Types of Lab Testing: Complete Blood Count

October 15, 2018

If you’ve ever been to the doctor for diagnostic work, the first place that he or she is likely to start is with a CBC, a Complete Blood Count.  While CBC doesn’t tell us everything, it is typically a reasonable starting place to look at the broad spectrum of what is happening inside of our bodies, ie: infection, cancer, and anemia.

Beyond that starting point, metabolic panels are also available to look at your heart, kidney, and liver function by measuring electrolyte, calcium, and blood glucose levels. For instance, if your doctor wants to check your heart function in terms of disease risk, they may order a lipoprotein panel to measure your HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels. As a rule of thumb, age tends to make our bodies produce more cholesterol, so it’s important to check levels every 4-6 years (I recommend more often) to ensure that everything is still functioning well, even if our lifestyle choices have remained the same.

Ideally, our total cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter), our LDL should be less than 100 mg/dL, and HDL should be kept higher, at least 60 mg/DL, to be considered optimal.

While blood tests are great and necessary to identify certain aspects of our health, they can also be misleading; this is especially true when discussing hormones.  While CBC can measure what is circulating within our blood at that moment, it does not measure what our bodies have been able to utilize.  When I say utilize, I mean what has our body been able to extract from the blood and put into practice for our organs and nerves?  This is a crucial aspect of diagnosis and treatment; however, it is unfortunately often overlooked.

In tomorrow’s newsletter, we will discuss urine testing and how it relates to understanding what our body has actually done with the fuel we put into it and how efficiently it is operating.  Remember, your heart is the greatest healer of your life.  And your soul is the heart of your life.  Let’s start living, folks.  Today starts now.  Until we meet again, this is Dr. Higgins saying, good bye.