Your doctor uses a lot of tests to check your health and make sure that everything is working the way that it should. One of them is a CBC or complete blood count. The CBC is designed to look at the various cells in your blood and what the specific levels of those blood cells are. A complete blood count is a general blood test that your doctor may order as part of a regular check-up because the test results can give a lot of information about your health. Your doctor can use those results to diagnose or rule out specific diseases. What are some of the things that a CBC shows?
Red Blood Cells
One of the things that the CBC will check is the level of red blood cells in your blood. The red blood cells help carry oxygen to your lungs and through your body. If the levels of red blood cells in your blood are too low, you may have problems like anemia, iron deficiency, or problems with B12. Part of the CBC includes something called hematocrit, which measures the volume of red blood cells in your blood.
White Blood Cells
A regular CBC checks out the level of your white blood cells altogether. If your doctor orders a CBC with a differential, they are looking for a more detailed result. There are a few different kinds of white blood cells and the differential checks out the levels of each type. White blood cells fight off infections, so looking at the differentials will let your doctor diagnose infections. An abnormal result can also be used to diagnose leukemia or other blood disorders.
Another part of your blood is the platelets. These cells are designed to help your blood clot if you are bleeding. Platelets are unique because they don't have a cell nucleus. Instead, they are just clumps of something called cytoplasm. The cytoplasm originates in your lungs and bone marrow and then goes out to your blood so that they can start to form clots where necessary. Checking your platelets will let the doctor see if you have a clotting disorder.
The CBC is a routine blood test that your doctor may order. Your blood will get drawn and then run through an analyzer. Depending on the results, the lab techs may do a manual check by swabbing some blood on a slide and checking it out under a microscope.
Reach out to a local doctor or medical lab to learn more about health tests.