Blood Testing

A blood test is a simple test that takes just a few minutes. Blood tests can help your healthcare provider check for a variety of diseases and health conditions. 

Blood Testing​

A blood test is a simple test that takes just a few minutes. Blood tests can help your healthcare provider check for a variety of diseases and health conditions. 

Why Do I Need A Blood Test?

A blood test is a simple test that takes just a few minutes. They can help your healthcare provider check for a variety of diseases and health conditions. 

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a blood test can:

  • Check how well your kidneys, liver, thyroid, and heart are working
  • Diagnose diseases and conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, anemia, and coronary heart disease
  • Evaluate if you have risk factors for heart disease
  • Check whether medicines you’re taking are working
  • Assess how well your blood is clotting
 

The healthcare team at South Pointe Healthcare can help determine what tests are right for you. 

When Do I Need A Blood Test?

Blood tests are very common. Many healthcare providers will recommend getting bloodwork at least once per year.

Depending on your existing risk factors for various health conditions or symptoms you are reporting, your primary care provider may recommend a blood test. During an annual wellness exam, your primary care provider may recommend a test, too.

Regular tests can help catch a variety of health conditions and diseases. Many heart, lung, and kidney conditions can be diagnosed, according to Health Line.

Blood tests can be a part of diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), rheumatoid arthritis, vitamin deficiencies, hormone issues, cancers, heart disease, cirrhosis, liver conditions, thrombosis, STDs, hepatitis, and dozens more health issues and diseases.

Getting a test can help you better understand what’s happening in your body. With the results of your test, you may realize unhealthy habits and want to tweak your diet. 

You may also want to get a test if you are experiencing unusual symptoms, such as weight gain or fatigue. 

Your primary care provider can help determine how often you should get a blood test and which blood tests to get.

Common Blood Tests

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): This test checks on your red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. This test can help diagnose certain cancers, heart conditions, nutritional deficiencies (such as being low in vitamin B-12), iron deficiency, bone marrow issues, tissue inflammation, and infections.

  • Basic Metabolic Panel: This test checks on your electrolytes, calcium, glucose, sodium, potassium, carbon dioxide, chloride, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine levels. This test can help diagnose hormone imbalances, diabetes, and kidney conditions.

  • Thyroid Panel: Thyroid hormones help the body use energy and stay warm as well as keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working properly.

  • Nutrient Test: A blood test can evaluate your levels of vital nutrients, such as iron and B vitamins.

  • Enzyme Markers: If you’re at risk for cancer, liver cirrhosis, stroke, or celiac disease, this type of test can help determine your diagnosis and risk level.

  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases: A blood test can be part of testing for some STDs. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, and syphilis can be diagnosed with a simple test.

How To Prepare

What you need to do to get ready for a blood test depends on what your healthcare provider is testing for, so be sure to ask if you need to do anything specific.

Many blood tests require no preparation. However, some blood tests require not eating any food and avoiding certain liquids (fasting) for a specific amount of time, usually eight or twelve hours. This is common for tests such as a blood sugar test.

What To Expect During A Blood Test

Blood tests only take a few minutes. During your blood test, a small sample of blood will be drawn from a vein in your arm using a needle. You may feel a slight sting when the needle goes in and out. In some cases, a quick finger prick may be used as well.

While a blood test is fast and simple, it could cause some brief discomfort. The healthcare team at South Pointe Healthcare has a great amount of experience with blood draws so you’re in good hands.

Once the blood is drawn, it is sent to a lab to analyze it. The results from a blood test can help diagnose health conditions. 

If you’re feeling scared to have your blood drawn, tell your healthcare team. Try to breathe and distract yourself. It should only take a few minutes. And remember, getting a blood test is an important step in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Once the blood is drawn is over, applying a cotton ball or gauze with a little pressure can help stop the bleeding and prevent bruising. 

How quickly the results from a test are available depends on what the blood test is testing for. 

Do not wait. Take control of your health today.