If you’ve recently had blood work done, getting the results of your blood tests back may not necessarily give you a clear-cut answer about the state of your health. At DNF Medical Centers, our Orlando Physicians can not only analyze your blood work results, but also help you understand what your results mean.
Some of the common reasons people have blood work done include testing for the following:
- Blood typing
- Blood glucose level testing to check for signs of diabetes or pre-diabetes
- Blood clotting
- Full blood count testing to check for signs of anemia
- Immunology, to check for antibodies to certain viruses and bacteria
- Kidney function
- Liver function
- Thyroid function
Orlando physicians may use these and other tests to tell a number of things about your health: to see how a condition has progressed over a period of time, to check how your body is responding to a new medication or other intervention, or to help diagnose or rule out a certain condition, to name a few possibilities.
When the results of a blood test come back, they may look like a confusing jumble of abbreviations and unfamiliar words. Some of the terms you may encounter when looking at the results of your blood work are:
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP): This test looks at the body’s systems for turning food into energy. Muscle function, the level of acidity in your blood, kidney function, liver function, and the amount of waste products your body produces can all be looked at from your CMP.
Lipid Panel: The lipid panel looks at the amounts of fat in your blood. The result is usually broken down into two kinds of fat, triglycerides, and cholesterol, and then further broken down into “good” and “bad” cholesterol.
Platelets: Platelets are another ingredient of blood; their job is to help form clots at injuries to help them heal. A high platelet count might mean increased risk of blood clots, and a low platelet count could mean increased risk of excessive bleeding.
Red Blood Cell (RBC) Count: Your red blood cells deliver oxygen from your lungs to all the cells in your body. A high RBC count can be a sign of dehydration or of a heart or kidney condition. Low RBC counts could mean trouble with anemia, nutritional deficiencies, or kidney or bone marrow disease.
White Blood Cell (WBC) Count: The total number of white blood cells in your blood tells your health care provider something about your immune system. An increase in white blood cells could be a sign that your body is fighting off an infection, or that you are allergic to something.
Blood work results are often given as a number that is expected to fit within a certain “range.” The range is the average that most people’s test results in a large population sample fall into. If you receive a test result that falls outside the “normal” range, your doctor can help you understand what this test result means for you and your health.
The results of lab tests can be affected by a number of factors. These include age, gender, chronic health conditions, the last meal you ate, the last time you exercised, and any medications or herbal supplements you’ve taken. To get the most out of your blood work results, check with the Orlando physicians of DNF Medical Centers.