Know the Types and Functions of Blood Tests

Blood tests are generally done in routine health checks or in the process of diagnosing a disease. Although both use blood samples, this test is divided into several types and each type has a different function.

A blood test is a type of examination using a blood sample taken through a finger or a blood vessel in a certain part of the body, such as the folds of the elbow or hand.

In general, blood tests are performed to confirm a disease, evaluate the function of certain organs and health conditions, and determine the success of treatment.

Various Types of Blood Tests You Need to Know

There are various types of blood tests that can be tailored to the purpose of the examination. The following are the types of tests that are commonly performed that you should know about:

1. Complete blood test

A complete blood test is a type of blood sampling that is often done as part of an overall health examination. This test is usually used to detect the presence of several health problems, such as anemia, infections, and blood clotting problems.

In a complete blood test, the examination is carried out by evaluating the number of white blood cells , hemoglobin levels , hematocrit, and platelets in the body.

2. Tes C-reactive protein (CRP)

CRP is actually a protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation in the body. If the test results show an increase in CRP levels, then inflammation is occurring in certain parts of the body.

3. erythrocyte sedimentation rate

Precipitation of blood can be an indication of inflammation in the body. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate test is performed by measuring how long it takes for red blood cells to settle to the bottom of the test tube.

The faster the red blood cells settle, the higher your chances of experiencing inflammation. This type of blood test is usually done to confirm the presence of several conditions, such as endocarditis , arthritis, inflammation of the blood vessels, Crohn's disease , or autoimmune disease.

4. Electrolyte test

Blood tests can be done to measure electrolyte levels in the body. In certain medical conditions, such as dehydration, diabetes , kidney failure, liver disease, and heart problems, changes in electrolyte levels in the body can occur.

This blood test may also be done to assess the success of treatment for electrolyte disturbances .

5. Coagulation test

The coagulation test aims to detect any abnormalities in the blood clotting process or coagulation. If blood tests show an increase in coagulation time, this could be a sign of a bleeding disorder, such as von Willebrand's disease or hemophilia .

6. Thyroid function test

Your doctor may recommend thyroid function tests if you suspect a medical condition that affects thyroid hormones, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

Blood tests to determine thyroid function are carried out by looking at the levels of thyroid hormones, triidothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), as well as thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in the body.

7. Tes enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)

A blood test using the ELISA or EIA method, is a test used to detect antibodies in the blood, which appear as a response to infection.

This examination can be done to diagnose several diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, toxoplasmosis , and the Zika virus.

8. Blood gas analysis

Blood gas analysis is a type of blood test performed to evaluate the acidity (pH) of the blood and the levels of gases in the blood, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide.

This blood test is carried out to review the body's acid-base balance disorders such as acidosis and alkalosis, evaluate lung function, assess the success of lung disease therapy, as well as ascertain the source of the acid-base imbalance that occurs as well as monitor the success of oxygen therapy given.

9. Blood test to review the risk of heart disease

This blood test is done to identify the possibility of coronary heart disease . Some tests that can be done include checking total cholesterol, good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL), and fat in the blood (triglycerides).

The presence of abnormalities in the results of this test can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

In addition to the several types of blood tests above, there are several other procedures such as genetic or chromosomal tests, blood type tests, cancer or tumor marker tests, liver and kidney function tests , and glucose checks.

Blood Sampling Steps

Before taking a blood sample, the doctor will give instructions according to the type of blood test performed. Some tests require you to fast or not eat for 9–12 hours, and to stop taking certain medications and supplements.

Make sure you always follow the doctor's advice before the examination, because it can affect the accuracy of your blood test results. The following are the steps for taking a blood sample for a blood test:

  • Tie the arm with an armband to slow blood flow, so the veins are more clearly visible and the blood sample is easy to collect
  • Clean the sampling area with a tissue or alcohol swab
  • Inserting a syringe to take a blood sample
  • Insert the blood sample taken into a special tube for later examination in the laboratory
  • Untie the arm and press the injection site, then cover it with a bandage

The blood collection procedure usually takes 5-10 minutes, depending on the location of the veins that are easily visible or not.

Although blood tests can be done to confirm the health condition or disease that you are experiencing, always consult your doctor about the complaints you feel so that the doctor can give directions for tests and appropriate treatment.

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