Here is a simplified guide to understanding your blood test results. I suggest you save this newsletter so the next time you have blood work done, you will be able to read the results and understand what they mean!
Blood tests show certain disease markers, the nutrients and waste products in your blood and signs of how various organs are functioning. Below, are some of the commonly measured indicators of health with a brief explanation of the abbreviations used in measurements and descriptions of several common test components.
Understanding Blood Test Measurements
Blood tests use the metric measurement system and abbreviations such as the following: • cmm cells per cubic millimeter • fL (femtoliter) fraction of one-millionth of a litre • g/dL grams per decilitre • IU/L international units per litre • mEq/L milliequivalent per litre • mg/dL milligrams per decilitre • mL millilitre • mmol/L millimoles per litre • ng/mL nanograms per millilitre • Pg(picograms) one-trillionth of a gram
ALT (alanine aminotransferase)
This test looks at levels of the liver enzyme ALT. When all is well with your liver, your score on this test should be within range. Anything higher may indicate liver damage Healthy range: 8 to 37 IU/L
A protein made by the liver, albumin levels can be an indicator of liver or kidney problems Healthy range: 3.9 to 5.0 g/dLRead more →
During the war, the “Red Ball Blood Test” was used as a quick test on the battle lines. If a soldier claimed to be sick, they pierced his finger with a needle for a drop of blood. If a “red ball” appeared, the soldier would be handed his rifle and sent off to battle.
If the blood layer on the finger looked watery and not bright red, the solder was deemed ill, and would usually not be sent off to fight.
This test could quickly determine an individual’s overall health.Read more →