Liver and kidneys
The liver and kidneys are major organs and play an important role in the body.
The liver detoxifies substances in the blood like alcohol, caffeine, parcetamol and hormones. As well as getting rid of the bad, it also brings on the good by producing enzymes, blood clotting factors and bile, while also helping to maintain hormone balance, and storing vitamins and glycogen. Liver function testing can help identify blocked bile ducts, jaundice, Gilbert’s syndrome, liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and some types of cancer.
Meanwhile the kidneys help to regulate blood pressure, maintain electrolyte balance and filter the blood, getting rid of waste products. Kidney function testing can help identify kidney disease, kidney stones and heart failure.
Fats are an essential constituent of cells and used as a source of energy in the body, however having too much of certain types of fats in the blood is not healthy and can lead to heart attack and stroke. Testing the levels of the different cholesterol can identify high cholesterol and whether you are at greater risk of heart and stroke.
High sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP-hs)
CRP-hs is a marker that can be used to assess cardiovascular disease risk as its high sensitivity enables the detection of persistent low level of inflammation. Such inflammation plays a major role in the narrowing of blood vessels due to build-up of cholesterol, which is often associated with heart attack, stroke, sudden cardiac death and peripheral arterial disease.
Full blood count
A full blood count is used to measure blood health. This is an excellent test to evaluate your health and is often the first test used by GPs and can lead to follow-up tests. It can identify a range of different disorders such as infection, iron deficiency anaemia, vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia and leukaemia.
HbA1c, also known as glycated haemoglobin or haemoglobin A1c, is a measurement of your blood glucose level. HbA1c is formed by some of the glucose circulating in the blood sticking to the haemoglobin in red blood cells. HbA1c testing gives an accurate picture of your blood glucose levels over the previous 2-3 months. It is a way of determining your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and can also identify the presence of the condition, enabling diagnosis.
Iron is an essential nutrient, which must be absorbed from food. The primary role of iron is the production of healthy red blood cells. Testing iron and stored iron (ferritin) together determines iron status. High levels of ferritin can be due to hemochromatosis, inflammatory conditions and liver disease. There are usually few symptoms in early iron deficiency but if it worsens on-going fatigue and weakness can occur.
Vitamin B12 is necessary for the normal formation of your red blood cells, nerve health and function, as well as DNA synthesis. Low levels can lead to symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, tingling, numbness, mood changes and depression.
Vitamin D is essential for maintaining normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, the formation and maintenance of healthy bone and teeth, and also plays an important role in immune health. Low levels can lead to symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, tingling, numbness, mood changes and depression.