Decoding your blood test report5 min read . Updated: 03 Aug 2009, 08:51 PM IST
Decoding your blood test report
Decoding your blood test report
BLOOD SUGAR, FASTING
It is the blood glucose level when you haven’t eaten for at least 8 hours, often the first test for diabetes. A high reading here (more than in postprandial, or PP) indicates diabetes. You shouldn’t eat or drink anything other than water for at least 8 hours before the sample is drawn
BLOOD SUGAR, PP
This is the glucose level exactly 2 hours after a meal. it indicates the need for change of medication or diet regime.
High levels of creatinine can mean serious kidney damage or disease, infection, or cancer. Low levels can indicate liver disease or a low-protein diet. Pregnancy can also lower creatinine levels. Avoid strenuous exercise for two days (48 hours) before the test, do not eat unusually large quantities of meat or any other protein for 24 hours before the test, and drink enough fluids during the 24-hour urine collection. Avoid coffee and tea.
Also See Blood Test Report (PDF)
It helps maintain electrolyte (and hence fluid) balance in the body. Abnormal levels can indicate dehydration, a gastrointestinal (GI) tract infection, hormonal disorders involving the thyroid and adrenal glands, kidney or liver problems, or even heart trouble
It helps the nerves and muscles communicate. Abnormal levels can indicate heart trouble, and high levels can also indicate poor kidney function. Uncontrolled diabetes or GI tract problems can also affect potassium levels
Blood chloride levels can help diagnose conditions causing vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness and respiratory distress
Abnormal levels can indicate kidney or lung diseases, and some metabolic conditions that alter electrolyte balance
BLOOD UREA (NITROGEN)
High urea can indicate kidney problems or infection
This bile pigment is created during the breakdown of haemoglobin (a normal process, as red blood cells are regularly manufactured in bone marrow and replaced in the bloodstream).
• Direct bilirubin
Made in the liver from indirect bilirubin, this is a water-soluble pigment. High levels usually indicate a blocked bile duct
• Indirect bilirubin
It is the insoluble form, which is carried by the bloodstream to the liver. Abnormal levels can indicate gall bladder or liver problems—such as a blocked bile duct, hepatitis, cirrhosis—or a side effect of certain medicines. Don’t eat or drink for at least 4 hours before the test. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking drugs that affect the results
It measures the serum (blood) level of the enzyme glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT), found in the liver, muscle (including the heart) and red blood cells. It is released when these cells are damaged. High levels can indicate gall bladder disease or liver damage from infection (such as viral hepatitis), toxins (such as alcohol) or cancer.
It measures the blood level of the enzyme glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT), very concentrated in the liver and released when liver cells are damaged.
A low reading means anaemia (when your blood can’t carry enough oxygen to other cells). A high reading can indicate other forms of anaemia (blood disorders such as thalassaemia, sickle cell disease, etc
Total leukocyte count or TLC reflects the number of white blood cells in your blood. Since they fight infection, high levels indicate bacterial infection or allergy. Low levels may mean a viral infection or typhoid.
• Platelet count
Platelets help blood to clot when there is an often associated with a bleeding disorder. Too high can also mean a bleeding or clotting disorder.
Total cholesterol can indicate risk of cardiovascular disease. A diet of saturated fats and some drugs can increase cholesterol readings. High triglycerides and low HDL (high-density lipoprotein) are common in diabetes too.
HDL, or good cholesterol, prevents plaque build-up in arteries
Low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, is the main source of build-up and blockage in arteries
This is the most common form of fat in the blood. High levels can be due to obesity, diabetes, kidney failure and more. An excess thickens the blood, increasing the risk of a blockage or clot that can result in a stroke or heart attack. For diabetics and those with a history of cardiovascular disease, high risk of heart problems means more stringent control of triglycerides is needed.
• VLDL cholesterol
Very low density lipoproteins help distribute triglycerides through the bloodstream. They also convert into LDL, which can eventually clog blood vessels.
Courtesy: Rommel Tickoo, consultant, internal medicine, Max Hospital, New Delhi.
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