Author: Dr.Biji Anilkumar (Laboratory Medicine – WELLKINS Medical Centre)
Even if we take pride in owning our bodies, we often remain unaware of what is happening inside. But our doctors can help us in this regard by using their clinical knowledge and various diagnostic tools. Regular clinical examinations and diagnostic tests can help to detect many diseases at an early stage. For example, cholesterol and blood pressure tests can identify cardiovascular risks. Mammograms and Pap smears aid in detecting breast and cervical cancers, respectively. By undergoing screenings, we can identify risk factors and take proactive steps to minimize chances of developing many diseases. Moreover early detection significantly increases the chances of successful outcomes and reduces the risk of complications. Now let’s discuss some simple blood tests that can provide valuable insights into a person’s overall health status.
Complete Blood Count (CBC):
A complete blood count (CBC) is a common blood test that provides important information about the composition of your blood. It includes parameters such as hemoglobin value, red blood cell count, white blood cell count, and platelet count. Red blood cells carry the hemoglobin molecule, which is important for transporting oxygen in our blood. White blood cells are important for fighting against infections and allergies. Platelets help in blood clotting. The CBC results can detect and monitor various conditions such as anemia, infections, bleeding disorders, and even blood-related cancers.
Blood Glucose Test:
If you have a family history of diabetes, lead a sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity, or are overweight or obese, you have a higher chance of developing diabetes. Blood glucose test, also known as blood sugar test, helps to determine whether you have normal, pre-diabetic, or diabetic blood sugar levels. Detected at the pre-diabetic stage, you can make necessary lifestyle changes to lower your blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of progressing to full-blown diabetes. If left untreated or poorly managed, diabetes can lead to various complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, nerve damage, vision problems, and foot problems. So, it is always preferable to have regular blood sugar test.
Preventive healthcare plays a pivotal role in maintaining overall well-being. Regular check-ups and screenings are essential components of preventive care that can detect health issues early on, increase treatment effectiveness, and improve health outcomes.
Also known as a lipid panel or cholesterol panel, is a blood test that measures the levels of various types of lipids (fats) and cholesterol in your bloodstream, including good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). It provides valuable information about your risk of developing heart disease. It is always recommended as part of a routine health check-up, especially if you have risk factors for heart disease, such as a family history of cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, obesity, or diabetes.
Renal Function Tests (RFT):
Also known as kidney function tests (KFT), are a set of blood tests that evaluate the health and function of the kidneys. Kidneys perform many crucial functions in our body like filtering waste products, regulating blood pressure, maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and many more . Abnormal results may suggest kidney damage, impaired renal function, or other conditions that require further investigation or management by a healthcare professional.
Liver function tests (LFT)
Liver function tests are a group of blood tests that assess the health and function of your liver. These tests provide valuable information about the liver’s ability to perform its vital functions, such as filtering toxins from the blood, producing bile, metabolizing nutrients, synthesizing proteins etc. Excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption is a leading cause of liver damage. Certain medications in high doses and some herbal supplements can result in liver failure. Some viral infections, liver diseases like hepatitis and cirrhosis, or other underlying conditions can also cause abnormal results. So if you receive abnormal results it is important to seek further evaluation and consultation with your doctor for proper diagnosis and management.
Thyroid Function Tests(TFT):
Thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones that are needed for our normal growth and development, metabolic regulation, body temperature regulation, and many more functions. Whenever thyroid hormone levels are excess or deficient, they can cause symptoms such as unexplained weight loss or weight gain, weakness and lethargy, hair loss, menstrual irregularities, increased heart rate, change in bowel habits, and other nonspecific symptoms. Thyroid hormone abnormalities are very common nowadays, and it is important to know about your thyroid hormone levels.
Vitamin D test:
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the body’s overall health and functioning. It is unique among vitamins because it can be synthesized by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Despite the abundance of sunlight in Gulf countries, vitamin D deficiency is relatively common in the region. Here people spend a significant amount of time indoors and cover their bodies to protect from the heat, the opportunity for sun exposure necessary for the body to produce vitamin D is reduced. Vitamin D deficiency can weaken our bones and make us more susceptible to fractures. It can also cause fatigue, lack of energy, muscle pain, hair loss and thinning, and other symptoms. It is always recommended to have regular checks on your Vitamin D levels.
There are umpteen lab tests and other procedures available for diagnosing different medical conditions, and these are a few among them. It is essential to recognize that regular health check-ups and blood tests are not limited to specific age groups or individuals with existing medical conditions. They are valuable for everyone, regardless of age or health status, as they provide a comprehensive overview of one’s well-being and help establish a baseline for future health assessments. Furthermore, routine check-ups promote a proactive approach to healthcare. They empower individuals to take charge of their health and make informed decisions about their well-being. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of their health status, individuals can implement preventive measures, make necessary lifestyle changes, and adopt healthier habits.
It is always advisable to consult your doctor for your blood tests and have them interpret the results for you Along with regular health check-ups and screenings, it is important to eat a healthy diet, drink enough water, engage in regular physical activity, maintain a healthy weight, follow good hygiene practices, find healthy ways to manage stress, and get sufficient quality sleep. All these are essential to maintain good health and fitness. Check out the Health check up packages starting from Qr.49/- at WELLKINS: Health Packages