What can be learned from a blood test?
Before we dive into the importance of blood tests, lets begin by understanding the
basics of blood chemistry.
Blood is a mixture of water and dissolved molecules that travel through arteries and
veins and is an insight to the health and wellbeing of our bodies. Blood is your
body’s main transport system through which oxygen, nutrients, proteins and
waste products are carried to and from organs.
When analyzing blood samples, it is first separated into layers of red blood cells,
white blood cells and plasma. The red blood cells are the main oxygen-carrying
component and their shape, size and reactions are analyzed. The plasma layer,
which is the liquid portion of blood contains the bulk of electrolytes, hormones, proteins and waste products. White blood cells are the cells of the immune system.
Routine blood tests allow us to not only monitor health conditions but to improve
our overall health and fitness.
Laboratory blood tests are a vital part of the diagnostic process, helping physicians
make the correct diagnosis and determine the appropriate course of treatment, or
the right preventative measures.
With more than 100 blood tests available, we can analyze a range of important
health markers from hormone levels, stress hormone levels, immune cell counts and more.
These are a few examples of routine blood tests that I screen for:
Complete Blood Count (CBC) to determine general health status, immune status,
and monitor diseases and conditions that affect red and white blood cells.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) to measure levels of blood sugar to assess
for diabetes risk, and check for any kidney or liver related issues.
Lipid Panel to assess risks for developing heart disease.
More advanced blood and urine tests include tests that screen for blood nutrient
levels (such as B vitamins and zinc) and omega 3 fatty acid levels (which are the
anti-inflammatory fats found in fish).
Personalized comprehensive blood work is the first step in creating a health and
wellness plan that is highly targeted to the individual.
Yours in good health,
Dr. Elizabeth Stavros, ND