appointment
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Home Articles General Health Common Blood Tests - Basic Information
Common Blood Tests - Basic Information

note - The following is a list of common blood tests and descriptions of what they measure. Please note that I am not a medical doctor and for more information, please consult your physician. This information was gathered from the internet.
- Dr. Moore

Blood Tests


Complete blood cell count (CBC) - The most common blood test performed by your doctor. This will check for things like low iron (anemia), infections, some cancers, arthritis and inflammations, and immune system functionality. The test does all this by checking your white blood cell count, red blood cell count and platelets count.

Electrolytes - Electrolytes are a specific combination of minerals that your body needs to keep in balance in order to function properly. Common symptoms of imbalance are leg cramps, heart palpitations, high or low blood pressure and swelling in the legs and feet. An electrolyte imbalance can lead to kidney failure, heart attack and death. If you have an eating disorder, please note that dehydration, malnutrition, self-induced vomitting and laxative and/or diuretic abuse can all cause imbalances in the electrolytes.

Potassium - An essential mineral in your body that helps maintain electrolyte balance. Common symptoms of depleted potassium are muscle cramps, problems with skin, continuous thirst, and decreased blood pressure.

Calcium - An essential mineral in your body that helps maintain electrolyte balance. Common symptoms of depleted calcium are arm and leg numbness, headaches, fragile bones, insomnia, and muscle cramps.

Sodium - An essential mineral in your body that helps maintain electrolyte balance. Common symptoms of depletion are appetite loss, cramps, fatigue, eye disturbances, vomiting, confusion, and weakness.

Phosphorus - An essential mineral in your body that helps maintain electrolyte balance. Common symptoms of depleted phosphorus are appetite loss, bone pain, fatigue, irregular breathing, dental problems, and heart and kidney problems.

Magnesium- An essential mineral in your body that helps maintain electrolyte balance. Common symptoms of depletion are aching muscles, anxiety, confusion, decreased blood pressure and body temperature, noise sensitivity, and rapid pulse.

B12 and Folic Acid - Folic Acid and the B Complex Vitamins can play a role in the onset of Depression and Anxiety. Lack of B12 and Folic Acid can lead to, or be caused by problems with the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates and fat, and with the body's ability to absorb nutrients.

Blood glucose (blood sugar) - can determine things like hypoglycemia and diabetes. A disturbance can be caused by dehydration and malnutrition and an elevated or low blood sugar level can be dangerous.

Kidney function tests - Performed to determine poor kidney function, kidney disease or the risk of kidney disease posed by some medications. If you have an eating disorder or take certain medications, your doctor may do these tests at least yearly.

Liver function tests - Can be important in determining things like gallbladder disease, liver disease, over-exercising or if a patient has had a heart attack, because of the enzymes that might be found to be elevated. If you have an eating disorder or take certain medications, your doctor may do these tests at least yearly.


Cholesterol - It is important to be sure that the levels of "good" and "bad" cholesterol are where they should be. High "bad" cholesterol (LDL - low density lipoprotein) and/or not enough "good" cholesterol (HDL - high density lipoprotein) can lead to a heart attack and death. Comupsive overeating can lead to this imbalance.

Thyroid function tests - These are important tests if you are experiencing an eating disorder, depression or anxiety disorders. The Thyroid is a gland that controls the body's metabolism -- people with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroid) may have a problem gaining weight -- people with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroid) may have a problem losing weight. Thyroid problems can also mimic depression and/or agitation.



Urine Tests


Ketones (or Ketoacidosis) - Ketones can accumulate in the blood rather quickly when the body is starved of food and nutrients. It indicates that the body is "eating its own fat" for energy. Accumulation of Ketones in the blood can lead to Ketoacidosis which can cause coma and death.

Complete Urinalysis - A urinalysis will help aid in the doctors ability to accurately diagnose a variety of systemic diseases and urinary tract disorders, as well as the function of the kidneys, urine sugar and ketone levels.



Other Tests


Blood pressure reading - for very low blood pressure (Anorexia and Bulimia) or very high blood pressure (compulsive overeating). Your doctor may check your pressure three different ways -- first laying down, then sitting and then standing -- to check your orthostatic blood pressure.

Bone density test - for any bone loss (osteopenia or osteoporosis) caused by calcium, vitamin D and/or magnesium deficiencies, and/or hormonal imbalances (Amenorrhea, loss of the menstrual cycle in women, can increase the risks of developing osteoporosis at an early age).

Electrocardiogram or Echocardiogram - for heartbeat irregularities if there is any complaint of the following: palpitations, shortness or breath, or pain or pressure in the chest.


 
Please update your Flash Player to view content.