A blood test can reveal so much about your health. A blood test can tell if you have high cholesterol, and if you are at risk for heart disease. Blood tests can also determine if a medical condition exists, or if medications are working correctly.
Our patients at LaGrange Medical Center stay in good health by keeping up with their yearly physicals and blood tests. Annual physicals are usually paid by the patient’s insurance company.
Types of Blood Tests
Here are some of the components of a blood test and a simple explanation of what they monitor.
ALT – Alanine Aminotransferase
This is an enzyme found in the liver which is a good indicator of how your liver is functioning and if there is liver cell damage. If these results were found to be abnormal, it could be due to hepatitis, alcohol and drug abuse or obesity.
Ca – Calcium
Teeth and bones make up 99% of the calcium in your body; the rest is in nerve cells, body tissue and blood. This mineral ensures the nerves, enzymes, muscles and blood clotting are working properly. Abnormal results can be due to too much milk or vitamin D in your diet. Low levels can suggest conditions such as pancreatitis and kidney disease.
Cholesterol – Total, LDL, and HDL
Cholesterol is something our bodies need, but too much increases our risk for heart disease. There is good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). High HDL is good – it carries away cholesterol and doesn’t clog up the arteries. High LDL is not good because it is a major risk factor for heart disease.
This is the source of energy used by people, plants and animals. Abnormal levels of glucose may be due to diabetes, hypothyroidism or some medications. When blood vessels are damaged, it can lead to heart attacks, strokes, nerve damage, vision loss, erectile dysfunction, kidney disease and much more.
A hormone that controls the rate at which energy is used and released by the body. High levels can cause nervousness, irritability or weight loss. Low levels can cause depression or weight gain. The cause of these results are due to hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
These are only a few of the indicators that will be checked when a blood test is taken. The general term is CBC (Complete Blood Count). Once you get examined, your provider will determine what type of blood test is right for you.
UA – Urinalysis
A urinalysis test can detect disorders before you know that something is wrong. It can check for metabolic disorders, UTI’s and renal (kidney) functions. First, the physical nature of the urine is examined for color and clarity. A dark or brown appearance may show there is blood in the urine. A cloudy sample could be caused by kidney stones.
Urinalysis testing will check for Ketones, Glucose, Blood, Proteins, Nitrites, Leuk Esterase and Bilirubin. The most common irregularities are associated with kidneys, diabetes or unitary tract infections.
Urobilinogen, pH, red and white blood cells, specific gravity and bacteria all have recommended ranges. If results fall outside the range, you will need to be evaluated by a physician.
Annual Physical Exam
If you would like a physical exam at LaGrange Medical Center and Urgent Care, you must first establish yourself as a patient. We accept most health insurance and some Medicaid plans. Depending on the kind of insurance plan you have, you may have to call your insurance company and select one of our providers as your Primary Care Physician (PCP).
The physical exam may include an examination of your heart, lungs, abdomen, neurological, extremities, hearing, and vision. A LaGrange Medical Center Physician will also ask questions regarding smoking, drinking and exercise. Additional examinations will be based on your age and gender — mammogram, colonoscopy, or a pelvis or prostate exam.
We suggest bringing a list of current medications, as well as the dosage and frequency to your appointment. If you have access to previous medical records, bring them for the doctor to review. During your first visit, your health history will be discussed.
After the first visit, your healthcare provider will determine what components of a physical will actually be needed. This may require another visit, because some of the blood and urine tests require fasting.
If you have any questions regarding a physical exam, call 708-352-0330 and our friendly staff will answer any questions or concerns you may have.