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When you visit your primary care provider (PCP) for your well check-up each year, drawing your blood for routine bloodwork—either right there in the office or at a diagnostic center shortly thereafter—is a standard part of the process.

Learn more about the common tests ordered as part of routine bloodwork during your annual exam.


Common Blood Panels Your PCP May Request

A panel measures multiple markers within a sample of your blood. Some of the typical blood panels that your PCP may order include:

Complete blood count (CBC). This test checks the health of all cells in your body through your blood. CBC measures the amount of hemoglobin, white blood cells, red blood cells, hematocrit and platelets. This test can provide markers that help your doctor diagnose several conditions, including:

  • Anemia
  • Bone marrow conditions
  • Cancer
  • Infection
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Basic metabolic panel (BMP). This test checks certain components in your blood, including electrolytes, glucose, potassium, sodium and creatinine. If any of these components fall outside of normal ranges, this can be a sign of diabetes, kidney disease or a hormonal imbalance.

Complete metabolic panel (CMP.) This test includes everything from the BMP, with the addition of even more components in the blood—such as alkaline phosphate (ALP), bilirubin and albumin. If the values of these components are out of normal ranges, it can be an indicator of a serious health condition like hepatitis or gallstones.

Lipid panel.This test checks the amount of cholesterol in your blood—both the amount of healthy cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). High amounts of cholesterol in your blood can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries, which can block blood flow and lead to potentially life-threatening situations.


Other Blood Tests Your PCP May Order

Depending on your unique risk factors, family history and other factors, your PCP may order other blood tests, including:

A1C test. Checks for pre-diabetes or diabetes. The A1C test shows your doctor how well your body processes sugar.

Thyroid function test. Your thyroid gland is a small gland in the front of your neck. While it is small, it has the important function of creating and secreting hormones that affect virtually all processes throughout your body. Your doctor may order a thyroid function test to check for overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) and other conditions affecting the thyroid gland.

Your doctor will carefully review all results of your bloodwork to see if anything is outside of normal ranges. Or, if any values have significantly changed since your last bloodwork report. Changes in bloodwork values can occur, so try not to worry too much about such changes until you speak with your doctor about next steps like additional testing or being referred to a specialist.


Find Care at Catholic Health

Scheduling an annual exam with your PCP is an important part of your health care journey. A PCP can give you guidance for how to maintain good health as well as detect health conditions while they are in early stages and more treatable.

Call 866-MY-LI-DOC (866-695-4362) to find a Catholic Health physician near you.

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