It is highly recommended that one should do a complete blood test every 6 months. The reason is simply that early detection saves lives. There are many blood tests to consider ranging from the common cholesterol, blood glucose and blood count to more life changing ones like cancer test and infectious diseases. Today we share some of the most common types blood tests available for your consideration.
1. Full Blood Count Test
This is one of the most common blood tests. It gives important information about the kinds and numbers of cells in the blood, mainly red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It can tell your doctor a great deal about the state of your health. Medical conditions with abnormal blood count include anemia, infection and certain types of cancer.
Therefore, blood counts are used for screening, diagnosis or management of certain diseases such as Dengue Fever, infections and blood related cancers.
2. Kidney Test – Renal Profile
This profile give us a snapshot of your kidneys health. It includes Blood Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine. Both are by-products of protein metabolism and eliminated through kidneys. This shows how well your kidneys are functioning.
Among the electrolytes that are tested is Sodium. It is one of the major salts in the body fluid. Sodium is important in the body’s water balance and electrical activity of nerves and muscles. Besides that, Potassium helps to control the nerves and muscles and Chloride helps to maintain the body’s electrolyte balance.
3. Liver Function Test
Liver Function Tests are one of the more extensive screening profiles due to the vast number of functions that the liver performs. These tests include:
- Protein, a measure of the state of nutrition in the body.
- Albumin, one of the major proteins in blood and reflects the general state of nutrition.
- Globulin, a major group of proteins in blood comprising the infection fighting antibodies.
- Bilirubin is a chemical involved with liver functions and digestion of fat. High concentrations may result in jaundice. Jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of skin and whites of the eyes.
There are three major liver enzymes. First is Alkaline Phosphatase, a body protein important in diagnosing proper bone and liver functions. It can be raised if there is an obstruction of the billiary system. Second is Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST or SGOT), an enzyme found in skeletal and heart muscle, liver and other organs. Abnormalities may represent liver disease. Third is Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT or SGPT), an enzyme found primarily in the liver. Abnormalities may represent liver disease.
4. Cholesterol Test – Lipid Profile Test
This is a group of simple blood tests that reveal important information about the types, amount and distribution of the various types of fats in the bloodstream. Includes Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol, Risk Ratio (good to total), and Triglycerides. Too much cholesterol in the blood is a major cause of heart and blood vessel disease.
The high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is referred to as the “good” cholesterol because of its ability to take cholesterol and remove it from the arteries. The low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or the “bad” cholesterol builds up and clogs the arteries.
5. Blood Glucose Test
This non-fasting test is also known as A1c, HbA1c, Glycohemoglobin, or Glycated hemoglobin. It indicates how well you have controlled your diabetes over the last few months. Even though you may have very high or low blood glucose values, HbA1C will give you a picture of the average amount of glucose in your blood over that time period.
While the HbA1C is the standard tool to determine blood sugar control for patients with diabetes, it is not a substitute for daily, routine blood glucose testing.
6. Antibodies Test – Rheumatoid Factor
Rheumatoid factor is an antibody that is measurable in the blood. It is actually an antibody that can bind to other antibodies. Antibodies are normal proteins in our blood that are important parts of immune system. However, Rheumatoid factor is an antibody that is not usually present in a normal individual. Most commonly, rheumatoid factor is used as a blood test for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
7. Urine test
A routine urinalysis can tell your doctor a great deal. It can detect Diabetes, urinary tract infections and kidney problems. Very often, a routine urinalysis is part of a general physical exam.
However, routine urinalysis does not detect drugs of abuse. A special drugs-of-abuse screening test is used to detect the presence of those substances.
8. Infectious Disease Screening
Infectious diseases can be transmitted in a number of ways. If you’ve been exposed, early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further transmission. Symptoms can indicate a disease, but lab tests for infection are the only way to confirm a diagnosis.
Among diseases that are commonly tested are HIV, Hepatitis, Influenza and H-Pylori.
9. Cancer Test – Tumor Markers
We use tumor markers to detect the presence of certain types of cancer in the body. In addition, we can use it to monitor the progress of cancer treatment. Some examples of common tumor markers include:
- CA15-3, a sensitive tumor marker for breast cancer.
- CA19-9 antigen is elevated in blood of some patients with gastrointestinal tumors.
- CA-125 is a useful for monitoring disease progression in ovarian cancers.
- PSA is a useful for monitoring disease progression in prostate cancers.
- CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) is useful in monitoring patients with gastrointestinal, pancreatic, breast, and lung cancers.
10. Heart Test – Cardiac Markers
Elevated homo cysteine levels have a much greater risk of heart attack or stroke. This can lead to heart attack, strokes, and blood vessel blockages. Highly Selective C-Reactive Protein levels seem to be correlated with levels of heart disease risk as well.