How Often Do I Need Blood Work?

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How often do you search for a ‘health care clinic near me’ on the web? That’s because one can have a wide range of health and wellness needs. Health care clinics can help you with both preventive health care and with ongoing health and wellness needs.

 

 

As part of preventative healthcare, specific tests can be done to keep track of your health even if you are otherwise perfectly healthy. One of the most effective ways to keep track of your physical well-being is to have regular blood tests. Getting tested at regular intervals can help you recognize how your body changes over time and empower you to make better health-care decisions.

 

Even if you’re seemingly well or have a minor health issue, most health consults include a routine blood test. But what are doctors looking for in these blood work numbers? And how frequently do we have to have blood drawn? Here is a guide to keep you informed.

What is actually being checked or monitored in a general blood test ?

Blood tests are critical when it comes to evaluation of changes in the body over time, as well as assisting in early diagnosis of possible health issues. Also, any change in your body caused by any medical condition will first reflect in your blood, therefore it becomes easy to identify. Your physician will prescribe routine blood work based on your age, gender, medical history, and family risk factors. Blood sugar levels, blood cell counts, and metabolic functions (how your body converts what you eat and drink into energy) are checked as part of the baseline tests. In most cases, your doctor will order panels that check several things simultaneously. Some of the most common blood tests in general care are as follows:

1. Complete Blood Count (CBC)

Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are checked during a Complete Blood Count (CBC) test. These tests allow doctors to determine if there is a problem with your blood cell levels. The amount of hemoglobin in your blood is also measured by blood cell counts. Hemoglobin is the primary oxygen-carrying pigment in the blood. In addition to hemoglobin, blood cell counts reflect hematocrit or the volume of blood containing red blood cells. Any abnormal increase or reduction indicates an underlying health issue and should be investigated further.

2. Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)

A Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) tests blood filtration, blood sugar, and electrolyte levels to determine renal function, lung function, and blood sugar levels. This test can detect common kidney, lung, and diabetes or pre-diabetes issues. A metabolic panel, tests for the following:
  • Mineral ions and electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, calcium, and sodium.
  • Markers and enzymes secreted by the liver, spleen, kidneys, and glands.
  • Urea, ammonia, and creatinine like excretory products.
  • Blood sugar levels and specific proteins that indicate organ function.
The test is extremely specific and accurate. Observing abnormal numbers on a metabolic panel can often detect several early symptoms of a disease.

3. Lipid Panel

Triglycerides, which are fat droplets that float freely in the blood, and cholesterol, which is a complex fat molecule – both occur in the blood. The lipid panel is a crucial risk assessor for heart disease since it assesses the level of these chemicals in your blood. Obese persons, people with a family history of heart disease, and people reaching middle age are all candidates for this test. The test examines:
  1. Triglycerides
  2. High-density lipoprotein (aka good cholesterol)
  3. Low-density lipoprotein (aka bad cholesterol)
  4. Very-low-density lipoprotein (aka the component that creates the greatest risk of heart diseases)

Other commonly prescribed blood tests include:

  • Mineral Panel Test – Many individuals have inadequate amounts of iron, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Nutrient testing can detect these deficiencies.
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Test – Thyroid testing examines the thyroid gland, which controls important hormones and impacts mood, energy, and metabolism.
  • Hemoglobin (Hgb) Test – A hemoglobin A1C test provides a more accurate overall picture of blood sugar for diabetic individuals than basic glucose testing.
  • C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Test – The liver creates a protein called C-Reactive Protein when the body is inflamed. Massive trauma, intoxication, poisoning, autoimmune illnesses, and cardiac disease are possible causes. C-Reactive Protein tests are critical in detecting major disorders, such as heart disease.
The frequency of your blood tests is determined by your health and your doctor’s opinion. Your doctor may prescribe blood testing frequency as per one of these:
  1. During your yearly general physical examination, you can be recommended annual blood tests. Results will allow the doctor to examine the functioning of your body more closely and detect any early warning signals of a variety of medical disorders.
  2. If you are obese, diabetic, have heart disease, hypertension, liver disease, or kidney disease, your doctor will recommend more frequent blood tests. Individuals with underlying problems may require blood tests every three to six months.
  3. Symptoms that appear suddenly, such as shortness of breath, exhaustion, frequent urination, and swelling in the legs and face, all necessitate a doctor’s visit right away. A series of blood tests will be ordered by the doctor in order to make a thorough assessment of any potential disease and final diagnosis.

How Frequently Should You Get A Blood Test?

Your doctor should have a detailed history of your symptoms, any previous medical problems, as well as the medical history of your family before prescribing a frequency for your routine blood test.

Does Blood Work Change As We Age?

Many blood tests are the same for all individuals, but as we become older, some of them may be required more often. For younger adults, a lipid panel every five years is sufficient (unless you have a family history of high cholesterol). However, as you enter your 40s or 50s, your doctor may increase the frequency of your tests. Thyroid panels are also ordered more commonly in elderly persons by doctors. Other blood tests that are commonly performed on senior citizens include:
  • Blood clotting tests (PT/INR) for seniors on blood thinners
  • Heart function testing using the BNP peptide
  • Serum iron test measures the amount of iron in the blood.
  • Vitamin B-12 test to measure the amount of B-12 in the blood.
For sexually active young adults, your doctor may recommend HIV and other sexually transmitted disease tests.

How Long Does Blood Work Take?

The majority of blood tests take between 24 and 72 hours to complete after the sample is collected. This is the average waiting time, which varies based on the laboratory and the nature of the tests. The large percentage of labs will send your test results to your doctor’s office or a service user web portal.

What Should You Eat or Not Eat Before Blood Work?

Before taking a sample, most doctors advise that you keep your stomach empty. Blood sugar, lipids, metabolic panels, and liver function tests are all affected by food. The fasting window generally ranges between 8-12 hours depending on the type of blood test prescribed. However, consult with your doctor or the phlebotomist to confirm correct fasting durations. To avoid daytime fasting, plan your sample collection right before breakfast in the morning.

What Should I Expect At The Time Of Blood Draw?

A phlebotomist will clean the skin over your vein before collecting the sample, which is a simple procedure. Depending on the number of tests and their requirements, the samples will be collected in a few test tubes. A sterile bandage or cotton is applied to the puncture site. Although your primary care clinic will fill a different vial for each panel, you may only need one needle. Samples are sent to a lab by your doctor’s office, and results are usually received within a few days. If one of your baseline blood tests returns abnormal findings, additional tests may be recommended by your provider.

The Importance of the Blood Work Procedure

Patient-centered medicine is based on an understanding of each individual’s needs. Blood tests allow us to create a baseline for vital functions and then monitor them on a regular basis. At EliteCare Health Care Centers, we aim to ensure that everything inside your body is running smoothly and that any possible problems are identified as soon as possible. We understand that some patients are apprehensive about going to the doctor, but it’s the best way to figure out any medical conditions early on. Diagnosis and treatment can begin in the initial stages of the problem. All this can happen by making primary care genuinely routine, with an emphasis on wellness. So let’s fight our inner fears, visit our providers regularly, get checked up, and keep ourselves healthy.


Schedule an appointment now by calling at +1 888-596-2090 to know the components of your blood.

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