Having an annual blood screening is a key component for preventing various types of degenerative illnesses. By providing a snapshot of your current health, a blood screening can catch potential health problems before they fully rise to the surface so they can be managed most effectively. Blood tests are pretty straightforward to carry out and fast to do. Moreover, they provide a wealth of information that can be beneficial to you. Regular blood testing is one of the most effective ways to keep track of your overall physical well-being. Being tested at routine intervals will help you to understand how your body changes over time and allow you to make informed decisions based around your health. Here we have accumulated a few of the ways that having a blood test can be beneficial to you and your health. Read on to find out more.

What are you blood tested for?

Blood tests have a variety of uses and are one of the most common types of medical tests done. Moreover, a blood test can be used to:

  • Gage your general state of health
  • Assess if you have an infection
  • See how well certain organs, such as your liver and kidneys are working
  • screen you for certain genetic conditions
  • Find out if you are at risk of heart disease
  • Assess how well your blood is clotting
  • Find out whether you are at risk of heart disease
  • Diagnose diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, anemia and coronary heart disease

The majority of blood tests will only take a couple of minutes to have done, and are carried out at your GP surgery or local hospital by a doctor, nurse or phlebotomist (this is a specialist in taking blood samples).

Prior to a blood test

The majority of blood tests don’t require any specific preparation and take only a couple of minutes. Other types of blood testing require fasting, generally not eating anything for 8 to 12 hours prior to the test. Your doctor will inform you how to prepare for your blood test.

What happens during a blood test?

A blood test will involve a blood sample being taken from a blood vessel in your arm. The arm is an ideal section of the body to take a blood sample from because it can be conveniently uncovered. The typical area for a sample to be taken is from inside the elbow or wrist, this is because the veins are relatively close to the surface. Blood samples that are taken from children are frequently taken from the back of the hand, naturally this can be a distressing experience for young children, their skin may be numbed with a special spray or cream before the sample is taken. A tight band (tourniquet) is fastened around the upper part of the upper arm. This will squeeze the arm, temporarily it will slow down the flow of blood and make the veins temporarily swell, this will make it easier for a sample to be taken. Prior to taking a sample, the doctor or nurse will sanitize the area of skin with an antiseptic wipe.

A needle that is attached to a syringe is pressed into the vein. The syringe is used to draw out a sample of your blood. You may feel a slight prick or scratching sensation as the needle goes in, but it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. If you have an aversion to needles and blood, inform the person who is taking the sample so they can make you feel more at ease. When the sample has been done, the tourniquet will be taken out, and the needle is removed. Pressure will be applied to the skin for a couple of minutes using a clean cotton-wool pad. Sometimes a plaster may be put on the area to keep it clean.

After a blood test

A very small amount of blood will be taken for a blood test, with this in mind, you shouldn’t feel any significantly unpleasant after-effects. Some people do however feel slightly faint during and after a blood test. If this is something you’ve experienced during a prior blood test, inform the health care professional who is carrying out the test so they are aware of this and can make you feel more comfortable. You may have a small bruise where the needle went in after the test. Bruises can be sore, but they are harmless and will fade over the next few days.

What do blood tests show?

Blood test results

After a blood sample has been taken, it’ll be put into a bottle and labelled with your name and personal details. They will then send it to a laboratory where it will be examined under a microscope or tested, the tests depend on what’s being checked. The results are then sent back to the hospital or to your registered GP. Some test results will be ready the same day or a couple of days later, although others may not be available for a couple of few weeks, once they are ready you will be informed immediately.

In some cases, receiving results can be stressful. If you feel worried about the outcome of a test result, you may wish to choose to take a trusted friend or relative along with you. For some tests results, HIV for example, you will be offered specialist counselling to help you deal with your results.

Benefits of blood testing

  • Blood tests are a reliable form of data – the largest benefit for regular blood testing is that it offers a reliable measure for tracking your health and wellness
  • Diagnosing disease – early detection is key to treating many diseases, including cancer. Blood testing is not a perfect way to find all diseases, but many diseases can be discovered via blood tests.
  • Checking your metabolism to find out if you are diabetic – diabetes is one of the most common health issues facing individuals in society. your blood tests are an insight into your metabolism and the chemical processes within your body.
  • Checking the function of your liver – one of the main functions of your liver is breaking down various toxins within the body. Your liver works as a kind of detoxification system. Issues you may have within your liver can be found in your blood tests.
  • Monitoring organ health: Kidney – Your kidneys are part of the urinary system and help regulate your blood. For example, your kidneys regulate blood pressure, pH level, mineral concentration and water composition of the blood.
  • Checking hormone levels for men and women – There are many important hormones in our body that regular blood tests can help us identify. Moreover, some notable hormones such as testosterone, progesterone, DHEA-S, and Estradiol among various others.
  • Blood testing as a touchstone for your health – by frequently getting blood tests, you can be proactive about any health issues. You can use your blood tests as a touchstone to understand ongoing alterations in your blood. Your blood tests provide access to a several biomarkers that you can use to look at your changes across time.

Duality Health – offering private GP services, full blood testing and blood type tests at our private medical centre

The dedicated team at Duality Health go beyond to meet your medical needs. Consisting of UK qualified GPs and Advanced Nurse Practitioners, we are well placed to carry out a whole raft of services at our private clinics, an element of our medical screening services is that we are able to provide our patients with blood and allergy testing. If you require a blood type test, please get in touch with us. In comparison to public hospitals and GP practices you will find our clinics relaxing and perhaps more crucially, unhurried. Make an appointment online for your private test or give us a call on 02830833666 at your convenience.