Did you know that an easy blood test can reveal more about your health than most doctors? The blood tests your doctor orders are vital to the diagnosis. Your lab results allow physicians to evaluate organ function and detect any blood-borne diseases or abnormalities. Learn all about the complete blood count (CBC) here.
What is the Complete Blood Count (CBC) Test?
A complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test that checks for changes in the blood. It gives information about the types and numbers of cells in your blood. The test will measure the number of
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells and
- Platelets present in your bloodstream
These three components play important roles in different functions in your body. If any of them is within normal ranges, the corresponding function will be handled efficiently. Low or high counts of these cells indicate a dysfunction or disease.
A CBC also shows how well your bone marrow produces healthy blood cells. Everyone has these cells, but certain changes in their numbers can indicate a health problem.
What is it used for?
The CBC is used to test several different types of anemia. It can be used to monitor specific conditions such as cancer and heart failure. Hemoglobin levels, or red blood cell count, are also tested to see if the body has enough healthy red blood cells. Platelet levels are also checked to see if there is an adequate level of platelets being produced by the bone marrow.
Why do I need a complete blood count?
If you have signs or symptoms of infection, your doctor may order a CBC as part of a routine physical exam. It may be ordered if you are being tested for other liver function problems or kidney function problems. A complete blood count is also ordered when you have symptoms that suggest a problem with your blood or if you have a condition that affects your blood cells (such as sickle cell disease).
What happens during a Complete Blood Count test?
As a part of the procedure, performed by qualified phlebotomists or lab technicians draw required blood from the superficial veins of the upper arm using a syringe and transfer it to a test tube or a vial. The specimen will then be sent to the lab for analysis.
The amount of blood taken depends on how many tests you’re having done, but it’s usually about 1mL to 3mL.
In most cases, you do not need to fast before having this test done. You may eat or drink normally before the test. However, it is advised to drink plenty of water before your appointment. When you’re hydrated, your blood volume goes up, and your veins are plumper and easier to access.
The purpose of a Complete Blood Count
- For overall health assessment of the patient: It is often recommended as part of a complete medical examination to obtain a CBC to get a complete picture of a patient’s health. This will help your doctor identify any potential health issues you may have.
- Diagnose medical conditions: If you are ill, your doctor will perform a CBC to determine the cause or etiology of your illness and determine your WBC count. . Typically, this is done when the patient is experiencing symptoms of fatigue, fever, weakness, or even internal bleeding.
- Monitoring a medical treatment’s effectiveness: A CBC can only be used to monitor specific treatments. Counting your blood cells and white blood cells (RBCs & WBCs) allows the doctors to monitor how well the treatment works.
- To monitor your health: If you suffer from a medical condition that affects your blood, your doctor may recommend a CBC test to check your blood cell count. Your doctor may prescribe medication or dietary changes to manage the condition.
What does a CBC measure?
The complete blood count (CBC) is one of the most common tests performed in a doctor’s office or hospital. It measures red and white blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin.
1. Red Blood Cells
Red blood cells are the most abundant type of blood cell and carry oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues. Your body’s amount of red blood cells depends on your age and sex. This test measures your level of red blood cells.
2. White Blood Cells
White blood cells are essential for fighting infections, protecting against disease, and healing wounds. There are five different types of white blood cells: neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils. You can determine how many white blood cells you have by taking this test.
Platelets help prevent bleeding by forming clots at sites where vessels have been injured or damaged. If you lose too many platelets, you could bleed excessively after an injury or surgery. This test measures how many platelets you have per microliter of blood (microliters).
4. Hemoglobin (Hgb)
Hemoglobin is the protein in your blood that holds oxygen. The test determines the Hb level of the patient and the HbA1C level of blood glucose to determine if the patient is not suffering from pre-diabetes.
5. Mean Corpuscular Volume or MCV
A red blood cell scale is used to measure the size of the RBC. The size of these cells provides significant information about the patient’s medical condition. A high MCV indicates low folate or vitamin B12 levels if your cells are larger than usual. If the size is smaller, this may be a sign of anemia.
A doctor can determine how many red cells are present in your blood by measuring this. Low percentages may indicate iron deficiency. The mineral iron is responsible for the red blood cell count. However, if your score is high, you may be dehydrated or suffering from another condition or disorder.
What does the result indicate?
CBCs measure the number of cells in your blood. If your counts are not within normal ranges, there may be several reasons. These include:
- Hematocrit or red blood cell levels that are abnormal can be signs of anemia, heart disease, or low iron levels.
- White cell count may be low due to certain autoimmune disorders, bone marrow disorders, or cancer.
- A high white blood cell count could result from an infection or an adverse reaction to medicine.
When your levels are abnormal, it does not always mean you have a medical problem that requires treatment. Diet, activity level, medicine, menstruation, and not drinking enough water can affect the results.
CBCS is useful for evaluating an individual’s overall health. CBCs are associated with very low or no risks. There is only one procedure that involves taking a blood sample from the patient. By the results of this blood test, the next phase of treatment can be determined.
Present in 9 locations across 8 major cities in India, Dr. Remedies Labs offers Complete Blood Count tests as a part of its various packages at affordable prices. On taking an appointment, qualified phlebotomists will visit your residence or office to collect the samples and revert with the reports by email. To know more about CBC and other tests visit our website.
What is the complete blood count test?
Complete blood counts (CBCs) are tests that are conducted to count your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. As a part of the checkup routine or to check anemia, a condition with fewer red blood cells than usual, your doctor may order a CBC.
What diseases can a CBC detect?
The most common diseases detected by a CBC are anemia, autoimmune disorders, bone marrow disorders, dehydration, infections, inflammation, leukemia, lymphoma, myeloproliferative neoplasms, myelodysplastic syndrome, sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and nutritional deficiencies.
Are regular blood tests important?
The most important way to ensure you are in good health is to have regular blood tests. You can monitor how your body changes over time by getting tested at regular intervals and making informed health decisions.
Does a complete blood count test require fasting?
You can generally eat and drink before the test if the blood sample is only being tested for a complete blood count. Sometimes you need to fast for a certain period before the test if your blood sample is used for additional tests. Specific instructions are given to you by your doctor.
What are the symptoms of having low white blood cells?
Body aches and headaches are common symptoms of leukopenia, characterized by low WBC levels. Schedule an appointment with the doctor if you experience these symptoms. He/she may recommend a WBC count.