Blood Draw Information
Blood Draw Information and Description of Chemistries
Fast for 12 – 14 hours to achieve optimum results
Outpatient Laboratory Services is supplying this information to help your
understanding of the Health Fair Profile.
Values which are outside of expected normal ranges:
- may indicate problems requiring further medical evaluation
- may be due to your non-fasting state
- may be due to the possibility of processing error
- may be due to normal variation
If you should compare your values with other persons, be aware the normal
values are age and sex dependent. Consult your physician with further
questions, and make an appointment for further evaluation if he/she deems
it necessary. It is seldom possible to diagnose or treat a disease based
on one blood test. However, it may help you to learn more about your body,
detect a potential problem, and encourage you to change your personal
habits to benefit your health.
Description of Chemistries Tested:
SODIUM (Na+) and CHLORIDE (Cl-): These are electrolytes that are regulated by the kidneys and the adrenal
glands. They are important for the functioning of nerves, muscles and
most cells. If one is outside the normal range, but not the other and
the other results are normal, it is probably not significant. If both
are outside, further evaluation should be done.
POTASSIUM (K+): This is one of the electrolytes that is very carefully controlled by the
kidneys. It is important for the proper functioning of nerves and muscles,
especially the heart. Any values outside of normal range, high or low,
require medical evaluation. This is especially important if you are taking
a diuretic (water pill) or heart medication (Digoxin, Lanoxin, etc.).
BLOOD UREA NITROGEN (BUN): This is a waste product produced in the liver and excreted by the kidneys.
High values indicate poor kidney function. Also, high protein diet and/or
strenuous exercise may cause an elevation. Low values may be seen during
CREATININE (CREA): This is also a waste product excreted by the kidneys. High protein diet
does not affect creatinine. A physician should evaluate high values, especially
if the BUN is elevated as well. Low values are not significant. Non-prescription
drugs (aspirin, cold medications, vitamins, etc.), prescription drugs,
and alcohol often affect your test results. Your health care provider
must have a complete and honest picture to evaluate your results effectively.
This information will save you both time and money.
GLUCOSE (GLUC): This is a measure of sugar levels in your blood. High values are associated
with diabetes. Low values are present with hypoglycemia. Consult your
physician if your value is over 200, even if you are a diabetic. If you
did not fast, the value could be falsely elevated.
CALCIUM (CALC): This mineral is controlled by the kidneys and the parathyroid gland. It
is found primarily in bone but is also important for proper blood clotting
and nerve cell activity. Your physician should evaluate any elevated calcium.
BILIRUBIN (TBILI): Indicator of liver function. Abnormally high or low values may be significant
in conjunction with other abnormalities.
ALKALINE PHOSPHATASE (ALKP): This is an enzyme found primarily in bones and the liver. Higher values
are normal during growth as demonstrated in children and pregnant women.
Abnormal elevation occurs due to liver or bone damage. Low values are
AST/SGOT: This is an enzyme that aids various chemical activities within the cells.
Injury to these cells releases the enzyme into the blood. This enzyme
is found in muscles, the liver and the heart. Damage due to a number of
diseases, as well as alcohol and drugs, is reflected in high values which
should be evaluated by a physician. Low values are not significant.
ALT/SGPT: Indicator of liver function.
TOTAL PROTEIN: Evaluate nutritional status; investigate edema.
ALBUMIN (ALB) and GLOBULIN (GLOB): These quantitate two types of protein in your blood. They are a general
index of overall health. Globulin is the “antibody” protein
important in fighting disease. If one of these is high but all other values
are within normal range, the result is probably not significant.
CHOLESTEROL (CHOL): This is a substance found in the blood that is associated with heart disease.
It is produced in the liver in sufficient quantities to meet the body’s
needs. Increased levels may be due to improper eating habits. Foods of
animal origin (meat and dairy products) contain cholesterol and the body
manufactures more cholesterol when the diet is high in fat, especially
TRIGLYCERIDES: This is a type of fat in the blood. Elevation tends to be glucose induced
which makes fasting very necessary before testing. Elevated values may
be seen in diabetes or heart disease. Decreased values are insignificant.
HIGH DENSITYLIPOPROTEIN (HDL): This is the lipoprotein that carries a lesser amount of cholesterol in
its “package” and is sometimes called the “good”
cholesterol. Elevation decreases the chance of heart disease and may be
increased by regular exercise, losing weight, and refraining from smoking.
Low levels increase the risk of heart attack.
LOW DENSITYLIPOPROTEIN (LDL): This is one of the blood lipoproteins that carry a portion of the cholesterol.
These “packages of fat” contain the greatest amount of cholesterol
and are sometimes called the “bad” cholesterol when elevated.
CHOLESTEROL – HDL RATIO (C/H): This is a calculation of the cholesterol level divided by the HDL level.
This is sometimes called the Risk Ratio. The higher the ratio the greater
the risk. The values vary for men and women.
WHITE BLOOD COUNT (WBC): A count of the infection-fighting cells in your body. High counts often
indicate an infection, while low counts may indicate a weakened immune system.
RED BLOOD COUNT (RBC) – HEMOGLOBIN (HGB) – HEMATOCRIT (HCT): All relate to the blood’s ability to carry oxygen throughout the
body. Low values indicate some level of anemia.
HEMOGLOBIN: Evaluate anemia, blood loss, hemolysis, polycythemia, and response to
HEMATOCRIT: Evaluate anemia, blood loss, hemolytic anemia, polycythemia, and state
PLATELET COUNT: Evaluate, diagnose and/or follow up bleeding disorders.
MEAN CELL VOLUME (MCV): A measurement of Red Blood Cell size. High or low values may indicate a
MEAN CELL HEMOGLOBIN (MCH) – MEAN CELL HGB CONCENTRATION (MCHC): Measurements of the average hemoglobin contents of the RBCs. Significance
of abnormal values depends on correlation with other measurements.
PROSTATE SPECIFIC ANTIGEN (PSA): This is a protein produced by the prostate gland. The measurement of PSA
in the blood, when used in conjunction with digital rectal exam, is a
useful screen for prostate cancer. Not all-prostate cancers produce elevated
levels of PSA, and increased levels may occur with advancing age, infection,
and benign prostatic hypertrophy.