Blood tests are a common way to detect many acute or chronic health conditions. Your Secure Health Medical Group Physician may order blood work as part of a routine physical examination, or to help find a cause for any symptoms you may have.
Types of blood work
There are many different types of blood work your doctor can order, depending on your symptoms and health needs. A few types of blood tests include:
Complete Blood Count (CBC), which measures your platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells to check for infections and other abnormalities
C-Reactive Protein, which indicates inflammation that may help predict cardiovascular disease
Fasting blood glucose, which requires you to fast for at least eight hours beforehand, and can help diagnose pre-diabetes or diabetes
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) testing helps measure thyroid function and can help detect mild disease that might progress without intervention
Lipoprotein Panel, which measures your levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, HDL ("good") cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels
What to expect from blood work and testing
For your blood test, a laboratory worker will draw a small sample of blood, usually from your arm or the tip of your finger. This is a brief, simple procedure that may involve only mild discomfort and carries little to no risk for you.
Once the blood is drawn, the laboratory will analyze it based on your doctor’s orders. Staff members will measure the different substances in your blood to see if it falls within normal ranges. Depending on what the results show, your doctor may order additional tests.
Preparing for a blood test
For most blood tests, you do not have to take any special actions or precautions. Some tests, such as blood glucose tests, will require you to fast for a certain amount of time beforehand. Your physician will let you know if this is required for your specific tests.