Keeping on top of your health is essential. Although it is human nature to seek medical advice and testing when something goes wrong, there are other ways to check your health. Even if you eat healthily and get plenty of exercise, you can’t be sure what is going on within your body. However, carrying out a blood test is one of the best and simplest ways to check your overall health, track your body’s changes, test for infection, see how well specific organs are functioning, etc.
A simple test can go a long way in keeping your physical health in check. Your local GP can usually carry out these tests, although you can also take simple at-home tests that will measure your blood and immune health. In this article, we look at why blood testing is important.
When Should You Take a Blood Test?
As your health can change in a moment, it is vital to understand how your body is functioning with regular blood testing. It is generally recommended that you take a blood test at least once a year or more frequently if the following reasons apply:
- You would like to optimise your health – knowing more about your body and its blood components allows you to perfect your fitness plan and diet to achieve your goals.
- You are experiencing persistent, abnormal symptoms – These symptoms could be anything from abnormal weight loss to tiredness.
- You are looking to reduce your risk of complications or disease – blood testing can alert you to almost any condition early. A lot of the common lung, heart, and kidney diseases can be detected by blood testing using specified equipment found on websites like https://www.sciquip.co.uk/products/mixers-and-stirrers/stirrers/sciquip-magnetic-hotplate-stirrers.html to help with the process.
- You want to screen for genetic conditions.
- You wish to find out how well your blood is clotting.
What Are You Blood Tested For?
You might think that there is only so much information you can get from a simple blood test. However, with a wide range of different tests available, you can assess several aspects of your health. The following blood tests are some of the most common:
- Full Blood Count Test – by tracking your full blood cell count, you can measure your general immune and blood health. This type of test will also tell you more about your ability to fight off bacterial and viral infections.
- Blood Cholesterol Tests – cholesterol is a fatty acid created by your liver and is vital for the functioning of your body. However, too much cholesterol can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on your cholesterol levels and take action if they are too high.
- Blood Glucose Tests – with diabetes being a major problem all over the UK, the range of blood glucose tests, which can be used to diagnose and monitor diabetes is hugely important.
- Blood Typing – knowing what blood type you are is a crucial piece of information. Whether you are donating blood, pregnant or undergoing an operation, you will need to know your blood type. If you are given the wrong blood type, this can have life-threatening consequences.
- Cancer Blood Tests – according to Cancer Research UK one in two people born after 1960 will suffer from some form of cancer during their lifetime. Therefore, it is important to find out if you are at risk of developing a specific type of cancer, like prostate or ovarian cancer.
- Chromosome Testing – also known as Karyotyping, examines your chromosomes which contain your genetic DNA. On closer inspection of your genetic DNA we can observe their shape and number and determine if you are likely to have any genetic abnormalities.
- Coagulation Test – used to determine if your blood clots normally. If your blood doesn’t clot normally, you could suffer from a bleeding disorder like haemophilia.
- Genetic Testing and Screening – involves extracting DNA from your blood and examining it for mutations. You can use this form of genetic testing for several genetic conditions, including haemophilia, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia and many others.
Benefits of a Blood Test
Although medical testing can be stressful, you can’t underestimate the importance of understanding your health and diagnosing health issues early. Blood testing is reliable and easy to carry out and can track and manage various health indicators. From diagnosing disease to measuring the functions of your organs, blood testing can help you be proactive about your health and let you get one step ahead of potential health issues. Organise your next blood test and look forward to a happy, healthy future.