Diagnosis by Hospital Blood Testing
There are many reasons why one would undergo a blood test. They help to indicate the presence of certain conditions or rule them out. They can also be used to monitor an ongoing condition and determine whether a patient is responding to treatment. Hospital blood testing can also be used to determine the functioning of certain organs such as the liver or the kidneys. They can even be used to check your blood group or screen for certain genetic conditions. All in all hospital blood testing can assess your general state of health. It is for this reason that it has been suggested by the Life Extension Foundation that annual blood testing is incredibly important for aging adults. Listed below are some of the most important factors to consider.
Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC)
This commonly-ordered test is a simple, low-cost, and effective way to give doctors an overall picture of the general health of the patient. It measures the number, variety, percentage, concentration, and quality of platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells in order to determine any nutritional deficiencies as well as the presence of any infections, anemias and other blood abnormalities.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
This is another test which is frequently ordered and provides important information in relation to the status of one’s kidneys, liver, blood sugar, blood proteins as well as electrolyte and acid/base balance.
Fibrinogen is a protein found in blood plasma. It increases significantly in conditions involving tissue damage, infection of inflammation. Since the development of heart disease and atherosclerosis are inflammatory processes, an increase in one’s fibrinogen levels can help to predict the risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition testing your fibrinogen is used to identify any suspected bleeding disorders or abnormal blood clotting. However one’s fibrinogen levels may also be increased by smoking or in the case of women, by pregnancy or the taking of oral contraceptives.
This test is used to measure one’s glucose levels. It measures the patient’s blood sugar control over the last two or three months. Diabetic patients frequently undergo this test to ensure that they are maintaining healthy hemoglobin AC1 levels which help such patients to avoid complications associated with the disease. Furthermore it serves as a predictor of heart disease in all persons whether or not they suffer from diabetes.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands and serves as a building block for the making of both testosterone and estrogen. DHEA levels peak after puberty, and thereafter they begin declining with age. Healthy levels of DHEA supports immune function, bone density, libido, and healthy body composition. In women, high levels of DHEA can cause excessive hair growth and male body characteristics. It can also lead to adrenal tumors, cancer and adrenal hyperplasia. On the other hand, low levels of DHEA can indicate the person of Addison’s disease or adrenal hypoplasia.
While these are only a handful of the important blood tests available, it gives a good indication as to the usefulness of these tests in assessing one’s health. Although blood tests are not capable of diagnosing specific illnesses, they serve as a very helpful diagnostic tool for physicians.
For a more detailed outline of the above tests and more, see the Life Extension Foundation website. An even more comprehensive guide to different blood tests can be found on the Medic8 website.