Your GP Bloods explained
We are all advised to get regular check-ups with our GP and part of that check-up involves blood tests but the results can be very difficult to understand what they mean. Here is a brief explanation of what each test refers to and the recommendation healthy range, and some have an optimal range which is a better result to compare to. .
If you would like to analyse your bloods further then do a Live Blood Analysis in clinic where I take a drop of blood and view it under a specialised microscope. It can be extremely revealing for where your blood and health are currently at. To book a consultation email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GP results tells you how many soldiers you have - the Live Blood Analysis tells you how healthy those soldiers are!!
CBC - Complete Blood Count
(To convert mg/dL to mmol/L x 18)
1.WBC range 3.9 – 11.1
This measures the number of white blood cells (WBCs) you have, and the health of your immune system and bone marrow. WBCs help protect the body against infections. Some infections cause WBCs to increase, while others cause a decrease. High numbers can suggest an infection, leukaemia, or other problems. Low numbers may mean you have a weakened immune system or another type of infection.
2.RBC range 3.88-5.5 (optimal for males 4.2 – 4.9 & females 4.0 – 4.5)
This measures the total number of red blood cells (RBCs) in a given amount of blood. RBCs carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Levels can increase from living at high altitudes, certain types of heart and lung disease, certain medicines and other conditions. Lower RBC levels are seen with pregnancy, bleeding, malnutrition, anaemia, kidney disease or other conditions. If too high, there is risk that RBCs may clump together and block tiny blood vessels. If too low, the body does not get the oxygen it needs.
3.Haemoglobin 11.8 - 17g/dL (optimal range for males 14.0 – 15.0 & females 13.5 – 14.5)
Haemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells, helps carry oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues. This test measures how much haemoglobin is present in your blood. Low levels can suggest anaemia, bleeding, lack of certain nutrients, or other conditions - which can lead to weakness and fatigue. Dehydration can cause a temporary increase. Haemoglobin levels usually increase or decrease with RBC levels.
4.Hematocrit 0.36-0.5 L/L (38.5 – 50%) (optimal range males 0.4 – 0.48 & females 0.37 – 0.44)
This is a measure of the percent of blood that is composed of red blood cells. It becomes high with dehydration and other conditions. Low levels occur with anaemia, bleeding, and other conditions.
5.MCV 76 – 96 fl (optimal range 82.0 – 89.9)
The Mean Corpuscular Volume test measures the size of the average red blood cell, which can be affected by anaemia and certain vitamin deficiencies.
6.MCH 27 - 33pg (optimal range 28.0 – 31.9)
The Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin is a measure of the amount of oxygen-carrying haemoglobin in an average red blood cell. This is a specific test for anaemia.
7.MCHC 31 – 36.9g/dL (optimal range 32.0 – 35.0)
The Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration test, used to diagnose anaemia, measures the average concentration of haemoglobin in your red blood cells. The most common cause of low MCHC is lack of iron in the diet.
8.MPV 7.5 - 12.5fl
The Mean Platelet Volume is a calculation of the average size of platelets. Platelets allow the blood to clot. The bone marrow continually produces new platelets to replace those that degrade or are used up. Older platelets are generally smaller than larger younger ones. A low or high MPV can provide important information about platelet production in your bone marrow.
9.RDW 11 - 15%
The Red Cell Distribution Width measures the size of your red blood cells. Certain conditions can cause the size to vary. A high RDW may be a sign of anaemia and other conditions.
10.Platelet Count 140 – 400 thousand/uL (optimal range 155 – 385)
Platelets, the smallest type of blood cell, help in the clotting of blood. A low-level increases risks for excessive bleeding and bruising.
WBC Differential - White Blood Cells (Immune System)
11.Neutrophils 1.7-7% (37-77%)
This is the most common type of white blood cell and is responsible for the immune system’s initial defence against infection or injury. An increased level may be a sign of an acute bacterial infection, leukaemia, or smoking. A reduced level(neutropenia) may be a sign of some types of anaemia. Neutropenia can also be a result of chemotherapy or viral infections.
12.Lymphocytes 1 -3.2% (23-44%)
There are several types of lymphocytes, which are white blood cells in the immune system that protect the body against infection. Abnormal lymphocyte production can be seen in conditions that affect the immune system.
13.Monocytes 0.2 - 1% (4-13%)
This is a type of white blood cell that engulfs foreign invaders by a process called phagocytosis (literally, “cell that eats”). An increased level of monocytes may be related to some inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and may be present in the recovery stage of acute infection. A reduced level of monocytes can be related to chemotherapy or taking corticosteroids.
14.Eosinophils 0 – 0.5% (1-3%)
This is a type of white blood cell that is usually present in very low numbers. An increased level may indicate certain types of disease, a parasitic infection, or allergies. A decreased level may occur in the early stage of shock or trauma, during surgery, or from the use of corticosteroids.
15.Basophils 0.2 – 0.16% (0-1%)
This is a type of white blood cell and is a part of the body’s immune defence against injury and infection. An increased level of basophils may result from allergic reactions, colitis, chickenpox, and some types of anaemia. A decreased level of basophils does not usually have any clinical implications.
Lipids / Fats in Blood
16.Total Cholesterol 3.0 – 5.0 mmol/L (100-199 mg/dL)
This is the total amount of all types of cholesterol in your blood. The lower it is, the lower your cardiac risks for clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes but too low can cause problems. Cholesterol is our a build and repair hormone.
17.HDL Cholesterol 1.0-2.0 mmol/L (40-175mg/dL)
This is the "good" type of cholesterol in your blood. It acts like a magnet to remove cholesterol deposits and unclog arteries, lowering cardiac risks. The more you have, the lower your risk. Exercise is the main way to help increase HDL.
18.LDL Cholesterol 0 – 3.0 mmol/L (0-99 mg/dL)
This is the "bad" cholesterol in your blood. It acts like a dump truck, dumping fats from foods and clogging arteries -increasing cardiac risks. The lower this number is the lower your risk. Eating less high fat foods and more high fibre foods help to decrease LDL. If your result is blank, or N/A, your triglyceride level may have been too high to provide an accurate level.
19.Total/HDL Ratio 0 – 5 ratio
This number is your total cholesterol divided by your HDL cholesterol. The lower it is, the lower your risks for clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes. For the lowest result and risks, decrease total cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. See those results and links for tips.
20.Triglycerides 0.4-2.0 mmol/L (0-149 mg/dL)
This is another type of fat in the blood. Extra calories your body does not use after eating and drinking are turned into triglycerides. High triglycerides combined with high cholesterol further increases the risk of coronary artery disease. Less alcohol, not overeating and not being overweight helps to get and keep triglycerides in the healthy range.
21.Glucose 4 – 5.5 (65-99 mg/dL)
This measures the amount of sugar in your blood since last eating (ideally, 12 hours before test). Glucose level is influenced mainly by what you eat, drink, your insulin level (made by your pancreas or taken as medicine) and having diabetes. A level too low or high increases your risks for fatigue, fainting, going blind, kidney failure and other problems. Being at ideal weight, good nutrition, and exercise help to regulate glucose and decreases risks for diabetes. Some people with diabetes also need medicine and special diets to help control their glucose level.
22.BUN (Urea) 2.9 – 8.2 mmol/L (7-25 mg/dL)
This measures the amount of nitrogen in your blood that comes from the waste product urea. Urea is filtered by the kidney. A high BUN can mean kidney injury or disease. A low BUN can be caused by low protein diets or drinking too much water.
23.Creatinine 49-90 umol/L (0.7 – 1.33 mg/dL)
This measures how your kidneys and muscles are working. High levels can suggest kidney damage, blockage of the urinary tract, dehydration, heart disease, muscle conditions, strenuous exercise and other conditions. Low levels can suggest some of the same conditions.
24.Total Protein 64-83 g/L (6.1 – 8.1 g/dL)
This is another measure of nutritional status and helps to screen for certain liver, kidney and other health problems. If this is high or low, other tests must be performed to find out what the problem may be.
25.Albumin 39-51 g/L (3.6 – 5.1 g/dL)
Albumin is the most common type of protein in the blood and is important for tissue growth and healing. It keeps water in tissues and transports vitamins, minerals and hormones through the body. Abnormal levels can mean kidney or liver problems.
26.Globulin (1.9 – 3.7 g/dL)
This is another type of protein found in the blood. Globulin proteins perform a variety of functions in the body. Immunoglobulins are the most common type of globulin protein and function as antibodies. High globulin levels may occur with chronic infections, liver or kidney problems. Low levels may occur with nephrosis (a kidney condition), anaemia and liver problems.
27.ALB/GLO 1 : 2.5
This is the calculated ratio of albumin to globulin. This may provide a clue to your doctor about what might cause any change in protein levels that may be present.
28.eGFR 60 - 160ml/min/1.73m^2
The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) helps to measure how well your kidney’s function. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that help to remove waste products and keep your blood clean. eGFR estimates how much fluid is filtered through the kidney per minute. Lower levels can be associated with kidney damage, disease or other conditions.
29.Total Bilirubin 1-21 umol/L (0.2 – 1.2 mg/dL)
Bilirubin is a brownish yellow substance found in bile. It is produced when the liver breaks down old red blood cells. When too much is in the blood, the skin begins to turn yellow. High levels could mean liver problems (e.g., hepatitis) or infections of the gallbladder or bile ducts.
30.Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) 35 - 144IU/L
This is found in the liver and the bones. It is released into the blood with rapid bone growth or destruction, or liver cell damage. High levels may be signs of bone growth, liver or bone disease. Low levels may be caused by malnutrition.
31.GGT 3 – 71 U/L (optimal 10 – 30)
This is present in the liver and blood. GGT increases mainly when the liver is damaged or obstructed, with a blockage of the bile duct and/or with chronic alcohol use. Recent alcohol use can cause a temporary increase in GGT.
32.AST (SGOT) 10 – 35 U/L
AST is found mainly in red blood cells, the heart, liver, muscle tissue, pancreas and kidneys. When any of these are injured, they release AST into the blood. The amount of increase can help to tell if and how much the liver or other organs have been damaged. AST can increase for many other reasons including: too much vitamin A; certain types of anaemia, lung damage, cancer, heart attack or heart failure and many of the same causes of high ALT levels (see below).
33.ALT (GPT) 9-40 U/L
ALT is found mostly in the liver. ALT is released into the blood stream, usually before more obvious symptoms of liver damage occur, such as jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin). ALT can increase for many reasons, such as: vigorous exercise; certain infections (e.g., mononucleosis, hepatitis); excess use of alcohol; injury/damage to the liver, pancreas, kidneys or muscles; many medicines; lead poisoning, thyroid disease, severe burns, liver cancer and other problems.
34.Sodium 132 – 146 mmol/L
This helps to keep amount and balance of water in the body - and - helps nerves and muscles to work well. High sodium can be caused by eating too much salt (or other foods high in sodium), dehydration or other health problems. Low sodium can be caused by sweating, burns, drinking too much water or other certain diseases and conditions.
35.Potassium 3.5 - 5.3 mmol/L
This mineral and electrolyte help muscles and nerves to work correctly and helps with water balances in the body and cells. Low and high levels can cause cramps, weakness, confusion, changes in heart rhythm, nausea, diarrhoea, frequent urination, and dehydration.
36.Chloride 94-110 mmol/L
This electrolyte helps keep the amount of fluid inside and outside of your cells in balance. It helps keep the right blood volume, blood pressure and acid-base balance of your body fluids.
37.Magnesium (1.5 - 2.5mg/dL)
This electrolyte helps with muscle, nerve and enzyme (making energy) functions. High levels can be due to dehydration, kidney, thyroid and adrenal gland conditions. Low levels can be due to poor nutrition, alcohol abuse, problems with kidneys, pancreas and diabetes.
38.Calcium 2.15 – 2.55 mmol/L (8.6 – 10.3 mg/dL)
This measures the calcium in your blood - which helps nerves and muscles to work well, blood to clot and cells to reproduce. High or low levels can cause several problems like osteoporosis (low) and kidney problems (high).
39.Phosphorus 0.87 – 1.45 mmol/L (2.5 – 4.5 mg/dL)
Also called phosphate this mineral is important for bone health and energy production. High levels can suggest too much vitamin D in the body, kidney, bone, pregnancy and other conditions. Low levels can suggest malnutrition, thyroid, bone, kidney, liver or other conditions.
40.LD (LDH) A lactate dehydrogenase 120 – 250 IU/L
LDH helps produce energy. It is present in almost all body tissues and it increases with any cell or tissue damage. Lactate dehydrogenase is an enzyme that the body uses during the process of turning sugar into energy for your cells to use. Many conditions and diseases can cause the LD to increase, such as anaemia, heart attacks, lung disease and liver disease.
41.Uric Acid 143-416 umol/L (4-8 mg/dL)
This is made from the breakdown of food you eat and your body's cells. When uric acid builds up it can lead to gout (affecting joints), kidney stones or kidney failure. Uric acid level is affected by: protein, vitamin C and water intake; weight; kidney, liver and thyroid health; and certain types of medicines, poisoning, cancers or other factors.
42.Total Iron 9-30 umol/L (50 - 180IU/L)
Iron helps build haemoglobin which carries oxygen through the body. Low iron levels can lead to anaemia, affecting oxygen and energy levels. Too much iron can cause damage to the liver, heart or pancreas.
Transferrin 2.0 – 3.6 g/L Calculated TIBC 53 – 95 umol/L
Transferrin Saturate 19-43% Serum Vitamin B12 187 – 883 pg/ml (optimal 500)
Serum Folate 3 – 26.9 ng/mL (optimal 20) Ferritin 13 – 200 ng/mL (optimal 100)
Low Iron + High TIBC + Low Transferrin Saturation = iron deficiency anaemia
43.CO2 (20 - 32x10E3)
This is the level of carbon dioxide in the blood. High values can be caused by COPD, emphysema, pneumonia, vomiting and other conditions. Low values can be caused by dehydration, hyperventilation, pneumonia, uncontrolled diabetes, liver, kidney, heart or heart failure, and other causes. Extra Tests - If Applicable
52.TSH 0.27 - 4.2 mIU/L (optimal between 2.0 – 4.2)
This measures the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone. A proper level is needed for normal growth and metabolism. High or low levels can suggest problems with the thyroid or pituitary gland, or amount of medicine being taken to treat such problems.
53. T4 (free) 10.5 – 22 pmol/L (0.8 - 1.8ng/dL) (optimal 12)
This is the main hormone that is made by the thyroid gland. It helps control metabolism. High levels of free T4 can be caused by thyroid conditions such as thyroiditis or goitre, taking too much thyroid medicine, or other causes. Low levels can be caused by infections and problems with the thyroid or pituitary glands.
54.Testosterone (241 - 827ng/dL)
Testosterone is a hormone with important roles in the body. Men have much higher levels in the blood than women. Testosterone affects sexual features and development. It affects the brain, bone and muscle mass, fat distribution, the vascular system, energy levels, genital tissues, and sexual functioning. Low or high levels can help with detection and diagnosis of infertility, impotence and other glandular disorders.
55.Vitamin D 75 – 175 nmol/L (30 - 100ng/mL)
- < 25 nmol/L = severe deficiency
- 25 – 50 nmol/L = Deficiency
- 50 – 75 nmol/L = Insufficiency
- > 75 = Normal
- 100 – 175 nmol/L = Optimal
- > 250 nmol/L = Overdose
- > 375 nmol/L = Toxic
This is the total level of 25(OH)D the inactive form of Vitamin D obtained from the sun and supplements. It is converted by the body to a useable form. It is the most reliable index of Vitamin D status. Vitamin D is important for healthy bones, muscles, cell growth, immune function and reduction of inflammation. Sufficient vitamin D helps to prevent rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults and, with calcium helps protect older adults from osteoporosis, broken hips and falls.
Ceruloplasmin 0.16 – 0.45g/L (0.93 to 2.65 µmol/L)
Ceruloplasmin is an important protein your body makes. Low levels of ceruloplasmin in your blood can cause changes in your body and energy levels. This can affect your day-to-day functions and cause problems with the way your body absorbs nutrients. It can also signal an inherited disorder called Wilson's disease.