How to understand what your blood analysis/lab results mean

The blood that flows in our veins contains a lot of information about our health. So the blood test or blood work is the most precise and quick insight into your body.

Here we will explain what you need to know about your blood work or blood analysis.

What is blood work?

Our blood carries all good and bad stuff in and out of our bodies. It is like a highway, avenues, street and side streets of a city – your body. Around 5 litres of blood flows through your body. Blood brings nutrients to all your organs. Through blood work results, one can know what you have been eating or drinking too much of.

So in a way blood work connects your body. The blood test or blood analysis can show very precisely what is going on inside your body. Things that you will never notice on the outside can be easily detected. Diseases can be prevented through the understandings and learnings from regular blood analysis. Because blood tests and blood analysis can reveal very important, and sometimes critical, information about our health state, regular blood work can therefore prevent a lot of health issues.

Blood Tests for Blood Analysis.

Here are different ways your blood is drawn from your body in order to be analyzed:

  • Blood drawn from a vein (most common)
  • Capillary skin puncture (finger stick)
  • Blood drawn from an artery
  • Dried blood samples
  • Bone marrow aspiration

What happens to blood in the blood lab?

Blood that is taken from you goes into special blood test tubes. Those are special because they have a certain chemical on their walls that prevents blood from clotting. Then all tubes with blood are going into the lab or laboratory for blood work analysis. First the blood in the tubes is placed into a special machine. This machine spins the blood in the tubes so fast that the blood will separates into 3 liquid layers.The machine is called centrifuge. And the process that this machine does to the blood work is called centrifugation.

In this centrifugation process the heavy part of the blood will go to the bottom of the tube, and the less dense part of the blood will rise towards the top of the blood tube. In this process the blood in the tube will be separated into 3 layers: Plasma, White Blood Cells and Red Blood Cells.

The least dense is Plasma and this is the biggest part of the blood. Plasma will make up around 55% of the blood volume. Plasma itself consists of 90% water, 8% is plasma protein like Albumin, Antibody, Fibrinogen. And 2% is hormones, electrolytes and nutrients. So many things that we talk about, like vitamins, will be present in your blood plasma.

Right after Plasma there is another layer that is very tiny, it takes less than 1% of the total amount of blood. This layer contains White Blood Cells / Platelets.

The most dense layer of our blood is called Red Blood Cells. This layer makes up around 45% of our blood. This layer contains hemoglobin.

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Blood Analysis Ranges / Reference Ranges

During the analysis of your blood work your results are compared to so called “Normal Values”. These values can be different from lab to lab and should be considered as directional only. Most of these ranges may depend on various factors such as:

  • Location. Where you live can play a role in forming the reference range, for example is Alaska versus Florida.
  • Age. Very important to understand that those numbers must be specifically applied to age. For example, you cannot use ranges that you normally use for an adult for a newborn.
  • Sex. Gender is also important, as men and women have different ranges. For example various hormone levels such as testosterone, estrogen, etc.
  • The ‘situation’ factor is also very important. You should not compare your blood work after a heavy Thanksgiving dinner to blood drawn after a week-long Yoga retreat.
  • Fasting versus non-fasting. A specific example here is measuring your fasting glucose levels. Let’s say they told you to come to make a test on an empty stomach, but you just forgot and had an apple in the morning. So your fasting glucose most likely will appear higher than the range.
  • Medication: Another example can be that you are taking some medication that lowers your potassium, in this case you want to have your ranges be adjusted to your specific situation.
  • Nutrition. Maybe you are vegan and therefore your white blood cells count is low, so you want to have you ranges adjusted to your unique situation

We at www.HealthMatters.io understand that having so called ‘Normal Ranges’ is not enough. We want your ranges to be personal and adjusted for your lifestyle. We want them to be flexible. We know your lifestyle changes over time. Maybe you move to a different part of the world, maybe you changed your diet. Maybe you started exercising much more. You and your loved ones should not be measured by ‘Normal Ranges’. We believe that your ranges should be optimal and ideal, not just ‘normal’. Within our tool you can not only adjust the ranges to fit your lifestyle, but you can also interpret and track ups and downs with our “Special Events” feature. On the HealthMatters.io-dashboard we help you to account for all the above mentioned factors that make your blood results so unique.

With more than 10% of the US population being diabetic today, with more than 90 Million Americans being prediabetic and with around 700,000 Americans die of heart attacks this year, we don’t want you to fall into the ‘Normal Ranges’. We want to help you optimize your blood work. Join us today @ www.HealthMatters.io, move away from “normal” and take control of your health now!

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