Health & Wellness

Guest Column

What Can Blood Tests Tell You About Your Health

Your doctor wants a blood test and you wonder what for and what it involves. The answers are simple and reassuring.

It can tell us an enormous amount about your health. Why are you feeling tired and out of sorts? Why do you get out of breath when you do the shopping or housework? Why are you passing a lot of urine? Why do you look wan and pale, even though you eat well?

It is quite likely that the results of a blood test will give us the reasons why these things are occurring. It will be no stab in the dark, no guesswork. There will be reliable, accurate results on which we can base a diagnosis, and the right treatment.

Sign Up for E-News

Guesswork has gone out of medical diagnosis in many areas. So you are sent to a pathologist (or the doctor might even do it himself) for a blood sample. Actually, there is not much to it, as far as you are concerned. It is all over within three minutes.

A rubber tourniquet is briefly wrapped around the upper part of your arm, and the sister causes one of the blood vessels at the crease of your elbow to stand out. A moment later she inserts a needle, and some dark crimson blood fills the syringe.

A bandage and some manual pressure for a couple of minutes (to make sure blood does not track out and cause a bruise), and it is all over. Your doctor will have the results in the morning, speak to him about them.

The doctor later studies the computerized print-out on your blood. Very quickly, obvious defects leap out and with a possible further physical check, he can arrive at the diagnosis. Treatment then follows.

Below is some of the information that may be gleaned from the blood test, carried out these days on computerized machines called auto-analyzers. As many as 30 different pieces of data may be measured, assembled and printed, often within a few minutes. To see these machines in operation is staggering.

Blood Count: The machine can accurately produce a full blood count.

The red and white cells and platelets in a given volume are counted and the figures written down.

Too few red cells cause anemia, a condition common in women. Anemia is common if menstrual blood loss, or loss from any cause, is higher than subsequent production rates.

Bleeding from any cause, or inadequate iron in the diet may produce anemia. Simple therapy often rectifies it, or there may be a search for the cause.

White blood cells are the soldiers of the body, and are there to destroy invading germs. The figure rises during infections.

In leukemia, (cancer of the blood) the numbers become overwhelming because of a disturbance of the white cell producing areas of the body. Certain white cells increase in allergic people, such as asthmatics and hay fever victims.

The platelets govern the blood-clotting mechanism. Too few may mean problems or that certain drugs may be having a harmful effect, indicating the need for a medical review and action.

Sugar: The serum or fluid part of the blood contains an enormous number of elements, as blood carries almost everything the body uses.

High sugar levels may indicate that the person is prone to, or has diabetes.

Heart checks: Blood tests can yield an enormous amount of data about the risks to your heart. Two special factors can be measured, cholesterol and triglyceride. These are blood lipids or fats.

The higher the level for these fats the higher the potential risk of a future heart attack. It does not mean you will have a heart attack, but simply that the risk is increased.

Action can be taken to lower the risks: Less animal fats, egg yolk, red meat and crustaceans, will reduce cholesterol. Less refined sugar and flour will lessen triglyceride levels.

If an attack does happen, the "cardiac enzymes" also picked up in the blood screen, will indicate the degree of heart damage. These chemicals, such as SGOT and LDH, are poured into the bloodstream by injured heart muscle.

Uric Acid: Do you have joint pains, and a swollen big toe? An elevated uric acid level will indicate you are probably a potential gout victim, but suitable therapy is readily available.

Potassium: This vital element is essential for normal body functioning, to keep muscles working. It may be reduced in patients on diuretics, which are often used for treating blood pressure. Leg cramps are common early symptoms. Appropriate action is readily available.

Acid phosphatase: This is an enzyme found in high amounts in males with cancer of the prostate and is often the first and only indication that a serious disease has started.

Calcium and phosphorus are essential in normal bone structure. But in certain diseases, such as the parathyroids just near the thyroid gland, they may produce abnormal levels indicating internal disease.

Liver Tests: If the liver is not working properly, it will show anomalies in the levels of the proteins albumin and globulin, or other enzymes such as the alkaline phosphatase, SGPT. These need prompt investigation.

Fortunately most blood screening tests show little to worry about, but they are helpful to pinpoint any trouble spots so that prompt medical action may be taken.

The modern tests are an amazing step forward in technology, a far cry from the day when a technician had to spend half a day or longer performing a battery of tests on a blood sample.

lt is hardly surprising that the sophisticated equipment for modern blood tests costs almost $100,000.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Morristown

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

Guest Column: Help! My Boss is A Bully and Harasses Me

Women in all fields have experienced sexual harassment as well as sexual assault by the famous and the merely inconspicuous. Too often the powers that be in the workplace turn a blind eye or protect the harasser.  Worse yet, the harassment is often accompanied by bullying and intimidation.

What should you do if you find yourself in a situation where your boss or supervisor is sexually ...

Morris Animal Inn: February is National Pet Dental Health Month

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Throughout the month of February, when you schedule your dog's teeth brushing at Morris Animal Inn's Salon, your dog will receive a FREE Dental treat.

Schedule now at 973-532-5030 or visit www.morrisanimalinn.com

Bullet Found at Brooklawn School Causes Lockdown - Updated

February 17, 2018

PARSIPPANY, NJ - A stray bullet that was found in the hallway of Brooklawn Middle School was the cause of a lockdown yesterday afternoon.  

At approximately 2:25 PM Brooklawn Middle School was placed in lockdown after a student found a bullet in a hallway.

School Resource Officer P. McCarthy is assigned to and stationed inside the school and he quickly responded to ...

Elizabeth Schools Report One Student Has Died from Flu Virus

February 19, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Elizabeth School District has reported that one student has died from Influenza (Flu).

“It is with great sadness that I must report to you that the Elizabeth School District has lost one of its own,”  Elizabeth Superintendent of Schools Olga Hugelmeyer wrote in a letter to parents over the weekend. The Superintendents letter is ...

Grand Reopening Activities for Morristown National Historical Park this Weekend

February 16, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The schedule of events for the Grand Opening of the Morristown National Historical Park's Discover History Center has been announced. From February 17 through February 20, visitors can attend a variety of talks, walks, interactive exhibits, and performances.  

All events will begin or occur at the Washington’s Headquarters Museum, 30 Washington ...

Morristown High School Presents 'Anything Goes'

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Rehearsals are underway for the 2018 Morristown High School production of Anything Goes. There will be four performances; Thursday March 8, Friday March 9, Saturday March 10 and Sunday March 11

Tickets are on sale and available at www.mhstix.com

Sign up to get all the news as it happens at www.TAPinto.net/enews and follow us on Facebook ...

Free Event

Happening today at 10am

Registration is Open for Morris Elite's Spring and Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

Morris Elite Soccer Camp will be offering four weeks of camp this summer. Don't miss out! Register now at https://www.morriselitesoccer.com/page/show/3890035-camps

Celebrate Presidents Day with Photography Exhibition on George Washington’s Headquarters

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The museum at New Jersey’s Morristown National Historical Park kicks off Presidents Day with the debut solo exhibition George Washington’s Headquarters:  Photographs by Xiomáro, curated by Jude M. Pfister, D.Litt, the park’s Chief of Cultural Resources.  Admission is free and the 24 large images of the Ford Mansion, which served as ...

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum Remembers Abraham Lincoln; Feb. 19

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is hosting a program for children on Monday February 19 titled, "Abraham Lincoln Remembered".

Kids can learn about Lincoln’s whistle-stop train trip that began on February 11, 1861 when he traveled from his home in Springfield, Illinois to Washington, DC, where he took the presidential oath of office and began his first term as ...

The HOPE ONE Van Comes to Morristown Library Feb. 8th

February 8, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  The HOPE ONE van will be at the Morristown & Morris Township Library on today, February 8 from 9am - 2pm. 

The  HOPE One vehicle, which previously was used in police tactical operations is now a mobile recovery access vehicle. The vehicle, which  has trained staff on site, provides individuals with information about rehab, detox services, ...

iCan Bike, a Bike Riding Camp For People With Disabilities, Comes To CCM in Randolph

RANDOLPH, NJ- iCan Bike, a camp to teach individuals with disabilities to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle, is coming to County College of Morris in the summer of 2018.  CCM is generously providing the use of their gymnasium for the iCan Bike organizers to run their program in.

The camp, which will be held August 6-10, is one of several programs run under the auspices of iCan Shine, ...

Morrisown Students Invited to the Morris County Public Safety Youth Academy

February 19, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The sixth-annual Morris County Public Safety Youth Academy program will be held this July for students entering grades 9-12 in the fall. Enrollment will begin March 1 and close April 8. The program is designed for students entering Grades 9 – 12 in the fall of this year.  

The 2018 program will be held the week of July 23 – July 27 (Mon – ...

Brendan Fletcher of "The Voice" Named as a Judge for Morristown ONSTAGE

MORRISTOWN, NJ – The Morris Educational Foundation (MEF) has announced this year’s panel of professional judges which includes 2016 semi-finalist on The Voice and New Jersey native, Brendan Fletcher.  Brendan was introduced to Morristown ONSTAGE last year when his friend and fellow musician, Jay Phatak, competed for the top prize and won last year’s 19 and over ...

Morris Township Firemen Host Valentine's Day Flower and Gift Sale

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Planning on getting roses for someone special this Valentine's Day? Why not get them from the HIllside Fire House and help support the Morris Township Emergency Management Association and the Morris Township Firefighter's Mutual Benevolent Association Local 70 .

The roses will be on sale at the Hillside Fire House, 132 Western Avenue on February 12 ...

Very Hot Tea Increases Cancer Risk

Researchers in China studying the consumption of “burning” hot tea, alcohol, and smoking habits of greater than 450,000 people ages 30 –79 for more than nine years found a five time greater risk of esophageal cancer in those who engaged in all three of the behaviors and a two time greater risk in those who either smoked or drank alcohol and consumed burning hot tea as compared ...

The 33% Approval Rating of this Administration Illustrates One Thing: The Electoral College Failed

The 33% Approval Rating of this Administration Illustrates One Thing: The Electoral College Failed

Jeff Sessions-  “Why would be bring somebody into the country who is illiterate in their own language?”  -To Tucker Carlson on FOX.

The most frustrating thing about the television is the one sided conversations that take place.  When the Attorney General, Jeffrey B.

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling in NJ

Team Nest Builder knows that whether you are buying or selling a New Jersey home it can be quite the adventure, which is why you need an experienced real estate professional to guide you on the path to achieving your ultimate goal. But in this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can ‘For Sale by Owner’ or ...

NYJ Class for Young Mindless Players

If only this was true.....

Good morning. My name is Todd Bowles, head coach for the New York Jets, as you are all aware. Today we will be going over some of the stupidest things you should not do while playing for the NFL. Your agent should have gone over the NFL conduct rules and the New York Jets rules (although sometimes ours are a little less harsher, hush, hush) while you were signing ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Game of Thrones: A Definitive Ranking of Seasons 1-7

Groundhog Day. The day a tiny mammal’s shadow tells us when winter will come to an end. Me? I prefer my weather forecast in the form of a white raven (the telltale changing of seasons in Westeros).

For a few days, rumors spread that Game of Thrones will not return for its final season until April 2019, and while it was clarified that the April return date was likely a false rumor, HBO ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Guest Column: How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, February 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Tue, February 20, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster

Andrea Gianchiglia: Tools of the Trade

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, February 20, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster

Keepers of the Chroma: An Exhibition Regarding ...

Arts & Entertainment

CCM Library to Offer Free Workshops in Grant Writing and Fundraising Workshops Provided by Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network

February 19, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ – The County College of Morris (CCM) Library’s Foundation Center Funding Information Network is offering three free workshops on the Foundation Center products during the college’s Spring Break, March 12-15.   The CCM Library is a participant in the Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network. Network partners provide a suite of ...