Blood tests are one of the basic exams that you will take. It is used to detect conditions or done even after a procedure. But since there are a lot of kinds of blood tests, it is best that you know what result you need to choice the suitable one.
If you want to know about your overall health, then you should take complete blood count or CBC. What happens during this exam, and what results should you expect from this test? Find out here.
What is CBC blood test?
As mentioned, the objective of CBC blood test is to see your overall health. It can also help you detect if you have other complications like leukemia, infection, and anemia. Once you have decided to undergo this type of blood test, expect that you will know about the following:
- White blood cells
- Red blood cells
Once the results come out and it is not normal, expect that the doctor will require you to undergo another exam to evaluate your condition.
Why CBC Blood Test is Done
CBC blood test is actually done for a lot of reasons. Some of these are:
To check your overall health
Your blood is an integral component that can determine a lot of things in your body. Which is why it is no surprise that doctors would recommend that you take this exam to see your health condition. It can also check if you have conditions that do not have symptoms to immediately make a solution.
To diagnose complications
On the other hand, if there are unknown symptoms appearing like inflammation, bleeding, bruising, fever, and fatigue, you should expect that the doctor will require you to have CBC. This is because CBC can give accurate results on the status of your body.
To follow an ailment
Since CBC can already check if you have sicknesses, it can also be used to monitor a certain condition in your body. Most of the time, this is done when you have a problem with your blood.
To follow a treatment
If CBC can monitor an illness, it can also check if the medicine or treatment that you have done or taken has an effect in your body. So if you have a terrible ailment and the doctor asked you to take some pills, he or she might check the progress of these medications through CBC blood test.
What should you expect?
Unlike other tests, you are not required to go fasting before taking this exam. But in the event that the blood test is going to be an additional exam for other ailments, then there can be an instance wherein you have to avoid drinking or eating for some hours.
Once you are already in the clinic or hospital, the medical professional will then ask you to bend your elbow. Then, he or she will carefully insert a needle to your arm. The sample will be taken to the lab for analysis.
Most of the time, the doctor will no longer require you for additional test after CBC. Only when the result is unclear should you expect a follow-up.
Results You Should Expect
There are three main areas that will be checked by CBC. The red blood count, white blood count, and platelet count. Learn more about these below.
In checking the platelet count, you need to see if it is lower or higher than normal. Once that you do not have a normal status, it means that you have a medical condition. Sometimes, this could be an effect of the treatment that you are undergoing. In worse cases, the doctor might suggest that you take another exam.
White blood cell count
If you have a low white blood cell count or leukopenia, then you have a tendency to have an autoimmune disorder that can result in cancer, bone marrow problems, or destruction of white blood cells. Just like the platelet count, there can be treatments that can cause it to be low as well.
On the contrary, if the result is above normal, then you can have inflammation or infection. Others might say that you have a bone marrow disease or immune system disorder.
Red blood cell count as well as hematocrit and hemoglobin
These 3 are interconnected as they are part of the red blood cell. In case these are lower than usual, then the ailment that you have is anemia. This disorder is caused by weakness and fatigue. Other causes of this condition are blood loss and low levels of vitamins and iron.
But when the red blood cell count is higher than average, it means that you have heart disease. Take note that it can only be heart disease when the red blood cell counts are too high.
Other Blood Tests
Aside from CBC, there are tons of blood tests available. Some of these are:
- Chem 7 – It is also called as blood chemistry. Its main function is to check the number of enzymes in your blood. It also sees to it that the kidney is functioning properly.
- PPT, PT, and INR – these are called coagulation panel which monitors blood clots.
- Liver enzymes – The main purpose of this exam is to see if the liver is doing fine.
- Arterial blood gas – Also called ABG, it sees the respiratory system to make sure that it is functioning normally.
There are other blood tests types available. So be sure that before you take one, you know exactly what you need. Otherwise, you might end up taking a blood test that you do not actually need. It would be a waste of both your money and time if that happens.
Overall, the CBC blood test is an important blood test that sees your overall condition. It tackles four different blood counts to see if you have underlying conditions, medical issues, and other health problems. You will not have to worry a lot about this test as it does not require fasting.