Regular blood testing is one of the vital ways which helps to know our overall physical health status. When you get blood tests often, you can know how your body changes overtime,which will help you make informed health decisions.
How often do I need routine blood testing?
Usually, the doctor will recommend when you need routine private blood test London. However, most doctors recommend that you get your routine blood work at least once every year during your yearly physical exam.
Yearly blood testing is a bare minimum, and there are several reasons you may need blood tests more often. They include;
You experience unusual and persistent symptoms
These symptoms could be anything from pain to weight gain and fatigue.
You want to optimise your health
When you know the levels of your various blood components like cholesterol, LDL, and HDL, you can adjust your diet and lifestyle to get rid of unhealthy habits affecting your health. This can also help you in maximising the nutrients in your diet.
You want to reduce your risks of complications or diseases
With regular blood tests, you can identify the warning signs of diseases before they become terminal. Blood tests can diagnose different kidney, heart, and lung conditions.
Ensure you consult your doctor if you are concerned about some aspects of your health and need certain tests more than once a year.
What are the common routine tests?
Some common routine private blood testsneeded at least once a year include:
- Thyroid panel
- Chemistry (basic metabolic) panel
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Nutrient test for levels of essential nutrients such as vitamin B or iron
Other tests that you may need include:
- Sexually transmitted disease (STD) tests if you have a new sex partner or several sex partners
- Enzyme markers if you have a risk of cancer or other conditions such as celiac disease, stroke, or liver cirrhosis
Why do some blood tests need fasting?
Food and drinks contain proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients that temporarily increase or drop the nutrient levels in the blood. When you fast for 8 – 12 hours before some blood tests, it ensures that your blood is free from these temporal variables. This makes your result more accurate.
Tests that may require fasting include the following;
- Blood sugar tests
- Cholesterol tests
- Glucose tests
- Basic metabolic panel
- Liver function tests
- Kidney function tests
How long does it take to receive blood test results?
Getting the results of your blood test London may take from a few hours to some days. Below is the average turnaround time of common blood tests;
- Lipid panel: 24 hours
- Complete metabolic panel: 24 – 72 hours
- Basic metabolic panel: 24 hours
- Complete blood count (CBC): 24 hours
This turnaround time usually depends on the lab you took the test in and how many tests you carry out. If you had several tests, you might have to wait for all the test results to be ready before getting the result.
In some cases, the lab will only release your result to the doctor, who will review it before giving you the result.
Who orders my blood tests?
Usually, your doctor will order your blood tests during a physical exam or an appointment for a specific condition.
Most insurance covers part or full blood testing. If your blood test is ordered through your doctors, it ensures that your insurance provider pays for it. Your doctor may also recommend testing facilities that they find reliable and convenient for you.
However, you can order your blood tests without a doctor’s or health insurance provider’s recommendation. At this, you may have to pay the total cost of your blood test, which is usually expensive.
You also risk using a poor blood testing facility that may not give you accurate results.
Important blood tests
The following are some blood tests that adults need regularly;
Complete blood count
A complete blood count (CBC) checks the levels of ten components in the major blood cells: platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells.
This test measures different vital components such as haematocrit, haemoglobin, and red blood cell count.
The following is the recommend result range:
Blood component Normal range
Red blood cells Men: 4.32 – 5.72 million cells (mcL)
Women: 3.90 – 5.03 million cells/mcL
White blood cells 3,500 – 10,500 cells/mcL
Platelets 150,000 – 450,000/mcL
haemoglobin Men:13.5 – 17.5 grams/decilitre (g/dL)
Women:12.0 – 15.5 g/dL
Haematocrit Men: 38.8 – 50.0%
Women: 34.9 – 44.5%
Abnormal levels of these blood components may mean:
Bone marrow issues
Nutritional deficiencies (vitamin B6 or B12)
Depending on the result, the doctor may recommend follow-up tests to confirm the abnormal levels and reach a diagnosis.
Basic metabolic panel
A basic metabolic panel (BMP) checks the levels of some compounds in the blood. These compounds include:
- Carbon dioxide
- Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
BMP requires fasting for at least eight hours before blood sample collection. Abnormal results may be a sign of diabetes, hormone imbalances, or kidney disease.
Complete metabolic panel
A complete metabolic panel (CMP) measures all components of BMP, including proteins and substances related to liver function. They include:
- Total protein
- Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
- Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
Abnormal results may also mean the same as BMP. Other indications of abnormal CMP results include:
The lipid panel checks the levels of two cholesterol types:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol
HDLremoves harmful substances from the blood and aids the liver in breaking down the harmful substances into waste. LDL is bad because it causes plaque development in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease.
The lipid panel requires fasting for at least eight hours before the test. Below is the result range for each cholesterol.
The normal range varies depending on your age.
The thyroid gland regulates different body functions such as energy level, mood, and overall metabolism. A thyroid panel, also called thyroid function test, checks the thyroid gland’s production and reaction to some hormones such as:
- Triiodothyronine (T3)
- T3 resin uptake (RU)
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
- Thyroxine (T4)
The normal range of thyroid hormones include:
- T3: 100 – 200 nanograms per decilitre of blood (ng/dL)
- T3RU: depends on T3 levels (T3RU will be low if TS is high)
- T4: 5.0 – 12.0 micrograms per decilitre (µg/dL)
- TSH: 0.4 – 4.0 milli-international units per litre of blood (mlU/L)
Abnormal thyroid hormone levels may signify several conditions such as thyroid growth disorders, abnormal levels of oestrogen or testosterone, and low protein levels.
Enzymes are proteins that help the body reach certain chemicals processes in the body, such as blood clotting and breaking down food. They are necessary for different body functions, and abnormal levels may indicate different conditions.
Common enzymes checked for in enzyme marker test include:
- Creatinine phosphokinase (CPK-1)
Normal ranges of these enzymes include:
CPK-1: 200 units per litre (U/L)
CPK-2: 25 international units per litre (IU/L)
CPK-3: 200 U/L
Troponin: less than 0.2ng/ml
Sexually transmitted diseases tests
Blood tests can diagnose several STDs. The doctor may recommend carrying out these STD blood tests alongside a urine test or swabs of the infected tissue for a more accurate diagnosis.
Blood tests can diagnose the following STDs;
In some cases, blood tests are not accurate for diagnosing an STD. For example, a blood test for HIV can only detect the infection after at least a month of contracting the virus.
The coagulation test checks how well the blood clots and how long it takes for the blood to clot. These tests include the fibrinogen activity test and prothrombin time test.
Blood clotting is an important body process that stops excessive bleeding after a wound or cut, but having a clot in your artery or vein can be deadly. It can obstruct blood flow to the lungs or heart and cause strokes or heart attacks.
The result varies depending on the underlying conditions or health issues. Your doctor can use your coagulation panel result to diagnose the following:
- Excessive bleeding (haemophilia)
- Liver conditions
- Acute myeloid leukaemia
- Vitamin K deficiency
DHEA-sulphate serum test
The adrenal glands produce the dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) hormone. This test measures the level of DHEA hormone in the blood.
In men, DHEA helps develop body hair and other features unique to them, so having a low level of this hormone is abnormal.
In women, high levels of DHEA will lead to developing male traits such as excess body hair, so women require low levels of this hormone.
Low levels of DHEA in men result from:
- Type II diabetes
- Anorexia nervosa
- Kidney disease
High levels of DHEA in women usually result from:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Abnormal genital development
- Tumour or cancer of the adrenal glands
- Early-onset of puberty from adrenal hyperplasia
C-reactive protein test
The liver produces C-reactive protein (CRP) when body tissues become inflamed. High levels of CRP may be a result of different causes such as:
- Heart disease
- Artery inflammation
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
High levels of CPR increase the risk of heart disease. The range of CRP include:
Low risk: Less than 1mg/L
Intermediate risk: 1 – 2.9mg/L
High risk: Above 3mg/L
Extremely high risk: Above 10mg/L. Having this result requires further testing to diagnose the cause of inflammation in the body
If you want to carry out routine private blood tests London, visit Blood London today or call 020 7183 0244 to schedule an appointment with our experienced doctor. Our private doctor can recommend the right blood tests for you to help identify any disease or condition on time and assess your overall health.