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Understanding Routine Blood Work: What to Expect and Why It’s Important

nurse looking at a blood sample

Routine blood work is vital to staying healthy and addressing potential health issues. It can help identify problems before they become severe and provide valuable information to doctors to aid in diagnosis and treatment. Understanding what to expect before and during a routine blood work procedure and why it is essential helps ensure the process is as smooth as possible. This blog will discuss the basics of routine blood work, what to expect, and why it’s so important.

What Is Routine Blood Work?

Routine blood work is a medical test involving a blood sample that can help diagnose, monitor, and manage many health conditions. There are many types of tests. These tests include diagnostics that measure white and red blood cell levels, platelets, proteins, electrolytes, and other substances in your blood.

Types of blood work tests include:

  • The Complete Blood Count (CBC) measures red and white blood cell counts, hemoglobin, hematocrit levels, and other factors.
  • The Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) assesses electrolytes, proteins, glucose, liver enzymes, and kidney functions.
  • The Lipid Panel gauges cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • The Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Test evaluates how well the thyroid functions.
  • The Vitamin B12 Level Test determines vitamin B12 levels in the blood.
  • The Iron Level Test checks the amount of iron in the blood.
red blood cells in a vein
  • The Prothrombin Time (PT) Test measures how long blood clotting takes.

Benefits of Routine Blood Work

Routine blood work is an invaluable tool for maintaining and monitoring your health. It may help detect potential health issues before they become a more severe concern while providing critical information about ongoing conditions. Here are several of the primary benefits of getting routine blood work done.

Early Detection of Health Issues

Routine blood tests can alert you to developing health issues that may have gone unnoticed. A simple blood test often helps detect issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and other problems before they become more serious.

Monitoring Ongoing Conditions

If you manage a health condition, regular blood tests can help track your condition’s progression and identify any changes in your health status. Blood work is essential for people with chronic illnesses who must regularly monitor their health to manage their condition correctly.

Maintaining Overall Health

Regular blood tests can also help assess your overall health by checking for anemia, vitamin deficiency, kidney and liver function, and infection.

patient consulting with their doctor

Preparing for Routine Blood Work

When you schedule a routine blood work appointment, your doctor will likely provide instructions on preparing for the test. It is essential to follow all of their instructions closely to ensure the accuracy of your results.

When you arrive at the lab or medical facility, the technician or doctor will take a sample of your blood, usually from the arm or hand. They may ask you about your health and medical history during the procedure.

To help prepare for your routine blood work, wear loose-fitting clothes with access to your arm. Avoid caffeine and smoking on the day of your appointment, as these can affect your blood pressure and interfere with the accuracy of your results. Before your routine blood work, your doctor may request you to fast, which typically involves no food or beverages besides water for 8-12 hours before your appointment.

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Depending on your specific blood test, your doctor may advise halting certain medications or supplements before the test. Talk to your doctor about any medications or supplements you are taking so that they can provide specific instructions about what to avoid before testing.

Interpreting Your Results

Once your doctor has received your blood work results, they will explain what each test was looking for and the normal range for that particular test.

Understanding your results and what these numbers mean is crucial in determining if your results are within the normal range or if there are potential issues.

For example, a complete blood count (CBC) checks your sample’s white and red blood cell levels and platelets and scans for anemia, infections, and other conditions. Your doctor may order additional tests for abnormal results to understand your condition better. Depending on the results of your test, they may recommend lifestyle changes, further testing, or a course of treatment. Be sure to ask questions and fully understand what your doctor tells you.

Doctor reading diagnosis

Common Misconceptions about Routine Blood Work

It is a common misconception that blood work is only necessary when sick or feeling unwell. However, regular blood tests can provide crucial insight into your overall health and help identify potential issues before they become serious. Additionally, routine blood tests are not just for older people; people of all ages should consider having their blood tested regularly.

While there are common misconceptions about routine blood work, it is crucial to remember that these tests can provide valuable insight into your overall health and well-being. Regular testing can help detect potential issues early and ensure your body remains in top condition.

Schedule your at Home Lab Test with Driphydration

An in-home lab test is a simple, convenient way to get the answers you need. Samples are collected by one of our medical professionals. We will help you understand your results and recommend the next steps to help you feel your best.

Give us a call or click the button below to schedule an appointment!