The vast majority of us are guilty of neglecting some, if not all preventative measures that could help flag and minimize health issues before they progress. Most of us visit our physicians for an annual physical and assume we have done our due diligence to manage our health. Unfortunately, general practitioners in the U.S. do not have the time or incentive to analyze each patient’s blood work in detail, which often results in overlooked health concerns. While it is normal to put off non-urgent medical appointments, several types of blood tests offer an in-depth review of your current health status and in turn, improve your quality of life.
At Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena, we encourage patients to take control of their health by educating them on some of the most important blood tests to have done each year. Continue reading to learn why we believe the following five blood tests should be completed annually.
Top Annual Blood Tests Recommended by Pasadena Clinicians
Check all thyroid markers
The thyroid is an essential part of weight management, hormonal balance, digestion, and many other important bodily functions. Unfortunately, completing a comprehensive analysis of the thyroid is no small task, and most physicians will only check up to two of the eight thyroid health markers; namely, TSH and T4. These general blood tests fail to provide enough information to rule out all thyroid health conditions, which can result in serious damage if left without treatment.
As with all blood work, physicians will simply look for normal values while neglecting to help the patient improve their health through long-term lifestyle changes. By visiting a top-rated clinic like Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena, we will thoroughly analyze your blood test results and provide actionable tips to help avoid future thyroid complications.
Essential nutrient deficiencies
Many of us struggle to maintain optimal levels of essential vitamins and minerals in the blood. Routine blood work may be sufficient for flagging certain major health issues, however, to improve your overall quality of life, nutrition should be of primary concern. Unfortunately, the body does not naturally produce all of the vitamins and minerals we need to maintain consistent energy levels, manage mood swings, improve sleep, and prevent potential health issues.
Many women, for example, suffer from anemia due to menstruation, where the body’s iron stores are depleted through excessive loss of blood. This deficiency results in low energy, trouble breathing, an elevated heart rate, and other symptoms which affect everyday life. Similarly, individuals who present low levels of vitamin B12 often describe a feeling of fatigue and brain fog. These issues can be dealt with through diet changes or supplementation, which our clinicians are happy to guide patients through in order to optimize their essential nutrient levels.
Standard metabolic panel and blood count
Unsurprisingly, your general practitioner will review a couple of key blood tests during your annual physical. Such tests normally include a metabolic panel and blood count. The reason why a metabolic panel is standard practice for most physicals is that it provides a plethora of vital information and indicators of essential organ function. This test reveals your blood glucose level, which is useful for catching diabetes and various heart problems early on. The panel also measures electrolyte levels, which can cause fatigue, elevated heart rate, and many other problems if they are not in balance. Signs of kidney and liver dysfunction can also be identified through this test.
Your blood count will also be assessed as a part of your standard annual blood tests. This gives your doctor a comprehensive understanding of your hemoglobin, platelets, red and white blood cells, along with other elements of the blood. These tests are essential for flagging a variety of serious health conditions such as leukemia. Although these blood tests should be a part of your yearly physical, you may consider going to a clinic for a more in-depth analysis of these important tests.
While many physicians include a basic lipid profile as a part of the patient’s annual metabolic health assessment, these panels are rarely explained in depth or used to help the patient alter their diet accordingly. This is important to note because if the body is not metabolizing cholesterol and triglycerides properly, it will be important to keep cholesterol intake to a minimum to avoid heart disease among other issues.
Triglyceride levels higher than 199 mg/dL may indicate metabolic syndrome, which can trigger many compromising side effects such as high blood pressure, high blood glucose, and others. Thankfully there are many diet alterations that can be made to combat metabolic syndrome, but if your blood lipid profile is not analyzed in detail at least once a year, you may not be able to manage these symptoms successfully without medication.
Despite the significance of inflammation-related changes in the body, inflammatory markers are rarely assessed by primary caregivers. Unfortunately, this often results in surprising events such as heart attacks, the onset of mental disorders, and other health issues. Inflammatory markers are heavily influenced by various lifestyle factors. Stress, lack of exercise, dietary issues, traumatic events, and many other factors can affect the way that inflammation manifests in the body.
Inflammatory blood tests look for plasma viscosity, C-reactive protein, and several other markers. By keeping a close eye on these factors, clinicians can help patients identify food sensitivities, advise on necessary lifestyle changes and discuss the possibility of an autoimmune disease.
Schedule Yearly Blood Tests with Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena
Are you looking for somewhere to complete a comprehensive blood test near Pasadena? Our clinicians at Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena will ensure that all of the aforementioned blood tests are done and analyzed in detail by reputable healthcare professionals. Additionally, we will provide all of the information you need to make lifestyle and diet changes that will protect you against threatening health conditions. Contact us today at 626-304-0404 to schedule a blood test in our Pasadena lab.