When you have “lab tests” done, they’re generally performed to check samples of your blood and urine. Even during your annual physical checkups, your doctor will likely order various laboratory tests in order to monitor your health and diagnose a potential medical condition.
Different lab tests can detect and measure different types of chemical components in the blood or urine. These components can include electrolytes, enzymes, blood glucose (sugar), hormones, lipids (fats), and other substances whose levels can help your physician in diagnosing underlying medical conditions that affect your health.
Let’s talk about what lab tests are, why they’re performed, and what they can detect about your health.
Types of Laboratory Tests
The basic lab tests that patients most frequently undergo are the following:
Complete Blood Count
A complete blood count (CBC) is performed to evaluate your health by analyzing whether your blood cells are in proper proportion. These blood cells include platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells, as well as their proportion in the plasma and the hemoglobin levels. This test can help in evaluating and diagnosing medical conditions like anemia, leukemia, and any infections.
Basic Metabolic Panel
A basic metabolic panel is a laboratory test that measures glucose and other metabolic features in the blood. It can help in determining electrolyte and fluid balance as well as blood sugar levels. The basic metabolic panel can help your doctor monitor the efficacy of medications you are taking.
Urinalysis is a general screening test and is often the first laboratory test to be performed, thanks to its noninvasive nature. It can be used to detect early signs of disease and can monitor diabetes and other kidney illnesses.
Why Are Lab Tests Done?
Regular physical examinations are one of the most important ways in which we can stay on top of our overall well-being. During a checkup, the doctor usually asks us to fast the night before so we can come prepared to have the medical team conduct a urine test and blood test.
Fasting, and only drinking water, will ensure that – for example – the blood test will not misconstrue high or low blood-sugar levels due to food you recently ate. On the other hand, fasting ensures that any high blood sugar counts actually indicate diabetic tendencies. The blood test will also measure cholesterol (lipid, or fat) levels in the blood.
Fasting will ensure a pure and accurate urinalysis as well. A physical is often where people find out that they have a urinary tract infection (UTI), which otherwise shows very few obvious symptoms. A urinalysis can also be used to discover kidney disease or diabetes.
What a Lab Test Can Find
A blood lab test can be performed to analyze the proper functioning of the following bodily organs and systems:
A blood test can also be used to look for indicators of cancer, HIV/AIDS, and anemia. Your blood can be evaluated to determine how well a medication is working for you, and whether you have any blood-clotting issues.
In addition to routine checkups, your doctor may also perform laboratory tests for any of the following reasons:
- You have been experiencing unusual symptoms such as abnormal weight gain, chronic pain, or unexplained fatigue.
- You want to optimize your health by making beneficial changes to your lifestyle and diet.
- You want to reduce your risk of having certain diseases that run in your family.
Family Doctors in Midlands, SC
If you are looking for a convenient medical clinic that can take care of you and your whole family for health issues of all kinds, SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation is here for you. We are a full-service clinic that has many things in-house, which means you won’t have to go elsewhere for your annual blood tests and scans.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, call our team today at (803) 749-1111 or fill out our online appointment request form now. Let us be your medical partner for a lifetime of health and wellness!