Last Updated on July 9, 2022 by Dr. Neeraj Gujar
Top 9 Annual Blood Tests to Keep You Healthy and Active
It is important to monitor your overall health by having regular blood tests. Regular testing can help you see the changes in your body as you age, and enable you to make informed choices about your health.
A blood test can provide vital information about your health and well-being. These tests can help to identify early signs and symptoms, which can prevent it from progressing into more serious stages. These investigations can help you keep track of how your body reacts to various treatments.
How Frequently Should You Be Tested?
Most doctors will recommend routine blood testing at least once per year. You may also need to have blood tests for the following reasons:
- If you desire a change in lifestyle patterns. You can alter your diet and fitness plans by examining abnormalities in certain parameters, such as high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or low-density lipoproteins (LDL).
- If you experience persistent, unusual symptoms like fatigue, weight gain or loss, new pain, or other concerns.
- You may be at greater risk for certain conditions because of your family history or lifestyle.
- Regular blood tests are a great way to identify warning signs and reduce your risk of complications or diseases.
List of Annual Blood Tests For Healthy Life
Here’s a list of top ten routine tests that can help you maintain good health and avoid any hidden health issues.
Complete Blood Count (Hemogram)
A routine complete body count tests the levels of various components in every major cell of your blood.
- Red blood cells (RBCs).
- White blood cells (WBCs).
- Hemoglobin (protein in RBCs)
- Mean corpuscular volume
These lab tests may reveal abnormalities that could indicate:
- Insufficient blood cells
- Tissue inflammation
- Vitamin B6 and B12 deficiencies
- Iron deficiency
- Heart conditions
A liver panel or live function test examines different parameters, such as enzymes and proteins. A liver function test can provide important information such as:
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
- Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
- Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
These components may be elevated in liver diseases like cirrhosis or fatty liver. A lower level of ALP could indicate bone metabolic disorders.
The basic electrolytes testing measures certain mineral compounds in blood.
These parameters may be abnormal indicating dehydration, malnutrition, or hormonal imbalances.
The test measures the levels of various types of cholesterol and other fats in your blood. This usually includes:
- HDL (good cholesterol)
- LDL (bad cholesterol)
- Total Cholesterol
This panel is used to evaluate the risk of developing heart disease, particularly in older people. This test can help you make better lifestyle decisions.
Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), post-meal glucose, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) are all diagnostic tests for diabetes.
Your doctor will review your results and assess your control of blood sugar. The HbA1c test measures the body’s glucose levels and is used to monitor diabetic patients. These tests can be used to diagnose diabetes and pre-diabetes.
The thyroid panel or thyroid function test evaluates the quality of your thyroid’s production and response to certain hormones. It includes:
- Triiodothyronine, (T3): This hormone is combined with T4 to regulate your heart rate.
- Thyroxine (T4): This hormone regulates your metabolism along with T3.
- Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH): This hormone regulates the hormone levels in your thyroid.
Low levels of these hormones may lead to many conditions such as low protein, thyroid growth disorders, and abnormal levels of sex hormones like testosterone or estrogen.
Test For Essential Nutrients
It is important to have blood tests done to determine the levels of certain nutrients in your body, such as iron and vitamin E. These are vital for optimal bodily functions.
Many people are lacking in these nutrients due to various reasons. It is important to assess these levels and supplement when necessary. These nutrients can be supplemented to prevent many disorders, such as iron deficiency, falls, fractures, and acute or chronic pain.
CRP (C-reactive protein) and homocysteine are two of the inflammatory markers that can be tested. A higher level of CRP can indicate inflammation and may increase the risk of heart attacks, artery inflammation, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), or depression.
Homocysteine is a common amino acid. The elevated levels can indicate a range of conditions including stroke and heart disease, vitamin B12, B6, and folate status, and kidney diseases.
Coagulation includes international normalized ratio (INR) and prothrombin time (PT) testing. These two measures the body’s abilities to clot blood. They also measure the time it takes for blood to clot. Clotting is an important process in the body. These blood tests can help you avoid bleeding out from injuries, surgery, or other circumstances.
These tests can also be used to diagnose any underlying conditions that may lead to improper clotting like:
- Acute myeloid leukemia
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Liver Conditions
It is usually sad that “prevention is better than cure”. Preventing the progression of certain diseases by an early diagnosis can be a good way to prevent them from getting worse. These lab tests may not be able to give a definitive diagnosis. But multiple blood tests can help in identifying any abnormalities. These results are then correlated with other investigations by a healthcare professional to determine a final diagnosis.
Most blood tests require that you fast for between 8 to 12 hours. This will ensure that your results are as accurate as possible. However, your healthcare advisor will let you know about such situations.
Routine blood tests should be done at least once per year. To ensure your optimal health, you should always consult your doctor. To get the blood test done, you can either look for a laboratory or a diagnostic center that offers blood tests at home.