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A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken for testing in a laboratory. types of medical test. For example, a blood test can be used to:
• • •
assess your general state of health
confirm the presence of a bacterial or viral infection functioning
see how well certain organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are
Blood is pumped around the body by the heart. It supplies oxygen to the body’s organs, muscles and tissues, and removes carbon dioxide. The blood that circulates around the body contains many different substances. About 40% of the blood’s volume is made up of blood cells. There are three types of blood cell:
red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs and transport it around the body white blood cells form part of the body’s immune system and platelets are cells that help the blood to clot (thicken) when you cut yourself
The remaining 60% of blood is made up of plasma. Plasma mainly consists glucose and salt.
Uses of blood tests
Blood tests are very useful for a number of reasons, which are described below.
As blood circulates through your body’s organs, it is very sensitive to any changes or damage to the organs. For example, if your liver becomes damaged, it will release certain enzymes into the blood, which can be detected using a blood test.
of water, but also contains proteins and chemicals, such as hormones,
help defend the body against infection
Blood tests have a wide range of uses and are one of the most common
Checking for infection As blood plays an important part in the immune system’s defence against infection, changes in the make-up of blood can provide important clues For example, certain viruses, such as HIV, will cause your immune system to produce special proteins called antibodies. By checking the blood for infection has occurred. certain types of antibody, it is possible to confirm (or rule out) whether an
Measuring oxygen and carbon dioxide
As blood is the body’s oxygen supply system, testing can provide important your lungs).
For example, the volume of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood can be measured. This is one method of determining how well your lungs are working.
Blood tests are a convenient way to obtain a DNA sample for genetic testing and screening. For example, blood tests can be used to diagnose causes internal bodily secretions to become thick and sticky, interfering with the function of certain organs, such as the lungs). genetic conditions, such as cystic fibrosis (a genetic disorder that
Types of blood test
Some widely used blood tests are described below.
Full blood count (FBC)
A full blood count (FBC) is probably the most widely used blood test. It is used to assess your general state of health and to screen for certain
measured. with your health.
conditions, such as anaemia.
During an FBC, a small sample of blood will be taken from a vein in your arm. The amount of different types of blood cells in the sample will be On its own, an FBC cannot usually provide a definitive diagnosis of a condition, but it can provide important ‘clues’ about possible problems
information about possible respiratory conditions (conditions that affect
about possible infections.
A low red blood cell count may be due toanaemia (iron deficiency), which has a number of possible causes, including internal bleeding or a poor diet. A high red blood cell count may be due to an underlying lung or kidney disease. A low white blood cell count may be due to problems with your bone marrow, such as a viral infection of your bone marrow or cancer of the bone marrow, such as leukaemia.
A high white blood cell count usually suggests that you have an infection somewhere in your body. A low platelet count may be due to a viral infection, such
as rubella (german measles), or an autoimmune condition (where the immune system attacks healthy tissue), such as lupus(inflammation in the body’s tissues).
A high platelet count may be due to inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis (pain and inflammation of the joints), or a problem with your spleen, such as a ruptured (split) spleen. The spleen is an organ that removes damaged blood cells from your blood.
An electrolyte test is used to measure the levels of electrolytes in your blood. This is sometimes known as your electrolyte balance. Electrolytes are minerals that are found in the body. They have a number of important functions, including:
• • •
There are three main electrolytes that can be measured with an electrolyte sodium
Raised or lowered levels of any of these electrolytes can have a number of possible causes.
helping to move nutrients into cells (and waste products out of helping to maintain a healthy water balance in your body helping to stabilise levels of acid and alkali in your body
A raised sodium level (hypernatremia) could be the result of dehydration, kidney disease or persistent diarrhoea. A low sodium level (hyponatremia) could be the result of poorly controlled diabetes, liver disease, a lack of sodium in your diet or pneumonia. Some types of medication can also
lower your sodium level, such as carbamazepine (used to treat epilepsy) and sertraline (sometimes used to treat depression).
A raised potassium level (hyperkalemia) could be the results of kidney failure. A type of medication used to treat high blood levels. pressure, known as an ACE inhibitor, can also raise potassium A low potassium level (hypokalemia) could be the result of heavy sweating or persistent vomiting or diarrhoea. A raised chloride level (hyperchloremia) could be the result of some types of kidney disease, diarrhoea or overactive parathyroid glands (glands that are found in your neck and help to regulate the amount of calcium in your body). A decreased chloride level (hypochloremia) could be the result of heavy sweating, vomiting and some types of kidney disease.
A blood glucose test is used to help diagnose diabetes and to monitor the health of people who have had a diagnosis of diabetes confirmed. Diabetes develops either because the body cannot produce enough insulin that the body uses to convert glucose (sugar) into energy. People with diabetes often have high levels of glucose in their blood. Reducing the glucose levels is an important part of the treatment of diabetes. This is because if the blood glucose levels become too high, a range of serious complications, such as kidney disease or nerve damage,
Therefore, most people with diabetes will need regular blood glucose tests. Small blood glucose test kits are available for use at home. These only require a small ‘pin prick’ of blood for testing. Some types of blood glucose test require you not to eat anything for several hours before the test. Your GP or diabetes care team can tell you whether this is the case.
or because the insulin does not work in the right way. Insulin is a hormone
Blood glucose test
A gene test is used when healthcare professionals suspect that a specific genetic mutation may be responsible for a person’s symptoms. If you have a viral or a bacterial infection or you have developed an to the infection or allergy. then searching the sample for the suspected genetic mutation. The test involves extracting a sample of DNA from your blood. or a specific allergy.ELISA test An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test can be used to check a peanut allergy. such asHIV. such as . allergy. Blood gas test A blood gas test is used to check two things: • • the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood the balance of acid and alkali in your blood (the pH balance) An imbalance in either of these can be caused by: • • problems with your respiratory system problems with your metabolism (the chemical reactions that are used by the body to break down food into energy) Respiratory causes of an imbalance could be: • • • pneumonia chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) hyperventilation Metabolic causes of an imbalance could be: Genetic testing Ma Gene test Some widely used types of genetic testing are described below. Genetic conditions that can be diagnosed using a gene test include: nid • diabetes • • kidney failure persistent vomiting ha Na e ya m whether you have an infection. your immune system will produce specific antibodies in response The ELISA test involves taking a small blood sample and checking to see whether it contains the associated antibody.
genetic screening is carried out during pregnancy (antenatal screening) to check for some of the most common genetic conditions. such as Huntington's nid Down's syndrome sickle cell anaemia thalassaemia ha Chromosome testing is often used: Na e than a gene test. This allows the person who is carrying out the test to examine the chromosomes directly. Chromosome testing involves taking a blood sample and examining one of the blood cells under a powerful microscope. to test children who have physical or developmental problems that have no apparent cause • • for couples who have experienced repeatedmiscarriages (usually three or more in a row) Genetic screening Genetic screening is similar to gene testing except that it is used in people who have no obvious symptoms. is a more general test person’s symptoms may be caused by a gene-related problem but they do not know which gene is responsible. For example. also known as karyotyping. For example. if your brother or sister developed a genetic condition in later life.• haemophilia : a condition that affects the blood’s ability to clot (thicken) cystic fibrosis: a condition that causes a build-up of sticky mucus in the lungs sickle cell anaemia: a condition that causes a shortage of normal red blood cells • • • polycystic kidney disease: a condition that causes cysts to develop inside the kidneys Chromosome testing Chromosome testing. It is used when healthcare professionals suspect that a ya m . such as: • • • Ma Genetic screening may also be offered to people who are thought to be at risk of developing a genetic condition. By counting the chromosomes (each cell should have 23 pairs of chromosomes) and by checking their shape. Chromosomes are coils of DNA that are found in every cell. it may be possible to detect genetic abnormalities.
comes in two possible Rhesus positive (which is usually shortened to Rhd+) Rhesus negative (which is usually shortened to Rhd-) • • Your blood type is based on the combination of both antigens. This is known rhesus disease. This could lead to the mother's immune system attacking the baby’s red blood cells. . known as antigens. Your blood group found on the surface of your red blood cells. which are ya m passed on to a child if both parents have a copy of the genetic mutation. you and of giving birth to a child with the condition. can only be If there is a chance that you have one copy of the mutated gene. A B AB O The first antigen. For antigen. If you were given blood that did not match your blood group. for example there is a history of sickle cell anaemia in your family. known as the Rhesus antigen. nid example. Blood typing is used before a blood transfusion is given (or before you provide blood for donation). Blood typing is also used during pregnancy as there is a small risk that the unborn child may have a different blood group from the mother. known as the ABO antigen.disease. if you have a combination of the AB antigen and the Rhd + ha types: Na e is determined by two specialised proteins. you may want to find out whether there is a risk that you could also develop the condition. This is because it is important that anyone who receives blood is given blood that matches their blood group. your immune Ma system may attack the red blood cells. A number of genetic conditions. comes in four possible types: • • • • The second antigen. such as sickle cell anaemia. your partner may want to be screened to determine whether there is a risk Blood typing A blood typing test is used to identify your blood group. which could lead to potentially lifethreatening complications. your blood type would be AB+.
The risk factors for developing a CVD include: stroke. such as a stroke or heart attack. either using a needle and a syringe. precautions can be taken to safeguard the health of your baby. Before having the test. you may be asked not to eat for 12 hours (which usually includes the period when you are asleep at night). or leg artery disease • • • being over 40 years of age being obese If you are unsure whether you would benefit from having a blood cholesterol test. or by pricking your finger. ask your GP for advice. If the test identifies high cholesterol levels. It is mostly normal functioning of the body. Blood cholesterol testing is usually recommended if you have one or more risk factors that increase your chances of developing a cardiovascular disease (CVD). This will ensure that all Ma • food is completely digested and will not affect the outcome of the test. Your GP or practice nurse can carry out the blood test and will take a blood sample. Blood cholesterol levels are measured with a simple blood test.Rhesus disease can sometimes develop if the mother's blood group is Rhdand the father's is Rh+. blood typing tests are used during the routine screening programme in pregnancy. such as reducing the amount of fat in your diet nid having high blood pressure (hypertension) ha • being diagnosed with coronary heart disease. created by the liver from the fatty foods in your diet and is vital for the Having an excessively high level of lipids in your blood (hyperlipidemia) can have a serious effect on your health because it increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. For womb to increase the number of red blood cells. example. stroke or mini- Na e ya m If testing reveals that there is a risk of rhesus disease developing. a blood transfusion can be given to the baby when it is still in the Blood cholesterol test Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is known as a lipid. As a result. treatment options include: making lifestyle changes. A cardiovascular disease is a disease that affects the normal flow of blood through the body. extra .
it can trigger a massive drop in blood pressure. such as: • • • hepatitis (infection of the liver) cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) alcoholic liver disease (liver damage and related loss of function which is caused by excessive alcohol consumption) When the liver is damaged. This is known as septic shock and it can be fatal. to reduce your cholesterol level Liver function test A liver function test is a type of blood test that is used to help diagnose certain liver conditions. How a blood test is performed Ma Taking a blood sample A blood test usually involves taking a blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm. Two blood samples are needed in case one is accidentally contaminated by the bacteria that live on your skin. levels of proteins that the liver produces to keep the body healthy ya m . known as culturing). If there are any traces of bacteria in your blood. it releases enzymes into the blood. At the same begin to drop. Both samples are introduced to nutrients that are designed to encourage the growth of bacteria (a process culturing should allow the person carrying out the test to identify them. Blood culture A blood culture is a test to check whether there is a bacterial infection of the blood (septicaemia). it is possible to build up a reasonably accurate picture of how well the liver is functioning. By measuring the levels of these enzymes and proteins. The arm is a convenient part of the body to use because it can be nid ha Na e time. such as statins. if the infection spreads throughout the blood. A blood culture involves taking a small sample of blood from a vein in your arm and from another part of your body.• taking medication. Septicaemia is potentially very dangerous because.
lie down. A plaster may then be put After the test on the small wound to keep it clean and prevent infection. The syringe is used to draw out a sample of your blood. GPs and nurses are used to shortening the names of tests. You may feel a slight pricking sensation as the needle goes in. but this can make it confusing for you. before the sample is taken. Pressure is applied to the tiny break in the skin for a few minutes using a cotton wool pad to stop the bleeding and to prevent bruising. and you will be told when and how you will be given them. receiving results can be stressful and upsetting. the needle will be removed.easily uncovered. although this is not always necessary. The results are sent back to the hospital or to your GP. Sometimes. For some tests. Before taking the sample. This makes it easier for a blood sample to be taken. And. After the blood sample has been taken. nid ha Na e ya m The child's hand will be anaesthetised (numbed) with a special cream . where the veins are relatively close to the surface. How do I understand my test results? It can sometimes be worrying when you have to have tests done. you will be offered be examined under a microscope or tested with chemicals. it will be put into a bottle and labelled with your name. not knowing what the abbreviations stand for when you get your test results can be really frustrating. If you do not like needles and injections. and causing the vein to swell with blood. If you feel faint. The usual place for a sample is the inside of the elbow or wrist. When the sample has been taken. temporarily slowing down the flow of blood out of the arm. Blood samples from children are usually taken from the back of the hand. A tight band (tourniquet) is usually put around your upper arm. If you are worried about the outcome of a test. the doctor or nurse may need to wipe the area with an antiseptic wipe. A needle attached to a syringe or to a special blood collecting container is pushed into the vein. tell the person who is taking the sample so they can make you more comfortable. such as HIV. This squeezes the arm. but it should not be painful. depending on Ma specialist counselling to help you deal with your results. you may choose to take a trusted friend or relative with you. It will then be sent to a laboratory where it will what is being checked.
A sample of cells from your cervix is taken to test for pre-cancerous cells.liver function tests. These are blood tests to check that your liver is working properly. This is a blood test that is used to determine your general health and to identify conditions such as anaemia.mid-stream specimen of urine.intravenous pyelogram. • • Ma • nid blood test. RBC means red blood cell count.blood pressure. This is an X-ray study of your urinary system. hCG test . and other foetal disorders. Most women between the ages of 25-64 have a cervical screening test every 3-5 years. if you have a reading of 140/90 or more. This test is often used if you have high blood pressure. MSU .chorionic villus sampling. LFTs . for example. • ECG or EKG .electrocardiogram. . or heart disease. and WBC means white blood cell count.If you are not sure about something regarding a test. • FBC . It is usually involves taking a urine sample. just ask your GP. • CVS . Your GP. cystic fibrosis (a genetic disorder which affects the lungs). • BP . If you have a reading of 90/60 or less. you have low blood pressure (LBP. or hypotension).this is another name for the cervical screening test. or your practice nurse. PAP . or practice nurse. • HbA1c test . and they will be happy to explain. It is usually written as one number over another. This is a urine test used to check for urine infections.this is a blood test that measures your recent average blood glucose level. which causes you to have fewer red blood cells than normal. but sometimes can also include a • • IVP . you have high blood pressure (HBP. It is taken halfway through the stream of urine. It is used in the treatment of diabetes. or hypertension). This is an electrical recording of your heart. will explain how it is done.this is the medical name for a pregnancy test. ha Na e women that can detect Down's syndrome (a disorder which affects a ya m Some commonly used test abbreviations are explained below.full blood count. This is a test available to pregnant child's physical and mental development).
B12 is a vitamin. This is a surgical procedure to obtain tissue from the lining of the uterus. Albumin – This is the main protein which is in blood. and the levels of iron stored in your body. • D&C .thyroid function tests. This is a blood test that looks at your doctor to understand how your kidneys and metabolism (energy levels) are working. including prostate cancer (a cancer that only affects men). You Na e • B12 . low levels can indicate certain types of chronic illnesses such as liver disorders Elecs / U&E’s – Urea and Electrolytes – This is done to assess your Electrolyte (minerals) levels There are three main electrolytes that can be measured with an electrolyte test. • U&Es . The different types of white cells in adults are: ha refer to the two types of cholesterol that are found in the blood. The test will show how well your kidneys are working Ferritin – A protein – This is to check the levels are correct as they are important for red blood cell production. It helps a may become anaemic. body's blood chemistry to assess fluid and mineral levels. This is a blood test is used to detect anaemia and other blood disorders.total iron-binding capacity. • thyroid gland is working properly. This scan takes a series of X-rays of your body at slightly different angles. This scan uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the • • • STI .computerised tomography scan. Normal range is Male: 12-300 ng/mL – Female: 12-150 ng/mL – nanograms per milliliter o Ma • nid inside of your body. These are blood tests to check that your . LDL/HDL . • • MRI scan .prostate specific antigen.• PSA . These may see these abbreviations if you have a blood test to measure your blood cholesterol level. If you do not have enough of this vitamin.low density lipoprotein/high density lipoprotein. you ya m TFTs . sodium. and then joins them together to produce very detailed images of the inside of your body.sexually transmitted infection.urea and electrolytes.dilatation and curettage. • TIBC .magnetic resonance imaging scan. • CT scan or CAT scan . potassium and chloride. This is a blood test that can detect prostate disorders.
If it is low it can indicate liver failure amongst other conditions B12 and Folate – This is done to diagnose the cause of anaemia or nerve damage. of red blood cell content called packed cell volume PCV of your blood • • LDH – Lactate Dehydrogenase –This is an enzyme if the levels are raised this can indicate damage to cells and tissue.Alanine aminotransferase – This is an enzyme and the test is performed to check to see if you have a liver problem Amylase – This is an enzyme and if the levels are raised this may indicate a problem possibly pancreatitis (the pancreas is important for secreting enzymes for digestion and regulating blood sugar levels with the hormone insulin) (BNP) Beta-Natriuretic Peptide – This can be done to check fluid in your lungs and for deteriorating heart disease (BUN) Blood Urea Nitrogen . It is also used to monitor progress o LDL – Low density lipoprotein -Cholesterol – this is the “bad” cholesterol – it is protein which carries cholesterol to the arteries and blood vessels causing build up and blockages this can cause a heart attack or stroke Magnesium – a deficiency in this basic element of the blood can be due to difficulties with absorption which can be due to medication. High levels may be due to kidney failure o • • ALT. nerves and kidneys as well as bones and teeth Card Enz –Cardiac Enzymes – This test is performed when a heart attack is suspected Chol – Cholesterol – This is to test if you have heart disease or circulatory problems this is a common test which is offered to people who have family history of high blood pressure or if you are over 50 years old – high levels need to be treated as otherwise you may be at risk of heart disease or a stroke Chloride – This is important for nerve and muscle function and distinct variations may indicate disease • • • • • • Ma • nid ha Na e ya m (HbA1c) -Haemoglobin A1c -This measures the glycated haemoglobin which is where the glucose has attached it self to red blood it is often used to measure your management of your diabetes.o (HCT) Haematocrit –This is a measure of thickness. viscosity.This test is performed to assess the levels which if raised may indicate renal function impairment. Normal levels are HbA1c of 6% or less . intestinal problems or heart disease.Neuropathy Calcium –Is found in bone and blood calcium is tested to monitor how much is circulating and affecting conditions of the heart.
5-17.5 x 1012/L adult females 3.5-16.0 x 109/L Neutrophils:2.5×109/L Platelet count for adults is 150-450 x 109/L ha MCH (Mean cell haemoglobin) range for adults is 27-32 pg.47 o o MCV (Mean cell volume) range for adults is 76-100 fL o o o MCHC (Mean cell haemoglobin concentration) range is 31-36 g/L White cell count for adults is 4.50 g/dL adult females 11.• Creatinine –This is a waste product and high levels can possibly indicate further tests will need to be undertaken to rule out poor kidney function • • FBC – Full blood count – This is done to check your general health and to screen for disorders. along with the trigger for your ovaries to prepare to release an egg GGT – This is an enzyme which is utilized in muscle.2-1.37-0. Normal results are Men under 50 years old: less than 15 mm/hr -Men over 50 years old: less than 20 mm/hr – Women under 50 years old: less than 20 mm/hr -Women over 50 years old: less than 30 mm/hr . It is important nid Eosinophils: 0. and nutrition Normal levels are: o Haemoglobin adult males 13. liver and heart function if this is raised it may indicate that disease is affecting these organs Globulin .0 x 109/L The different types of white cells in adults are: Basophils: 0.05-0.40-0.8-5.0-10. infection.5 g/dL o Red cell count adult males is 4.0-3.8 x 1012/L o Haematocrit adult males is 0. and the normal Na e ya m • ESR – Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate – This screens for infection and monitors inflammation.4 x 109/L Lymphocytes: 1.These are proteins you will need to prepare for the test by not eating for four hours prior to the blood being taken.1 x 109/L o • Ma • • FSH – Follicle Stimulation Hormone – This is done to check your pituitary gland which regulates the hormones.5 x 109/L Monocytes: 0.5-6.50 adult females 0. such as anaemia.0-7.02-0.
If you have diabetes you can monitor your own levels The ideal values are: 4 to 7mmol/l before meals : less than 10mmol/l 90 minutes after a meal : around 8mmol/l at bedtime . These levels affect the kidneys and adrenal glands if levels are high or low it can be indicative of disease TIBC . For an initial reading you may have to fast (stop eating) for up to 12 hours/ over night before the bloods are taken. The normal range is INR of 0.to discuss with your doctor any medication you are taking prior to the test. It can make the whole situation worse for a patient if not picked up • • • • PT – Prothrombin time – this is performed to check how well your blood thinning(anti-coagulants) medicine is working (RBC) – Red Blood Cell count – Low levels of these cells which carry oxygen around your body can indicate Anaemia RF .1 if you are high risk the values will be different Na e Hepatitis A – This is performed to see if you have the infective hepatitis A virus (Hav) which affects the liver and to monitor your recovery process ya m • Glucose – This checks the levels of plasma glucose in your blood.Rheumatoid Factor – This is a protein found in the blood when rheumatoid arthritis is suspected – however some people have naturally raised levels with no rheumatoid disease present Sodium –This is part of your electrolyte levels. The results will help with the diagnosis of immunoglobulin disorders • (HGB) – Haemoglobin – This is a protein and transports oxygen around the body and is usually performed to assess anaemia if too low or heart disease if too high • • • • Hepatitis B – This is done to see if the vaccine against hep B has produced an immunity or to monitor the course of the liver damage Hepatitis C – Is performed to assess if you have this viral disease which inflames the liver Hepatitis D – Delta agent -people who have this have Hepatitis B infection already.Total iron binding capacity this is a blood test which is used to detect anaemia liver function and other blood disorders Ma • • nid Phosphorus -This is a mineral and vital for muscle and nerve functionality conditions can be affected if levels are either too high or too low ha • INR – International Normalised Ratio – This is to test your blood clotting mechanisms for people who take anti-coagulants (blood thinning medicine) like Warfarin.9 -1.
1-0.com explains every part of a blood test with normal values. it is also performed to monitor treatment you may be having • • • Blood Test Results Explained with Normal Values Big cut & paste from steroid. quite right so I will convert them when I get time.35 nmol/l Level With Me. fantastic bit of info for those who get bloodwork done. Ma nid ha Na e ya m Total Bilirubin – This is the waste product of red blood cells it is what gives your faeces the brown colour. Doc… How Long Have I Got? A Comprehensive Look at Lab Tests by C. Normal levels are Total bilirubin-0. Colston You just had some blood work done.. and the friggin' doctor or his nurses are guarding the results as if they're state secrets. However. Your doctor will be primarily looking for indications of liver or kidney disorders TFT – Thyroid function test – To test for levels of TSH – Thyroid Stimulation Hormone this shows if the thyroid is under active or over active. as much as you've been posturing about how you've had more than a smattering of medical education. after much cajoling and explaining that you'd like to at least be an informed partner in your own goshdarn health care.7mgs/dl .3-1.• • Total Protein – this is to measure all the proteins in your blood.0 mmol/l WBC – White Cell Count – This is performed when you may have an infection or an allergic reaction to something . Indirect bilirubin-0. If the levels are high it puts you at an increased risk of a stroke or heart disease. Direct bilirubin-0. These fats should not exceed 2.2-0. they begrudgingly give you a copy of your lab tests. you still can't figure out what half the tests are for and whether or not those abnormal values are anything to worry about. Trouble is.3mgs/dl.0mgs/dl. Mars has pointed out the units are US units and NOT SI units. To measure these levels accurately you will need to fast (not eat) for up to 12 hours before bloods are taken.this relates to your energy levels Triglycerides – this is a form of fat. If levels are raised yellowing of the skin occurs and c be an indication of liver disease. meanwhile the conversion id 10 ng/dl = 0.
I'm sure some of you are wishing that you had abnormally low plasma cholesterol levels (as if it's something to brag about). what it tells you.5. and total to HDL ratio should be below 3. I went in to detail about this particular subject — as well as how to improve your lipid profile — in my article "Bad Blood". ha These lipoproteins should look rather familiar to most of you. in the following article. but the fact is that having extremely low cholesterol levels is actually indicative of severe liver disease. LDL below 130. a quick remonder: your HDL should be 35 or higher. That way. it applies to both men and women." . A high level of triglycerides is also a risk factor for heart disease as well. The values I'll be listing are merely averages and the ranges may vary slightly from laboratory to laboratory. Ma Triglycerides Triglycerides are simply a form of fat that exists in the bloodstream. these few values are a little worrisome. Triglycerides levels can be increased if food or alcohol is consumed 12 to 24 hours prior to the blood draw and this is the reason why you're asked to fast for 12-14 nid Nevertheless. In other words. and what the typical ranges are for normal humans. you'll have something more to go on in assessing your health other than your family doctor saying. I'm going to go over each of the most common tests. though. I'll include why it's performed. HDL/LDL and Total Cholesterol On a side note. Oh and don't forget VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) which can be extremely worrisome. if there's only one range given. VLDL and LDL. HDL is simply the "good" lipoprotein that acts as a scavenger molecule and prevents a buildup of material. "Well. LDL is the "bad" lipoprotein which collects in arterial walls and causes blockage or a reduction in blood flow. Also. Lipid Panel — Used to determine possible risk for coronary and vascular disease. heart disease. Na e ya m Well. They're transported by two other culprits. You should have less than 30 mg/dl in order to not be considered at risk for heart disease. before I get started.One note. but you'll probably be okay. The total cholesterol to HDL ratio is also important.
16-19 yr.) as well as taking a good amount of all B vitamins in general will go a long way in terms of preventing a rise in levels of homocysteine.9 umol/L nid ha Unfortunately. taking folic acid (about 400-800 mcg. Homocysteine is formed in the metabolism of the dietary amino acid methionine.3-11.hours from food and abstain from alcohol for 24 hours. old female 40-128 mg/dl Adult Female 35-135 mg/dl Homocysteine Luckily.2 umol/L Ma Females age 30-59 4. In other words.6-8.1 umol/L Males age 30-59 6.9 umol/L >59 years of age 5. A good number of lifters should be concerned with this value as homocysteine levels rise with anabolic steroid usage. high levels may cause you to have a heart attack. It should be.5-7.8-11. this test isn't always ordered by the doctor. old male 40-163 mg/dl Adult Male 40-160 mg/dl 16-19 yr. Na e ya m . Normal ranges: Males and Females age 0-30 4. The problem is that it's a strong risk factor for atherosclerosis. Here are the normal ranges for healthy humans.
etc.000 cells per mm3 RBC (Red Blood Cell) These blood cells also called erythrocytes and their primary function is to carry oxygen (via the hemoglobin contained in each RBC) to various tissues as well as giving our blood that cool "red" color. This is because androgens increase EPO (erythropoietin) production which in turn increases RBC count and thus elevates blood volume. cancer. A decrease in the number of these cells can result in anemia which could stem from dietary insufficiencies. Both severe trauma and bacterial infections. can cause an increase in the number of these cells. a bacterial infection. Having a low number of neutrophils can be indicative of a viral infection.500-8. or a rotten diet. "Six Feet Under. stress." WBC Total (White Blood Cell) Also referred to as leukocytes. An increase in number can occur when androgens are used.500-11. which is the process of killing and digesting bacteria that cause infection. Na e ya m . RBC survive in peripheral blood circulation for approximately 120 days. Essentially their job is phagocytosis. Unlike WBC. a fluctuation in the number of these types of cells can be an indicator of things like infections and disease states dealing with immunity. Normal ranges: 4. as well as inflammatory or metabolic disorders and even stress.The Hemo Profile These are various tests that examine a number of components of your blood and look for any abnormalities that could be indicative of serious diseases that may result in you being an extra in the HBO show. This is essentially why some androgens are better Ma nid Normal ranges: ha This is one type of white blood cell that's in circulation for only a very short time.000/mm3 Neutrophils 2.
dehydration. etc. An increase in hemoglobin can be an indicator of congenital heart disease.100. A decrease in number can be a sign of anemia. the danger in this could be an increase in blood pressure or a stroke.000-6. Being at high altitudes.000-5. diarrhea.400. Molecules of this are found within each red blood cell. sever burns. leukemia. kidney disease.000 cells/uL Adult Female 4. pregnancy. An increase in percentage may be indicative of congenital heart disease. Androgen-using lifters who have high values should consider making modifications to their stack and/or immediately donating some blood. congestive heart failure. Na e ya m . Normal ranges: Adult Male 4.than others at increasing "vascularity. rheumatoid arthritis. lymphoma.000 cells/uL Hemoglobin Normal ranges: Adult Males 14-18 g/dl Adult Females 12-16 g/dl Hematocrit Ma The hematocrit is used to measure the percentage of the total blood volume that's made up of red blood cells." Anyhow. or the use of androgens. burns. cirrhosis.5 g/dl ha Hemoglobin is what serves as a carrier for both oxygen and carbon dioxide transportation. or dehydration.700. hyperthyroidism. nid Males and females 6-18 years 10-15. sickle cell anemia. A decrease in levels may be indicative of anemia. cancer. can cause an increase as well. etc.200. sever hemorrhage. hemorrhage.
A decrease in MCV would then indicate that the RBC's are abnormally large(or macrocytic). When an increase is noted. nid ha Na e ya m . etc. This is yet another way to assess whether some sort of anemia or deficiency is present. Normal ranges: Male and Females age 6-18 years 32-44% Adult Men 42-52% Adult Women 37-47% MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume) This is one of three red blood cell indices used to check for abnormalities. and this may be an indicator of iron deficiency anemia or thalassemia. Normal ranges: Adult Male 80-100 fL Adult Female 79-98 fL 12-18 year olds 78-100 fL Ma Normal ranges: MCH (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin) The MCH is the weight of hemoglobin present in the average red blood cell.malnutrition. a sucking knife wound to the chest. that would indicate abnormally small RBC (microcytic). The MCV is the size or volume of the average red blood cell. and this may be indicative of a vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency as well as liver disease.
7-14. thalassemia. ya m . etc. vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anemia. A decrease in number is an indicator of iron deficiency. Ma Normal ranges: Adult Male 11. and to see if some of the red blood cells need their suits tailored. An increase is sometimes seen after androgen use. and diseases like sickle cell anemia. An increase in RDW can be indicative of iron deficiency anemia. lead poisoning.7-14. It's used in order to help classify certain types of anemia.2% Adult Female 11.12-18 year old 35-45 pg Adult Male 26-34 pg Adult Female 26-34 pg MCHC (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration) Normal ranges: 12-18 year old 31-37 g/dl Adult Male 31-37 g/dl Adult Female 30-36 g/dl The RDW is an indicator of the variation in red blood cell size.2% nid RDW (Red Cell Distribution Width) ha Na e The MCHC is the measurement of the amount of hemoglobin present in the average red blood cell as compared to its size.
On a side note for these ranges. on the other side of the spectrum. They're measured in order to assess the likelihood of certain disorders or diseases. etc. Normal ranges: Child 150. leukemia. nid The differential count measures the percentage of each type of leukocyte or white blood cell present in the same specimen. anything above 1 million/mm3 would be considered a critical value and should warrant concern and/or giving second thoughts as to whether you should purchase a lifetime subscription to Muscle Media.000/mm3 (Most commonly displayed in SI units of 150-400 x 10(9th)/L ABS (Differential Count) Neutrophils Ma Percentile Range: 55-70% As explained previously. Also. they can determine whether there's a bacterial or parasitic infection. including things like infection. as well as immune reactions. A decrease can be indicative of much more. a low number of these cells can indicate a viral infection. as well as inflammatory disorders. various types of anemia. rheumatoid arthritis. An increase can be indicative of a malignant disorder. etc. a bacterial infection. Using this. and even stress can cause an increase in the number of these cells.000/mm3 (Most commonly displayed in SI units of 150-400 x 10(9th)/L Adult 150. ha Na e ya m .000-400. etc. or a deficient diet.Platelets Platelets or thrombocytes are essential for your body's ability to form blood clots and thus stop bleeding.000-400. iron deficiency anemia. severe trauma and bacterial infections. metabolic disorders.
and in particular. The main job of lymphocytes in general is to fight off — Bruce Lee style — bacterial and viral infections. When sodium in the blood rises.Basophils These cells. it can be deduced that either an allergic response has occurred or a parasite has taken up residence in your shorts. eosinophils. Percentile Range: Basophils 0. the kidneys conserve sodium and excrete nid ha Na e ya m .5-1% Eosinophils 1-4% Lymphocytes and Monocytes Lymphocytes can be divided in to two different types of cells: T cells and B cells. Monocytes are similar to neutrophils but are produced more rapidly and stay in the system for a longer period of time. T cells are involved in immune reactions and B cells are involved in antibody production. the kidneys will conserve water and when the sodium concentration is low. are present in the event of an allergic reaction as well as when a parasite is present. These types of cells don't increase in response to viral or bacterial infections so if an increased count is noted. Percentile Range: Lymphocytes 20-40% Monocytes 2-8% Ma Sodium Selected Clinical Values This cation (an ion with a postive charge) is mainly found in extracellular spaces and is responsible for maintaining a balance of water in the body.
trauma. etc. infection. etc. Chloride typically accompanies sodium and thus the causes for change are essentially the same. etc.5-5 mEq/L Chloride This is the major extracellular anion (an ion carrying a negative charge). burns. you have the most important intracellular cation. acute renal failure. Addison's disease. excessive sweating. chronic renal insufficiency. diuretics. vomiting. excessive water intake. dehydration. Anabolic steroids will lead to an increased level of sodium as well. acidosis. burns. aldosterone-inhibiting diuretics. diarrhea or vomiting. forgetting to drink for a week. surgery. Adults 3. licorice consumption. Decreased levels can be indicative of a deficient dietary intake. . Increased levels can be an indicator of excessive dietary intake.Normal range: Adults 136-145 mEq/L Potassium On the other side of the spectrum. Cushing's syndrome. etc. Decreased levels can result from a deficient diet. Ma Normal range: Adult 98-106 mEq/L nid ha Normal range: Na e ya m water. It also serves as a buffer in order to maintain the pH balance of the blood. a crushing injury to tissues. diarrhea. congestive heart failure. insulin use. Its purpose it is to maintain electrical neutrality with sodium. cystic fibrosis. Increased levels can result from excessive dietary intake. Cushing's syndrome.
Both can be indicators of serious conditions. When protein is metabolized. Decreased levels can be indicative of kidney failure. shock. This is why BUN is a good indicator of both liver and kidney function. Normal range: Adults 23-30 mEq/L Glucose Normal range: Adult Male 65-120 mg/dl Adult Female 65-120 mg/dl BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) Ma This test measures the amount of urea nitrogen that's present in the blood. emphysema. the end product is urea which is formed in the liver and excreted from the bloodstream via the kidneys. etc. dehydration.Carbon Dioxide The CO2 content is used to evaluate the pH of the blood as well as aid in evaluation of electrolyte levels. liver disease. metabolic acidosis. Increased levels can be indicative of severe diarrhea. Increased levels can be indicative of diabetes mellitus. starvation. excessive protein ingestion. corticosteroid therapy. insulin overdose. acr*****ly. renal failure. and starvation. Increased levels can stem from shock. chronic renal failure. starvation. Decreased levels could be indicative of hypothyroidism. Na e ya m . renal disease. burns. etc. excessive protein catabolism. etc. Causes of a nid ha The amount of glucose in the blood after a prolonged period of fasting (1214 hours) is used to determine whether a person is in a hypoglycemic (low blood glucose) or hyperglycemic (high blood glucose) state. vomiting. acute stress. and starvation. Cushing's syndrome. myocardial infarction. sepsis. metabolic alkalosis. Increased levels could also mean that you're a plant. congestive hear failure. insulinoma.
as well as acr*****ly. and in some cases. congestive heart failure. pregnancy. increased levels are indicative of urinary tract obstruction. reduced renal blood flow (stemming from shock.6-1. Normal range: Adults 10-20 mg/dl Creatinine Normal range: Adult Male 0. we need to remember that these tests are only indicators of functioning and thus outside drugs and supplements can influence them and give false results. dehydration. Also.1 mg/dl Ma BUN/Creatinine Ratio A high ratio may be found in states of shock.2 mg/dl Adult Female 0. overhydration.5-1. negative nitrogen balance via malnutrition. though. This is why creatine. the higher the creatine levels and therefore the higher the levels of creatinine. ya m . hypotension. acute tubular necrosis. Decreased levels can be indicative of debilitation. etc. you can increase creatinine levels as well. since it naturally results in an increase in creatinine levels. and decreased muscle mass via disease or some other cause.decrease in levels can be liver failure. So. Since creatinine levels are used to measure the functioning of the kidneys. gastrointestinal bleeding. volume depletion. dehydration. as creatine may do. ha Na e Creatinine is a byproduct of creatine phosphate. this easily explains why creatine has been accused of causing kidney damage. atherosclerosis). the more muscle mass you have. does not cause renal damage or impair function. when you ingest large amounts of beef or other meats that have high levels of creatine in them. the chemical used in contraction of skeletal muscle. Generally speaking. while increasing creatinine levels. a nid However.
Increased globulin levels can result from inflammatory diseases. drugs and other constituents of the blood. lymphoma. severe liver disease. ketosis. malnutrition. inflammatory diseases. overhydration. Measuring the levels of these two proteins is also an indicator of nutritional status. when used in the same sentence as hamburger or hotdog. you'll likely have a higher ratio and this is nothing to worry about. Increased levels can stem from hyperparathyroidism. liver disease. though. An important thing to note again is that with a high protein diet. pregnancy. It functions to transport hormones. rickets. Decreased levels can stem from renal failure. Globulins are the building blocks of your body's antibodies. vitamin D deficiency. and alkalosis. hypercholesterolemia (high nid ha Normal range: Na e ya m catabolic state. malabsorption. Albumin is synthesized by the liver and as such is used as an indicator of liver function. Adult 9-10. hyperthyroidism. pregnancy. etc. that the term BUN. A low ratio can be indicative of a low protein diet. pancreatitis. etc. usually means something else entirely. metastatic tumor to the bone. while decreased albumin levels can result from malnutrition. Keep in mind. Increased albumin levels can result from dehydration. It's also important to note that anabolic steroids can also increase calcium levels. etc.Normal range: Adult 6-25 Calcium Calcium is measured in order to assess the function of the parathyroid and calcium metabolism. . enzymes. prolonged immobilization.5 mg/dl Liver Function Total Protein Ma This measures the total level of albumin and globulin in the body. acr*****ly.
cholesterol). liver dysfunction. sickle cell anemia. and cholestasis from certain drugs.0 mg/dl Ma Alkaline Phosphatase This enzyme is found in very high concentrations in the liver and for this reason is used as an indicator of liver stress or damage. Decreased globulin levels can result from hyperthyroidism. and insulin can all increase protein levels. morphine. An increase in levels of bilirubin can be indicative of liver stress or damage/inflammation. pregnancy. liver tumor. and rheumatoid arthritis. malnutrition.5-5 g/dl Globulin: 2.3 g/dl Albumin: 3. normal bones of growing children.0 Bilirubin Normal range: Total Bilirubin for Adult 0. etc. Drugs that may decrease levels are barbiturates and caffeine. healing fracture. codeine. extensive liver metastasis. as well as infections. sepsis. Drugs that may increase bilirubin include oral anabolic steroids (17-AA). As another important side note. Increased levels can stem from cirrhosis. and immune deficiencies or disorders.4-8. Non-drug induced increased levels can be indicative of gallstones. cirrhosis. Decreased levels can stem from hypothyroidism.8-2. hepatitis. Normal range: Adult Total Protein: 6.4 g/dl Albumin/Globulin Ratio: Adult 0. etc. malnutrition.3-3. anabolic steroids. ha Na e ya m .3-1. scurvy nid Bilirubin is one of the many constituents of bile. antibiotics. contraceptives. growth hormone. diuretics. iron deficiency anemia. which is formed in the liver. pernicious anemia.
hepatic necrosis. pregnancy. it's a rather accurate diagnostic tool. there could be a weight-training induced increase . Weight training causes damage to muscle tissue and thus could slightly elevate these levels. skeletal muscle disease or injuries. for the most part. beriberi. Decreased levels can be indicative of acute kidney disease. as well as severe burns. liver disease. previously known as SGPT) This is yet another enzyme that is found in high levels within the liver. as well as heat stroke. Normal range: 16-21 years 30-200 U/L Adult 30-120 U/L AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase. When the liver is damaged or inflamed. Increased levels can be indicative of heart disease. mononucleosis. As a side note. diabetic ketoacidosis. previously known as SGOT) Normal range: ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase. that because lesser quantities are found in skeletal muscle. AST levels can rise to a very high level (20 times the normal value). I should note however. and jaundice. antibiotics can cause an increase in the enzyme levels. Na e ya m . and shock. and renal dialysis. Increased levels can be indicative of hepatitis. Ma nid Adult 0-35 U/L (Females may have slightly lower levels) ha This is yet another enzyme that's used to determine if there's damage or stress to the liver. but this isn't as accurate. giving a false indicator for liver disease. It may also be used to see if heart disease is a possibility as well. cholestasis. Still. myocardial infarction. trauma to striated muscle (via weight training). hepatic tumor. hepatotoxic drugs. This happens because AST is released when the cells of that particular organ (liver) are lysed.(vitamin C deficiency) and excess vitamin B ingestion. cirrhosis. The AST then enters blood circulation and an elevation can be seen. Injury or disease of the liver will result in an increase in levels of ALT.
about 95% of the circulating Testosterone in a man's body is formed by the Leydig cells.5 . just as some background info. which accounts for the bearded ladies you see at the circus. total Testosterone: Male Age 14 <1200 ng/dl <42nmol/l Age 15-16 100-1200 ng/dl 3.Normal range: Adult 4-36 U/L Endocrine Function Testosterone (Free and Total) Nomal range. Women also have a small amount of Testosterone in their body as well.5 -42 nmol/l Ma Female Age 19-40 300-950 ng/dl 10. (Some more than others.33 nmol/l Over 40 240-950 ng/dl 8.5.) This is from a very small amount of Testosterone secreted by the ovaries and the adrenal gland (in which the majority is made from the adrenal conversion of androstenedione to Testosterone via 17-beta HSD). which are found in the testicles. or hanging around with Chris Shugart.4 .42 nmol/l Age 17-18 300-1200 ng/dl 10.33 nmol/l nid ha Na e This is of course the hormone that you should all be extremely familiar with as it's the name of this here magazine! Anyhow. ya m .
stress.2 nmol/l Over 18 20-80 ng/dl 0. as well as perhaps both the hypothalamus and the pituitary. and malnutrition.24-7.61-16. Increased levels can be indicative of hypogonadism. then things like clomiphene and hCG really won't help. hypothalamic failure.4.6 IU/L Luteal phase: 0.7 . If it's a case of the testicles not being responsive to LH. Decreased levels can be indicative of pituitary failure.2-52. or whether it's the pituitary gland not secreting enough LH (secondary). Normal ranges: Adult Male 1. Of course. and pituitary adenoma.68-15 IU/L Ovulatory phase: 21. the hypothalamus — which secretes LH-RH (luteinizing hormone releasing hormone) — could also be the culprit.7 .9-56.8 IU/L Ma Adult Female Follicular phase: 1.8 nmol/l Normal range. then there's a better chance for improvement with drug therapy. free Testosterone: Male 50-210 pg/ml LH (Luteinizing Hormone) LH is a glycoprotein that's secreted by the anterior pituitary gland and is responsible for signaling the leydig cells to produce Testosterone.3 IU/L Postmenopausal: 14. If the problem is secondary. Measuring LH can be very useful in terms of determining whether a hypogonadic state (low Testosterone) is caused by the testicles not being responsive despite high or normal LH levels (primary).Age 17-18 20-120 ng/dl 0. precocious puberty.3 IU/L nid ha Na e ya m .2.
and liver diseases. necrosis of the liver. pregnancy. adrenal tumor. So. acute thyroiditis. Drugs that may decrease T3 levels include anabolic steroids/androgens as well as propanolol (a beta adrenergic blocker) and high dosages of salicylates. protein malnutrition. Increased levels can be indicative of Graves disease. hepatitis. TSH) T3 (Triiodothyronine) Ma Normal ranges: 16-20 years old T3 is the more metabolically active hormone out of T4 and T3. Drugs that may increase T3 levels include estrogen and oral contraceptives. you can bet your ass that you'll be hypogonadal as well. hyperthyroidism. Increased estradiol levels can be indicative of a testicular tumor. When levels are below normal it's generally safe to assume that the individual is suffering from hypothyroidism. Normal ranges: Adult Male 10-50 pg/ml Thyroid (T3. etc. hepatic cirrhosis. if your levels of estradiol are rather high. hypertrophy of adipose tissue. it's the primary estrogen that's responsible for the negative feedback loop which suppresses endogenous Testosterone production. I'm sure you're all aware that it can be responsible for things like water retention. nid ha Adult Female Follicular phase: 20-350 pg/ml Midcycle peak: 150-750 pg/ml Luteal phase: 30-450 pg/ml Postmenopausal: 20 pg/ml or less Na e ya m . Cushing's syndrome. and perhaps even prostate hypertrophy and tumors. T4 Total and Free.Estradiol With this being the most potent of the estrogens. kidney failure. cirrhosis. As a male it's very important to get your levels of this hormone checked for the above reasons. Also. etc. gynecomastia. Decreased levels can be indicative of hypothyroidism.
Cushing's syndrome. Increased levels are indicative of the same things as T3 and a decrease can be indicative of protein depleted states.8 ng/dl or 10-36 pmol/L TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) Measuring the level of TSH can be very helpful in terms of determining if nid Since only 1-5% of the total amount of T4 is actually free and useable. and rifampicin. ya m . and cirrhosis. ha Na e T4 is just another indicator of whether or not someone is in a hypo or hyperthyroid state. do the same with T4. aspirin.2-3. this test is a far better indicator of the thyroid status of the patient. danazol.8-2. Increased and decreased levels are indicative of the same possible diseases and states that are seen with T4 and T3. in most cases. Drugs that increase free T4 are heparin. Drugs that decrease it are furosemide.80-210 ng/dl 20-50 years 75-220 ng/dl or 1. It too is rather reliable but free thyroxine levels should be assessed as well. kidney failure. and propanolol.6-2. iodine insufficiency. methadone. An increase indicates a hyperthyroid state and a decrease indicates a hypothyroid state.8 nmol/L T4 (Thyroxine) Normal ranges: Adult Male 4-12 ug/dl or 51-154 nmol/L Adult Female 5-12 ug/dl or 64-154 nmol/L Free T4 or Thyroxine Ma Normal ranges: 0.4 nmol/L Over 50 40-180 ng/dl or 0. Drugs that increase of decrease T3 will.
Drugs that can increase levels of TSH include lithium. Drugs that may decrease TSH are aspirin. some type of trauma. etc. The problem could be a tumor. heparin. check out my article "The Thyroid Handbook. Hell. or an infarction. If TSH levels are high. but wait. and congenital cretinism. Now perhaps you can truly rest assured after viewing things yourself. dopamine. then it's merely the thyroid gland not responding for some reason but if TSH levels are low. Normal ranges: Adult 2-10 uU/ml or 2-10 mU/L For more info on the thyroid in general. T3. hyperthyroidism. you may even impress your doctor. it's the hypothalamus or pituitary gland that has something wrong with it. and pituitary hypofunction. Increased TSH is indicative of thyroiditis." Conclusion Ma nid ha Hopefully this article will help to shed some light on the questions you have or may have in the future in regards to a blood test. hypothyroidism. . potassium iodide and TSH itself. Decreased levels are indicative of hypothyroidism (pituitary dysfunction). this is the same guy who thinks walking for 20 minutes is plenty of exercise for the day! Na e ya m the problem resides with the thyroid itself or the pituitary gland.
cold. Females have a lower normal range at 3.6 million red cells per microliter. white blood cells. Na e Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR or Sedrate) Rheumatoid Factor (RF) HLA B27 Typing Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Lupus Erythematosus (LE) Test Anti-CCP Anti-DNA and Anti-Sm Complement ya m . colorless fluid called plasma. Blood consists of these components suspended in a thick.6-5.000. Increased values suggest inflammation or infection.Specialized Blood Tests Complete Blood Count (CBC) White Cells Such things as exercise. and platelets.General Blood Tests Complete Blood Count (CBC) Chemistry Panels Part 2 . and stress can temporarily elevate the white cell count.000-10. Males normally have values around 5-6 million per microliter. Automated machines rapidly count the cell types.Blood Tests For Evaluating Arthritis Part 1 . ha The complete blood count is a test of red blood cells. nid The white cell count is normally between 5. Red Cells Ma Normal values for the red cell count vary with gender.
Many medications used in the treatment of arthritis can decrease the platelet count or affect platelet function. Normal for females is 12-16 g/dl. Generally. Normal values range from 150. Inflammation . MCH. Normal value for males is 40-55%. is also measured in a complete blood count. and the platelet count may be elevated. and the normal value for females is 36-48%.000. Decreased values are indicative of anemia. The normal hemoglobin value for males is 13-18 g/dl. Monocytes are increased in chronic infections and eosinphils are increased in allergies. Differential Inflammation Ma The process of inflammation can cause changes in the blood count. Lymphocytes are increased in viral infections. the iron containing component of red cells which carries oxygen. Basophils. The MCV. Na e ya m . Whileanemia may accompany inflammatory arthritis it may be caused by other things such as blood loss or iron deficiency. Platelets Platelets are components which are important in clot formation. the hemoglobin times 3 equals the hematocrit. ha The percent and absolute number of each type of white blood cell is called the differential. These indices give clues as to the probable cause of an existing anemia. Only when other causes have been ruled out can a doctor interpret blood abnormalities as a sign of inflammation.Hemoglobin / Hematocrit Hemoglobin. The hematocrit measures the percent of total blood volume which is red cells. which are generally 1 or 2% do not usually increase. The red cell count may go down. the white cell count may go up. MCHC are red cell indices which indicate the size and hemoglobin content of individual red cells.000-400.Test Your Knowledge nid Neutrophils are increased in bacterial infections and acute inflammation.
Certain types of inflammatory arthritis can affect kidney function.Creatinine is a waste product found in the blood.D. as well as tests for: kidney function liver function thyroid function For example. "the CHEM-20 is a group of 20 chemical tests performed on serum (the portion of blood without cells). For healthy individuals.Chemistry Panels The chemistry panels are a series of tests which are used to evaluate overall health.. When inflammation occurs the body produces proteins in the blood which make the red cells clump together. Heavier cell aggregates fall faster than normal red cells.M. according to A. potassium. Since inflammation can be caused by conditions other than arthritis. RF can take many months to show up in a patients blood. Electrolytes in the body include sodium. chloride.A. 80% of RA patients have RF in their blood. and many others. a patient with a high creatinine level may have a problem with the kidneys. if elevated. diabetes indicators. For example. the higher concentration of RF. Electrolytes are ionized salts in blood or tissue fluids (ions are atoms or molecules that carry an electrical charge). the more severe therheumatoid arthritis. the result could be negative and retesting should be considered at a later date. Uric acid is another test of the blood chemistry panel which. Certain arthritis drugs can affect kidney function too. Rheumatoid factor was discovered in the 1940's and became a significant diagnostic tool in the field of rheumatology. Usually. Inflammation increases the rate significantly. may be indicative of gout." The tests also include heart risk indicators. ha Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) Na e ya m . Blood Tests Used To Monitor Arthritis Treatments Liver Panel Blood Tests Checks For Toxicity Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Ma Rheumatoid factor is an antibody found in unusually large amounts of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. There are also patients with all the signs and symptoms of RA but are nid The erythrocyte sedimentation rate is a test which involves placing a blood sample in a tube and determining how fast the red blood cells settle to the bottom in one hour. the normal rate is up to 20 millimeters in one hour. If tested too early in the course of the disease. the sedrate test alone is not diagnostic.
50% of rheumatoid arthritis patients are positive for ANA. of the body's cells. These antibodies are called antinuclear antibodies and are tested for by placing a patient's blood serum on a microscope slide containing cells with visible nuclei.Patients with certain diseases. or command center. In cases of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Its initial discovery opened up the whole field of antinuclear antibodies though. make antibodies to the nucleus. the amount is lower. Some doctors suspect another disease masquerading as RA in these cases. Na e ya m HLA Typing . though usually in these cases. A substance containing fluorescent dye is added which binds to the antibodies. Only 50% of nid C-Reactive Protein measures the concentration in blood serum of a special type of protein produced in the liver that is present during episodes of acute inflammation or infection. White blood cells may be typed for the presence of HLA-B27. This test is common in medical centers because it is needed for transplants. Lupus Erythematosus (LE) The LE cell test is not commonly performed anymore. What has been found is that this genetic marker is present in some forms of arthritis. Under a microscope the abnormal antibodies can be seen binding to the nuclei. ha Patients with other diseases also can have positive ANA tests.seronegative for RF. Other criteria must be involved in definitive diagnosis. CRP is not specific. especially lupus. C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Ma As a blood test. chiefly ankylosing spondylitis and Reiter's syndrome. Over 95% of patients with lupus have a positive ANA test. doctors can utilize the CRP test to assess the effectiveness of a specific arthritis treatment and monitor periods of disease flareup. RF can occur in response to inflammatory of infectious diseases other than RA. A high result serves as a general indication of acute inflammation. Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) ANA (antinuclear antibody) test is performed to help detect certain rheumatic diseases.
The system produces factors which help destroy bacteria. ya m . Lupus patients often show decreased levels of total complement. another substance in the cell's nucleus. and combat invaders with white cells. ha Na e Lupus patients have antibodies to the heredity material DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). It is a useful diagnostic tool since it is unusual to find these antibodies in people who do not have lupus. Complement Related Resources . Anti-DNA and Anti-Sm Lupus patients also have antibodies to Sm. These proteins are inactive until an antibody binds to an antigen and activates the complement system.lupus patients are found to have positive LE tests. The test is also a good monitoring tool since the levels of anti-DNA rise and fall with disease activity. These antibodies also occur only in lupus patients. These reactions consume complement and leave depressed levels indicative of immune complex formation.Blood Tests For Arthritis Ma Laboratory Blood Tests / Diagnosis Of Arthritis Lab Tests . The complement test may be helpful in tracking the disease activity of a lupus patient.Test Your Knowledge Blood Tests Used To Monitor Arthritis Treatments nid The complement system is a complex set of blood proteins which are part of the body's defense system. Therefore the test does not identify 50% of patients as having the disease. Anti-CCP Anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody) is a new and exciting blood test to help doctors confirm a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. The test is not particularly useful in monitoring disease activity however.
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