Discover 7 Blood Tests You May Need To Look And Feel Better

Those annual blood tests give us critical clues on the state of our health! Here are 7 other tests you may not be aware of that dig a little deeper and that could really benefit you and your family so that you can take actions to feel and look better, improve your health or even prevent serious disease!
Not a fan of doctor visits and especially the needles that can sometimes go along with those doctor visits? I certainly get that, but until another way to peek at our blood is discovered, I am afraid there is no other way to get such a clear picture of what is going on in our bodies than a blood test that does require . . . a needle.

But that pinch we feel at a blood draw is so worth it! After all, our blood holds an immense amount of clues and signs that you don't want to miss out on so that you can take actions to improve your health, feel and look better or even prevent serious disease!


The doctor I see regularly orders a rather thorough annual blood work-up, and from my reading and research, many other doctors are regularly ordering more specific blood tests, too.  Come take a look and see if you may want to ask your health care provider if any of these tests listed here might be a good idea for you and your family members as well.







Common Annual Blood Tests


Here are some of the more common blood tests your doctor may order annually for most age groups as well as a bit about what important information it can provide. Do any of these sound familiar? Please note sometimes the names of tests can be different for the same test:

1.  Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC) 

This test measures the concentration of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets in the blood indicating infection, anemia or other blood abnormalities. The size of your red cells can be a good indicator of nutritional deficiencies, too. 

2.  Chemistry Panel 

This test provides information on your cardiovascular system by testing for total cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), LDL (low-density lipoprotein), triglycerides and the total cholesterol/HDL ratio. It also measures blood glucose, which is critically important for detecting diabetes and coronary artery disease. Also included in the Chemistry Panel is an assessment of critical minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron. 

Note: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all children between the ages of 9 and 11 be screened for high cholesterol. 

3.  Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) 

This test gives information about the current status of your kidneys, liver and electrolyte and acid/base balance as well as your blood sugar and blood proteins.





7 More Blood Tests To Consider For Your Best Health Care Picture


Those tests listed in the previous section tell a lot, but, you may want to ask your health care provider about a few more.  These seven blood tests could benefit you and your family based on your family history, symptoms you may be experiencing or other reasons and they all can be run during the same blood draw when you get your other blood work (and then you don't have to get stuck twice!).  This list is certainly not exhaustive and for you, there may be others that may really help you, but here are some that are being seen more and more on annual physical exams to get a deeper look:


1.  C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

Inflammation within our body is not a desirable thing! The C-Reactive Protein tests provides a biomarker of inflammation, which can point to your risk for cardiovascular trouble, diabetes, macular degeneration, and cognitive decline.  

There is another CRP test called the highly sensitive cardiac CRP test which measures C-reactive protein in the blood at very early stages of vascular disease, allowing for appropriate intervention with diet, supplements, or anti-inflammatory therapy. The cardiac CRP test detects much smaller levels of inflammation than the basic CRP test, so is therefore able to identify at-risk patients earlier, even among apparently healthy persons.

Don't miss this:  How science keeps showing that this delicious diet can greatly lower inflammation.


2.  Complete Thyroid Work-Up

An underperformed thyroid (hypothyroidism) is incredibly common and I suffer from it myself! Because the symptoms of thyroid imbalance may be nonspecific or absent and may progress slowly, and since many doctors do not routinely screen for thyroid function, people with mild hyper- or hypothyroidism can go undiagnosed for some time. Undiagnosed mild disease can progress and create elevated cholesterol as well as many other conditions.

it is possible to have normal TSH blood levels but still experience the symptoms of a poorly functioning thyroid, thus a more complete thyroid screening could include:
  • TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)
  • free T4
  • free T3
  • TBG (thyroid binding globulin)
  • T3 uptake
  • For those with an autoimmune disease or family history of thyroid disease, TPO antibodies and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies
Don't miss this:  Here are some ways to improve your thyroid function you may not have heard about.


Those annual blood tests give us critical clues on the state of our health! Here are 7 other tests you may not be aware of that dig a little deeper and that could really benefit you and your family so that you can take actions to feel and look better, improve your health or even prevent serious disease!




3.  Hemoglobin A1C 

This test measures a person’s blood sugar control over the last two to three months and is an independent predictor of heart disease risk in persons with or without diabetes. It can also detect pre-diabetes so that measures can be taken to avoid full onset.


4. Homocysteine

Having elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood  is associated with atherosclerosis and blood clots. High homocysteine levels have been associated with increased risk of heart attack, bone fracture, and poor cognitive function.


5.   Vitamin D

With heavy use of sunscreens, working inside and living in areas without a lot of sunshine, it can be difficult to obtain optimal levels of Vitamin D.  Having a deficiency of this super nutrient, Vitamin D,  has been linked to many health issues: osteoporosis, increased fracture risk, cancer, autoimmune dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, lowered resistance to colds and the flu, type 1 diabetes, and hypertension. 

With a simple blood draw to test your levels, you can then discuss with your doctor if supplementation with D3 or other means to increase your levels may be a good option for you. 

Don't miss this:  Certain foods can provide sunscreen benefits. Tap here to learn what to eat before a day in the sun for protection!


6. B12 

It is not uncommon for someone following a vegan or vegetarian diet to be low in vitamin B12. But, you can eat meat and still be deficient as well.  Some other disorders can cause it, too, and having lower levels of B12 can cause a host of silent health issues:  a type of anemia that can result in neurological symptoms such as walking and balance disturbances, memory loss, cognitive decline, confusion, and dementia: as well as potential infertility and autoimmune disease.


7. VAP Cholesterol Test

You have probably been tested for total cholesterol, HDL, and LDL levels.  However, the VAP Test takes a closer look at your LDL levels (or your bad cholesterol level) and that closer look can actually be very important as not all types of LDL are related to an increased risk for heart disease. The VAP test is a specialized test that detects the small, dense type of LDL that contributes to the rise in heart disease risk that could help you counteract its affects with the right plan from your doctor.


So, don't fear the needles! Annual blood tests do play a critical role in your health as they provide big hints as to what is going on in your body even though you or someone in your family may be symptom-free.  You then can counteract what is going on with lifestyle changes or at least look even closer to find what is best for you.







For Even More On The Topic . . . 


  • Have you heard of concierge medicine? If not, I promise, you will. Let me tell you more about it.

18 comments:

  1. I do think most of us are probably walking around with vitamin deficiencies that are affecting our health and we don't even know it. I just found out I am hugely deficient in Vit. D, which is easy enough to remedy now that I am aware of it.

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    1. That is so great you were tested and now know! Once your levels are up, you should have more energy, too. I have friends experience that once they were able to repair their low Vitamin D level. Good luck, Michele and thank you so much for coming by.

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  2. THIS IS INSANELY helpful for so many because so many people have NO IDEA what to do when it comes to blood work!

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    1. Thrilled you think this could help, Gigi! That means a lot!

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  3. Interesting information but I"m curious if these other 7 tests are usually paid for by insurance? I already have the normal three but I had not heard of the others. I regularly take Vitamin D per the doctors recommendation.

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    1. A lot of these are becoming more and more regular. Thus, there is a good chance they are covered, but of course, check with your insurance company first. That vitamin D test can see what your range is as well! Good luck, Lee!

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  4. That is a good run down of helpful blood tests. My doctor does most of those every 6 months. I am needing to find a new doctor so I hope I can continue to get them.
    Kathleen
    Blogger's Pit Stop

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    1. Great that you get these tests, Kathleen! My suggestion - Talk to your doctor about your feelings about these tests if he or she is hesitant. You have a say in your health care!

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  5. I think it is so important to get blood work done... I have a really difficult time getting blood drawn, it usually takes them 3-4 attempts... I have turn my head, regardless I still get it done xox

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    1. Brave and smart lady! Here is a tip - before you know you have to have blood drawn, drink extra water the day and hours before to be very hydrated. I have been told by lab techs it makes the blood draw easier!

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  6. These are very valuable tips. Thank you so much for sharing them on the #HomeMattersParty

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    1. So glad you think so, Jeanne! I do hope this list opens some discussions with readers and their doctors. Thanks for coming by!

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  7. Great info, thanks so much for sharing! I am looking into a blood test to figure out my histamine reactions to certain foods. Unfortunately I have to travel to have it performed though :(

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    1. It will be worth it, though, Annmarie, to obtain that information that should help you avoid the foods that aggravate your system. I wish you the best of luck!

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  8. I haven't had blood work done in a LONG time. I should probably get on that! Thanks for the push!

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    1. Glad to do so, Nicole! It really is important to get a better peek on how your body is really functioning even when symptom-free as there is lots you can do to improve any issues you may have!

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  9. It's such a pleasure to read and share your helpful and informative insights on blood tests we may need to look and feel better. I have to add these to my healthy 'to do' list! Thank you for partying with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing this!

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    1. I hope you do and thanks for the kind words!

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