Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
A doctor may order a blood panel as part of a routine examination or to help confirm a suspected diagnosis. A basic blood panel may be conducted to test for medical conditions such as anemia, leukemia, or the presence of a bacterial infection. A chemistry panel is a more detailed type of blood panel and may be used to detect problems with the liver, kidneys, or thyroid gland. Electrolytes, metabolism, and problems with the pancreas may also be tested through the use of the chemical panel.
A complete blood count is the name of the most common blood panel ordered by doctors. This blood test checks red and white blood cell counts and measures hemoglobin, platelet, and hematocrit levels. These tests are often routinely performed once or twice per year, although they may also be indicated if certain illnesses are suspected.
Red blood cell counts and white blood cell counts are tested through the use of a routine blood panel. A high red blood cell count may indicate heart or lung disease, anabolic steroid use, or dehydration. Low red blood cell counts typically indicate a condition known as anemia, caused by insufficient oxygen levels. Lowered hematocrit levels may suggest internal bleeding or hemorrhage somewhere in the body and often requires further testing.
Platelets are responsible for blood clotting and help prevent excessive bleeding when there is an injury that results in blood loss. Elevated platelet levels may be harmless or may indicate the presence of a serious medical condition called myeloproliferative disorder. Decreased platelets may be caused by leukemia, lupus, or kidney disease.
A chemistry panel may be ordered by a doctor to test for serious illnesses such as liver or kidney failure, electrolyte imbalances, or thyroid problems. If kidney problems are suspected, this blood panel may be used to check creatinine or blood urea nitrogen levels. The liver panel monitors bilirubin, protein, and albumin. Sodium, potassium, and calcium levels are tested using an electrolyte panel. Thyroid hormones may be checked to help diagnose conditions such as hypothyroidism.
In specific cases, additional blood panel types may be ordered by a physician. Fertility panels may be performed to evaluate reproductive health issues. More in-depth blood tests may be performed to test for cancer or heart problems or to confirm results from other blood tests. Any questions or concerns about a specific type of blood panel should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
I have bloodwork on a regular basis, too. I really hate going in fasting, so I usually go in early in the morning.
Here's a tip: drink a bottle of water before you go for bloodwork. It will help "plump" up your veins so the tech can get a vein easier.
Most doctors do order blood work on at least a yearly basis, but if the physician orders a blood panel outside of the normal schedule, it's probably because he or she suspects something is up. It may not be bad, necessarily, just something they need to know about.
Always ask questions about why the blood is needed and what the doctor is looking for. And always make a follow up appointment to discuss the results. Don't try to interpret them yourself.
A decent doctor orders a complete blood panel, including chemistry on his or her patients at least once a year. This will help the doctor hopefully identify issues before they become serious.
Every woman, especially, ought to have a thyroid blood panel every year, and everyone needs a chemistry panel to check cholesterol, Vitamins D and B12 levels, liver and kidney function. As far as I'm concerned, that's just what a responsible, caring doctor does.
I have a complete work up every three months for my blood sugar, kidney and liver function and thyroid. I'm pretty much used to it now, and I know it helps keep me honest where my health is concerned. Blood work doesn't lie.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!