Staying healthy isn’t always free, but expenses should not be relevant when it comes to maintaining the chassis one uses to circumnavigate the world—one’s body. While experts have been encouraging patients to have at least one annual check up blood test, statistics published by the Berkeley University of California indicate that many people across America ignore this essential, commonsense piece of advice. As a matter of fact, the same source informs that some 50 million Americans don’t even have health insurance! If you, however, are one of those who value preventative care and would like to regularly get your blood tested, perhaps it’s time you found out what a complete yearly blood test involves.
The Comprehensive Metabolic Panel looks at a wide variety of factors, which can be indicative of numerous serious, chronic or otherwise life-threatening diseases. The glucose (or sugar level) count indicates whether there is too much sugar in your blood, which would put you at risk for diabetes, or if you are hypoglycemic. The CMP also looks at various waste matters produced by your body, such as uric acid, which gets excreted in urine, blood urea nitrogen, which is generated by the liver and expelled through the kidneys, and the main byproduct of muscular activity, creatinine. It also analyzes the presence of major electrolytes and minerals in your body, in order to check the proper functioning of your muscles, heart, and nervous system, as well as the levels of body fat, proteins and enzymes.
A Complete Blood Count, or CBC, looks at more than just your white and red blood cell numbers. It also analyzes the level of iron production, since its lack indicates a prevalent condition, known as iron-deficient anemia. It also takes into account your hemoglobin count, to see whether or not you are at risk of various vitamin deficiencies, as well as the production of hematocrit. Deficient hematocrit levels can even be indicative of several types of cancer.
For decades, cholesterol has been considered the number one enemy of the circulatory system, and the heart in particular. While current dietary patterns of the general population indicate an excess of cholesterol ingestion, this does not mean that all cholesterol should be avoided—on the contrary, the body cannot function properly without this fatty substance. This test looks at levels of ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ cholesterol and assesses your risk for heart disease. Another class of lipids it takes into account is that of triglycerides, which are especially present in people with highly sedentary lifestyles, alcoholics and those who abuse tobacco products.
There is perhaps no other method more certain and relevant for finding medical symptoms than a urinalysis, urine analysis, or UA. This comprehensive panel of tests looks at just about every marker mentioned above, as well as at one’s levels of ketones, nitrates, sediment present in urine, pH levels and bacteria present in urine secretions. A proper evaluation of test results should also include the gravity of any conditions thus identified.