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Understanding Blood Test Results

Understanding Blood Test Results

Understanding blood test results is important for early diagnosis of any health problem. The article enlists the interpretations for results of various important blood tests.
Mayuri Kulkarni
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Blood test is a common diagnostic test with the help of which a physician can analyze the health condition of a person. It helps to determine the mineral content, physiological state, organ function, biochemical state, etc. Almost every blood test report provides the normal range values of a particular blood component. However, only knowing these normal ranges is not helpful and one should be able to interpret the blood test results.
Understanding the results of a blood test, is nothing but knowing what high and low values of a particular blood component mean. Here are short interpretations of the results of different blood tests:
Blood Tests for Thyroid
Blood tests for the thyroid gland play an important role in determining whether the person is affected by some thyroid problems like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Physicians recommend a thyroid test, when the affected person shows symptoms of any one of the aforementioned thyroid problems. The blood tests for thyroid, determines levels of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), T4 (Thyroxine) and T3 (Triiodothyronine). These are thyroid hormones which are basically responsible for regulating metabolism of the body. If the thyroid results show normal levels of these hormones, then the thyroid gland is functioning properly. Any fluctuation in the levels of these thyroid hormones can indicate serious health problems. The table given provides the different results of a thyroid test.
TSH T3 T4 Conclusion
High Normal Normal Hypothyroidism (Mild)
High Low Normal or Low Hypothyroidism
Low Normal Normal Hyperthyroidism (Mild)
Low High or Normal High or Normal Hyperthyroidism
Low Low or Normal Low or Normal Rare pituitary (secondary) hypothyroidism, Non-thyroidal illness
Blood Tests for Complete Blood Counts
A complete blood count (CBC) is a very important test that helps in diagnosing various health problems. It is a common blood test which is taken for general health check up and it gives the amount of blood components, like the WBC (white blood cells), RBC (red blood cells), and platelets. The CBC also finds out the amount of hemoglobin present in the blood, which is basically the amount of oxygen carrying protein present in the blood. Other readings included in the CBC are, WBC differential, hematocrit, MCV, MCHC, and RDW. There are 5 different types of WBCs. The WBC differential gives the number of each type of WBC present in the blood. Hematocrit is the percentage of RBC present in a given volume of blood. MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume) is nothing but the average size of the RBCs. MCH stands for Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin, which gives the average amount of oxygen carrying hemoglobin inside a RBC. Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) gives the average concentration of hemoglobin in a RBC. RDW or RCDW which stands for Red Blood Cell Distribution Width, gives the variation in the size of RBCs. The table given explains what can the increased or decreased amount of CBC results indicate.
CBC Test Low High
WBC Leukopenia, Bone marrow failure, Disease of the liver or spleen, Autoimmune/collagen vascular diseases Infection, Inflammation, Leukemia, Mental or Physical stress
RBC Anemia, Blood loss, Hemolysis, Autoimmune/collagen vascular diseases, Erythropoietin deficiency, Leukemia, Nutritional deficiencies Dehydration, Kidney disease, Pulmonary fibrosis, Congenital heart disease
Hemoglobin Anemia, Blood loss, Hemolysis, Autoimmune/collagen vascular diseases, Erythropoietin deficiency, Leukemia, Nutritional deficiencies Dehydration, Kidney disease, Pulmonary fibrosis, Congenital heart disease
Hematocrit Anemia, Blood loss, Hemolysis, Autoimmune/collagen-vascular diseases, Erythropoietin deficiency, Leukemia, Nutritional deficiencies Dehydration, Kidney disease, Pulmonary fibrosis, Congenital heart disease
MCV Iron deficiency, Thalassemia B12 deficiency, Folate deficiency
MCH Iron deficiency, Thalassemia B12 deficiency, Folate deficiency
Platelet Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytosis
Blood Tests for Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
Comprehensive metabolic panel consists of a total of 14 blood tests that measure glucose levels, fluid balance, electrolyte levels, and analyze kidney and liver functioning. It is often part of a routine check up and gives the physician an idea of the overall physiology of a person. Glucose, albumin, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, calcium, sodium, potassium, bilirubin, etc. are some of the important blood components measured by a CMP test. Increased and decreased levels of any of these can indicate some health problem. The table given below specifies what are the interpretations of increased and decreased levels of these components of blood.
Component Low High
Glucose Hypoglycemia Hyperglycemia
Calcium Hypocalcemia Hypercalcemia
Sodium Side effect of medication Hypernatremia, Risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke
Potassium Hypokalemia, Kidney problem Hyperkalemia, Kidney problem
Albumin Hypoalbuminemia, Low protein diet, Kidney or Liver problem Hyperalbuminemia, Dehydration, Vitamin A deficiency
BUN Liver problem Kidney problem, Dehydration, Congestive heart failure
Creatinine Decreased muscle mass Kidney dysfunction
Bilirubin Not cause of concern Jaundice

Understanding the results of a blood test is quite simple when one is aware of the normal ranges of a particular blood element. A blood test is a very simple and useful diagnostic test that can help in diagnosing a number of health problems. Now, when one is aware of the interpretations of various blood test results, one need not hesitate and can clear their doubts when they make their next appointment with the physician.
Disclaimer: This WellnessKeen article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.