How blood tests can inform your health and why you should have one.

Healthcare|February 18, 2020

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Blood tests can be such a useful tool in order to assess your general health, or to help a doctor assess you better and diagnose more accurately. We’ve put together some information to help you understand why and what blood tests are used for and some key examples of blood tests that you can request that will help you stay informed and in control of your health.

Why are blood tests used?

Blood testing is essential to maintaining physical and mental well-being, keeping you informed on how your body is functioning. Blood tests are also an important tool that doctors can utilise to help them identify certain conditions and diseases such as diabetes or thyroid dysfunction. Additionally, blood tests can also be used to screen for genetic conditions that you may not have known about. They also help check how your organs are working and, if you have existing treatments, show how they are progressing. For example, blood may be taken in order to assess if you are at risk of a heart attack by looking at the level of fats in your blood.

My doctor says I need a blood test! It must be something serious, right?!

Not necessarily. Despite blood tests often being regarded as something that are used to assess serious health problems, they are mainly used as a preventative measure to rule out specific illnesses and conditions. The use of blood tests is crucial in the day-to-day work of doctors and GPs, as the Royal College of Pathologists report that over 300,000 tests are performed every day.

Are blood tests only given if I am ill or can I request one myself?

Despite the importance outlined about blood tests being used for diagnostics, they can be requested privately if you would like to gain further insight into your health and learn how you can optimise it and take better care of yourself. Other reasons for requesting blood tests range from finding out more about risks to your health, optimising nutrition and sports performance and understanding your fertility. An example of a test that you can request for yourself is a full blood count (FBC) which can help diagnose anaemia. Understanding the make-up of your blood can explain symptoms such as low mood, being tired all the time and deficiencies in iron.

I’m feeling tired all the time, what can help me?

Am I tired or sick? Am I suffering from exhaustion? These are important questions that are often asked which can be informed through having a blood test. Numerous factors such as a nutrient deficiency and hormonal imbalances can cause low energy levels, resulting in feeling tired often. Without having insight into your health on a clinical level, these problems can often remain unsolved and can affect your overall health and wellbeing. Below are some essential tests that you can request from a doctor and what they can uncover about your health.

FBC (Full Blood Count)

An FBC checks the levels of each type of blood cell and elements of blood that you have and can uncover irregularities in these numbers. The types of blood cells and components are: red and white blood cells, platelets, haemoglobin and your hematocrit level (the ratio of red blood cells to your total volume of blood).

Vitamin D

Vitamin D Getting a vitamin D test is often overlooked, but if you are feeling tired quite often, you may have a deficiency. The importance of getting this checked cannot be stressed enough, as there are health risks associated with ongoing deficiencies of this vitamin, including risk of cardiovascular disease or, in older adults, potential for cognitive impairment. Getting a vitamin D blood test may uncover some reasons why you suffer from a deficiency.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps the body’s nerves and red blood cells remain healthy. It is also a key ingredient in the formation of DNA. Animal products such as meat and dairy foods help provide the body with B12. A lack of B12 can cause tiredness, muscle weakness and in cases where there is a substantial B12 deficiency, affect the function of the nervous system (creating frequent ‘tingling’ feelings in the hands and feet) and may be a cause of anaemia. Having a blood test for vitamin B12 will check for vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia. This is often useful if your family has a history of anaemia. Additionally, the test can help find the cause of problems with the nervous system, including a decrease in mental abilities.

Click here to read more about what to do if you’re feeling tired all the time.

How Qured can help

As part of our medical services, Qured offers at-home blood tests, at a time convenient for you. One of our experienced medical professionals will perform the sampling in the comfort of your own home, so you can be rest assured that the whole process will be as stress-free as possible. You will receive your results in 24-72 hours, depending on the test, and receive personalised advice from a Qured GP who will talk through your results and discuss the best next steps with you. Our friendly support team will be able to talk you through the tests we can offer, and book a practitioner to come to your home or any other convenient location today.

Book a Qured blood test today to take control of your health. Call our friendly support team on +44 333 016 4411.

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