Most annual physical exams are often coupled with a blood panel. Each year, you probably go get any blood panel recommended by your provider. But do you know what exactly those different blood panels tell you?
This post will go through the most common blood panels your provider will order, and what they tell you about your health. Then the next time you schedule an annual exam, you can understand what your blood panels are showing.
When it comes to your family medicine provider, make sure you choose someone who puts your health first. That’s what our team at It’s All About The Patient in Mesa makes our priority. Schedule an appointment today and find a family medicine provider that cares about your health.
There is an endless list of different blood panels your provider could order. If you have certain health problems or conditions, your provider might order additional blood panels to check in on those symptoms of problems. But, ultimately, these blood panels will let your provider better understand your health and find ways to keep you as healthy as possible.
Complete Blood Count Test
What it tests: A complete blood count test, known as CBC, is the most commonly performed blood panel. Through this test, your provider can see the number of red and white blood cells, along with your platelet count.
Why it’s important: Your blood can show different disorders, along with your body’s nutritional status. If you have symptoms like weakness, bruising, or fatigue, a CBC test can show your provider if you have blood conditions like anemia, malaria, leukemia, or infections.
Blood Sugar Test
What it tests: The blood sugar tests, you guessed it, your blood sugar, also called glucose.
Why it’s important: High blood sugar in your body might mean that you are prediabetic or have diabetes. Things like a healthy diet, weight loss, or exercise can help reduce your glucose levels, but it’s good to monitor those levels to make sure they stay steady or improve.
Basic Metabolic Panel
What it tests: A metabolic panel checks different levels in your body, including: sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, glucose, and carbon dioxide. If you’re taking medications, monitoring these levels can let your provider know how those medications are working for your body.
Why it’s important: Unhealthy or unbalanced levels signal to your provider that something might be wrong. Looking at the specific levels, especially in relation to each other, can also help your provider discover the cause of other health problems you’ve been dealing with.
What it tests: A lipid panel measures the amount of unhealthy cholesterol and triglycerides in your body.
Why it’s important: These levels are important because high cholesterol and triglycerides can increase your risk for heart disease. If unhealthy levels are found, your provider might recommend watching your intake of high-cholesterol foods, including egg yolks, shellfish, and cheese. Instead, you should introduce foods like nuts, vegetable oil, fish, and oatmeal into your diet.
TSH and T4 Test
What it tests: The TSH, or Thyroid-stimulating hormone, test looks at your thyroid. The thyroid is neck gland that helps regulate your metabolism by producing hormones. These tests measure your level of hormones to see how your thyroid is working.
Why it’s important: If you have an overactive or underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism), you might experience symptoms like fatigue, increased appetite, muscle weakness, or weight gain or loss. Knowing whether your levels are high or low can help you better treat your symptoms and balance your hormone levels.
Vitamin D Test
What it tests: Again, the name of this test is fairly self-explanatory. This test measures the amount of Vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D is essential for bone strength.
Why it’s important: A Vitamin D deficiency can lead to soft bones, bone pain, fatigue, and tiredness. If your provider can identify a deficiency, you can take Vitamin D supplements to help alleviate these symptoms.
We Make It All About The Patient
Next time you go to the provider, have a better understanding of what your different blood panels are showing! At It’s All About The Patient in Mesa, we mean it. Our family medicine practice puts your health first. Make your health a priority and schedule a family medicine appointment with Dr. Wade today!