Most people have been through having their blood drawn by a doctor, but have you ever wondered why your doctor always relies on blood tests? The small vial of blood that's drawn from your body can potentially provide your doctor with a plethora of information about your overall health. Here are four things that blood tests look for that could potentially be life-saving.
Anemia is a common problem in people all over the country, especially for women. Anemia can be caused by a wide variety of things, including poor nutrition, menstruation, or problems like sickle cell disease. Blood tests can check for anemia by examining the red blood cells in your blood and by determining the overall volume of blood in your body. By testing for anemia, your doctor can stop the progression of this problem and protect your well-being by providing you with iron, birth control pills, or a blood transfusion if your anemia is severe and life-threatening.
Not all cancers can be detected by blood tests, but as the technology and science behind blood tests evolves, more and more are caught by a simple vial of blood.
Cancer blood tests look for specific cell markers that indicate that cancer is growing somewhere in the body. While it may not be an exact way of figuring out where the cancer is in your body, it's a good starting spot for your doctor. If your test comes back positive, your doctor can protect your health by sending you to a medical imaging center that can scan your body for signs of tumors or cancerous cells.
Most blood tests check your blood glucose level in order to determine if you have diabetes or not. There are two ways that this test is performed: after eating, and before eating. While fasting for a blood test may not be the most enjoyable thing in the world, catching diabetes early on can potentially be life-changing or even life-saving. If your diabetes is caught in the pre-diabetes stage, it may be possible to reverse it and prevent you from having to experience a lifetime of at-home blood tests and insulin shots.
Lastly, most blood screening tests look for certain infectious diseases, especially if your doctor suspects that you may have contracted something. Everything from the flu to measles can be diagnosed with a blood test. The blood your doctor takes and sends out will be examined in a lab for signs of infectious cells. If an infection is found, your doctor can quickly prescribe the medicine you need to beat the disease and keep you safe.
Blood tests probably aren't anyone's favorite thing to do, but they can make a massive difference in your well-being. If you're not sure why your doctor is taking your blood, feel free to ask. Your doctor will surely tell you everything the blood test is looking for and why you need it. Contact a physician, like Harvey Harold E II MD PLLC, for more help.