A sample in a vaal

What Is A CBC Blood Test, And When Should You Take It? 

A sample in a vaal

Managing your health can be a difficult task if you don’t know what issues you have going on in your body. Even a seemingly healthy person can have underlying problems they don’t know about unless they run the proper tests and one of those tests is a CBC blood test. A CBC test is one type of specialized test that is used to do just that. It can detect problems that may otherwise go undetected or that are mistaken for less serious issues.

If you’re unfamiliar with a CBC blood test, that’s ok. In this post, we are going to discuss what is a CBC lab test, what it checks for, and when to know whether you should take one.

What is a CBC blood test?

A CBC test is also known as a complete blood count or full blood count test, and it measures a number of factors that have to do with your blood. Most people think of blood as a single component of the body, but multiple components within the blood can determine a variety of health factors. This means that a CBC test is important for your overall health and for detecting conditions that may otherwise go unnoticed.

vials with blood
blood vial on a medical questionnaire

What Does A CBC Test Measure?

The first component that the CBC test checks are the red blood cell count. Red blood cells are the most numerous cells in the blood and are responsible for one of the most important jobs in the body. Red blood cells transport oxygen to all the other cells in the body. Without oxygen, these cells would die off and cease to function.

In other words, they control our other cells’ ability to live and perform the tasks they are meant to do.

Among other things, a low red cell count can cause fatigue, dizziness, and heart palpitations. One of the most common conditions that can result in a low blood cell count or poor oxygenation of the cells is iron deficiency anemia.

The CBC test also measures your white blood cell count, which is responsible for the health of your immune response and your overall ability to fight off infections and disease. If this count is low, it can be a sign of infection or autoimmune deficiency. Patients who have undergone treatment for cancer or are on specific medications may also have a low white blood cell count,

The next component the test checks is the platelet count found in the blood. Platelets are responsible for the body’s wound recovery response. When a person is injured, platelets are what help cells rebuild and recover. Unlike other issues, the low platelet count can be caused by issues such as pregnancy and medication use, which may not be related to an underlying medical issue.

Lastly, a CBC test checks the concentration of hemoglobin and hematocrit in your blood. These substances are responsible for the transport of oxygen, clotting, and other factors essential to normal blood function.

When should you get this test?

You should get this test if ordered by a doctor or if you notice symptoms of a particular issue such as iron deficiency anemia. It is easier to treat with options such as IV iron infusions if you notice this issue. Compared to taking supplements, IV infusions are a faster and more effective method to replace minerals and nutrients your body is missing and recover from deficiencies.

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Lab Testing - Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to do lab tests occasionally?

It is important to do lab tests occasionally because they can provide valuable information about an individual's health and help to identify potential health issues early on. Lab tests can measure a wide range of factors, including blood count, cholesterol levels, liver and kidney function, and hormone levels, and can provide insight into an individual's overall health and wellness. Additionally, lab tests can help to diagnose and monitor the progression of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and can help to identify any potential health risks or concerns. By doing lab tests occasionally, individuals can take proactive steps to maintain their health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of potential health problems in the future.

What does a routine blood test cover?

A routine blood test is used to check for a range of things, including your blood count and the levels of certain chemicals and substances in your blood. Blood tests can also be used to check how well certain organs, such as your liver and kidneys, are functioning.

How is a blood sample collected for lab testing?

A blood sample for lab testing is typically collected through a process called venipuncture, which involves inserting a small needle into a vein to draw blood. This is usually done on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.

What is the cost of a lab test?

In general, the cost of a lab test can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. It is always best to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to get an accurate estimate of the cost of a lab test.

Read More: Lab Testing FAQ