Most people have undergone a blood test at some stage in their life. If you are one of these people then you will be familiar with the test and know what to expect.
A blood test measures the amount of fats, protein, minerals and sugars within your blood. It also checks for signs of a disease or infection as well as assessing the state of your health in general.
It is also a very useful means of seeing if your high blood pressure has had an adverse affect on any of the organs of your body, e.g. kidneys. Your GP will be looking at this and if you have high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar levels and how well your adrenal glands work.
You will undergo several blood tests the first time you are diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Preparing for a blood test
Your GP or practice nurse will advise you on what to do beforehand. This may include fasting (not eating anything) the night before your test, which is particularly important if your blood sugar levels are being checked. Your blood sugar levels will be checked if you also suffer from diabetes.
The blood test procedure
If you are a diabetic and your GP is checking your blood sugar levels only then all you will have to undergo is a small pinprick on your finger or thumb. A small sample of blood is removed and sent away to a laboratory for analysis.
However, if you are undergoing a full blood test, as part of a battery of tests for high blood pressure then a sample of blood will be drawn off from a vein in your arm.
If you are anxious about needles then mention this to your GP or practice nurse before the test. They will be able to help you with this fear.
You will be able to leave the surgery soon after the test and carry on your normal day to day activities. But if you feel faint after the test then sit down and rest for a short period of time until this wears off.
Results of the blood test
Your sample of blood will be sent to a laboratory for testing and the results will be passed on to your GP for analysis. Expect to wait for a few weeks before you find out the results from this.
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