What Your Basic Blood Chemistry Is Telling You

Your doctor writes several items on the prescription pad.

It looks like that a number of blood chemistry parameter is requested for you to undergo in the laboratory.

You are wondering what are these tests for?​


Reviewing patient records and recommending annual medical checks are just but a few of the customary tasks that I do. 

I thought perhaps I would share you what parameters doctors commonly include when requesting for blood chemistry tests.

Here are some of the most common items and what they are for: 

Complete Blood Count

Shows the overall picture of your blood if you have anemia or infection. There are some other things that your doctor can get from the results.

It depends on what they are specifically looking for. 

Fasting Blood Sugar

This is common.

Checks if your blood sugar is in control and if you don’t have diabetes or the other way around, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Both are dangerous to your health. 

Lipid Panel (Total Cholesterol, HDL “good cholesterol”, LDL “bad cholesterol”, Triglycerides)

An interesting part where you can commonly hear your health practitioner say “avoid meat”, “avoid alcohol”, avoid too much fat in your food blah, blah.”

Total Cholesterol is just the sum of the “good” and the “bad” and the “in-between” types.

HDL “good” cholesterol is associated with less heart risks. You can increase it by consuming fatty sea fishes and by exercising.

LDL “bad” cholesterol is associated on the other hand with higher risks for developing heart disease.

Although this is an oversimplification (there are now more precise modes of measuring the LDL types), just remember it as it is for now so you will not get confused.

I’ll discuss it in my website one day.

To lower your bad cholesterol, you have to STOP SMOKING, DO EXERCISE, and AVOID EATING TOO MUCH SATURATED FATS (in the presence of excessive simple carbohydrates).

Triglycerides (TG) is the FAT floating in your system. It comes from 3 sources:

  1. Dietary fat intake
  2. Excess Sugar that you consume
  3. Alcohol

If you want to lower your TG, now you know how. Just cut back on the 3 items above and also add some exercise. 

Kidney Function Test (Blood Urea Nitrogen, Creatinine)

These parameters are cleared by your kidneys all the time.

A rise in the numbers would mean that your kidneys might be having hard time flushing out excess of these elements.

Long time high blood pressure and diabetes can COMPROMISE the function of your kidneys. 

Liver Function Tests (SGPT, SGOT)

The liver is one of the most resistant organs in our body. It is also the main organ that detoxifies all the BAD SUBSTANCES that enters the body. 

SGPT and SGOT are liver enzymes. A rise in numbers can mean that your liver is having some problem like infection or inflammation.

Results of course are correlated with your clinical symptoms. 

There are so much more to discuss but basically, these are some of the most commonly requested components of a blood chemistry test. 

Hope this helps you understand what your doctors are trying to determine. 

If you have questions, please comment below. 

When did you have your last health check?

About the Author Alex Saroca MD

Alex Saroca is the founder of Tabachoy Academy. He is a general physician by profession, an author, a blogger, and an entrepreneur. He is on a mission to educate and make Filipinos realize - especially those with overweight, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes - that lifestyle modification is still more powerful than any drug in preventing heart disease, treating heart disease, and improving one's physical state and longevity.

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Leave a Comment:

Jaime de Guzman says July 14, 2017

Doc Alex,I lost my job bec. I have a very low hemoglobin, any natural way to increase the number?(126)

    Alex Saroca MD says July 15, 2017

    Hi Jaime,

    Sorry to hear about your job. Although there are many natural ways to increase hemoglobin, we need to know first what caused the hemoglobin values to drop. There are several general conditions that can lead to low hemoglobin.

    For example:

    1. Nutritional Deficiencies like Vitamin B12 or Vit C or Iron deficiencies
    2. Any condition that can lead to lower production or increased destruction of your Red Blood Cells.

    The list can go on…

    The best way for now is to discuss the issue further with your family doctor so he can determine what is the root cause of the decline and from there, it is easier to create a plan how to actually increase it.

    I hope this helps. Get well soon.

    Doc Alex

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