Blood Chemistry Tests (Blood Disorder)

Lab Tests for Blood Chemistry Disorders and health information

Blood chemistry tests are the key to understanding your health. They measure chemicals including enzymes, electrolytes, fats (also called lipids), hormones, sugars, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Learn about your health today, and order your confidential blood chem report from Ulta Lab Tests.

Below the list of tests is a guide that explains and answers your questions on what you need to know about blood chemistry tests, along with information on how you can use these lab tests to learn and track your health.


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Dr. Weatherby’s Standard Panel - "Blood Chemistry Analysis Standard Panel" contains the following 34 tests – Bilirubin, Fractionated; CBC (includes Differential and Platelets); Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP); Creatinine; DHEA Sulfate, Immunoassay; Estradiol; Ferritin; Fibrinogen Activity, Clauss; Folate, Serum; Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT); Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1C); Homocysteine; hs-CRP; Insulin; Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC); Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD); Lipid Panel With Ratios; Magnesium; Phosphate (as Phosphorus); Progesterone, Immunoassay; Protein, Total and Protein Electrophoresis, with Scan and PSA Total.


This panel contains both Cortisol, A.M. #4212 and Cortisol, P.M. #4213, which will require the patient to visit the patient service center twice in one day.

  • First visit between 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. to have Cortisol, A.M. #4212 drawn along with most of the panel
  • Second visit between 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. to have Cortisol, P.M. #4213 drawn.

Dr. Weatherby’s Comprehensive Panel - "Blood Chemistry Analysis Comprehensive Panel" contains the following 45 tests - Bilirubin, Direct; Bilirubin, Fractionated; C-Peptide; C-Reactive Protein (CRP); CBC (includes Differential and Platelets); Collagen Cross-Linked N-Telopeptide (NTx), 24-Hour Urine; Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP); Cortisol, A.M.; Cortisol, P.M.; Creatine Kinase (CK), Total; Creatinine; Creatinine Clearance; DHEA Sulfate, Immunoassay; Estradiol; Ferritin; Fibrinogen Activity, Clauss; Folate, Serum; Fructosamine; Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT); Gastrin; Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1C); Homocysteine; hs-CRP; Insulin; Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC); Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD); Lipid Panel With Ratios; Magnesium; Phosphate (as Phosphorus); Progesterone, Immunoassay; Protein, Total and Protein Electrophoresis, with Scan; PSA Total; QuestAssureD™ 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (D2, D3), LC/MS/MS; Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG); T3 Reverse (RT3), LC/MS/MS; T3 Total; T3, Free; T4, Free; Testosterone, Free, Bioavailable and Total, LC/MS/MS; Thyroid Panel; Thyroid Peroxidase and Thyroglobulin Antibodies; TSH; Uric Acid; Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin); and VLDL Cholesterol.


The BCA Chemistry Panel contains the following tests.

  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT)
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD)
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphate (as Phosphorus)
  • Uric Acid

Chemistry Panel (CMP) & Complete Blood Count (CBC) Blood Test

This test helps assess overall wellbeing, kidney and liver function, and blood cell count.
This panel contains the following tests:

Blood Sugar:

  • Fasting glucose

Kidney Function:

  • Uric acid
  • BUN (blood urea nitrogen)
  • Creatinine
  • BUN/creatinine ratio
  • eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate)

Electrolytes and Minerals:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Calcium

Liver Function:

  • Total protein
  • Albumin
  • Globulin
  • Albumin/globulin ratio
  • Bilirubin
  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • LDH (lactate dehydrogenase)
  • AST (aspartate aminotransferase)
  • ALT (alanine transaminase)

Complete Blood Count:

  • Red blood cell count
  • Hemoglobin
  • Hematocrit
  • MCV (mean corpuscular volume)
  • MCH (mean corpuscular hemoglobin)
  • MCHC (mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration)
  • RDW (red blood cell distribution)
  • White blood cell count
  • Differential count
  • Platelet count

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported.


Description: A CBC or Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets test is a blood test that measures many important features of your blood’s red and white blood cells and platelets. A Complete Blood Count can be used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide variety of conditions such as infection, anemia, and leukemia. It also looks at other important aspects of your blood health such as hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. 

Also Known As: CBC test, Complete Blood Count Test, Total Blood Count Test, CBC with Differential and Platelets test, Hemogram test  

Collection Method: Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: Whole Blood 

Test Preparation: No preparation required 

When is a Complete Blood Count test ordered?  

The complete blood count (CBC) is an extremely common test. When people go to the doctor for a standard checkup or blood work, they often get a CBC. Suppose a person is healthy and their results are within normal ranges. In that case, they may not need another CBC unless their health condition changes, or their healthcare professional believes it is necessary. 

When a person exhibits a variety of signs and symptoms that could be connected to blood cell abnormalities, a CBC may be done. A health practitioner may request a CBC to help diagnose and determine the severity of lethargy or weakness, as well as infection, inflammation, bruises, or bleeding. 

When a person is diagnosed with a disease that affects blood cells, a CBC is frequently done regularly to keep track of their progress. Similarly, if someone is being treated for a blood condition, a CBC may be performed on a regular basis to see if the treatment is working. 

Chemotherapy, for example, can influence the generation of cells in the bone marrow. Some drugs can lower WBC counts in the long run. To monitor various medication regimens, a CBC may be required on a regular basis. 

What does a Complete Blood Count test check for? 

The complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test that determines the number of cells in circulation. White blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs), and platelets (PLTs) are three types of cells suspended in a fluid called plasma. They are largely created and matured in the bone marrow and are released into the bloodstream when needed under normal circumstances. 

A CBC is mainly performed with an automated machine that measures a variety of factors, including the number of cells present in a person's blood sample. The findings of a CBC can reveal not only the quantity of different cell types but also the physical properties of some of the cells. 

Significant differences in one or more blood cell populations may suggest the presence of one or more diseases. Other tests are frequently performed to assist in determining the reason for aberrant results. This frequently necessitates visual confirmation via a microscope examination of a blood smear. A skilled laboratory technician can assess the appearance and physical features of blood cells, such as size, shape, and color, and note any anomalies. Any extra information is taken note of and communicated to the healthcare provider. This information provides the health care provider with further information about the cause of abnormal CBC results. 

The CBC focuses on three different types of cells: 

WBCs (White Blood Cells) 

The body uses five different types of WBCs, also known as leukocytes, to keep itself healthy and battle infections and other types of harm. The five different leukocytes are eosinophiles, lymphocytes, neutrophiles, basophils, and monocytes. They are found in relatively steady numbers in the blood. Depending on what is going on in the body, these values may momentarily rise or fall. An infection, for example, can cause the body to manufacture more neutrophils in order to combat bacterial infection. The amount of eosinophils in the body may increase as a result of allergies. A viral infection may cause an increase in lymphocyte production. Abnormal (immature or mature) white cells multiply fast in certain illness situations, such as leukemia, raising the WBC count. 

RBCs (Red Blood Cells) 

The bone marrow produces red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, which are transferred into the bloodstream after maturing. Hemoglobin, a protein that distributes oxygen throughout the body, is found in these cells. Because RBCs have a 120-day lifespan, the bone marrow must constantly manufacture new RBCs to replace those that have aged and disintegrated or have been lost due to hemorrhage. A variety of diseases, including those that cause severe bleeding, can alter the creation of new RBCs and their longevity. 

The CBC measures the number of RBCs and hemoglobin in the blood, as well as the proportion of RBCs in the blood (hematocrit), and if the RBC population appears to be normal. RBCs are generally homogeneous in size and shape, with only minor differences; however, considerable variances can arise in illnesses including vitamin B12 and folate inadequacy, iron deficiency, and a range of other ailments. Anemia occurs when the concentration of red blood cells and/or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood falls below normal, resulting in symptoms such as weariness and weakness. In a far smaller percentage of cases, there may be an excess of RBCs in the blood (erythrocytosis or polycythemia). This might obstruct the flow of blood through the tiny veins and arteries in extreme circumstances. 

Platelets 

Platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are small cell fragments that aid in the regular clotting of blood. A person with insufficient platelets is more likely to experience excessive bleeding and bruises. Excess platelets can induce excessive clotting or excessive bleeding if the platelets are not operating properly. The platelet count and size are determined by the CBC. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Complete Blood Count test: 

  • Reticulocytes
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Basic Metabolic Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Von Willebrand Factor Antigen

Conditions where a Complete Blood Count test is recommended: 

  • Anemia
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Heart Disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Leukemia
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Inflammation
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Mononucleosis

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Complete Blood Count test? 

The complete blood count (CBC) is a common, comprehensive screening test used to measure a person's overall health status.  

What do my Complete Blood Count results mean? 

A low Red Blood Cell Count, also known as anemia, could be due many different causes such as chronic bleeding, a bone marrow disorder, and nutritional deficiency just to name a few. A high Red Blood Cell Count, also known as polycythemia, could be due to several conditions including lung disease, dehydration, and smoking. Both Hemoglobin and Hematocrit tend to reflect Red Blood Cell Count results, so if your Red Blood Cell Count is low, your Hematocrit and Hemoglobin will likely also be low. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

What do my Differential results mean? 

A low White Blood Cell count or low WBC count, also known as leukopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, severe infection, and lymphoma. A high White Blood Cell count, or high WBC count, also known as leukocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including infection, leukemia, and inflammation. Abnormal levels in your White Blood Cell Count will be reflected in one or more of your different white blood cells. Knowing which white blood cell types are affected will help your healthcare provider narrow down the issue. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

What do my Platelet results mean? 

A low Platelet Count, also known as thrombocytopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, viral infection, and leukemia. A high Platelet Count, also known as Thrombocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including cancer, iron deficiency, and rheumatoid arthritis. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported. Certain biomarkers do not appear in healthy individuals. 

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Reflex Parameters for Manual Slide Review
  Less than  Greater Than 
WBC  1.5 x 10^3  30.0 x 10^3 
Hemoglobin  7.0 g/dL  19.0 g/dL 
Hematocrit  None  75%
Platelet  100 x 10^3  800 x 10^3 
MCV  70 fL  115 fL 
MCH  22 pg  37 pg 
MCHC  29 g/dL  36.5 g/dL 
RBC  None  8.00 x 10^6 
RDW  None  21.5
Relative Neutrophil %  1% or ABNC <500  None 
Relative Lymphocyte %  1% 70%
Relative Monocyte %  None  25%
Eosinophil  None  35%
Basophil  None  3.50%
     
Platelet  <75 with no flags,
>100 and <130 with platelet clump flag present,
>1000 
Instrument Flags Variant lymphs, blasts,
immature neutrophils,  nRBC’s, abnormal platelets,
giant platelets, potential interference
     
The automated differential averages 6000+ cells. If none of the above parameters are met, the results are released without manual review.
CBC Reflex Pathway

Step 1 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes:

  • Confirmation of differential percentages
  • WBC and platelet estimates, when needed
  • Full review of RBC morphology
  • Comments for toxic changes, RBC inclusions, abnormal lymphs, and other
  • significant findings
  • If the differential percentages agree with the automated counts and no abnormal cells are seen, the automated differential is reported with appropriate comments

Step 2 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes: If any of the following are seen on the slide review, Laboratory staff will perform a manual differential:

  • Immature, abnormal, or toxic cells
  • nRBC’s
  • Disagreement with automated differential
  • Atypical/abnormal RBC morphology
  • Any RBC inclusions

Step 3 If any of the following are seen on the manual differential, a Pathologist will review the slide:

  • WBC<1,500 with abnormal cells noted
  • Blasts/immature cells, hairy cell lymphs, or megakaryocytes
  • New abnormal lymphocytes or monocytes
  • Variant or atypical lymphs >15%
  • Blood parasites
  • RBC morphology with 3+ spherocytes, RBC inclusions, suspect Hgb-C,
  • crystals, Pappenheimer bodies or bizarre morphology
  • nRBC’s

Description: A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel or CMP is a blood test that is a combination of a Basic Metabolic Panel, a Liver Panel, and electrolyte panel, and is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases such as liver disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. 

Also Known As: CMP, Chem, Chem-14, Chem-12, Chem-21, Chemistry Panel, Chem Panel, Chem Screen, Chemistry Screen, SMA 12, SMA 20, SMA 21, SMAC, Chem test

Collection Method: 

Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: 

Serum 

Test Preparation: 

9-12 hours fasting is preferred. 

When is a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test ordered:  

A CMP is frequently requested as part of a lab test for a medical evaluation or yearly physical. A CMP test consists of many different tests that give healthcare providers a range of information about your health, including liver and kidney function, electrolyte balance, and blood sugar levels. To confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis, abnormal test results are frequently followed up with other tests that provide a more in depth or targeted analysis of key areas that need investigating. 

What does a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel blood test check for? 

The complete metabolic panel (CMP) is a set of 20 tests that provides critical information to a healthcare professional about a person's current metabolic status, check for liver or kidney disease, electrolyte and acid/base balance, and blood glucose and blood protein levels. Abnormal results, particularly when they are combined, can suggest a problem that needs to be addressed. 

The following tests are included in the CMP: 

  • Albumin: this is a measure of Albumin levels in your blood. Albumin is a protein made by the liver that is responsible for many vital roles including transporting nutrients throughout the body and preventing fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. 

  • Albumin/Globulin Ratio: this is a ratio between your total Albumin and Globulin  

  • Alkaline Phosphatase: this is a measure of Alkaline phosphatase or ALP in your blood. Alkaline phosphatase is a protein found in all body tissues, however the ALP found in blood comes from the liver and bones. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage, gallbladder disease, or bone disorder. 

  • Alt: this is a measure of Alanine transaminase or ALT in your blood. Alanine Aminotransferase is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in the liver with small amounts in the heart and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • AST: this is a measure of Aspartate Aminotransferase or AST. Aspartate Aminotransferase is an enzyme found mostly in the heart and liver, with smaller amounts in the kidney and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • Bilirubin, Total: this is a measure of bilirubin in your blood. Bilirubin is an orange-yellowish waste product produced from the breakdown of heme which is a component of hemoglobin found in red blood cells. The liver is responsible for removal of bilirubin from the body. 

  • Bun/Creatinine Ratio: this is a ratio between your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and Creatinine result.  

  • Calcium: this is a measurement of calcium in your blood. Calcium is the most abundant and one of the most important minerals in the body as it essential for proper nerve, muscle, and heart function. 

  • Calcium: is used for blood clot formation and the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. 

  • Carbon Dioxide: this is a measure of carbon dioxide in your blood. Carbon dioxide is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels.  

  • Chloride: this is a measure of Chloride in your blood. Chloride is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as potassium and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels. 

  • Creatinine: this is a measure of Creatinine levels in your blood. Creatinine is created from the breakdown of creatine in your muscles and is removed from your body by the kidneys. Elevated creatinine levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

  • Egfr African American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Egfr Non-Afr. American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Globulin: this is a measure of all blood proteins in your blood that are not albumin. 

  • Glucose: this is a measure of glucose in your blood. Glucose is created from the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion and is the body’s primary source of energy. 

  • Potassium: this is a measure of Potassium in your blood. Potassium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in cell metabolism, nerve and muscle function, and transport of nutrients into cells and removal of wastes products out of cells. 

  • Protein, Total: this is a measure of total protein levels in your blood. 
    Sodium: this is a measure of Sodium in your blood. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in nerve and muscle function. 

  • Urea Nitrogen (Bun): this is a measure of Urea Nitrogen in your blood, also known as Blood UreaNitrogen (BUN). Urea is a waste product created in the liver when proteins are broken down into amino acids. Elevated levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test: 

  • Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein

Conditions where a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test is recommended: 

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Hypertension

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test? 

The comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a broad screening tool for assessing organ function and detecting diseases like diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. The CMP test may also be requested to monitor known disorders such as hypertension and to check for any renal or liver-related side effects in persons taking specific drugs. If a health practitioner wants to follow two or more separate CMP components, the full CMP might be ordered because it contains more information. 

What do my Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test results mean? 

The results of the tests included in the CMP are usually analyzed together to look for patterns. A single abnormal test result may indicate something different than a series of abnormal test findings. A high result on one of the liver enzyme tests, for example, is not the same as a high result on several liver enzyme tests. 

Several sets of CMPs, frequently performed on various days, may be examined to gain insights into the underlying disease and response to treatment, especially in hospitalized patients. 

Out-of-range findings for any of the CMP tests can be caused by a variety of illnesses, including kidney failure, breathing issues, and diabetes-related complications, to name a few. If any of the results are abnormal, one or more follow-up tests are usually ordered to help determine the reason and/or establish a diagnosis. 

Is there anything else I should know? 

A wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medications can have an impact on the results of the CMP's components. Any medications you're taking should be disclosed to your healthcare professional. Similarly, it is critical to provide a thorough history because many other circumstances can influence how your results are interpreted. 

What's the difference between the CMP and the BMP tests, and why would my doctor choose one over the other? 

The CMP consists of 14 tests, while the basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a subset of those with eight tests. The liver (ALP, ALT, AST, and bilirubin) and protein (albumin and total protein) tests are not included. If a healthcare provider wants a more thorough picture of a person's organ function or to check for specific illnesses like diabetes or liver or kidney disease, he or she may prescribe a CMP rather than a BMP. 

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Please note the following regarding BUN/Creatinine ratio: 

The lab does not report the calculation for the BUN/Creatinine Ratio unless one or both biomarkers’ results fall out of the published range. 

If you still wish to see the value, it's easy to calculate. Simply take your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and divide it by your Creatinine result.  

As an example, if your Urea Nitrogen result is 11 and your Creatinine result is 0.86, then you would divide 11 by 0.86 and get a BUN/Creatinine Ratio result of 12.79. 




Description: A Potassium test is normally part of an electrolyte panel or Comprehensive Metabolic panel to help diagnose and monitor any electrolyte imbalances.

Also Known As: K Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Potassium test ordered?

When patients get a normal medical exam or are being assessed for a serious illness, potassium levels may be required.

When a healthcare provider is diagnosing and monitoring hypertension, diabetic ketoacidosis, and renal disease, as well as monitoring a patient on dialysis, diuretic medication, or intravenous fluids, potassium tests may be performed at regular intervals.

What does a Potassium blood test check for?

Potassium is a necessary electrolyte for cell metabolism. It assists in the delivery of nutrients into cells and the removal of waste materials from cells. It also plays a role in muscle function by assisting in the transmission of messages between neurons and muscles. This test determines how much potassium is present in the blood and/or urine.

Potassium, along with other electrolytes like sodium, chloride, and bicarbonate, aids in fluid regulation and maintains a stable acid-base balance in the body. Potassium is found in all body fluids, although it is concentrated in the cells. Only a trace amount is found in fluids outside of cells and in the blood's liquid portion.

The majority of the potassium we require comes from the foods we eat, and most people consume enough potassium. The body consumes what it needs and excretes the rest through the urine. The body works to keep the potassium level in the blood within a restricted range. Aldosterone, a hormone generated by the kidney's adrenal glands, is the key regulator.

Because potassium levels in the blood are so low, even little adjustments can have a big impact. There might be major health effects if potassium levels are either low or too high; a person may get shock, respiratory failure, or heart rhythm abnormalities. An abnormal potassium level can affect neuron and muscle function; for example, the heart muscle's capacity to contract may be impaired.

Lab tests often ordered with a Potassium test:

  • Chloride
  • Sodium
  • Bicarbonate
  • Electrolytes
  • Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Aldosterone
  • Renin

Conditions where a Potassium test is recommended:

  • Hypertension
  • Acidosis
  • Alkalosis
  • Kidney Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Conn Syndrome
  • Addison Disease

How does my health care provider use a Potassium test?

A potassium test is used to detect irregular potassium values, such as high and low potassium. It's frequently utilized as part of a standard physical's electrolyte panel or basic metabolic panel.

Potassium is a necessary electrolyte for cell metabolism. It assists in the delivery of nutrients into cells and the removal of waste materials from cells. It also has a role in muscular function, assisting in the transmission of messages between nerves and muscles, as well as heart function.

The potassium test can be used to detect and/or monitor kidney disease, which is the most prevalent cause of elevated potassium levels in the blood. When someone has diarrhea and vomiting, excessive sweating, or a range of symptoms, it can also be utilized to check for abnormal levels. Many disorders can cause elevated potassium levels in the blood. If metabolic acidosis is suspected, or if high blood pressure or other indications of disease are present, a healthcare practitioner may order this test, along with others, to discover an electrolyte imbalance. When there are symptoms involving the heart, potassium in particular might be assessed.

The potassium test can also be used to track the effects of medicines that cause potassium loss in the kidneys, such as diuretics, or pharmaceuticals that reduce potassium clearance from the body, resulting in high potassium levels.

What do my Potassium test results mean?

Conditions that cause high potassium levels include:

  • Kidney failure
  • The disease Addison's
  • Tissue damage Infection
  • Diabetes
  • Dehydration
  • Too much potassium intake
  • Excessive IV potassium in individuals receiving intravenous fluids
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and potassium-sparing diuretics are among the pharmaceuticals that can induce excessive potassium in a tiny percentage of persons.

Low potassium levels can be detected in a variety of situations, including:

  • Conn syndrome
  • Diarrhea and vomiting.
  • An acetaminophen overdose complication
  • When someone with diabetes takes insulin, their potassium level may drop, especially if they have not properly managed their diabetes.
  • Low potassium is usually caused by "water pills," and if someone is taking them, their potassium level will be checked on a regular basis by their healthcare professional.

Furthermore, medicines including corticosteroids, beta-adrenergic agonists like isoproterenol, alpha-adrenergic antagonists like clonidine, antibiotics like gentamicin and carbenicillin, and the antifungal amphotericin B can cause potassium loss.

Urine potassium concentrations must be compared to blood potassium levels. Because the body generally removes excess potassium, the concentration in the urine may be higher than the blood. When the body loses too much potassium, it can also show up in the urine; in this situation, the blood level will be normal to low. If potassium levels in the blood are low due to insufficient consumption, urine concentrations will be low as well.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


False elevations of potassium may be due to hemolysis or rupture of platelets during coagulation process. The use of plasma potassium levels should be limited to those patients with spuriously elevated or depressed potassium levels due to blood samples left at room temperature, in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia with very high WBC counts (false decline), and those with thrombocytosis (increased platelets) with counts in excess of one million (false elevation).

The SMAC-25 blood chemistry panel, often used as a general screening tool by many physicians. The SMAC-25 includes the following tests.

  • Amylase, Serum
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Creatine Kinase (CK), Total, Serum
  • Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase (GGT)
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD) (LDH)
  • Lactic Acid, Plasma
  • Lipid Panel
  • Magnesium, Serum
  • Phosphorus, Serum
  • Uric Acid, Serum

Sodium measurements are useful in the diagnosis and treatment of aldosteronism, diabetes insipidus, adrenal hypertension, Addison's Disease, dehydration, inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion, or other diseases involving electrolyte imbalance.


Want to get a good idea of how your health is doing?

Blood holds a lot of factors that can determine your health because of its function in the body. Ordering a blood test is a quick and easy process, and you get very insightful information about the quality of your health with the results.

Read on to discover more about blood chemistry lab tests and why they're important now.

Blood Testing: What It Is and Why It's Important

Blood testing is the analysis of extracted blood samples through biochemical processes. It's one of the most powerful ways to check your current health.

Blood chemistry tests are great for checking biomarkers that evaluate the health of your organs, like your heart, kidney, liver, digestive system, lungs, endocrine system, and for diseases ranging from immune to infections. Blood is the carrier and transport system of oxygen and other resources the body needs. Depending on the blood test you take, these tests can help detect issues before you have symptoms and provide an accurate disease diagnosis. Blood tests can also help doctors determine if your organs are well and functioning correctly.

Taking blood tests is important because they are the fastest way to determine risk factors and verify the diagnosis of diseases.

Types of Blood Chemistry Tests

Depending on what you are testing or screening for, there are many hundreds of blood tests available. There are tests for detecting blood diseases, disorders and checking on organ function. Here are some basic blood chemistry tests frequently ordered, and here is a link to 19 important lab tests that you may want to review with your doctor.

Complete Blood Count

The Complete Blood Count or CBC is the most common blood test performed. This blood test is often a part of a routine check-up. The CBC test helps in detecting blood diseases and blood disorders like anemia and clotting problems. The CBC is also used to help detect blood cancers like Leukemia and immune system disorders.

The CBC blood test measures 33 biomarkers, including the red and white blood cells and platelets. Identifying a disease with a CBC test depends on which blood part has abnormal low or high counts.

Red Blood Cells (RBC)

The red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. When a CBC shows abnormal RBC levels, this can be a factor of anemia, dehydration, or bleeding.

Alongside your RBCs, CBC also checks with your Hemoglobin and Hematocrit levels.

White Blood Cells (WBC)

White blood cells are your body’s first line of defense against infections and diseases. CBC test results with either a high or low WBC count can mean an infection or blood cancer.

In some cases, this can also point to an immune system disorder. These diseases are often easy to diagnose with the help of blood tests.

Platelets

Platelets are the blood cell fragments in charge of blood clotting. When platelet levels become abnormal, this can mean a bleeding disorder. Other times it can mean a thrombotic disorder, which is a case of too much blood clotting.

Basic Metabolic Panel

Basic Metabolic Panel is a group of 11 biomarkers tests that gauge the health of your kidneys and the balance of your electrolytes. They are tests that often use the plasma or the fluid part of your blood. The Basic Metabolic Panel tests give doctors the data on your muscles, bones, and organs, like kidneys and liver.

Glucose 

Glucose is a major source of energy for most cells of the body, including those in the brain. The hormones insulin and glucagon help control blood glucose levels.

Calcium 

You have more calcium in your body than any other mineral. Calcium has many important jobs. The body stores more than 99% of its calcium in the bones and teeth to help make and keep them strong.

The rest is throughout the body in blood, muscle, and the fluid between cells. Your body needs calcium to help muscles and blood vessels contract and expand, secrete hormones and enzymes and send messages through the nervous system.

Potassium 

Potassium is a mineral that the body needs to work normally. It helps nerves and muscles communicate. It also helps move nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells.

Sodium 

Sodium is a substance that the body needs to work properly. It is vital to normal body processes, including nerve and muscle function.

Carbon Dioxide 

CO2 is carbon dioxide. Measures the amount of carbon dioxide in the liquid part of your blood, called the serum. In the body, most CO2 is in the form of a substance called bicarbonate (HCO3-).

Chloride 

Chloride is a type of electrolyte. It works with other electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and carbon dioxide (CO2). These substances help keep the proper balance of body fluids and maintain the body's acid-base balance.

Creatinine 

The creatinine blood test measures the level of creatinine in the blood. This test is done to see how well your kidneys work.

Urea Nitrogen (Bun) 

BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen. Urea nitrogen is what forms when protein breaks down. BUN measures the amount of urea nitrogen in the blood.

Bun/Creatinine Ratio 

A ratio between a person’s BUN and blood creatinine to help determine what is causing these concentrations to be higher than normal. The ratio of BUN to creatinine is usually between 10:1 and 20:1. An increased ratio may be due to a condition that causes a decrease in the flow of blood to the kidneys, such as congestive heart failure or dehydration.

It may also be seen with increased protein, gastrointestinal bleeding, or increased protein in the diet. The ratio may be decreased with liver disease (due to a decrease in the formation of urea) and malnutrition.

GFR 

Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a test used to check how well the kidneys are working. Specifically, it estimates how much blood passes through the glomeruli each minute. Glomeruli are the tiny filters in the kidneys that filter waste from the blood.

Hepatic Function Panel

This panel, also known as the liver panel, contains the following 10 biomarkers that measure the health of your liver.

Albumin 

Albumin is a protein made by the liver. A serum albumin test measures the amount of this protein in the clear liquid portion of the blood.

Albumin/Globulin Ratio 

The ratio of albumin to globulin (A/G ratio) is calculated from measured albumin and calculated globulin (total protein - albumin). Normally, there is a little more albumin than globulins, giving a normal A/G ratio of slightly over. Because disease states affect the relative amounts of albumin and globulin, the A/G ratio may provide a clue as to the cause of the change in protein levels.

Alkaline Phosphatase 

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a protein found in all body tissues. Tissues with higher amounts of ALP include the liver, bile ducts, and bone.

ALT 

Alanine transaminase (ALT) is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in the liver. Injury to the liver results in the release of the substance into the blood.

AST 

AST (aspartate aminotransferase) is an enzyme found in high amounts in the liver, heart, and muscle cells. It is also found in lesser amounts in other tissues.

Bilirubin, Direct, Indirect and Total 

Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. A small amount of older red blood cells is replaced by new blood cells every day.

Bilirubin is left after these older blood cells are removed. The liver helps break down bilirubin so that it can be removed from the body in the stool.

Globulin 

Globulin is the collective term for most blood proteins other than albumin. Identifying the types of globulins can help diagnose certain disorders. Globulins are roughly divided into three groups: alpha, beta, and gamma globulins.

Gamma globulins include antibodies such as immunoglobulins (Ig) M, G, and A.

Protein, Total 

The total protein is the total amount of two classes of proteins, albumin, and globulin, that are found in the fluid portion of your blood. Proteins are important parts of all cells and tissues. Your albumin helps prevent fluid from leaking out of blood vessels, and your globulins are an important part of your immune system.

Benefits of Blood Testing

There are many benefits to having your blood tested periodically. Here are some of them.

  • They are a reliable source of data for your health and wellness
  • Blood tests are an excellent way to detect and diagnose diseases
  • They help in checking your metabolism
  • They are good ways to determine if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic
  • Blood chemistry lab tests check your organs' health and functionality
    The tests help in keeping you up to date with your hormone levels and keep them in optimal health
  • They allow you to determine and avoid your risks for stroke and heart disease
  • Blood tests are an excellent way to measure your health

Getting blood tests regularly to establish your baseline biomarkers and track changes in your biomarkers is an excellent way to keep track of your health and avoid health risks. If you haven't checked your blood in a while, now is the time to take control of your health with blood chemistry tests from Ulta Lab Tests.

Blood Chemistry Lab Tests and Why You Need Them

Blood chemistry tests are essential laboratory tests that people should not overlook—looking to get a blood test done?

Ulta Lab Tests offers highly accurate and reliable tests so that you can make informed decisions about your health. Here are a few great things to love about Ulta Lab Tests:

  • You'll get secure and confidential results
  • You don't need health insurance
  • You don't need a physician's referral
  • You'll get affordable pricing
  • We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee

We aim to simplify the testing process as much as possible. You can order multiple blood tests to be performed with only a single blood draw. You can schedule all of the testing services you need to be performed in a single visit with Ulta Lab Test at a nearby patient service center.

Getting your results is quick and easy as well. Log into your unique patient portal, and you'll be able to view all current and past test results you've ordered through Ulta Lab Tests.