value – Platelets (normal range: 150,000 – 400,000 mL) are tiny portions of cells that take part in the blood clotting process. Too many or too few can have a negative impact on the body’s ability to clot. The mean platelet value measures the size of platelets. The normal range is 7.5 to 11.5 femtoliters.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
The CMP provides an overview of the body’s metabolism and chemical balance. This test looks at electrolytes, bilirubin, albumin, and creatine. Each of these minerals and chemicals plays their own specific role in metabolism, kidney function, blood cells, and muscular energy.
Not all fat is bad. Lipids and glucose are what our body uses for energy. There are two types of cholesterol, HDL and LDL. High levels of HDL are good and aid in preventing heart disease. LDL is the “bad” cholesterol and is known for clogging arteries and causing coronary artery disease. Lipids can be kept in check by living a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritionally dense foods, and exercising.
Annual blood work is a preventive and life-saving procedure. Don’t neglect your health. Schedule an appointment for blood work today at GMP Medical.
August 8, 2018 1:12 pm
Categories: Lab Work