Blood Tests

Types of Blood Tests

Types of Blood Tests

Some of the most common blood tests are:

  • A complete blood count (CBC)
  • Blood chemistry tests
  • Blood enzyme tests
  • Blood tests to assess heart disease risk
STDs that can be detected through urine or blood tests include:
  • chlamydia.
  • gonorrhea.
  • hepatitis.
  • herpes.
  • HIV.
  • syphilis.

Blood testing and genital herpes treatment


Complete Blood Count

The CBC is one of the most common blood tests. It’s often done as part of a routine checkup.

The CBC can help detect blood diseases and disorders, such as anemia, infections, clotting problems, blood cancers, and immune system disorders. This test measures many different parts of your blood, as discussed in the following paragraphs.

Red Blood Cells

Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Abnormal red blood cell levels may be a sign of anemia, dehydration (too little fluid in the body), bleeding, or another disorder.

White Blood Cells

White blood cells are part of your immune system, which fights infections and diseases. Abnormal white blood cell levels may be a sign of infection, blood cancer, or an immune system disorder.

A CBC measures the overall number of white blood cells in your blood. A CBC with differential looks at the amounts of different types of white blood cells in your blood.

Platelets

Platelets (PLATE-lets) are blood cell fragments that help your blood clot. They stick together to seal cuts or breaks on blood vessel walls and stop bleeding.

Abnormal platelet levels may be a sign of a bleeding disorder (not enough clotting) or a thrombotic disorder (too much clotting).

Hemoglobin

Hemoglobin (HEE-muh-glow-bin) is an iron-rich protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Abnormal hemoglobin levels may be a sign of anemia, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia (thal-a-SE-me-ah), or other blood disorders.

If you have diabetes, excess glucose in your blood can attach to hemoglobin and raise the level of hemoglobin A1c.

Hematocrit

Hematocrit (hee-MAT-oh-crit) is a measure of how much space red blood cells take up in your blood. A high hematocrit level might mean you’re dehydrated. A low hematocrit level might mean you have anemia. Abnormal hematocrit levels also may be a sign of a blood or bone marrow disorder.

Mean Corpuscular Volume

Mean corpuscular (kor-PUS-kyu-lar) volume (MCV) is a measure of the average size of your red blood cells. Abnormal MCV levels may be a sign of anemia or thalassemia.

Blood Chemistry Tests/Basic Metabolic Panel

The basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a group of tests that measures different chemicals in the blood. These tests usually are done on the fluid (plasma) part of blood. The tests can give doctors information about your muscles (including the heart), bones, and organs, such as the kidneys and liver.

The BMP includes blood glucose, calcium, and electrolyte tests, as well as blood tests that measure kidney function. Some of these tests require you to fast (not eat any food) before the test, and others don’t. Your doctor will tell you how to prepare for the test(s) you’re having.

Blood Glucose

Glucose is a type of sugar that the body uses for energy. Abnormal glucose levels in your blood may be a sign of diabetes.

For some blood glucose tests, you have to fast before your blood is drawn. Other blood glucose tests are done after a meal or at any time with no preparation.

Calcium

Calcium is an important mineral in the body. Abnormal calcium levels in the blood may be a sign of kidney problems, bone disease, thyroid disease, cancer, malnutrition, or another disorder.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are minerals that help maintain fluid levels and acid-base balance in the body. They include sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, and chloride.

Abnormal electrolyte levels may be a sign of dehydration, kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, or other disorders.

Kidneys

Blood tests for kidney function measure levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (kre-AT-ih-neen). Both of these are waste products that the kidneys filter out of the body. Abnormal BUN and creatinine levels may be signs of a kidney disease or disorder.

Blood Enzyme Tests

Enzymes are chemicals that help control chemical reactions in your body. There are many blood enzyme tests. This section focuses on blood enzyme tests used to check for heart attack. These include troponin and creatine (KRE-ah-teen) kinase (CK) tests.

Troponin

Troponin is a muscle protein that helps your muscles contract. When muscle or heart cells are injured, troponin leaks out, and its levels in your blood rise.

For example, blood levels of troponin rise when you have a heart attack. For this reason, doctors often order troponin tests when patients have chest pain or other heart attack signs and symptoms.

Creatine Kinase

A blood product called CK-MB is released when the heart muscle is damaged. High levels of CK-MB in the blood can mean that you’ve had a heart attack.

Blood Tests To Assess Heart Disease Risk

A lipoprotein panel is a blood test that can help show whether you’re at risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). This test looks at substances in your blood that carry cholesterol.

A lipoprotein panel gives information about your:

  • Total cholesterol.
  • LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. This is the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockages in the arteries. (For more information about blockages in the arteries, go to the Diseases and Conditions Index Atherosclerosis article.)
  • HDL (“good”) cholesterol. This type of cholesterol helps decrease blockages in the arteries.
  • Triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood.

A lipoprotein panel measures the levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels may be signs of increased risk for CHD.

Most people will need to fast for 9 to 12 hours before a lipoprotein panel.

Blood Clotting Tests

Blood clotting tests sometimes are called a coagulation (KO-ag-yu-LA-shun) panel. These tests check proteins in your blood that affect the blood clotting process. Abnormal test results might suggest that you’re at risk of bleeding or developing clots in your blood vessels.

Your doctor may recommend these tests if he or she thinks you have a disorder or disease related to blood clotting.

Blood clotting tests also are used to monitor people who are taking medicines to lower the risk of blood clots. Warfarin and heparin are two examples of such medicines.


This Article is sponsored by the Center for Herpes Genital Treatment


 

herpes-genital-treatment

STD Research Center

If you have sex — oral, anal or vaginal intercourse and genital touching — you can get an STD, also called a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Straight or gay, married or single, you’re vulnerable to STIs and STI symptoms. Thinking or hoping your partner doesn’t have an STI is no protection — you need to know for sure. And although condoms are highly effective for reducing transmission of some STDs, no method is foolproof. Check out our article on Genital Herpes Treatment

STI symptoms aren’t always obvious. If you think you have STI symptoms or have been exposed to an STI, see a doctor. Some STIs are easy to treat and cure; others require more-complicated treatment to manage them.

It’s essential to be evaluated, and — if diagnosed with an STI — get treated. It’s also essential to inform your partner or partners so that they can be evaluated and treated.

If untreated, STIs can increase your risk of acquiring another STI such as HIV. This happens because an STI can stimulate an immune response in the genital area or cause sores, either of which might raise the risk of HIV transmission. Some untreated STIs can also lead to infertility.

Most Common Types of STD’s

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Genital Herpes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Syphilis
  • Bacterial Vaginosis
  • Trichomoniasis

Signs and Symptoms

STDs may not produce any symptoms, especially in women. However, when symptoms do occur, they may include the following:

  • Itching
  • Discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Pus-containing blisters
  • Genital sores including ulcers, blisters, rashes, and warts
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal infection and inflammation of the rectum
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Painful urination
  • Painful sex
  • Bleeding between menstrual cycles
  • Repeated urinary tract infections
  • Swollen lymph glands in the groin

What Causes It?

STDs are caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites spread most often (but not always) through sexual contact. Some STDs can be passed from a mother to her baby during delivery and through breast-feeding while infected. Others may be passed by sharing infected needles.

Common STDs include:

  • AIDS: human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Chlamydia infection: Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Genital herpes: herpes simplex virus (HSV)
  • Genital warts: human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Gonorrhea: Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Syphilis: Treponema pallidum

Who is Most At Risk?

These conditions or characteristics put you at risk for developing STDs:

  • Sexually active adults ages 18 to 28. Teens are at highest risk for acquiring an STD for the first time.
  • Having a sexual partner with an STD. In many cases, the infected person may not have symptoms.
  • Having many sexual partners, or a partner who has many sexual partners
  • Having sex without a condom or other protection
  • Having one STD increases the chance of getting another
  • Living under stress from poverty, poor nutrition, or lack of health care
  • Having anal intercourse increases risk for HIV, gonorrhea, and syphilis
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Using IV drugs and sharing needles