Based on your levels, your doctor can determine whether you are deficient in key nutrients and how well your organs function, particularly your kidneys and liver.
This test calculates your total cholesterol level, which is key to determining your risk of heart disease and stroke. It takes a look at your HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels.
This common test is used to diagnose and monitor diabetes. It measures the level of A1c protein, which is located on the hemoglobin. Because the life-cycle of a RBC is 90 days, this measurement gives us a 90-day average of the patient’s blood sugar levels.
Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
The TSH test evaluates your thyroid function. If your TSH levels are low, you may have hypothyroidism. If your levels are high, you may have hyperthyroidism.
Why is it important to get blood work done?
Routine lab work can help physicians find early signs of infection or poor organ function before they become major problems in the patient. For example, we routinely look at kidney function through the CMP. If the patient’s kidney function is gradually decreasing, we can adjust their medications and diet to help prevent further damage or refer them to a kidney specialist, known as a nephrologist.
What factors besides disease can cause abnormal blood test results?
Certain lifestyle factors can impact your blood test results. Consuming sugary or fatty foods before coming to give blood can falsely raise your glucose or lipid levels, which is why these tests require fasting beforehand. Additionally, smoking can raise your hemoglobin and hematocrit levels, and dehydration can interrupt the results used to determine kidney function.
Ask your primary care physician if you’re due for a routine blood test. Schedule a same or next-day appointment at your nearest St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network clinic.
American Society of Hematology
American Academy of Family Physicians