Blood tests are a crucial aspect of the early diagnosis of various medical disorders. A simple complete blood count (CBC) can help doctors find out if you have an infection or determine the right medications to relieve the symptoms you’re currently experiencing. Because of this, it’s no wonder why a blood test is always required as a part of a routine general check-up when a patient visits a doctor for the first time.
In this post, you’ll learn the importance of blood tests for diagnosing various medical conditions. That way, you’ll become aware, confident, and prompted to seek medical attention as needed, and avoid delays whenever you, or a family member, feel ill.
Determine What Exactly Are Causing Your Symptoms
While the doctor can perform a physical assessment, like checking your pulse rate, breathing pattern, and your overall appearance, blood tests should still be carried out to confirm any diagnosis. A wide variety of testing options are available for your convenience and peace of mind.
Normal blood test results, along with other confirmatory tests, eliminate unnecessary diagnoses. Doing a blood test, then, helps you determine what’s causing your signs and symptoms.
Here are the results of the most common blood tests (adults):
Complete Blood Count (Normal CBC Results)
- Red Blood Cell (RBC): Male: 5-6 million cells/mcL and Female: 4-5 million cells/mcL
- White Blood Cell (WBC): 4,500-10,000 cells/mcL
- Platelet Count: 140,000 to 450,000 cells/mcL
- Hemoglobin: Male: 14-17 gm/dL and Female: 12-15 gm/dL
- Hematocrit: Male: 41%-50% and Female: 36%-44%
- Normal: 70 to 99 mg/dL
- Prediabetes: 100 to 125 mg/dL
- Diabetes: 126 and above mg/dL
Lipoprotein Panel (Normal Results)
- Total Cholesterol Level: below 200 mg/dL
- LDL: below 100 mg/dL
- HDL: below 40 mg/dL
Determine Organ Function
A doctor or healthcare professional can assess the overall health of your organs with the help of a blood test. For instance, an increased level of creatine kinase or troponin in the blood is an indicative sign of heart muscle damage or heart attack as shown in a blood enzyme test.
Here are the different blood tests along with the target organs involved:
- Blood Chemistry Tests or Basic Metabolic Panel: Assess pancreatic activities through increased or decreased blood glucose levels. Also, these tests can check abnormal calcium levels that affect the bones, thyroid glands, and kidneys.
- Blood Enzyme Tests: If you experience stabbing chest pain, your doctor might recommend a blood enzyme test to check the enzymes or chemicals affecting your heart.
- Lipoprotein Panel: A total cholesterol test includes checking the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) in the body, which significantly affects cardiovascular health.
Early Treatment or Medical Intervention
Once your doctor confirms that there’s something wrong with your blood test results, a healthcare plan will be created. Early treatment avoids the progression of a medical problem, prevents complications, or may completely cure a disease.
For example, if your blood test results show abnormal levels of clotting factors (blood proteins responsible for blood clotting), your doctor might prescribe medicines, such as heparin or Warfarin to avoid bleeding or blood loss.
Here are examples of some of the most common medical interventions implemented with the corresponding blood test results:
- Increased White Blood Cell Count: Antibiotic treatment for an infection.
- Increased Hematocrit Level: Fluid replacement for dehydration.
- Decreased Hemoglobin Level: Iron or folic acid supplementation and dietary recommendations for anemia, like including iron-rich grape leaves in your diet.
- Increased Blood Glucose Level: Insulin injection or oral diabetic medications (like Metformin), dietary management, and lifestyle changes.
- High LDL Cholesterol Level: Prescription of anti-cholesterol medications, such as Lovastatin or Simvastatin, to reduce risk of atherosclerosis or blocked arteries that result in heart attack, aneurysm, and stroke.
Undiagnosed medical problems may lead to life-threatening conditions, such as convulsions, diabetic neuropathy, heart attack, and stroke. Blood tests are essential for early detection, prevention, and treatment.
Here are examples of blood tests that help prevent complications:
- Knowing your blood glucose levels through a blood glucose test helps treat and prevent complications of diabetes, such as eye complications, delayed wound healing, and kidney problems.
- Reduce your risk or the progression of developing a heart attack or stroke via a blood enzyme or lipoprotein test. High levels of the blood product, CK-MB means that you just had a recent heart attack.
- Prevent bleeding or blood loss by treating abnormal blood clotting factors during childbirth or surgery as evident on a blood test with the administration of anticoagulants, like heparin.
Blood tests play a vital role in figuring out the best medical intervention to treat the signs and symptoms of a particular disease. Through CBC, platelet count, glucose test, blood clotting test, allergy test, and other types of blood tests, your doctor can confirm the real cause of your medical condition for prompt medical treatment and your peace of mind.