Measures blood sugar, calcium, protein, and electrolytes; also checks liver and kidney function.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL RESULTS AND INFORMATION PROVIDED BY HEALTH eLABS ARE INTENDED FOR GENERAL HEALTH INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. AS SUCH THEY ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR A MEDICAL EXAMINATION, AND SHOULD NOT BE USED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT OR CURE ANY DISEASE, SYNDROME, OR CONDITION WITHOUT THE SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED PHYSICIAN.
PREPARATION: For best results, please do not eat or drink anything except water for at least 8 hours before having this test.
What does this test do?
This extensive panel of tests provides information on several metabolic processes including blood sugar, electrolytes, kidney, and liver functions.
Why is this important?
The complete metabolic panel is used to give a general idea of how some of the most crucial bodily systems are functioning.
What do the results mean?
This profile includes the following:
Albumin – Produced by the liver, albumin is the most numerous of the proteins found in blood and plays a large role in fluid balance within the bloodstream. Low levels of albumin can correspond to a state of malnutrition, are also decreased in liver disease, and may cause fluid retention in the soft tissues (edema).
Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) – A specialized enzyme which is found mainly in the liver. Low levels of ALT are normally found in the blood, but when the liver is damaged ALT levels rise in the bloodstream. This test is a sensitive indicator of liver disease, especially damage caused by alcohol and other drugs.
Albumin to Globulin (A/G) Ratio – Abnormal values are used to help differentiate broad categories of potential disorders. For example, a low ratio indicates a rise in serum globulin proteins produced by such diseases as multiple myeloma, leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and others. A larger than normal ratio resulting from increased albumin levels can indicate severe dehydration.
Alkaline phosphatatase (Alk.Phos or ALP) – Is an enzyme found in two main subtypes: one that is produced by the bones and the other which is produced by the liver. High levels are normally found in children whose bones are growing, but in adults elevated levels may indicate liver disease.
Asparagine Aminotransferase (AST) – Another enzyme found chiefly in the liver. Abnormally high levels of AST are found in liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatitis.
Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) – This metabolic by-product results from the breakdown of proteins and is normally eliminated by the kidneys. This test is an indirect measurement of kidney function, and high levels of BUN are found in kidney failure or severe dehydration.
Creatinine – A by-product of skeletal muscle metabolism that is eliminated by the kidneys and is a direct measure of kidney function. High values indicate chronic or acute kidney disease.
BUN/Creatinine Ratio – In cases of known kidney disease, this value is useful in differentiating whether the problems are occurring with the kidneys, or within other areas of the urinary tract. This value is also frequently abnormal in cases of severe dehydration.
Bicarbonate – The bicarbonate ion has an important function in maintaining the blood acid-base (pH) balance within its normal range.
Calcium – Essential for the development and maintenance of bones and teeth. Calcium also plays a vital role in muscle contraction and the heart. Abnormally high values may result from disorders of the parathyroid glands, or bone diseases.
Chloride – In nature this ion combines with sodium to form salt; in the body, chloride helps to control blood acidity and the electrical activity of nerves and muscles. Abnormal levels are found in kidney disease.
Globulin – This test measures many types of different proteins that can be separated into alpha, beta, and gamma types. Some globulins are formed by the liver while others are formed by the immune system, such as antibodies or immunoglobulins.
Glucose – The most common form of sugar in the body. Blood levels of glucose are regulated by insulin, a hormone which is produced by the pancreas. Low glucose levels are usually seen in fasting or starvation states and are characterized by weakness, dizziness, nausea, and sweating. An abnormally high glucose level is indicative of diabetes, but can also be caused by other disorders and diseases. Symptoms associated with high glucose levels include urinating more frequently than normal, constant hunger, and an unquenchable thirst.
Potassium – Is the major ion found within the body’s cells, and is essential for creating and maintaining electrical fields across cell membranes in muscle, nerve, and heart tissue which allow these organs to function properly. Low values often lead to muscle cramps (also called a charliehorse), and extremely high values can be deadly – potassium can halt cardiac function and is used as part of the chemical mixture used to execute prisoners via the so-called “lethal injection.”
Sodium – In nature combines with chloride to form salt; in the body sodium is essential for proper water balance, as well as in maintaining proper nerve and muscle function. The level of water in the body is regulated through complex mechanisms which sense the sodium concentration in blood as it flows through the kidneys. High or low values of sodium may indicate kidney dysfunction or reflect dietary habits.
Total Bilirubin – A brown-yellowish pigment found in bile which results from the metabolic breakdown of hemoglobin in the liver. Bilirubin gives stool its color. Elevated levels are characterized by jaundice and may indicate liver disease, blood disorders, or gallbladder dysfunction.
Total Protein – This reflects an estimate of the total amount of albumin and other proteins found in the blood. The level of total protein corresponds with the general nutritional state of the body.