Many people dismiss the medical advice of getting annual blood tests and do not get one until things get serious. In fact, blood testing is a sure-fire way to diagnose underlying health conditions.
Your doctor may recommend routine blood tests for the important purpose of catching underlying illnesses before they become an issue. The following is a list of bloodwork that you should get done annually to maintain your health.
This blood test is done to check the levels of the two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). This bloodwork is necessary to have done as you age.
HDL is good cholesterol the body needs. It helps the liver breakdown down toxic substances to remove them from the blood and the body through excretion.
LDL is bad cholesterol. It causes plaque that clogs arteries.
Enzymes are proteins necessary to accomplish certain chemical processes in the body, such as breaking down food substances and growing the body.
An abnormal concentration of these enzymes can be representative of health conditions. For example, high levels of creatine phosphokinase (CPK-1) found in the lungs and brain indicate cancer or brain injuries.
Some sexually transmitted diseases can be diagnosed through bloodwork. However, the test result will be compared to urine test results or infected-tissue swabs to get an accurate diagnosis.
Examples of STIs that can be diagnosed through blood tests are HIV, gonorrhoea, herpes, and chlamydia.
Routine blood count tests ensure that the various components of every major blood cell are at the right level.
Abnormal levels could indicate health issues such as heart conditions, bone marrow issues, nutritional deficiencies, or cancer.
Dehydroepiandrosterone is a hormone secreted from the adrenal gland that helps develop body traits such as hair growth.
The DHEA measures if it is low or high. Low levels in men are not normal, and they could be indicators of AIDS, type 2 diabetes, anorexia nervosa, or kidney disease.
High levels in women can be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome, adrenal gland tumours, or abnormal genital development.
Coagulation tests determine how well your blood clots and how long clotting takes. Clotting is essential after sustaining a wound to prevent haemorrhaging.
Slow blood clotting can be dangerous when you have a serious cut. Issues that may affect clotting include vitamin k deficiency, liver conditions, and thrombosis.
A thyroid panel checks how well your thyroid gland is functioning. A well-functioning thyroid is vital because it regulates bodily functions such as energy levels, mood, and overall metabolism.
Abnormal thyroid function could indicate thyroid growth disorders or low protein levels.
Electrolytes are essential minerals absorbed from food and drinks. They are necessary for regulating bodily functions such as muscle contractions and hydration.
Electrolytes are charged minerals such as chloride, potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and phosphate. An imbalance or abnormal levels of these electrolytes could be a signal of a health condition.
Blood sugar tests ascertain the level of sugar in your blood from the food you eat. When eaten, sugar (a complex carbohydrate) is broken down into smaller components, one of which is glucose.
Glucose is the body’s primary source of energy. Low glucose levels could lead to health conditions such as diabetes. Detecting low levels at an early stage could help ensure proper insulin administration or adopt a special diet to prevent such health conditions.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common in adults. It has an important vitamin that improves cognitive function and boosts energy.
Adults are advised to get this blood test routinely to ensure their B12 level is normal. Low levels of B12 could lead to health conditions such as poor memory and fatigue.
Additional testing may be done to ascertain the root cause of the deficiency and prevent it from occurring again.
Annual blood testing is important. It is instrumental in diagnosing underlying health issues. If you think you may need a blood test, discuss it with your healthcare provider.