Blood Tests - Why Are They Done?
Posted By HealthcareOnTime Team
Posted on 2022-03-11
I don't want to go for this blood tests, the needle scares me!
Do not fret for this simple blood test, it's a better option to assess your health. A needle
is better than a surgical blade and an operation table, don't you feel?
A needle, a little amount of blood and a blood technician might seem scary to some people,
but blood tests have proved to be an efficient way to detect various disorders/diseases
before they go overboard and ask, for critical medical attention. The idea of blood testing,
which nowadays has become the easiest way to detect anomalies, came with
the idea of blood transfusions. These early experiments devised prior to the discovery
of blood typing resulted in many unsuccessful transfusions, wherein recipient's body
rejected the donor's blood. It was Karl Landsteiner who discovered A, B, C (which
later became O) blood groups and the Rh factor that became a breakthrough in
blood research and made way to blood screening and testing.
Today blood tests are categorised under different types of laboratory analysis. After
extracting the blood samples from a vein using a needle or through finger prick (or
heel prick in case of infants), the blood samples are either tested for,
-Biochemical analysis: includes thyroid tests, lipid profile,
kidney parameters, glucose tests, electrolyte tests like sodium,
potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, etc.
- Molecular analysis: includes liver function tests, western blot,
polymerase chain reaction, tests for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), etc.
-Cellular analysis: includes complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation
rate (ESR), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), blood type, etc.
What are Blood Tests?
They are common detection tests recommended on a routine basis by doctors,
to assess how the body is functioning. Blood tests do
not require any special kind of preparations, only some may need fasting for 8 to 12 hours
before testing. A small sample of blood is drawn from the vein using a needle, which is
a quick and easy process causing hardly any discomfort. Blood has various components -
>>Serum: Blood plasma, excluding red blood cells ( RBCs) and
white blood cells (WBCs)
>> Platelets: Tiny blood cells that help in clotting
>> Whole blood: Serum, blood cells and platelets suspended in plasma
and based on the need for testing, these components are segregated to, say platelets or serum.
A less known component is Cryoprecipitated Antihemophilic Factor, which is nothing but plasma
rich in clotting factors, including factor VIII and fibrinogen and is used to indicate conditions of
hemophilia, bleeding from excessive anti-coagulation, massive hemorrhage, etc.
Little do we think about how useful this fluid running to almost every corner of our body is
for homeostasis? After knowing its components and functions, what arises in our mind is
why blood is chosen as the most common and easiest source for detection/diagnosis of
medical conditions, as severe as heart attack! The truth is blood health depicts the body's
health. Any variation or unacceptable levels of parameters in the blood indicates the
reason(s) for signs and symptoms.
If blood contains RBCs, WBCs and platelets, then blood also contains hormones
(thyroid hormones, cortisol - stress hormone, insulin), neurotransmitters, ions (sodium,
potassium, chloride, etc.), enzymes (bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, digestive enzymes
etc.), metabolites and so on. Now, many people think blood tests
are only administered during the time of illness or trauma, but doctors suggest blood
can be tested regularly (monthly, quarterly and annual full body checkups.
Blood tests not only detect illnesses, but also answer questions like,
1 What you eat?
2 Is the food you eat healthy for your body?
3 Do you exercise?
4 Does your body need exercise?
Sometimes there are no signs and symptoms in the body and one might think everything
seems fine with body. But there exist medical problems that arrive in body without any
signs, just to make one hopeless later without any treatment modalities. People who have
no history of medical problems and believe that they are healthy must get a regular blood
testing done to prevent fatal conditions in the future. With diabetes, mental illness and
heart conditions on the rise, it is more important to know the body better for a long and
Way to Preventive Health
In our quest for living life, we have neglected health on a major scale. Ever wondered how
habits like not having breakfast, eating unhealthy, reduced sleep, letting laziness rule the
day lead to grave conditions that we will have no choice, but to live with? Habits are hard
to change, but making better habits is not as difficult as breaking the old patterns.
A needle, a test and small amount of blood can make one aware of disorders early. Think
about it and fret not about the needle prick. Blood is a miraculous fluid, always available
for your benefit.