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Dr Satiskumar Patel MD MBChB

Board Cetified Family Physician

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What do my blood test results mean?

This information is supplied to help you understand some of the laboratory testing your Doctor may have ordered. Please consult THS Medical Clinic with any questions you may have concerning your test results. The information presented here alone will not allow the accurate diagnosis of disease.

Glucose (blood sugar) – Elevated with diabetes or systemic steroids but low may suggest pancreas or liver problems.

Kidney Function

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) – Elevated with kidney problems, recent surgery, dehydration or blood loss and low with liver disease, pregnancy and diets.
Creatinie (CR) – Elevated with kidney problems


Sodium (Na) - Elevated with dehydration and low in patients who sweat profusely or are on diuretics (water pills). Low sodium is usually associated with excessive water intake.
Potassium (K) - Elevated with kidney problems, potassium supplements and low in patients with kidney problems, vomiting, diarrhea or diuretic use

Chloride (CI) – Elevated with dehydration, hyperventilation or kidney infection and low with vomiting and colitis.
Carbon Dioxide (CO) – Elevated rare and low dehydration, diarrhea, exercise and kidney failure.

Bone Metabolism

Calcium – Elevated with alcoholism, exercise, hyperparathyroidism and some cancers and low with diarrhea, malabsorption or calcium/Vit D deficiency, pancreatitis and renal failure.
Phosphorus – Elevated with low calcium, kidney problems and in hypoparathyroidism: low with alcoholism and vitamin D deficiency.

Lipid Panel

Total Cholesterol – Elevation increases risk of heart disease and stroke.
HDL – “Good” cholesterol
LDL – “Bad” cholesterol
Triglycerides – Elevated in “mixed” hyperlipidemia often in Diabetics and Syndrome X patients.

Liver Functions Tests

Alanine aminotranferase (ALT or SGPT) – An enzyme produced in liver cells is elevated when cells are excessively damaged or die secondary to hepatitis (viral, alcohlic, medication-induced, etc.)
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT) – An enzyme is produced in muscle and liver (less specific than ALT) can be elevated in a 1:1 ration with liver disease.
Alkaline Phosphatase (Alk Phos) – An enzyme produced in the bile ducts, intestine, kidney, placenta and bone. Elevation in normal or only modestly elevated ALT and AST activites, suggests disease of the bile ducts, alone with some bone disorders and growing children up to age 22.
Gamma-Glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT) – An enzyme produced in the bile ducts may be elevated with bile duct disease, any liver disease, medications and alcohol consumption.
Bilirubin - The major breakdown product from old red blood cells are elevated with increased production, many different liver diseases and some non-liver disease.
Lactate Dehydrogenenase (LDH) – Enzyme found in many organs may be elevated with hepatitis or with other organs diseases including the heart, lungs, skeletal muscles, the kidney or brain.
Proteins – Total proteins synthesized by the liver consist mainly of albumin and globulin are rarely elevated and low with poor liver function, malnutrition, some kidney disease and other rare condtions.

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

White blood cells (WBC) - May indicate infection, elevated with systemic steroid use, decreased with autoimmune or some blood diseases among other causes. The following are types of WBCs with additional meaning:
Neutrophils – Elevated with bacterial infection and low indicates an increased risk of infection.
Lymphocytes – Elevated in viral infections and low with diseases such as hepatitis, lymphoma, or AIDS.
Eosinophils – Elevated with allergies or infections with parasites.
Monocytes – Elevated in blood diseases, certain infections or auto-imune diseases.
Basophils – Elevated in blood diseases.
Red Blood Cells (RBC) – Elevated in dehydration, high altitude and CVD and low in anemia, hemorrhages, cancers, fluid overload in pregnancy.
Hemoglobin (Hgb) and Hematocrit (Hct) – Elevated in smokers and those with polycythemia and low anemia.
Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) – Elevated suggests Vit B12 or folic acid deficiency anemia and increased alcohol consumption and low iron deficiency.
Paltelet Count (PLT) – Elevation is rare, low counts suggest medication interactions, antibody formation or liver disease and blood clotting problems.

Other – Cancer Screening

Pap smear – positive if microscopic evidence of infectious irritation (Candida, HPV, etc.) or precanerous cells in WOMEN.
PSA (Prostate specific Antigen) – Elevated with prostate infections, benign prostate enlargement (BPH) and prostate cancer in MEN.

Thyroid Function

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – Sensitive measure of thyroid function and used to monitor thyroid replacement therapy.
T3 - Elevated in some thyroid diseases and low in malnutrition, severe acute illness and trauma.
T4 – Decrease with normal or elevated TSH suggests thyroid but with low TSH a pituitary disorder.

Uric Acid – Elevated with gout.

ESR (Sed Rate) - Non specific marker forinfection and autoimmune disease