Types of blood tests

Blood tests are a routine part of modern medicine; almost everyone will have a blood test at some point in their lives and most people will have several tests during their lifetime.

There are four different types of blood test; these are:

  • Full blood count (FBC): this is the most widely used type of blood test and it is usually used to assess the state of an individual’s general health. A FBC can detect blood disorders and diseases.
  • Blood chemistry test (also known as the basic metabolic panel): these tests are used to assess the components and chemicals in the blood. These tests give doctors information about nerves, muscles (including the heart), bones and organs such as the kidneys and liver. Examples of blood chemistry tests include the electrolyte test and the blood glucose test; the electrolyte test measures the levels of electrolytes in the blood. The test can assess levels of potassium, chloride and sodium in the blood. The blood glucose test measures the levels of glucose in the blood; it is commonly used to monitor patients with diabetes and diagnose diabetes in patients.
  • Blood enzyme tests: these tests are used to monitor and assess the levels and activity of enzymes in the body; they are commonly used to determine whether or not an individual has had a heart attack.
  • Blood tests to assess the risk of heart disease: these tests are used to determine whether or not an individual is at a high risk of developing heart disease. The presence of certain chemicals, including cholesterol, in the bloodstream may indicate a higher risk of heart disease.

Doctors use blood tests to assess general health, as well as testing for specific conditions and determining whether patients are at risk of developing health issues; different types of tests are used to test for different illnesses and sometimes more than one type of test will be used to reach a conclusive diagnosis.

Blood Test Types

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