chart to help understand blood test numbers

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by judywhit, May 18, 2003.

  1. judywhit

    judywhit New Member

    Comprehensive Blood Chemistry

    What Does Your Blood Test Mean?

    Don't you just hate when you get your blood test back and you have absolutely no idea what all those numbers mean on a standard chemistry profile? Well now you can use this chart to help you understand your test a bit better.

    Glucose: This is the chief source of energy for all living organisms. A level greater than 105 in someone who has fasted for 12 hours suggests a diabetic tendency. If this level is elevated even in a non-fasting setting one must be concerned that there is a risk for developing diabetes. This is an incredibly powerful test and can predict diabetes ten years or more before one develops the strict definition of diabetes which is levels greater than 120. It is elevated in diabetes, liver disease, obesity, pancreatitis, steroids, stress, or diet. Low levels may be indicative of liver disease, hypothyroidism, or alcoholism

    Optimal Adult Range: 87.5

    Sodium: This element plays an important role in salt and water balance in your body. A low level in the blood can be caused by too much water intake, heart failure, or kidney failure. A low level can also be caused by loss of sodium in diarrhea, fluid or vomiting. A high level can be caused by too much intake of salt or by not enough intake of water.

    Optimal Adult Range: 140-144

    Potassium: This element is found primarily inside the cells of the body. Low levels in the blood may indicate severe diarrhea, alcoholism, or excessive use of water pills. Low potassium levels can cause muscle weakness and heart problems.

    Optimal Adult Range: 4.0-4.6

    Magnesium: This important element is found in the arteries, heart, bone, muscles, nerves, teeth. Low levels can cause anxiety, aching muscles, disorientation, low body temperature, easily angered, hyperactivity, insomnia, muscle tremors, nervousness, rapid pulse, sensitivity to noise and loud sounds. Magnesium should be evaluated on all patients suffering with heart disease.

    Optimal Adult Range: 2.2-2.6

    If your magnesium is less than 2.0, it is strongly recommended to have an erythrocyte magnesium test or a magnesium loading test

    Chloride: Is an electrolyte controlled by the kidneys and can sometimes be affected by diet. An electrolyte is involved in maintaining acid-base balance and helps to regulate blood volume and artery pressure. Elevated levels are related to acidosis as well as too much water crossing the cell membrane.

    Optimal Adult Range: 100-106

    BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen): BUN is a waste product derived from protein breakdown in the liver. Increases can be caused by excessive protein intake, kidney damage, certain drugs, low fluid intake, intestinal bleeding, exercise, heart failure or decreased digestive enzyme production by the pancreas. Decreased levels are most commonly due to inadequate protein intake, malabsorption, or liver damage.

    Optimal Adult Range: 16

    Creatinine: Creatinine is also a protein breakdown product. Its level is a reflection of the bodies muscle mass. Low levels are commonly seen in inadequate protein intake, liver disease, kidney damage or pregnancy. Elevated levels are generally reflective of kidney damage and need to be monitored very carefully.

    Optimal Adult Range: 1.05

    BUN/Creatinine Ratio: increased values may indicate catabolic states, dehydration, circulatory failure leading to fall in renal blood flow, congestive heart failure, acute and chronic renal (kidney) failure, urinary tract obstruction, prostatic enlargement, high protein diet. Decreased values may indicate overhydration, low protein/high carbohydrate diet, pregnancy

    Optimal Adult Range: 13-16

    Uric Acid: Uric acid is the end product purine metabolism. High levels are seen in gout, infections, high protein diets, and kidney disease. Low levels generally indicate protein and molybdenum (trace mineral) deficiency, liver damage or an overly acid kidney.

    Optimal Female Adult Range: 5.0

    Optimal Male Adult Range: 5.5

    Phosphorus: Phosphorus is closely associated with calcium in bone development. Therefore most of the phosphate in the body is found in the bones. But the phosphorus level in the blood is very important for muscle and nerve function. Very low levels of phosphorus in the blood can be associated with starvation or malnutrition and this can lead to muscle weakness. High levels in the blood are usually associated with kidney disease. However the blood must be drawn carefully as improper handling may falsely increase the reading.

    Optimal Adult Range: 3.2-3.9

    Calcium: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is involved in bone metabolism, protein absorption, fat transfer, muscular contraction, transmission of nerve impulses, blood clotting, and heart function. It is highly sensitive to elements such as magnesium, iron, and phosphorous as well as hormonal activity, vitamin D levels, CO2 levels and many drugs. Diet, or even the presence of calcium in the diet has a lot to do with "calcium balance" - how much calcium you take in and how much you lose from your body.

    Optimal Adult Range: 9.7-10.1

    Albumin: The most abundant protein in the blood, it is made in the liver and is an antioxidant that protects your tissues from free radicals. It binds waste products, toxins and dangerous drugs that might damage the body. Is also is a major buffer in the body and plays a role in controlling the precise amount of water in our tissues. It serves to transport vitamins, minerals and hormones. Lower levels are seen in poor diets, diarrhea, fever, infections, liver disease, kidney disease, third-degree burns, edemas or hypocalcemia.

    Optimal Adult Range: 4.0-4.4

    Albumin 3.5 or below with a 1500 or less lymphocyte count is one of the four OMINOUS signs

    Calcium/Albumin Ratio: elevated in malnutrition or visceral protein loss.

    Levels higher than 2.7 is one of the four OMINOUS SIGNS

    Globulin: Globulins have many diverse functions such as, the carrier of some hormones, lipids, metals, and antibodies. High levels are found in chronic infections, liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, myelomas and lupus. Lower levels may be seen in immune compromised patients, poor dietary habits, malabsorption, liver and kidney disease.

    Optimal Adult Range: 2.8- 3.5

    A/G Ratio: is an important indicator of disease states. Low ratio suggests ulcerative colitis, burns, kidney disease, cirrhosis, multiple myeloma.

    A/G ratio less than 1.0 is one of the four OMINOUS signs

    Optimal Adult Range:1.5

    Alkaline Phosphatase: Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme that is found in all body tissue, but the most important sites are bone, liver, bile ducts and the gut. A high level of alkaline phosphatase in your blood may indicate bone, liver or bile duct disease. Certain drugs may also cause high levels. Growing children, because of bone growth, normally have a higher level than adults do. Low levels indicate low functioning adrenal glands, protein deficiency, malnutrition or more commonly, a deficiency in zinc.

    Optimal Adult Range: 60-80

    Transaminases (SGTP) & (SGOT): These are enzymes that are primarily found in the liver. Drinking too much alcohol, certain drugs, liver disease and bile duct disease can cause high levels in the blood. Hepatitis is another problem that can raise these levels. Low levels of GGT may indicate a magnesium deficiency. Low levels of SGPT and SGOT may indicate deficiency of vitamin B6.

    Optimal Adult Range: 18-26

    Gamma-Glutamyl transerase (GGT): Believed to be involved in the transport of amino acids into cells as well as glutathione metabolism. Found in the liver and will rise with alcohol use, liver disease, or excess magnesium. Decreased levels can be found in hypothyroidism and more commonly decreased magnesium levels.

    Optimal Adult Range: 1- 40

    Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH): LDH is an enzyme found in all tissues in the body. A high level in the blood can result from a number of different diseases such as hepatitis, anemia etc. Also, slightly elevated levels in the blood are common and usually do not indicate disease. The most common sources of LDH are the heart, liver, muscles, and red blood cells.

    Optimal Adult Range: 120-160

    Total Protein: This is a measure of the total amount of protein in your blood. A low or high total protein does not indicate a specific disease, but it does indicate that some additional tests may be required to determine if there is a problem.

    Optimal Adult Range: 7.1-7.6

    Iron: The body must have iron to make hemoglobin and to help transfer oxygen to the muscle. If the body is low in iron, all body cells, particularly muscles in adults and brain cells in children, do not function up to par. If this test is low you should consider getting a Ferritin test, especially if you are a female who still has menstrual cycles.

    Optimal Adult Range: 85-130

    Ferritin: This test is considered the "gold standard" in documenting iron deficiency anemia. Low levels below 25 indicate a need for iron. High levels may an inflammatory disorder, infections, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease

    Triglycerides: These are fats used as fuel by the body, and as an energy source for metabolism. Increased levels are almost always a sign of too much carbohydrate intake and hyperlipidism. Decreased levels are seen in hyperthyroidism, malnutrition and malabsorption.

    Optimal Adult Range: 70-115

    Cholesterol: Group of fats vital to cell membranes, nerve fibers and bile salts, and a necessary precursor for the sex hormones. High levels indicate diet high in carbohydrates/sugars. Low levels indicate low fat diet, malabsorption, anemia, liver disorders, carbohydrate sensitivity.

    Cholesterol values below 140 is considered one of the four OMINOUS signs

    Optimal Adult Range: 150-180

    LDL: LDL is the cholesterol rich remnants of the lipid transport vehicle VLDL (very-low density lipoproteins) there have been many studies to correlate the association between high levels of LDL and arterial arteriosclerosis. Due to the expense of direct measurement of LDL a calculation, known as the Friedewald formula is used. It is Total Cholesterol - HDL Cholesterol - Triglycerides/5. When triglyceride levels are greater than 400, this method is not accurate.

    Optimal Adult Reading: 81 mg/dl

    HDL (High Density Lipoprotein):
    HDL or High-density lipoprotein is the cholesterol carried by the alpha lipoproteins. A high level of HDL is an indication of a healthy metabolic system if there is no sign of liver disease or intoxication. the two mechanisms that explain how HDL offers protection against chronic heart disease are that HDL inhibits cellular uptake of LDL and serves as a carrier that removes cholesterol from the peripheral tissues and transports it back to the liver for catabolism.

    Optimal Adult Reading: +85 mg/dl

    CO2: The CO2 level is related to the respiratory exchange of carbon dioxide in the lungs and is part of the bodies buffering system. Generally, when used with the other electrolytes, carbon dioxide levels indicate pH or acid/alkaline balance in the tissues. This is one of the most important tests that we measure. Most people have too much acid in their body. If you garden you will know that it is very difficult to grow plants in soil where the pH is incorrect. Our blood is similar to soil in many respects and it will be difficult to be healthy if our body's pH is not well balanced.

    Optimal Adult Range: 26-29

    WBC: White blood count measures the total number of white blood cells in a given volume of blood. Since WBCs kill bacteria, this count is a measure of the body's response to infection.

    Optimal Adult Range: 5.0-7.5

    Neutrophils: elevated in acute infection

    Optimal Adult Range: 55-65%

    Monocytes: elevated in bacterial infections, protozoal infections

    Optimal Adult Range: 3-7%

    Lymphocytes: elevated in acute and chronic infections. Decreased in viral infection and immune deficiency

    Optimal Adult Range: 25-40%

    Eosinophils: Elevated in allergic conditions, skin diseases, parasitic diseases

    Optimal Adult Range: 0-2%

    Basophils: Elevated in Infections

    Optimal Adult Range: 0%

    RBC (Red Blood Cells): made in the spleen. Reveals the oxygen carrying ability of the blood.

    Optimal Adult Range: 4.5-5.5

    Hemoglobin: Hemoglobin provides the main transport of oxygen and carbon in the blood. It is composed of "globin", a group of amino acids that form a protein and "heme", which contains iron. It is an important determinant of anemia (decreased hemoglobin) or poor diet/nutrition or malabsorption.

    Optimal Male Adult Range: 14-18

    Optimal Female Adult Range: 12-16

    Hematocrit: Hematocrit is the measurement of the percentage of red blood cells in whole blood. It is an important determinant of anemia (decreased), dehydration (elevated) or possible overhydration (decreased).

    Optimal Adult Range: 40-50%


    Optimal Adult Range: 200,000-300,000

    T3 (Tri-Iodothyronine): Increased in hyperthyroidism. Decrease in hypothyroidism

    Optimal Adult Range: 26-30

    T4 (Tetra-Iodothyronine): Increased in hyperthyroidism. Decrease in hypothyroidism

    Optimal Adult Range: 7-8.5

    T7 (FTI-Free Thyroxine Index)

    Optimal Adult Range: 1.9-2.5

    TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone): is used to confirm or rule out suspected hypothyroidism when T3, T4, T7 are essentially normal and clinical signs suggest hypothyroidism

    Optimal Adult Range: 4.0-8.0

    ESR (Ertythrocyte Sedimentation Rate): documents if organic disease is truly present in patients with vague symptoms. Monitors the course of chronic inflammatory conditions. Elevated in patients with breakdown of tissue

    CRP (C-Reactive Protein): Positive in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute bacterial infection, viral hepatitis

    ANA (Antinuclear Antibody): useful in diagnosing collagen-vascular diseases such as: Lupus, Sjogren's Syndrome, Scleroderma, RA, Myasthenia Gravis, Polyarthritis

    RF (Rheumatoid Factor): 80% of Rheumatoid Arthritics are positive.

    Six Hour Glucose Tolerance Test: This test is useful in identifying patients with reactive hypoglycemia and diabetes mellitus

    The above blood chemistry makes up the majority of my initial evaluation for all patients. Any additional tests will be ordered following the results of this initial comprehensive blood chemistry

  2. sb439

    sb439 New Member

    ... wonderfully useful! Many thanks for posting this.
  3. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    This chart is wonderful. Thanks for giving it to us. I am going to share this with my family and friends as it is such very helpful information. Way to go!
    My best to you.
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Thank you.

    Love, Mikie
  5. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Since when does a normal adult have a TSH of between 4.0 and 8.0? I understood that the upper normal limit of TSH was just lowered from 4.2 or 5.5 (depending on which lab you use) down to 3.0 by the Amer. Colege of Endocrinology.
    4.0-8.0 would be very hypothyroid, would it not? Or am I reading it wrong?
    Thank you for posting will really help explain things to many of us.
  6. sunnysideliving

    sunnysideliving New Member

    This is just <b>great</b>.
    I save it for being able to look it up anytime!

    Keep up your good posts! ;)

  7. tannat

    tannat New Member

  8. KathiM

    KathiM New Member

    This is great info that everyone should keep to help understand your "OWN" bloodwork !!!!!!

    Thanks for the great post !!!!