How often do you have to have a blood test?

While many people consider that it is not necessary to have a blood test because they are healthy, that is precisely the reason. Blood tests are routinely requested to detect pathologies with enough time to treat them.

There are components of our blood that may manifest altered before symptoms appear . That generates a huge advantage for preventive treatment and avoids complications in the future.

When the doctor requests a routine blood test, he is looking for signs of certain diseases that are more frequent for each age. And if the patient already has a chronic disease, the routine analysis allows the professional to monitor the evolution and effectiveness of the treatment established.

Blood is used as a means to know the internal state of the body due to the rapidity of the tests and its easy accessibility. The laboratories are widely distributed, the cost of the bulk of the analysis is bearable and its usefulness is scientifically proven.

As a general rule, for people who consider themselves healthy, it is only necessary to have an annual blood test . On the other hand, for patients with chronic diseases it will be necessary to shorten that period, especially at the beginning of treatments.

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What is observed in a blood test?

When we talk about blood tests we are referring to performing biochemical tests on blood tissue . Blood is a liquid tissue of the body that travels through the circulatory system through veins and arteries .

Although it is liquid, the blood is formed by two groups of components:

  • Solids: the solid part of the blood is also known as form elements. Here we can mention red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
  • Liquids: the liquid part of the blood is the blood plasma or serum.
Blood tests are routinely indicated to determine if there are signs of disease. They are also performed to evaluate the evolution of existing diseases. 

Some biochemical tests concentrate on the solid part of the blood and analyze your cells. The red blood cell count, for example, determines how many of these cells are present in a certain amount of blood. You can also count the amount of white blood cells and the amount of platelets .

On the solid part you can also know the shape when looking through the microscope. The red blood cells can be more or less large, with deformities or with particular limits that indicate the presence of some disease.

In the serum or liquid part the laboratory has infinite parameters to measure. The most common and routine is to measure the plasma concentration of sugar, creatinine, urea, uric acid and lipids . You can also measure the concentration of ions such as sodium, magnesium and potassium.

By having a blood test, the person can receive information about the hormonal concentration in their body . It is common for the thyroid profile to be requested to know the amount of hormones produced by the thyroid.

And no less important are serologies , where the laboratory seeks to detect the presence of infectious diseases or, indirectly, the presence of antibodies against those diseases.

What is requested at each age?

Certain blood tests that are considered routine have been established for each stage of life. In other words, the medical professional, based on the patient’s age, is guided by the most appropriate biochemical tests.

These protocols have been set worldwide and nationally based on the most frequent diseases for each age. It is assumed that by performing these traces to the general population , most of the diseases that cause death or alter the quality of life are detected in time.

Between 20 and 35 years old

Although it is the age that generally has fewer diseases, annual screening is essential to prevent future complications . What is detected in time here will be easy to treat.

The laboratory routine for this age group includes blood count, kidney function, liver status, blood sugar and cholesterol profile – good, bad and triglycerides .

Pregnant women

During the fertile age of women, pregnancy can occur. This is a particular situation that requires specific analyzes for that moment, and for each of the trimesters of pregnancy.

Pregnancy control routines tell the woman to have a blood test, at least once a trimester, to measure the usual plus the tracking of infections that can affect the fetus, such as toxoplasmosis, syphilis, hepatitis B and AIDS.

From 35 to 55 years old

This age group needs to intensify its controls, since after forty years the prevalence of chronic diseases in the population increases. Blood tests are combined with imaging tests, such as mammography; with pathological anatomy tests, such as Pap smears; and with invasive tests, such as colonoscopy .

Doctors generally add to the common tests the tracking of hormonal alterations, especially in women who enter menopause.

After 60 years

For the elderly, the prevalence of diseases is much higher. Many people over sixty already suffer from a chronic disease , and they need to have a blood test before one year has passed.

For each age there are specific routine analyzes. With these it can be determined if the person is developing diseases that are frequent in the stage he is going through. 

In conclusion

Having a blood test is part of a healthy person’s control routine . If a disease is suffered, with more reason it will be necessary to undergo the biochemical examination regularly to avoid advances in the pathology.

Conducting a medical consultation, the professional will know what to request according to your age and your physical conditions . Remember that a timely analysis can detect serious problems and avoid irreversible situations about your health in the future.

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