With over 7 billion lab tests performed annually in America, clinical lab tests are an essential way to get information to help patients. Lab screenings and tests are a routine part of disease prevention and examining symptoms to find a problem.
Whether you’re getting a physical or being diagnosed for changes in your health, blood tests are a vital way to help determine possible causes of conditions or checking for evidence of a problem you may develop in the future. Let’s look at the type of blood tests you’re likely to get, what they can detect, and how you can prepare for an upcoming test.
Residents in the Little River, South Carolina area who need lab screenings can get help from Dr. Rogers Walker and the medical staff at Walker Urgent & Family Care. Our compassionate team offers a wide variety of diagnostic and treatment options for a variety of acute illnesses and chronic diseases.
What kinds of blood tests are there?
For diagnosing illness or managing conditions, different blood tests are available to get the information we need, including:
- Complete blood count (CBC): examines a variety of blood components, such as the red blood cells, white blood cells, and hemoglobin
- Blood enzyme tests: used for detecting the levels of enzymes in your body
- Blood clotting tests: also known as the coagulation panel, which checks for the protein that helps your blood to clot
- Lipoprotein panel: provides information about your high-density and low-density lipoproteins, (HDL and LDL), triglycerides, and total cholesterol level
- Metabolic panel: looks for the different chemical levels in your blood plasma
Though many tests will be standard for most physicals, the specific blood tests you get will vary as you age, as some tests can be used to target conditions for which you may be at higher risk over time.
What can they detect?
Using these and other blood tests, we can diagnose or manage conditions like:
Checking your blood enzymes, lipoproteins, and other components of your blood can help detect evidence of high cholesterol, heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke.
A CBC or blood clotting test can help identify problems with anemia (iron deficiency, pernicious, aplastic, or hemolytic) and different bleeding and clotting disorders.
A metabolic panel can be instrumental in detecting abnormal glucose levels, which is indicative of diabetes.
Metabolic panels can also detect abnormal levels of calcium and excess waste in the blood, which can lead to kidney issues.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Often combined with urine tests, blood tests can be vital to detecting many STDs, like chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, herpes and syphilis.
Since many of these tests are designed to test your blood under normal conditions, little preparation is necessary most of the time. In some cases, you may be asked to fast for a specific period of time prior to the blood work, often the night before a test.
Your body can give us much information about what is happening internally and what conditions you are likely to encounter in the future. Blood tests are a vital way of getting that information, and if you need blood work done, make an appointment with Dr. Walker and Walker Urgent & Family Care today.