The blood in our veins is made of a couple of components namely red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. A complete blood count test or CBC blood test counts the number of each different cell present in the blood of the patient.
A complete blood count test covers all aspects and components of cells that make up your blood. The components which are covered by the test are:
- Red blood cells: these cells carry oxygen in them and provide it to different organs in our body.
- White blood cells: these cells are known as the warrior cells of the body and their role is to fight infections and foreign cells.
- Hemoglobin: hemoglobin is a type of protein present in red blood cells which carry oxygen present in it.
- Hematocrit: hematocrit is the proportion between the fluid component known as plasma and red blood cells.
- Platelets: platelets are the cells whose function is to help in blood clotting.
Why is the test done?
The test could be recommended by a medical professional for a variety of reasons including:
Diagnosis: patients often complain about fatigue and weakness, this is one of the primary reasons why such tests are conducted. These signs could be pointing to an underlying condition. Getting a CBC blood test done can help you in detecting any health conditions ad properly diagnosing them. Everything from infections to even genetic diseases can be detected through the help of a complete blood count test.
Reviewing overall health: routine medical examinations are very common these days but ever so unnecessary. CBC test is a part of most regular medical examinations in medicine these days. Screening of many disorders and underlying issues can be done through the test.
Monitoring medical conditions: there are many disorders and health conditions such as blood disorders that can be monitored through a CBC test. Furthermore, if the patient is on medication that alters with blood cells your doctor might recommend a complete blood test at regular intervals.
A reference range is provided in each result which is used to define objective normality among humans. Both higher and lower results from the reference range could be considered as abnormal status. The reference change differs from each lab to the other. Many factors can influence it such as sex, age, medical history, etc. A CBC blood test result includes all the following factors:
- White blood cell count:
Leukopenia is the condition where a patient has a low number of white blood cells present in his or her body. Autoimmune disorders are known to cause it which could be connected to many other diseases such as cancer, bone marrow irregularities, and other autoimmune disorders.
All the above could be the reasons for the low white blood cell count in your body. If a high number of white blood cells are detected in your body, it might be a reaction to injury or infection. Inflammation has also proven to cause a spike in the number of white blood cells found in your body. Another reason why high white blood cells could be present could be your body’s reaction to a certain medication which can be found out in a CBC test.
- Red blood cells and hemoglobin:
Red blood cells, hemoglobin, and hematocrit results are all interconnected as they are the different components that form a red blood cell. Often patients have a low number of red blood cells which is mostly because of anemia. Anemia is known to cause weakness and fatigue in patients.
Blood loss or low iron content present in your body are the major reasons why you could have anemia. Erythrocytosis is a condition where a person has many red blood cells present in their body. High levels of hemoglobin or hematocrit could point towards serious conditions such as heart diseases. A CBC test can help you to get accurate results.
- Platelet count:
Both low and high platelet counts can be seriously bad for your health. Thrombocytopenia is the condition when someone is suffering from low platelet count. On the other hand, thrombocytosis is the condition where the platelet count in an individual is higher than normal.
A CBC blood test is used for the diagnosing of many problems and underlying medical issues in individuals of all ages. There are many diseases that one could be suffering from whose roots are connected to the blood in our body. CBC test is an extremely useful medical examination that can also be used to monitor ongoing medical conditions.
Blood disorders have become very prevalent in modern societies and hence we need to take extra care and do regular examinations to be safe. As our elders used to say, prevention is better than cure. It’s better to have a complete blood test done each year at least once.