When Do I Need To Get A Blood Test?
When Do I Need To Get A Blood Test? Did you know that millions of Americans and Canadians suffer from blood-related diseases and disorders? While many of these conditions are treatable you must catch them as early as possible to combat them. That’s why it’s important to get your blood regularly tested.
Unfortunately, blood tests can make many people nervous and squeamish. If you fall in this category, then you’re probably wondering what exactly a blood test entails. Luckily, you’re in the right place.
In the article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about blood tests. We’ll also help you find a blood test near me, so you can get treated as soon as possible. Let’s get started!
What Is a Blood Test?
Blood tests are a common type of medical procedure that is often ordered by your doctor to check the status of your body. Some blood tests require special preparation (like not eating for eight hours or not taking prescription drugs).
However, most of them don’t require any type of special preparation. The most important part of a blood test is to check for any potential diseases or medical conditions.
For one thing, these types of tests are important for examining how systems of your body, like your heart, liver, thyroid, and kidneys, are working. It can also be used to diagnose a variety of diseases, including:
Blood tests can also help your doctor determine if you display potential risk factors for heart disease. They tell your doctor whether or not your blood is clotting. And, finally, they can be used to check if the medicine you’re taking is working.
How Often Should You Get Your Blood Tested?
Most of the time, your doctor will recommend that you get your blood tested at least once a year. Typically, this will occur at the same time as your annual physical.
This is the standard for if you have normal blood with no irregularities that might cause concern. However, if you have abnormal blood readings, then you might require multiple ones a year to see whether or not changes are occurring.
How to Find a Blood Test Near Me
Your doctor will typically order you to get a blood test during your checkup or appointment. Many family care or primary care facilities have blood testing labs on-site.
This is convenient because you don’t need to go to a second location to get tested. However, if they don’t have on-site testing facilities, then you will need to go to a privately-owned lab.
Luckily, there are plenty of blood test labs around you. Simply visit this resource to “Find a Lab Near You”. Or, you can ask your doctor for a recommendation. They can likely point you toward testing facilities that are reliable and well-managed.
Just make sure you do a bit of research before selecting a lab location. Labs with lots of negative reviews might provide unreliable test results that can complicate your diagnosis.
Are Blood Tests Covered By Insurance?
Typically, blood tests are fully, or at least partially, covered by your medical insurance. Getting your tests done through your medical provider helps ensure that you’re charged a fair price for the service.
Alternatively, you can order blood tests without the help of a doctor or medical insurance. However, this isn’t typically recommended. Without the help of insurance, blood work can be pretty expensive. As such, you should think twice before you commit to it.
What You Should Expect From a Blood Test
When you’re ready to get your blood taken a lab attendant will have you sit down. Then, they’ll slip an elastic band around your arm and tighten it. This will help expose a vein in your arm to make it easier to stick the needle in.
A small needle is then inserted under your skin. Then, a small amount of blood is sucked out. Typically the procedure is quick and simple. It usually won’t last longer than five minutes. For most people, there are no complications in the procedure.
Do Blood Tests Hurt?
There is slight discomfort when you get your blood drawn. It does slightly hurt when the need goes in and blood comes out. For most people, this pain is bearable and easy to deal with.
However, some people might feel queasy when they give blood. This small group of people begins to feel faint when they overthink the idea of blood leaving the body. If you fall in this group, then it’s important to let your lab technician know.
That way, they can have you lay down instead of sitting down. This makes it much safer in case you lose consciousness during the procedure.
Ideally, a good attendant can help take your mind off the procedure by asking you unrelated questions while it’s happening. This allows you to stay distracted while the blood is being drawn.
Popular Types of Blood Tests
There are many different types of blood tests you can get. Some of these are required to see whether or not you’re suffering from a certain type of disease or condition. Others just provide a general assessment of your blood.
This section will briefly go over some of the most common types of blood tests and what types of things they measure. Check out this guide to learn more about the different types of tests.
Complete Blood Count
If you’re getting a routine check-up, then odds are you’ll likely get a complete blood count test. This is one of the most common types of blood tests.
This type of test is ideal for the early detection of immune system disorders, anemia, cancer, clotting problems, and other types of blood infections. A complete blood count looks at the various aspects of your blood, including:
Red blood cells — which carry oxygen throughout your body
White blood cells — which fight against infections
Platelets — blood fragments that assist in clotting
Hemoglobin — a type of protein found in red blood cells
Hematocrit — the amount of space that your red blood cells take up in your body
Mean corpuscular volume — the average size of your red blood cells
Basic Metabolic Panel
If your doctor wants a closer look at how your heart, muscles, bones, kidney, liver, and other organs are functioning, then they’ll likely order a basic metabolic panel.
This type of test measures the levels of specific chemicals found in your blood. Specifically, it looks at:
Glucose — the type of sugar that your blood uses for energy
Calcium — an important mineral found in the blood
Electrolytes — minerals that assist the body in maintaining fluid levels
Creatine — waste product of the kidneys
Keep in mind that some of these tests require you to fast for around eight hours before the test. However, your doctor will let you know if this is necessary before the test.
Complete Metabolic Panel
A complete metabolic panel covers everything that’s found in a basic metabolic panel. However, in addition to this, it also measures more levels of proteins that are related directly to your kidney.
As such, it’s ideal for diagnosing more rare types of kidney diseases. In addition to the chemicals measured in the BMP test, a complete metabolic panel will also measure:
Alkline phosphatase (or ALP)
Alanine aminotransferase (or ALT)
Aspartate aminotransferase (or AST)
Blood Enzymes Test
Blood enzymes tests are an important way to check for heart attacks. Enzymes are found in the body to control chemical reactions. Specifically, these types of tests look at troponin and creatine kinase.
Troponin is a type of protein that’s found in your muscles. When your heart is hurt, then troponin levels rise significantly. Similarly, creatine kinase is also released at high levels when the heart experiences damage. As such, they can help determine if you’ve had a minor heart attack.
Blood Tests That Assess the Risk of Heart Disease
Some people are predisposed to certain risks that cause heart disease. As such, blood tests like a lipoprotein panel, help determine whether or not you fall in this category.
It does this by measuring the level of cholesterol found in your blood. Individuals with higher levels of cholesterol are more at risk for developing heart disease.
We hope this article helped you answer the question, Where can I find a blood test near me? As you can see, there is no shortage of areas to get your blood work done. So, all that’s left to do is to undergo a bit of discomfort.
However, even if you’re nervous about getting your blood drawn, it’s important to remember that it’s still a vital part of checking up on your health.
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