What Should we Check at the DR’s Office?
A Wellness Blood Test Panel, is a baseline assessment of one’s health and contains separate laboratory tests. These tests should be checked by your primary care physician at least once per year, for anyone over the age of 18.
Here is a breakdown of those tests and what they actually represent and control:
1) Lipid Panel With Total Cholesterol:HDL Ratio
-Cholesterol, Total, A sterol in the blood. Knowing your cholesterol level may be as important as knowing your blood pressure. Elevated cholesterol levels are associated with an increasing risk of coronary heart disease.
-Triglycerides, Triglycerides are fat in the blood that are responsible for providing energy to the cells of the body. Triglycerides should be less than 400 mg/dl even while in a non-fasting state.
-HDL Cholesterol High-density lipoproteins are believed to take cholesterol away from cells and transport it back to the liver for removal or processing. They are known as the “good” cholesterol as people with high levels of HDL may have less heart disease. Low HDL could be the result of lack of exercise and smoking.
-LDL Cholesterol Low-density lipoproteins contain the largest percentage of cholesterol and may be responsible for depositing cholesterol on the artery walls. They are known as the “bad” cholesterol.
-Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio, calculated by dividing the total cholesterol by the HDL cholesterol. This is the ratio used by physicians in determining your relative risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
2) Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
-Glucose-Blood sugar level, the most direct test to discover diabetes, may be used not only to identify diabetes, but also to evaluate how one controls the disease.
Bun or Urea Nitrogen, is another by-product of protein metabolism eliminated through the kidneys and an indicator of kidney function.
Creatinine, Serum, An indicator of kidney function.
Bun/Creatinine Ratio, calculated by dividing the BUN by the Creatinine.
Glomerular Filtration (eGFR), provides an assessment of the filtering capacity of the kidney.
Protein, Total, Together with albumin, it is a measure of the state of nutrition in the body.
Albumin, serum one of the major proteins in the blood and a reflection of the general state of nutrition.
Globulin, Total, a major group of proteins in the blood comprising the infection fighting antibodies.
Albumin/Globulin Ratio, Calculated by dividing the albumin by the globulin.
Bilirubin, Total, a chemical involved with liver functions. High concentrations may result in jaundice.
Alkaline Phosphatase, a body protein important in diagnosing proper bone and liver functions.
Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST or SGOT), an enzyme found in skeletal and heart muscle, liver and other organs. Abnormalities may represent liver disease.
Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT or SGPT), an enzyme found primarily in the liver. Abnormalities may represent liver disease.
3) Fluids & Electrolytes
-Sodium, one of the major salts in the body fluid, sodium is important in the body’s water balance and the electrical activity of nerves and muscles.
-Potassium, helps to control the nerves and muscles.
-Chloride, similar to sodium, it helps to maintain the body’s electrolyte balance.
-Carbon Dioxide, Total, used to help detect, evaluate, and monitor electrolyte imbalances.
-Calcium- A mineral essential for development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. It is important also for the normal function of muscles, nerves and blood clotting.
4)Complete Blood Count (CBC) – A CBC gives important information about the numbers and kinds of cells in the blood, especially red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
A CBC helps your health professional check any symptoms, such as fatigue, weakness, or bruising, that you may have. A CBC also helps diagnose conditions, such as infection, anemia, and bleeding disorders.
Test includes: WBC, RBC, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW, Platelets, Neutrophils, Lymphs, Monocytes, Eos, Basos, Neutrophils (Absolute), Lymphs (Absolute), Monocytes(Absolute), Eos (Absolute), Basos (Absolute), Immature Granulocytes, Immature Grans (Abs)
5) Urinalysis Complete with Microscopic Examination detects abnormalities of urine and urinary tract infection (UTI); diagnoses and manages renal diseases, urinary tract infection, urinary tract neoplasms, systemic diseases, and inflammatory or neoplastic diseases adjacent to the urinary tract.
6)The Iron and Total Iron-binding Capacity test is used for testing differential diagnosis of anemia, evaluation of thalassemia and possible sideroblastic anemia, and the evaluation of iron poisoning. Specimen collection must be done before patient is given therapeutic iron or blood transfusion. Iron determinations on patients who have had blood transfusions should be delayed at least four days.
7) Vitamin D 25-hydroxy is used to determine if bone malformation, bone weakness, or abnormal metabolism of calcium (reflected by abnormal calcium, phosphorus or PTH tests) is occurring as a result of a deficiency or excess of vitamin D. Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and is absorbed from the intestine like a fat, vitamin D tests are at times used to monitor individuals with diseases that interfere with fat absorption, such as cystic fibrosis and Crohn’s disease, to assure that they have adequate amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D tests are used to determine effectiveness of treatment when vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, and/or magnesium supplementation is prescribed as well.
8)HEMOGLOBIN A1C: Considered one of the best indicators for pre-diabetes, HbA1c measures your average blood sugar over the last 3 months, instead of the last few days.
9)TSH and FREE T4: The thyroid significantly influences metabolism and energy use, and is the most common hormone imbalance in the U.S.
Dedicated to Nina, in memory of her mother Anna Georgalos.