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General Health Screen

 
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General Health Panel

General Health Screen Panel: Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, Complete Blood Count and Lipid Panel

The General Health Screen is the panel of tests used by most doctors to assess your health. It checks your immune system, heart and cardiovascular health, liver, kidney and sugar metabolism. It also checks minerals, enzymes, and blood gases that make sure our bodies are working correctly.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel with Complete Blood Count (CBC) and Lipid Panel

Includes all of the following tests:

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: Alanine aminotransferase (ALT/SGPT); albumin:globulin (A:G) ratio; albumin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase (AST/SGOT); bilirubin, total; BUN; BUN:creatinine ratio; calcium; carbon dioxide, total; chloride; creatinine; globulin, total; glucose; potassium; protein, total; sodium.

Lipid Panel Includes: Cholesterol, total; high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; triglycerides; very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol.

Complete Blood Count (CBC) With Differential Includes: Hematocrit; hemoglobin; mean corpuscular volume (MCV); mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH); mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC); red cell distribution width (RDW); percentage and absolute differential counts; platelet count; red cell count; white blood cell count (WBC)

Complete Blood Count (CBC)


White Blood Cells (WBC) represent the body’s immune system and the various kinds of white cells have specialized functions. Lymphocytes are mainly for defense against virus and cancer cells, while Polys are primarily defending against bacteria. Monocytes are the second line of defense and finish the job started by the lymphocytes and polys. They are seen in higher numbers when there is infection or inflammation. Basophils primarily function as clean up for allergy reactions and Eosinophils perform a service when toxins, allergens and parasites attack.

Red Blood Cells (RBC) are the oxygen carrying cells using Hemoglobin to hold the oxygen until it is exchanged for carbon dioxide.

Hematocrit is a measure of the volume of whole blood taken up by the red blood cells and expressed as a percent. MCV (Mean corpuscular volume), MHC (Mean corpuscular hemoglobin), MCHC (Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration) and RDW (Red cell distribution width) all reflect the size, shape and contents of red cells.

Platelets are special cells in the blood that help form clots when repair is necessary.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

Proteins

Total Protein is a measure of available building blocks for many compounds in the body. Protein are used to form enzymes, hormones, antibodies and many structural components like muscle tissue. The main proteins in the blood are albumin and globulin. Increases are seen in liver disorders, alcoholism, and chronic infections and inflammation. Decreases are noted in malabsorption, colitis, and poor nutrition.

Albumin is a primary protein in the blood and is made from amino acids in the liver and is also available from the diet, especially from eggs. It helps with the immune system, maintains proper fluid balance in the tissues and plays a role in nutrient transport and waste removal. Increases are seen in kidney disorders and dehydration. Decreases are noted in decreased immune function and edema.

Globulin is the other primary protein and has important functions in immune response. Among its other jobs are carrying hormones and lipids. Compounds known as imunoglobulins, like IgA, IgG and IgE are highly important for various immune issues like allergies and infections in the mucus linings of the body. Increases are seen in chronic infection and during recovery from acute infections, as well as in Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and in some cases when stomach acids are deficient. Decreases are primarily found in patients with compromised immunity and in cases of poor nutrition or malabsorption.

BUN - Blood Urea Nitrogen is an end product of protein breakdown. It’s produced mainly in the liver and is eliminated by the kidneys. Increases can be caused by excessive protein consumption, inadequate water consumption and kidney disorders. Decreases are related to poor diet, liver problems, excessive water consumption and malabsorption.

Uric Acid is an end product of a protein digestion, mainly a type of protein called purine. Some foods that are high in purine are organ meats, spinach, mushrooms, yeast and asparagus. It also comes from the breakdown of purine proteins in the nucleus of cells. Increases occur when the kidneys can’t eliminate properly or with gouty arthritis, alcoholism and high protein diets. Decreases are primarily associated with low protein diet or malabsorption.

Sugars

Glucose is sugar that is used by the cells to provide energy. It is the only type of fuel that can be used by the brain and nervous system, whereas other tissues can also burn fats for energy. Glucose comes from the digestion of carbohydrates and may also be stored as glycogen for later use. It is primarily kept in balance by 2 hormones made in the pancreas – insulin and glucagon, although the liver, adrenal and thyroid glands are also involved. Increased values are related to diabetes, stress, Syndrome X and diet. Decreased values can reflect hypoglycemia and result from overproduction of insulin, alcoholism and liver disorders.

Liver Enzymes

SGOT (also called AST) is an enzyme found mainly in the liver, heart, muscle and gonads. It functions in conversion of cholesterol to hormones and in the synthesis of several acids formed from the breakdown of proteins and fats. Increases are seen in congestive heart disease, heart attack, liver disease and alcoholism. Decreases are seen in gonadal dysfunction and vitamin B-6 deficiency.

SGPT (also called ALT) is an enzyme found primarily in the liver where it is produced when fatty membranes release stored food substances. It is released when cells die and is used to measure liver damage and other cellular damage. Increases are seen in liver disorders, alcoholism, vitamin A deficiency and heart attack. Decreases are seen in congested liver with poor release of stored nutrients.

GGT is another enzyme found primarily in the liver that is responsible for transporting amino acids and proteins into cells. Increases are seen in obstruction of the bile duct, liver damage and alcohol use, especially chronic. Decreases are seen when the liver is congested and in hypothyroid conditions.

Minerals

Calcium is a principle component of the bones and teeth with 99% of the body’s calcium found in these structures. The other 1% is very important to processes like blood clotting, nerve and muscle function, and various enzyme activities. Increases are seen in disorders involving the parathyroid and thyroid glands, excess intake of vitamin D, and in conditions related to much acid in the body. Decreases are seen in parathyroid dysfunction, vitamin D deficiency, magnesium deficiency and numerous other conditions.

Potassium is an electrolyte related to fluid balance and is used mainly inside the body’s cells. It is necessary for proper function of the heart and muscles. Increases are seen with excessive destruction of cells, underactive adrenal glands and kidney disease. Decreases are mainly seen in diarrhea, diuretic use, nutritional deficiency and overactive adrenal glands.

Sodium is also an electrolyte. A low level of blood sodium means you have hyponatremia, which is usually due to too much sodium loss, too much water intake or retention, or to fluid accumulation in the body (edema). Low sodium may be due to dehydration or a disease process.

Others

Bilirubin (Total Bilirubin) comes from the normal breakdown of red blood cells. This breakdown is done by the spleen, which produces indirect bilirubin, and the liver, which produces direct bilirubin. The combination of these two forms is called total bilirubin. Increases are seen in liver and spleen dysfunction. Decreases are found in iron deficiency anemia and also a type of spleen dysfunction.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is actually the total of bicarbonate and carbon dioxide. These two substances are in a dynamic equilibrium and help maintain the balance of acid and base in the body. The test also reflects the ability of the lungs to exchange oxygen for the carbon dioxide gas. Increases indicate more alkaline blood condition and in the extreme, metabolic alkalosis. Decreases show more acidity in the blood and in the extreme metabolic acidosis. Chloride is another electrolyte involved in maintaining proper fluid balance and pH balance. It is also part of the stomach’s hydrochloric acid that digests protein and levels are also influenced by kidney function. Increases are seen when too much acid is in the system, in dehydration, and with swelling caused by too much fluid inside the cells. Decreases are seen in excessive sweating, stomach acid deficiency and edema.

Creatinine is a waste product of muscle activity and levels are related to a person’s muscle mass and how much exercise and strenuous activity they perform. Increases can also be related to inadequate kidney function. Deceases may be due to lack of muscle mass or degeneration.

Lipid Panel

This test measures your blood fats. The lipid profile is a group of tests that are often ordered together to determine risk of coronary heart disease. They are tests that have been shown to be good indicators of whether someone is likely to have a heart attack or stroke caused by blockage of blood vessels or hardening of the arteries (atherosclerois). The lipid profile typically includes:

ß Total cholesterol
ß High density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) — often called good cholesterol
ß Low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) —often called bad cholesterol
ß Triglycerides
ß Very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C)


Cholesterol is derived from the diet, formed in the liver and found in all cells of the body. It is used to form hormones, antibodies and bile salts and also protects cell membranes. It is also used to evaluate risk for atherosclerosis. HDL cholesterol is called the “good” cholesterol and LDL is the “bad” fraction that sticks to the linings of arteries. Increases are seen in atherosclerosis, hypothyroidism, and stomach problems affecting digestion of fats and in high fat diets. Decreases are seen some liver disorders, hyperthyroidism and severely fat restricted diets.

Triglycerides are circulating fats that are made in the liver. Like glucose, they can be a source of energy and their amount increases when glucose cannot be used properly. Increases are seen in diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypothyroid conditions, high fat diet and alcoholism. Decreases are seen in hyperthyroidism, autoimmune disorders, vegetarian diet and deficiency of stomach acid.



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