Hi! I'm Dr. Shanti Revotskie and I work in the Training Department at Life Extension.
Have you ever looked at the blood test script your doctor just handed you thinking he had written it in Greek? Never mind the handwriting which could be hieroglyphics!
Well … I know how you feel. It can all be very confusing! That's why I'm here to explain one of the most popular blood test panels sold at Life Extension … The Chemistry/CBC profile.
Not only is this panel popular as a stand-alone test … it provides so much valuable information that we include it in many of our comprehensive blood test panels.
We're going to talk about what tests are included in the CBC profile and why it is such an important basic tool for achieving optimal health!!
The tests included in this profile are:
- A comprehensive metabolic profile
- Liver Function tests
- Lipid Profile
- And Complete Blood Count
Let's get started by taking a look at the comprehensive metabolic profile.
It's a group of 14 blood tests that provide information on:
- how your kidneys and liver are functioning
- your sugar, iron and protein levels
- and your body's electrolyte and fluid balance
A comprehensive metabolic profile (CMP) may be ordered as part of your yearly physical, or to help diagnose conditions such as diabetes, or liver or kidney disease. This profile is a great screening tool since it provides so much valuable information!
So … Now that we have an overview of what a CMP is and why it's important let's take a closer look at the panel components:
Everyone has heard of:
- Glucose, a type of sugar used by the body for energy.
- And Calcium, which plays an important role in muscle contraction and the release of hormones.
- And electrolytes such as Sodium, potassium, carbon dioxide, and chloride. All of these help regulate the body's fluid levels and its acid-base balance.
- And we are all familiar with Iron – to determine certain types of anemia or toxicity to the liver.
- Next is Albumin, globulin and total blood protein … important proteins needed to build and maintain muscles, bones, blood, and organs.
But wait a minute … what are BUN and creatinine? Simply put … these tests evaluate how well your kidneys are working.
And then there's Uric Acid – to help manage recurrent kidney stones or gout.
And finally LDH – an enzyme used to screen for tissue damage.
Wow! That's a lot of information… Are you still with me? You're doing great! We've gotten through the first group of 14 tests so let's move on to the next set of four tests … Liver Function tests:
- ALT, AST, and alkaline phosphatase are liver enzymes produced in response to an inflamed or damaged liver
- Alkaline phosphatase can also signal problems with bone turnover from osteoporosis or vitamin D deficiency
- And finally bilirubin which is produced by the liver.
- All of these tests are very important to determine how well your liver is functioning.
Very good … you're learning a lot! We're almost there. Now let's look at the last set of tests found in the chemistry portion of our profile ... the very well-known Lipid profile.
Most people know their total cholesterol number … but the Lipid profile breaks down the total number into different subgroups of cholesterol such as HDL and LDL.
These subclasses give you a better snapshot of your overall cardiac and metabolic health. When cholesterol levels are in the normal range, blood flows freely through the veins and arteries. But when cholesterol levels are high, it starts forming plaques in the blood vessels … causing high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. Things you surely want to avoid!
We have just covered a lot of ground. So let's review the highlights of the chemistry portion of this profile …
- 14 tests to evaluate metabolic and organ function (liver, kidneys, heart, bones, tissues … the list goes on and on)
- PLUS 4 additional tests to look at how well your liver is functioning
- And finally a snapshot of your body's cholesterol levels which are so important for your cardiac health
That's a lot of information … and we're not finished yet! There's more! We still need to cover the CBC or Complete Blood Count portion of this profile.
The CBC is a very common test that looks at our
- red blood cells,
- white blood cells,
- and platelets.
The CBC offers valuable information pertaining to a variety of health problems such as
- evaluating infections, inflammation and allergies …
- and detecting blood clotting problems and blood disorders, including anemia and leukemia.
Since blood testing provides the ultimate information in assessing your personal health goals, this Chemistry panel with CBC is a great way to get started!
Even better … the test results are sent directly to you and can be reviewed with one of our Health Advisors. They will arm you with the information necessary to fully understand your results, PLUS you will know how to have a meaningful discussion with your own doctor.
What could be smarter! Just don't forget that a 12-hour fast is required for this blood test. But please make sure you drink plenty of water in order to stay hydrated and always take your medications as prescribed.