Physical exams typically focus on your health and wellness, aiming to prevent future illness and monitoring past problems or existing conditions. A common part of your exam includes a blood draw. Various tests can be run on your blood sample, usually focusing on aspects of health relevant to you but also including other general screenings that apply to your age, gender, or other criteria.
Dr. John Monroe and the team at Healthy Life Family Medicine regularly track your blood tests to ensure your wellness both today and over time. We’ve prepared this blog to give you an idea of the scope of routine blood work so you can better understand how this powerful medical diagnostic works.
The blood test process
There’s no special preparation needed for many types of blood tests. Some tests require fasting before a blood draw, typically 8-12 hours. If you require such a test, we will inform you ahead of time.
The test starts with a rubber band secured around your upper arm. This restricts blood flow in the veins, causing them to bulge slightly for easy identification. Though blood tests use a hollow needle to take blood from your vein, you’ll feel only a momentary pinch while inserting the needle. Otherwise, you won’t feel much. Depending on the number of screenings you need, the technician may fill a few small vials.
After the test, you may be asked to hold a cotton ball or piece of gauze over the test point for a few seconds before application of an adhesive bandage. Usually, there’s no more than a drop or two of bleeding after your test.
What your routine blood work can tell you
Blood tests can reveal information about the health of various organs in your body. They can help to identify nutritional deficiencies while also recognizing markers of conditions and diseases like anemia, cancer, diabetes, and more. Let’s look at some of the most common tests done on your blood and what they can reveal.
- Complete blood count (CBC): checks the levels of 10 blood cell components
- Basic metabolic panel (BMP): measures the amounts of eight substances in the blood, including glucose, sodium, and calcium
- Comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP): adds more checks to the BMP, including albumin and total protein, among others
- Lipid panel: a test of cholesterol levels
- Cardiac biomarkers: enzyme levels in the blood reveal clues about heart function
- Thyroid panel: tests for thyroid hormone levels to assess thyroid function
- Coagulation panel: tests for proper clotting function of your blood
- Sexually transmitted disease testing: infections like gonorrhea, HIV, syphilis, and chlamydia can be detected in the blood
These are just a few tests that can be run on blood samples. Usually, routine blood work includes CBC, BMP, thyroid panel, and testing of vital nutrients like B vitamins and iron.
Visit Healthy Life Family Practice in Goodyear, Arizona, by calling 623-889-3477 to book an appointment today.