24 Aug Recommended Annual Blood Exams
Determining the status of your health can be difficult, but with today’s technology it has become easier and faster. One of the most efficient ways to test a variety of concerns in one procedure is through blood exams. They can quickly ‒ and for the most part, reliably – evaluate and determine any indicators of an underlying health problem. It is so effective that running a series of blood exams is recommended during your annual health checkup.
Why Blood Exams Are Important For Your Health
It is amazing what a blood checkup can accurately diagnose, or help prevent, with modern medical advances. Although a plethora of tests are available, a few are enough to get a glance at your overall health. Based on age, known risk factors, and genetic predispositions, your doctor can go on to recommend a specific set of tests. Being proactive, and acting based on the test results, are key to living a healthy life. Long before symptoms are present, they can detect diseases such as cancer, HIV or other life-threatening illnesses.
Blood tests should become a regular part of your checkup by the age of 20. Doctors will begin testing for early indicators of heart disease and diabetes. They can also diagnose common vitamin and mineral deficiencies. As you age, they will begin running additional tests. By your thirties, it will be for thyroid function. In your forties, a cardiac blood test to measure the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Lastly, a vitamin D deficiency test, in your fifties.
The Most Important Blood Tests
There are several blood tests that should become a regular part of your annual checkup. Here are a few that your physician will most likely order:
- Chemistry Panel – A routine set of tests, used to determine a person’s overall health status, are known as a chemistry panel. This often includes a Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) and a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP). Combined, around 30 tests cover a broad range of information, including the function of your cardiovascular system, critical minerals levels and potential metabolic syndromes.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) – Used to detect hematological abnormalities, a CBC measures several components of your blood. The tests will reveal the quantity and features of your red and white blood cells, platelets and plasma. The results are used to diagnose common conditions such as infections, anemia and other disorders. If diagnosed, blood cells can be routinely checked to monitor the condition or the effectiveness of treatments.
- Fibrinogen – Tested to determine the risk of a stroke, heart attack and other inflammatory disorders, Fibrinogen assists in blood clotting. If the results are high, your physician can recommend lifestyle and nutritional changes to help lower levels to a safe range.
- Hemoglobin (HGB) – A protein found in your red blood cells, Hemoglobin carries oxygen throughout your body. Most often, levels are low, and indicate a decreased red blood cell count, known as anemia. If levels are high, it means your body is compensating for low blood-oxygen. This can be caused by a variety of conditions, disorders or diseases, such as poor heart, lung or bone marrow function.
After Your Blood Exam
Once you have completed the ordered tests at a blood testing lab, you will have to wait for the results. Blood test results usually take around 24 hours, but vary depending on the tests. If your doctor has determined that the results are required faster, out of concern for an emergency, then STAT testing can be requested. Your physician will then review the results with you, and advise whether any actions should be taken.
At Medical Arts Laboratory, we pride ourselves on outstanding patient care. If you are new to, or are worried about having a blood draw performed, view our blog post about what to expect. We offer a wide selection of testing services, at the most competitive prices. Contact us to learn more, or walk in today. We look forward to serving you!