A blood test is essentially a laboratory analysis of a blood sample to gauge the levels of various factors in the body. This can include sugar, bacteria, haemoglobin, cancer detection and more. Such a test is a stepping stone towards diagnosing any complaints a patient might have. If you present with unusual or advanced symptoms linked to a certain disease, a doctor will request a blood test to confirm their diagnosis or alter your course of treatment based on the results.
For example, in the case of diabetic patients, a blood sugar test is carried out to confirm sugar levels are within a normal range. Conducting surgery on a patient with high or low sugar can put them at a fatally high risk with complications arising during the surgery.
Blood tests are also used to monitor a patient’s recovery in terms of the presence of bacteria in the blood lowering or other adverse conditions subsiding with each subsequent RBS test (random blood sugar test).
Types of blood test
Based on your medical complaint or health condition, there are various blood tests that you will be required to take. The main blood sugar test will be covered here in detail while the rest will be touched upon.
Blood glucose test: Also known as the diabetes test, this checks to see if your body is producing insulin appropriately by measuring your blood sugar or glucose content with fasting and non-fasting tests or a prandial and post-prandial blood sugar test.
The first diabetes test will be done at a clinic to diagnose your levels and until your medication is adjusted to your requirements. Post this, diabetics can check their glucose levels at home with a simple finger-prick machine that analyses them in an instant. Doctors will most likely conduct RBS tests to monitor your progress and adjust your medication according to each result.
Calcium blood test: This blood test measures the amount of calcium in your blood and will be conducted based on suspicions of thyroid, kidney, bone and intestinal disease to name only a few. The doctor will decide to conduct it based on your symptoms and medical history.
Cardiac enzyme tests: This RBS test checks whether the cardiac muscles are damaged and if a person has had a heart attack.
When do you need a blood test?
Your doctor will order a full panel of blood tests during your annual check-up to ensure all bodily systems are functioning properly.
Otherwise, if you present with certain medical complaints, they will order the relevant blood tests to diagnose your condition, and as mentioned above, subsequent blood tests will be used to chart recovery progress.
A blood test will involve a tourniquet being placed on your arm above the elbow. You will have to form a fist, and a hypodermic syringe will be inserted into your vein to draw blood. Release your fist as blood is being drawn.
In the case of children, there may be another site of extraction. The process is fairly painless and will have no adverse effects. Once the needle is removed, the nurse will place cotton wool with antiseptic to site and apply pressure before placing a bandage on it.
Effects of a blood sugar test:
You may feel dizzy or lightheaded after a blood sugar test, especially if you are anaemic or have diabetes as even a slight loss of blood can affect your body in such a case.
If you are being tested for gestational diabetes, the test poses no significant risk to you or the baby. The site of the prick could produce a means of infection, but this is very rare, Monitor the site for swelling and yourself for a fever over the next few days.
In both of the above cases, the need to fast for 8 hours prior can make your faint or nauseated. For the second test where you must drink a glucose drink and then take a second diabetes test, you may feel sick because of the drink. It could cause nausea, stomach discomfort, diarrhoea and constipation though not to an adverse extent.
In general, blood test present no side-effects or risks and you may only feel a slight soreness at the point of needle insertion.
Diagnosis of blood test
Once the lab finished analysing your sample, a report will be generated and either sent to your doctor or you. Once the doctor received them, they will study the results, give you your diagnosis and start treatment accordingly. For instance, if you have done a diabetes test and your sugar is high, they will increase your dosage to ensure it drops to a normal range.
When do you need us?
In the case of some patients, you may not be able to go to the hospital or clinic for your blood tests. Perhaps, an elderly person needs their regular diabetes test and are too frail to leave their home. Portea offers a Home Lab service that collects sample right in your home and takes them to the lab for analysis before returning the tests to you swiftly and conveniently. We have over 1,50,000+ happy customers who do not struggle with empty stomachs waiting in line for their prandial tests. All our tests are quality assured with trained medical staff and our reliability is assured with NABL certified partners.
Blood tests are key to diagnosing, monitoring and recovering from a variety of health conditions. However, they do come with certain difficulties and inconveniences, and this is where Portea’s Home Lab service can help you stay healthy.