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Different Blood Tests: How to Understand the Lab Results

05 Jul 2023

It is important to conduct routine blood tests every year and know about your present health condition. The procedure of blood draw is straightforward and you should be able to understand the test results that you obtain from the lab. At Doyen Diagnostic and Research Foundation, our doctors conduct blood tests, allergy tests, molecular diagnosis, autoimmune diagnosis, check PCR results for different diseases, diabetic profile, cancer markers, TB detection and chromosomal abnormalities.  This blogpost discusses about some common blood tests and what they mean for your health condition. 

Comprehensive metabolic panel blood test

The comprehensive metabolic panel or CMP is a common blood test. The biomarkers provide an insight about your metabolic health or body’s ability to process and use the energy you consume.

  • Glucose: This is a measure of fasted sugar level during blood draw. As it is the major fuel source of the body, it has a significant role in blood pressure, weight control and overall health. So, 65-99 mg/dL is the normal range for fasting blood glucose.
  • Electrolytes: Electrolytes are vital for the body to function properly. The levels of electrolyte can be impacted with diet, whether an individual remains hydrated or dehydrated and amount of electrolytes excreted by your kidneys. 
  • Sodium: The irregularities in sodium levels mean dehydration, excessive intake of salt or certain medications or dysfunction of the kidneys and liver. Now, 135-145 millimoles/liter is the normal range of blood sodium.
  • Chloride: A diet which is high in sodium and certain medications can impact the chloride levels. Out-of-range chloride levels may be an indicator of certain diseases like kidney disorders. So, 98 to 106 mmol/L is the reference range for chloride.
  • Potassium: Potassium has a vital role in regulating kidney function, blood pressure, calcium level, heartbeat and energy use in muscle cells. The optimised potassium levels are related to strong bones, better endurance performance, healthy glucose and cholesterol levels. So, 3.7 to 5.2 mmol/L is considered to be the normal range.

Kidney function blood test

A CMP denotes various markers that measure kidney function. Some of these are:

  • Creatinine: This waste product is produced by the muscles from daily activities. Your healthy kidneys can filter creatine from the blood effectively and excrete it. Unusual levels of this marker may denote kidney dysfunction. Normal creatinine levels can be somewhere around 0.7 to 0.3 mg/dL for men and 0.6 to 1.1 mg/dL in the case of women.
  • Total protein*: This marker tests for the amount of protein in your blood. Abnormal level of blood protein may denote kidney or liver abnormalities, malabsorption of critical nutrients or malnutrition. The normal level of blood protein can be somewhere between 6.0 and 8.3 gm/dL.
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)*: This blood test measures the amount of waste product from kidneys and urea nitrogen. Having higher levels of BUN denote urinary tract obstruction or dehydration. But normal levels are between 6 and 20 mg/dL.

Liver function measures

A CMP evaluates several markers that can measure liver functioning. These consist of the following:

  • Total bilirubin*: Bilirubin is the byproduct of breakdown of old red blood cells processed through the liver. It is a part of bile which gets excreted through the intestines. Though some bilirubin in the blood is normal, the higher or lower levels denote blood disorders, liver disease or blockage of a bile duct or gallbladder. The normal levels can be somewhere between 0.2 and 1.9 mg/dL. 
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST): This is an enzyme present in the muscle tissue, heart, kidneys nad liver. The enzyme can metabolize proteins and high level of AST in your blood possibly indicates damage to the tissues. Having a normal range can be 10 to 34 IU/L.
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)*: This type of enzyme is there in the bones, liver digestive tract and kidneys. Unusual levels of this enzyme denote various health conditions and may require other blood tests to confirm. The normal range of this enzyme can be 44-47 IU/L. 
  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT): This enzyme is present in the liver and skeletal muscle. The primary function of ALT is to convert stored glucose in the form of energy. Elevated ALT levels in your blood denote muscle or liver cell damage. The normal range is somewhere between 8 and 37 IU/L.

Labs included in a complete blood count test

The complete blood count or CBC takes a wide look at your overall health and evaluate for health conditions including anemia and certain infections.

  • Red blood cells (RBCs): RBCs can transport oxygen all over the body. Having healthy number of red blood cells is vital for the body to use the energy it needs for functioning properly. Having normal range of RBCs can be somewhere between 4.2 and 5.9 million cells per cubic millimeter.
  • White blood cells (WBCs): This act as infection fighters in your immune system and denote an inflammation all over the body. Having white blood cell count denotes strong immune system and improvement in the overall health. The normal WBC range can be somewhere between 4,300 and 10,800 cmm.
  • Hemoglobin: Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that has a role in oxygen delivery from the lungs to your remaining body. The optimal hemoglobin levels can be linked to better performance in aerobic activities and strength. Hemoglobin levels will be different for men and women. A normal range for Hgb is 13 to 18 g/dL for men and 12 to 16 g/dL in the case of women.
  • Hematocrit: It is the measurement of percentage of red blood cells which circulate into your bloodstream. This denotes how much oxygen the blood may transport and optimal levels denote your body is getting the oxygen it requires. Men will have greater evels of hematocrit than women. The normal results range is somewhere between 36% and 52%.

Blood cholesterol test or lipid panel

A lipid panel is a blood test that checks for abnormalities in the lipids or fats which include – cholesterol and triglycerides. These markers have been tested to evaluate one’s heart health and probable risk for cardiovascular diseases. Some different markers included in a lipid panel are the following: 

  • Total cholesterol: Total cholesterol is a calculation which accounts for different kinds of lipoproteins or carriers of cholesterol with triglycerides. Healthy cholesterol level is important for maintaining improved heart health. The normal level of cholesterol may range from 125 - 200 mg/dL. 
  • Low-density lipoproteins (LDL): LDL cholesterol is usually referred to as “bad cholesterol.” When LDL levels are high for an extended period, there can be formation of plaque in the blood vessels which prevent flow of blood. If there is significant amount of inflammation, it will worsen the restriction of blood flow. Having higher LDL cholesterol levels indicates greater risk of poor heart health. On the other hand, the normal LDL levels should be below 110 mg/dL. 
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL): HDL cholesterol is also called “good cholesterol” which removes excess cholesterol from your bloodstream and takes it back to the liver to break down and eliminate. The optimal levels of HDL cholesterol can promote good heart health. The normal range for HDL is between 45 and 200 mg/dL. 
  • Triglycerides: This kind of fat is present in the blood. Having elevated levels of triglycerides in your blood denote higher risk of bad heart health.Normal levels of triglyceride are below 150 mg/dL.  

Suffering from health problems? You may visit Doyen Diagnostic and Research Foundation where our experienced doctors will assess your present condition and suggest necessary blood tests to improve overall condition. We have affordable pricing for our extensive range of blood tests and you may either book an appointment online or visit us according to your convenient time.