Going to the doctor each year for a routine checkup is a great way to stay healthy, but it is also a great way to detect health problems and risks you didn't even know you had. During a routine checkup, your doctor might suggest running bloodwork. Bloodwork involves testing your blood for a variety of different things, and it can help your doctor find issues that could affect your health.
What Is The Most Common Type Of Blood Test?
The most common type of blood test is called a full blood count (FBC). This test is typically the first type of blood test used, and it can reveal a lot of different issues. A FBC tests several key components of your blood, which include:
- White blood cell count – The white blood cells in your body fight against infections, cancer, and allergies. Low white blood cell counts can indicate problems such as autoimmune disorders, infections, and cancer. High white blood cell counts often indicate problems such as infections and allergies.
- Red blood cell count – Your red blood cells carry oxygen through the body, helping with the circulation. One of the most common causes for low red blood cell counts is due to anemia. If your count is high, it could indicate lung disease or kidney problems.
- Platelets – Platelets are a necessary component of the body for blood clotting. Platelet levels might be low if you have an infection or autoimmune disorder, but they could be high from an infection too.
After your doctor draws your blood, the blood is sent in to a lab for testing. The results are then issued to your doctor, and he or she will examine them. If all of these levels are within normal standards, you are probably healthy and have no issues to be concerned with.
If any of these levels are off, it can indicate a problem. In some cases, doctors will simply complete a second blood test a week or two after your first one when levels are off. This is done simply to make sure it wasn't a fluke of some kind.
What Else Is Tested In A Blood Test?
In addition to testing the main three components of your blood, a FBC may also test several other things relating to your health. This can include:
- Cholesterol level – Your cholesterol level is important to your health, and high levels can put you at risk for problems. During a blood test, you will find out what your bad and good cholesterol levels are at. This will help your doctor determine if you are at risk for having a stroke or heart attack.
- Thyroid function – The thyroid is a small part of the body, but it serves many important roles. One of its main roles is to regulate your metabolism. Testing your thyroid can reveal if it is functioning properly, and this test can often tell if you have an autoimmune disorder of some kind.
- Blood glucose – Getting your blood glucose tested is important if you are at risk for developing diabetes. If your level is too high, it could indicate a problem with the way your body breaks down sugars, and this might require taking medication.
If any of the levels of your test come back abnormal, your doctor may suggest having further testing completed. A blood test will not always reveal what the issue is, but it often helps doctors know where to look to find the issue.
If you have not had a blood test done recently, talk to your doctor about getting one. It could help you learn your health risks and take action to reduce these risks. For more information about blood tests, you can contact a local lab like SmartCare Health and Diagnostics.