What Your Blood Can Tell Us About Your Health

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What Your Blood Can Tell Us About Your Health

While you can’t see the components in your blood with your naked eye, even a small sample of blood provides our team with plenty of valuable information. Here’s what you can expect to learn from your next visit to the lab..

Blood flowing through the veins and arteries contains plasma (the liquid part), oxygenated or deoxygenated red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. On the surface, it may seem like everyone’s blood is exactly alike. Yet, many factors and measurements in your blood reveal more details about your health. 

Phlebotomy services at Healthy Lifestyle Medicine offer insight into your health and can give you and our team answers if you’re experiencing a medical issue. When you visit for a blood draw, the quick procedure is over before you know it. In many cases, the results are available immediately. 

Experts Kristine Van Kirk, MD, and Kelly Gebauer, WHNP-BC, interpret your results and explain the implications for your health and treatment. They assist you with making any necessary changes to your diet, habits, or treatment plan according to the results of your blood test. 

There are many reasons why our team might suggest a blood test. Here we explore common blood tests.

Comprehensive metabolic panel

Your metabolism is the process of converting nutrients into energy for your cells. When you get a comprehensive metabolic panel, the blood test measures your metabolic rate. 

Your blood sugar level, or glucose level, is one of these parameters. A hormone called insulin filters sugar out of your blood by facilitating its transfer into cells to be used as energy. High blood sugar might indicate that your body no longer uses insulin efficiently, which is a sign of insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. 

In addition to glucose, your comprehensive metabolic panel tells us about your levels of:

  • Calcium
  • Sodium
  • Potassium 
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Chloride
  • Albumin
  • Total protein
  • Bilirubin
  • Blood urea nitrogen

Together, these measurements can tell your provider about your metabolic rate as well as your liver health, kidney health, and fluid balance. You might get this test to monitor the effects of a certain medication.

Complete blood count

This is a blood test that counts the cell types in your blood (e.g. red cells, white cells, and platelets). Your provider uses the test to examine their ratio and make sure it’s within a normal range. 

If you have high numbers of white blood cells in your blood sample, you may have an infection somewhere in your body. That is because white blood cells are responsible for fighting infections. Consequently, a low white blood cell count might indicate a problem with your immune system. 

As for red blood cells, higher-than-average levels can indicate heart disease. Low red blood cells indicate anemia, which causes weakness and fatigue, among other ambiguous symptoms. 

With platelets outside normal levels, you’ll probably need additional tests to identify the underlying cause. 

Lipid panel

A lipid panel uses your blood sample to measure its content of triglycerides and cholesterol. The test helps our team assess your risk for cardiovascular disease. 

We may use the results of this test to help you adjust your diet or to monitor your response to certain treatments and medications. 

Hormone testing

Our experts routinely use hormone blood tests to evaluate your hormone health and find out if an imbalance is causing your symptoms. You might get one of these if you visit us with issues affecting your sexual function, metabolism, or mood. 

When our team recommends a blood test, it’s because the blood test offers answers that a physical examination alone can’t provide. Schedule your next visit to Healthy Lifestyle Medicine over the phone or online today.