What blood tests can tell us about wellbeing

Rupinder Roopi Bhatti Pathology Manager at Nuffield Health Glasgow Hospital More by this author
Blood tests aren’t just about finding disease, they’re also a great tool for checking what’s happening 'under the hood' for a better understanding of general health and wellbeing.

Wellbeing blood profiles can provide a level of insight not possible with regular physical checks or standard blood testing. This information can help you pursue lifestyle changes that can be tracked through follow-up tests to demonstrate how you are progressing towards your goals.

Blood tests can help to measure many aspects of your wellbeing ranging from diabetes, heart health and nutrition to digestive and bone health. Here are just some personal wellbeing areas that blood tests assist with:

Men’s and women’s health

Wellness Screening consists of a group of blood tests that assess your overall health. The haematology part checks for anaemia and blood clotting, whereas the biochemistry section checks your kidney function, cholesterol levels and a breakdown of these into the lipid subsections. This is not only used to help determine the risk of coronary artery disease but also used for iron deficiency and blood disorders.

Vitamin levels and deficiencies

A Vitamin Screen looks for a range of vitamins that play a vital role in a healthy, balanced diet. Results can help to balance the essential vitamins into the diet by understanding the levels that are low. For example, vitamin D is needed for strong bones and teeth and deficiency can lead to osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). Vitamin B12 and folate help promote healthy nerves, skin, eyes, muscle and cardiovascular function.

Bloating and abdominal discomfort

An Abdominal Screen looks at numerous factors that can cause bloating and abdominal pain. It can identify gluten sensitivity, which can cause such symptoms and this can be tested along with a Coeliac Screen to check the absorption of nutrients from food in the small intestine.

Hormone balance

Hormonal changes in women during the menopause occur when the levels of oestrogen are low, leading to osteoporosis, vaginal dryness, hot flushes and lethargy. A Menopause Screen measures female hormones so proper treatment can be found to balance these out.

Joint pain

Soft tissues and joints can swell causing vascular problems that impinge and control day to day activities. These autoimmune diseases can be chronic and affect joints, muscles, soft tissues and blood vessels. These include arthritis and lupus. Testing the autoimmune profile can give the most basic idea of the levels of inflammation but an intense Rheumatology Screen can focus on cell and tissue factors to help target the source to control the pain and slow down the process of degeneration.

Monday 3 July 2017

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