Blood tests are the most affordable way to know about your health status. “The Challenger figured out how often it’s worth taking it and what indicators to look out for.
When you come to another city, the best way to learn more about it is to walk the streets and talk to locals. When you want to know more about your health, you can learn a lot from a blood test. After all, blood vessels function as streets in the body: they are used by “locals” – various cells and substances that can be used to judge the condition of the whole body.
Today, hundreds of different blood tests and especially COVID-19 tests are available, and even more in scientific laboratories. However, general clinical blood tests are still the most common.
A general blood test
It’s the same “finger blood test” we take the first thing at the clinic when we get sick. By doing it, the lab tech counts the cells in the sample. There are several types of cells in human blood. The most numerous of them are red blood cells responsible for oxygen transport to tissues and organs. They perform this function thanks to the protein in them – hemoglobin. Reducing erythrocyte or hemoglobin is called anemia. A person gets tired more quickly and feels sick all the time.
There are also several types of leukocytes in the blood to protect the body from infection. So when we get sick with, say, a cold, the number of white blood cells in our blood increases. The immune system sends them out to deal with the problem. By the way, this is not the only indicator that changes with infection: there is also usually an increase in COE (stands for “erythrocyte sedimentation rate”).
Finally, there are thrombocytes in the blood. These cells help stop the bleeding when the vascular wall is damaged. Compared to other blood components, their content is more stable, and for the non-specialist, this indicator is not particularly important.
Of course, it’s not a full range of indications, but in other cases, the tests should still be prescribed by a doctor. For routine health checks, you can take a general blood test once or twice a year, which is quite enough.
A biochemical blood test
Biochemical blood tests allow you to learn much more. Strictly speaking, it is not even a single test, but a measurement of the content of an entire group of substances usually contained in human blood. There is no fixed set of indicators in the biochemical blood test, so it is the doctor who prescribes it and assesses the results (here it is more complicated than in the case of a general analysis).
Typically, blood chemistry tests determine liver enzymes, glucose, total bloodprotein, cholesterol, urea, creatinine, and certain other substances circulating in the blood. By changing their content, you can assess your metabolic status, suspect different diseases or predispositions to them.