With the launch of our new Phlebotomy (blood testing) service last week, I’d like to take the opportunity to elaborate on how blood testing can be useful and what exactly is being analysed.
Our blood test involves drawing blood through a needle from the small veins in the arm. This process takes around 3 minutes to complete and only 11ml of blood is drawn in total (less than 0.01% of your total blood volume).
Once the samples have been collected, they are taken in specially designed packages to a local laboratory for analysis. When analysis is complete, the results are sent directly to CP+R and your samples are destroyed.
The type of test we have selected:
We have specifically chosen blood tests to reflect general health and identify nutritional or training needs that would not be otherwise detected in the rest of our assessment process. The tests will also allow us to track over time the impact of your lifestyle changes on disease risk and several different health outcomes. We will compare all results with normal values for your age, sex and clinical history and then report back to you the results and what they mean.
The key areas we will be testing are as follows:
Full Blood Count
This tests for immune cell levels, which can detect inflammation which may rise with disease or infection. This also allows us to establish the quality of your immune function as well as looking at the blood’s ability to carry oxygen which is vital for good energy metabolism.
Urea and Electrolytes
These provide essential information on renal (kidney) function, particularly with how the kidneys excrete metabolites (compounds broken down by the body) and maintenance of healthy hydration and salt levels. Two of the key markers we assess are Creatinine and estimated Globular Filtration Rate (eGFR) which are the strongest determinants of kidney health.
Liver Function Test
As the name suggests this part of the blood test assess liver function. The liver is key in processing what we eat and drink and filtering out any harmful substances in the body. Key markers here include Alanine transaminase (ALT) and Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) which are enzymes that your liver releases when damage occurs.
Creatine Kinase and Lactate Dehydrogenase are enzymes that are heavily involved in the contraction and energy metabolism of the muscle. Changes in these levels can indicate changing function in skeletal muscles and the heart muscle (myocardium).
Our blood test assesses calcium and phosphate levels which influence bone density and osteoporosis risk as well as uric acid which is associated with gout, or risk thereof.
Cholesterol and Glucose
As before we will continue to monitor blood cholesterol levels and glucose, but with the added benefit of a more direct sampling technique. In addition, we will assess HbA1c which gives an average of blood sugar levels over the previous weeks providing longer term data on metabolic health.
As you can see, we can gain valuable insight into your health with this new assessment measure. The blood test will provide detailed information that enables us to be even more specific with your programme, particularly with nutrition advice, and help you to progress further and faster towards your best possible health.
Words of wisdom:
“Keep you blood clean, your body lean and your mind sharp” – Henry Rollins