All Nutrition Tests

Unfortunately, a person can have a nutritional deficiency and not even realize it, which is why nutritional lab tests are essential for managing your health. When you get a nutritional test, you gain insight into improving your health the right way.

Ulta Lab Tests offers a comprehensive set of vitamin and mineral lab tests to screen for nutritional deficiencies and know your health.


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27 Essential Vitamins and Minerals to Spot Deficiencies

  • Calcium [ 303 ]
  • Carotene [ 311 ]
  • Chloride [ 330 ]
  • Cholinesterase, Serum [ 37965 ]
  • Copper [ 363 ]
  • Iodine, Serum/Plasma [ 16599 ]
  • Iron, Total [ 571 ]
  • Magnesium [ 622 ]
  • Molybdenum, Serum/Plasma [ 6213 ]
  • Phosphate (as Phosphorus) [ 718 ]
  • Potassium [ 733 ]
  • QuestAssureD™ 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (D2, D3), LC/MS/MS [ 92888 ]
  • Selenium [ 5507 ]
  • Sodium [ 836 ]
  • Vitamin A (Retinol) [ 921 ]
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), LC/MS/MS [ 90353 ]
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) and Folate Panel, Serum [ 7065 ]
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Plasma [ 36399 ]
  • Vitamin B3 (Nicotinic acid) [ 91029 ]
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) [ 91030 ]
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal Phosphate ) [ 926 ]
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin) [ 391 ]
  • Vitamin C [ 929 ]
  • Vitamin D, 1,25-Dihydroxy, LC/MS/MS [ 16558 ]
  • Vitamin E (Tocopherol) [ 931 ]
  • Vitamin K [ 36585 ]
  • Zinc [ 945 ]
     

5-Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid (5-HIAA), 24-Hour Urine, with Creatinine

Patient Preparation: Patient should avoid food high in indoles: avocado, banana, tomato, plum, walnut, pineapple, and eggplant.

Collection Instructions : Collect 24-hour urine with 6N HCL to maintain a pH below 3. Urine without preservative is acceptable if pH is below 6 and the sample is shipped frozen. Keep urine refrigerated during collection if preservative is not used. Shipping refrigerated acceptable, shipping frozen acceptable. Record 24-hour urine volume on test request form and urine vial. Record patient's age on test request form and urine vial.

Clinical Significance: 5-HIAA is the end product of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptophan) and tyrptophan metabolism. Patients with carcinoid tumors of the midgut, e.g., ileum, produce high concentrations of 5-HIAA. Patients with carcinoid tumors of the foregut and hindgut may produce little or no 5-HIAA or do so intermittently.

Limitations: Patients with renal disease may display falsely decreased results. Urinary 5-HIAA is increased in patients with malabsorption disorders who also display a larger concentration of urinary tryptophan metabolites. Urinary 5-HIAA is increased in patients with intestinal obstruction and with some noncarcinoid islet cell tumors. Carcinoid syndrome may not cause elevated results, especially if the patient does not have diarrhea.



Serum albumin measurements are used in the monitoring and treatment of numerous diseases involving those related to nutrition and pathology particularly in the liver and kidney. Serum albumin is valuable when following response to therapy where improvement in the serum albumin level is the best sign of successful medical treatment. There may be a loss of albumin in the gastrointestinal tract, in the urine secondary to renal damage or direct loss of albumin through the skin. More than 50% of patients with gluten enteropathy have depressed albumin. The only cause of increased albumin is dehydration; there is no naturally occurring hyperalbuminemia



Amino acid analysis is necessary for the diagnosis of a variety of inborn errors of metabolism. These include, but are not limited to, phenylketonuria, tyrosimemia, citrullinemia, non-ketotic hyperglycinemia, maple syrup urine disease, and homocystinuria. The assay is also key for the continued monitoring of treatment plans for these disorders and useful for assessing nutritional status of patients. Our methodology is highly accurate at very low levels as well as at elevated levels.

This is a fasting test:  Minimun 4 hours after your last meal, or overnite for most accurate reading.  Non fasting specimens are acceptable for Pediatrics

 


IMPORTANT - The specimen for this test must be collected at a patient service center that can collect, store and transport frozen samples as outlined below.  

IMPORTANT: Before ordering this lab test, check and confirm with the selected patient service center to ensure that they can collect, store and transport frozen samples as outlined below.

Preferred Specimen(s) 

2 mL frozen plasma collected in an EDTA (lavender-top) tube

Collection Instructions 

Collect blood from stasis-free vein of patient (e.g., no tourniquet). Patient should not clench fist during collection, as muscular exertion often increases venous ammonia levels. Patient should avoid smoking prior to phlebotomy since smoking increases plasma ammonia levels. Tubes should be filled completely and kept tightly stoppered at all times. Place immediately on ice. Separate plasma from cells within 20 minutes and freeze plasma immediately.

Transport Temperature 

Frozen

Specimen Stability 

Room temperature: Unstable
Refrigerated: Unstable
Frozen -20° C: 72 hours
Frozen -70° C: 7 days

Reject Criteria 

Hemolysis • Lipemia • Received thawed • PPT Potassium EDTA (white-top) tube

Clinical Significance

Ammonia is one of the by-products of protein metabolism. Elevated blood ammonia levels have been associated with severe liver dysfunction such as hepatic encephalopathy, coma resulting from cirrhosis, severe hepatitis, Reye's syndrome, and drug hepatotoxicity. Also, elevated blood ammonia has been reported in cardiac failure, azotemia, and pulmonary emphysema. Correlation between plasma ammonia and the degree of encephalopathy can be erratic.


Apolipoprotein A1 (APO A1) has been reported to be a better predictor than HDL cholesterol and triglycerides for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Low levels of APO A1 in serum are associated with increased risk of CAD. The measurement of APO A1 may be of value in identifying patients with atherosclerosis. Apolipoprotein B (APO B) has been reported to be a more powerful indicator of CAD than total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol in angiographic CAD and in survivors of myocardial infarction. In some patients with CAD, APO B is elevated even in the presence of normal LDL cholesterol.

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Apolipoprotein B (APO B) has been reported to be a powerful indicator of CAD. In some patients with CAD, APO B is elevated even in the presence of normal LDL cholesterol.

See individual tests

In diabetics, the measurement of B-hydroxybutyrate as well as blood glucose is needed for the assessment of the severity of diabetic coma and is essential for the exclusion of hyperosmolar non-ketotic diabetic coma. A specific enzymatic assay for Beta-hydroxybutyrate is extrememly important in the assessment of ketosis.


An increase in serum bile acids concentration in the fasting state or postprandial is considered to be a specific indicator of liver disease. A decreased level indicates bile acid malabsorption, possibly due to ileal dysfunction.

Collection Instructions

Allow sample to clot for 30 minutes, spin at 3,000 RPM for 10 minutes and transfer serum to plastic, amber vial. If amber vial is not available, wrap tube in aluminum foil to protect from light. Freeze within 30 minutes and send frozen.


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C-Peptide is useful in the evaluation of pancreatic beta cell function and for determining the source of insulin in patients with hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia.

C-Reactive Protein Cardiac (hs CRP) Useful in predicting risk for cardiovascular disease.


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Serum calcium is involved in the regulation of neuromuscular and enzyme activity, bone metabolism and blood coagulation. Calcium blood levels are controlled by a complex interaction of parathyroid hormone, vitamin D, calcitonin and adrenal cortical steroids. Calcium measurements are useful in the diagnosis of parathyroid disease, some bone disorders and chronic renal disease. A low level of calcium may result in tetany.

Carbamazepine and its metabolite (10, 11-carbamazepine epoxide) are widely used for control of generalized tonic-clonic, partial-onset, complex and mixed seizure disorders. The metabolism of carbamazepine in epileptic patients has several different pathways that can be altered when the patient is co-medicated with other anticonvulsants and, therefore, its therapeutic level should be monitored along with its metabolite in their free and protein bound states.

Carbamazepine and its metabolite (10, 11-carbamazepine epoxide) are widely used for control of generalized tonic-clonic, partial-onset, complex and mixed seizure disorders. The metabolism of carbamazepine in epileptic patients has several different pathways that can be altered when the patient is co-medicated with other anticonvulsants and, therefore, it's therapeutic level should be monitored along with its metabolite in their free and protein bound states.

Carbamazepine and its metabolite (10, 11-Carbamazepine epoxide) are widely used for control of generalized tonic-clonic, partial-onset, complex and mixed seizure disorders. The metabolism of carbamazepine in epileptic patients has several different pathways that can be altered when the patient is co-medicated with other anticonvulsants and, therefore, its therapeutic level should be monitored along with its metabolite in their free and protein bound states

Apolipoprotein A1 is the primary protein associated with HDL cholesterol. Like HDL cholesterol, increased concentrations are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

There are two major forms of Apolipoprotein B, B-100 and B-48. B-100, synthesized in the liver, is the major protein in VLDL, IDL, and LDL cholesterol. B-48, synthesized in the intestines, is essential for the assembly and secretion of chylomicrons. Patients with increased concentrations of Apolipoprotein B are at increased risk of atherosclerosis.

To assist with control of blood glucose levels, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended glycated hemoglobin testing (HbA1c) twice a year for patients with stable glycemia, and quarterly for patients with poor glucose control. Interpretive ranges are based on ADA guidelines

An elevated concentration of Homocysteine is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.


Did you know that as many as 10% of US citizens suffer from nutritional deficiencies? The most prevalent nutritional deficiencies include: 

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Iron deficiency
  • Calcium deficiency

What makes this even more alarming is that you may not realize that you have a nutritional deficiency. This makes it essential to conduct nutritional lab tests so that the doctor can diagnose and treat the problem right away. 

Undergoing a nutrition test provides a detailed insight into how you can stay healthy. The following guide will give you a better idea regarding various nutritional deficiencies and why lab tests are essential. 

What are nutritional deficiencies? 

Your body's most significant source of nutrients is the food that you eat every day. Including fruits and vegetables in your diet can keep your nutritional levels high.  

However, suppose you have a diet consisting of foods with high sugar and saturated fat content. In that case, you may eventually succumb to nutritional deficiencies because these foods don't contain the nutrition your body needs. 

A nutritional deficiency may lead to celiac disease or kidney disease if your body doesn't get its required percentage of vitamins and minerals. 

In addition to not eating the right food, food intolerances can also lead to nutritional deficiencies if you have malabsorption in your gut or inflammatory bowel disease. Some of the conditions that these intolerances and illnesses can lead to are the following: 

  • Goiter due to iodine deficiency
  • Osteoporosis and rickets due to calcium deficiency
  • Anemia due to iron deficiency
  • Scurvy due to Vitamin C deficiency
  • Stunted growth due to zinc deficiency
  • Anemia due to Vitamin B12 defiecieny

Not all nutritional deficiencies are the same. The type of disease you get depends on the respective deficiency in your body.  

Risk factors for a nutritional deficiency 

Nutritional deficiencies are not country-specific or gender-specific health problems. It can happen to anyone. For this reason, you should be aware of some of the factors that may lead to this problem. 

  • Vomiting and diarrhea 
  • Drinking heavily 
  • Heavy menstrual periods 
  • Chronic illness 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Anemia 
  • Smoking 

Your monthly income can also indirectly affect your nutrition. Many people who don't earn enough to make ends meet usually eat cheaper or more readily available foods such as fast food, thus leading them not to get the nutrition their bodies need. 

What causes a nutritional deficiency? 

Scientists and doctors cite the lack of minerals and vitamins in your body as the primary reasons for nutritional deficiencies. Here are a few reasons why that can happen: 

  • Cooking your food for a longer time than required 
  • Following a strict diet or going vegan 
  • Having a medical condition that restricts your body's vitamin absorption 
  • Taking medicines like seizure medications and antacids 
  • Drinking too much alcohol resulting in Vitamin C deficiency 
  • Smoking also leads to Vitamin C deficiency as it decreases the amount of Vitamin C that your body usually absorbs 

Symptoms of a nutritional deficiency 

The best way to counter nutritional deficiency is to eat a well-balanced meal. It prepares your body to fight against diseases related to these deficiencies efficiently. 

Some of the symptoms that you should keep an eye on are as follows: 

  • Bleeding gums 
  • Hair loss 
  • Dandruff 
  • Sores or mouth ulcers around the corners of your mouth 
  • Dry and scaly skin patches 
  • Trouble seeing at night 
  • Brittle hair and nails 

In addition to the above symptoms, you may also get restless leg syndrome. Restless leg syndrome causes uncomfortable and unpleasant sensations in your legs due to a nerve condition. It makes you feel so uneasy that you may want to move your legs all the time. Although scientists are not entirely sure whether it happens due to a nutritional deficiency, they believe it's the connection between restless leg syndrome and your body's blood iron levels that trigger this effect. 

Diagnosing a nutritional deficiency 

Now that you know the nutritional deficiency symptoms, you should be able to detect whether you have one of the above problems or not. If you do, you shouldn't waste time before seeing a doctor. 

Your doctor will thoroughly examine you and ask questions related to the deficiency symptoms and past medical history. He may ask you to undergo some blood tests to check the level of deficiencies. 

Nutritional imbalances may lead to loss of bone density and muscle mass, and weight loss. That's why blood tests are essential to identify the type of nutritional deficiency you have and prevent it from wreaking havoc in your body. 

Treatment for a nutritional deficiency 

The treatment for your nutritional deficiency depends on whether you have a minor or severe deficiency. Sometimes, all you need to do is change your eating habits to deal with the problem. 

Doctors recommend eating eggs, meat, and iron-fortified cereals and grains to people with anemia as iron deficiency symptoms. You can also talk to a registered dietician if you have severe iron deficiency. 

The job of a registered dietician is to check your current diet and make necessary modifications to meet the deficiency your body has. This may include asking you to increase the consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. 

As already mentioned, some deficiencies require more than just a diet change. The dietician or your doctor may recommend you take additional mineral or vitamin supplements. Make sure the supplement you buy is safe and doesn't have adverse reactions on your body. 

Lab tests to screen for nutritional deficiencies 

Ulta Lab Tests is the one-stop destination for everyone who wants to test their nutrition and vitamin levels. 

Doctors often recommend a vitamin and mineral panel as this series of tests checks your mineral, vitamin, and blood levels. Your body's complete blood count (CBC) indicates the level of white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells. It's usually used to detect conditions like anemia successfully. 

CMP or comprehensive metabolic profile is another panel that tests your liver, calcium, kidney function, and electrolyte and protein level. It indicates whether your organs are functioning correctly or not. 

As mentioned earlier, iron deficiency can lead to restless leg syndrome and anemia. It will be wise to go for an iron level test to rule out these conditions. 

In addition to CBC, iron deficiency, and CMP, you should also evaluate your zincVitamin D, and Vitamin B12 levels. While Vitamin D helps to make your bones stronger, zinc ensures the proper functioning of your immune system and quick healing of wounds. Vitamin B12 is essential for red blood cells, and eating red meat, milk, fish, and eggs can keep your Vitamin B12 level up. 

Apart from zinc and vitamins, your body also requires magnesium to allow the chemicals in your body to work smoothly. It also keeps your blood pressure and heart rate under control. 

Other lab tests 

Omega-3 and 6 are two essential fatty acids available in food like sunflower oil, seeds, nuts, and salmon. They allow your body to function smoothly and keep your heart safe from various cardiovascular diseases. 

Additionally, your body also needs iodine to produce thyroid hormones. But consuming too much iodine isn't good as it can increase your blood pressure. Also, don't forget to eat food rich in Vitamin K as it improves your tissues and bones and normalizes blood clotting. 

FAQs about nutritional deficiencies 

Not many people are aware, but the food that you eat significantly impacts your health. For example, processed foods and saturated fats are a strict no-no if you have arthritis, as they would eventually increase joint pain.  

What are some of the foods that can help deal with arthritis? 

  • Fish like salmon as it contains a high percentage of omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your heart. 
  • Beans to lower your body's inflammation as it contains fiber. 
  • Nuts as they reduce inflammation. 
  • Fruits and vegetables as they contain antioxidants. 

How can you ensure that the food you eat meets your nutritional requirements? 

It would be best if you kept an eye on the dietary guidelines recommended for Americans. Moreover, you should also check the guidelines for pregnant women, older adults, adults, toddlers, and infants. 

Is magnesium helpful in preventing headaches? 

Studies show that a high percentage of magnesium in your daily diet can reduce migraine attacks. However, it's wise to talk to your doctor first because excessive magnesium consumption can lead to other health problems. 

Nutrition lab tests with Ulta Lab Tests 

With Ulta Lab Tests, you can expect to get accurate test results to enable your doctor to make a proper diagnosis and decide which treatment method is best for your health.  

Here are some of the things that make Ulta Lab Tests stand out: 

  • You don't need health insurance at Ulta Lab Tests 
  • Your test results will remain secure and confidential 
  • You don't need a physician's referral to order tests 
  • You get a 100% satisfaction guarantee 
  • You can save money thanks to competitively priced lab tests 
  • You can get your nutritional test results online within 48 hours for most tests. 

Take control of your nutritional health today with Ulta Lab Tests.

Dehydration refers to the process of excessive water loss from body tissues, which is frequently accompanied by imbalances of chloride, potassium, sodium, and other types of electrolytes. This can happen anytime fluids are lost and not replaced adequately, especially when a person doesn’t drink enough fluids. There are no symptoms of early dehydration; moderate or mild dehydration may cause symptoms including headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps, fatigue, and thirst. More serious symptoms may be caused by severe dehydration, including shock, unconsciousness, low blood pressure, confusion. They might even result in death in certain cases. 

The human body is comprised of around 60% to 70% water and requires a continuous supply to function properly. Water primarily enters the body from drinking liquid and then secondarily from the food we consume. The intestines absorb the water and then carry it throughout the entire body. Water is comprised of the fluids that are contained inside of cells, within mucous membranes, inside the lymphatic system, in the spaces between tissues and cells, and the fluid part of the blood inside of our arteries and veins. Fluids may be shifted as needed from one area or compartment to another.

Most water gets filtered out of the blood and is then is reabsorbed and recirculated by the kidneys several times. Dissolved wastes and excess water create urine and then are eliminated during urination from the body. There are also additional small quantities of water that are lost continually in stool and through breathing and sweating.

The total amount of regular water loss can range from 1,500 up to 2,500 milliliters (mL) a day (around 50 to 85 ounces a day) based on these sources: 

  • Urine: an average of 1000-2000 mL per day
  • Exhaling/Evaporation: 500-1000 mL per day
  • Stool: 50 to 100 mL per day

It is a very complex process to maintain the conversation and balance of water inside the body. The kidneys belong to the feedback system that removes or conserves water by diluting or concentrating urine and through controlling sodium conservation. Sodium and other electrolytes like bicarbonate, chloride, potassium helps with regulating the balance of water at the cellular level through maintaining electrical neutrality and the acid-base balance of the body.  

This feedback system, as well as its components, is critical in helping to maintain a healthy water level inside the body. The body’s sensors perceive and respond to decreases and increases in the amounts of dissolved substances and water inside the bloodstream. As the number of dissolved particles within the blood (osmolality) increases, which increases the number of particles or decreases how much water is in the blood, the hypothalamus – a specialized gland inside the brain – secretes anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). The hormone gives the kidneys a signal to conserve water. To maintain blood volume and pressure, water moves throughout the cells into the bloodstream. If this is not corrected, the tissues of the body dry out, which can cause cells to malfunction and shrink. As levels of fluids decrease, the brain triggers a “thirst” response, which signals an individual to drink more water. These feedback systems, when they work together, are normally able to keep a dynamic fluid balance maintained.  

Dehydration takes place whenever fluids or liquids are lost at a faster rate than they are able to be replaced. That may happen with not taking in enough fluids through eating and drinking, using diuretics (medications which increase the production of urine), sweating diarrhea, or excessive vomiting. The situation may worsen if the individual loses too little sodium (hypernatremia) or too much (hyponatremia) in relation to the reduction in water. Prolonged dehydration may cause shock and result in the internal organs being damaged, especially the brain, which can lead to coma, confusion, or even potentially death.

Anybody may become dehydrated. However, the condition tends to be more serious in elderly people, the young, and individuals with weakened immune systems or underlying health conditions. Children and infants might have a hard time communicating that they are thirsty. Since they have higher body water content and faster metabolism than adults do, the fluid requirements for children are also different than those for adults. Diarrhea, vomiting, and sweating are common sources of fast fluid loss within children. Diarrheal illnesses worldwide are a very serious health threat. The World Health Organization reports that in children under five years old, the second leading cause of death is diarrheal illness. It is estimated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 2,2200 children are killed every day by diarrhea in developing countries.

Dehydration in the elderly is a very common problem. It has been associated with a range of adverse health results. Experts estimate that over 20% of elderly people who live independently within the United States are dehydrated. There have been similar dehydration rates recorded in elderly individuals living in UK residential treatment facilities.

Causes

High amounts of water may be lost very quickly with prolonged diarrhea and/or vomiting. One or both of the symptoms may be found in a wide range of conditions, including the following:

  • Irritable bowel
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Malabsorption
  • Drug toxicity or overdose
  • An obstruction, such as in the digestive tract
  • Stomach flu (gastroenteritis) – inflamed digestive tract; this is a very common cause of diarrhea and vomiting in people of all ages; it might be linked to waterborne and foodborne illnesses and cause by parasitic, viral, or bacterial infections in the digestive tract

Fluids might also be lost due to the following:

  • Burns
  • Fever
  • Prolonged or intense sweating and physical exertion that might happen in athletes who are training for extended periods and/or in hot temperatures

Excessive urination might occur with:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Using certain medications like diuretics
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (uncontrolled diabetes)
  • Certain diseases that affect the ability of the body to conserve water and concentrate urine

A lack of fluids might also happen due to insufficient intake. That might happen:

  • With a reduced sense of appetite or thirst
  • Due to a lack of enough available water
  • In some elderly individuals who need help with accessing water
  • In individuals with sore throats or inflamed mouths who do not drink enough due to pain
  • In infants who are unable to communicate thirst

Certain rare causes include:

  • Addison Disease
  • Diabetes insipidus

Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms and signs of dehydration vary from one person to the next and on how long the reduced intake of fluids lasts.

Early dehydration does not have any symptoms. Moderate and mild dehydration might cause no or few noticeable symptoms. However, people might experience symptoms, including the following:

  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Headache
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • An infant having mildly sunken eyes
  • Reduction in tears
  • Constipation
  • Less frequent urination and urine might be a darker yellow which indicates a concentration
  • Sticky and/or dry mouth
  • Increased thirst

Severe dehydration might cause increasingly serious symptoms and signs, including:

  • Confusions and unconsciousness in critical cases
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • An infant with sunken fontanelles (soft spots on top of their head)
  • An infant with sunken eyes
  • Dry skin lacking in elasticity
  • Extremely dry mucous membranes and mouth
  • Intense thirst
  • Lack of urine – no or little urine is produced, and it is darker yellow
  • Lack of sweating and tears

Tests

A dehydration diagnosis is often based on clinical symptoms and signs, and appropriate treatment is provided. Typically, laboratory testing is not required for moderate or mild dehydration. Still, various non-laboratory evaluations might be used for assessing a person with more serious symptoms and signs. 

Non-Laboratory Evaluations

They might include evaluation of:

  • State of conscious
  • If the eyes appear to be sunken, and to what degree if so?
  • Capillary refill rate – is this slower than usual? For the evaluation, the pressure gets applied to the nail bed of the patient until it turns white, which indicates the blood was forced out. The pressure is then released. It is then observed how long it takes for the nail bed to once again turn pink, which indicates the return of the blood.
  • Skin turgor – a fold of skin gets pinched and is then released. When this is done, does it just slowly relax or bounce back into shape?
  • Blood pressure – is it normal or too low?
  • Heart rate – is it normal or rapid?
  • Breathing rate – is it normal or rapid?
  • Examination of dryness of mucous membranes and skin
  • Production of tears and urine output

Laboratory Tests

In severe dehydration cases, laboratory testing is often ordered to identify acid-base and electrolyte imbalances and to evaluate general health status and kidney function. If organ dysfunction and/or imbalances are discovered, then serial testing might be conducted to monitor an individual over time as well as how they respond to treatment. Testing might include:

Basic metabolic panel (BMP) – this panel can offer information on a person’s general health in addition to kidney function and acid-base balance: Electrolytes: (bicarbonate (CO2), chloride, potassium, sodium)

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatine for evaluating kidney function. In dehydration, they are often also increased.

Urinalysis for evaluating the amount of urine production, its concentration, and color.

Complete blood count (CBC) for evaluating blood cells as well as the balance in between the liquid and solid parts of the blood; and one component specifically, the hematocrit, which dehydration may elevate.

Glucose for detecting high levels that might be an indication of uncontrolled diabetes.

Blood and/or urine osmolality – evaluate the water balance of the body.

If the dehydration cause is obvious, then it is normally not necessary to do any other testing. However, various tests might be conducted when the cause is not known, to diagnose as well as address any underlying conditions, like those that are associated with prolonged vomiting and/or diarrhea.

A stool culture to search for a bacterial infection that might be causing diarrhea.

C. diff toxin and Clostridium difficile tests.

O&P – for detecting intestinal parasites.

A wide range of other tests might be conducted depending on what the underlying cause is suspected to be of the symptoms and signs, including:

Cortisol for detecting Addison disease

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) – this is performed rarely to help with diagnosing diabetes insipidus, or a deficiency

Liver panel – for detecting liver disease

Screening for drugs of abuse – for detecting an overdose

Blood ketones – for evaluating diabetic-ketoacidosis