Routine Blood Work for Seniors: Frequently Recommended TestsMay 13, 2022
Many routine visits to your primary care doctor also include blood work to make sure there are no issues that are present and to begin the proper treatment for any that are detected. Here are a few common tests that are typically recommended for seniors.
You’ve likely heard of a Complete Blood Count (CBC) as this is a common test performed on most adults. The test looks at just about every component of your blood and often requires a few tubes of blood being drawn at one time.
A count of your red and white blood cells is taken as well as the hematocrit level, which is the overall percentage of red blood cells. Your hemoglobin is also measured. This is the number of grams that are in each deciliter of blood.
A platelet count and mean corpuscular volume is taken as well. This test is essential in determining if you’re anemic or if there are significant highs or lows with your red or white blood cells.
This test is known as a chem-7 and looks at the electrolytes in your blood. An important component that is measured is the potassium level as it can give an indication as to whether or not there’s anything wrong with your heart.
The blood urea nitrogen level is measured as well as your glucose and sodium levels. Chloride and carbon dioxide are measured along with creatinine during this blood test. This test is beneficial for seniors as it can help diagnose diabetes and can help monitor how the lungs and kidneys are functioning. You should consider having this test performed after turning 40.
There is a comprehensive metabolic panel that’s performed that adds about seven more measurements with the chem-7 test. Details about your alkaline levels, protein, and bilirubin are examined with this test.
Calcium levels are also measured, which is beneficial as there are some medications that can interact with these levels in your body. Your doctor can also get information about your liver function with this expanded test.
After the age of 35, you should consider having a lipid panel performed. This test measures your cholesterol levels. If you’re overweight or eat foods that are high in fat, then you might want to have this test performed earlier.
Your total cholesterol levels are measured as well as the high-density and low-density lipoprotein levels. The triglycerides are included in the test as well. This is an important test as it can aid in diagnosing issues with the cardiovascular system.
A common issue among adults over the age of 65 is hypothyroidism. It typically presents with lower energy levels and changes in your weight. Free thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormones are measured with this test. Medication can be taken if the levels are too high or too low, which can often increase your energy levels and make you feel better during the day.
Another issue that can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, and memory loss is a decrease in your vitamin B12 levels. This blood test checks the amount of this vitamin in your body with supplements being prescribed if the levels are too low.
Anemia and iron deficiency are common issues among seniors, especially if you’re not eating a balanced diet. A ferritin test can examine these levels to determine if you’re anemic and need to begin taking an iron supplement. It can also be used to help diagnose inflammatory diseases. This is a test that can be performed at any age but is essential for seniors as the blood cells begin to break down over time.
Whether you’re in your best health or you’ve started experiencing issues that you can’t pinpoint, talk to your doctor about performing these routine blood tests.
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