The Complete Blood Test or CBC test is one of the most anticipated and a complete blood count test. To analyze the CBC test, you should keep in mind that there are two important parts of blood – cellular and plasma elements. Plasma is the liquid part of the blood which enables the smooth flow of blood. Blood cells are other parts of your blood.
Fig: The CBC cheat sheet
In our blood, red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets are the major cells. Each of these cells conducts major and specific functions. The amount of various types of blood cells is measured in complete CBC test. Even, the one can also get some important insight into other parameters in each blood cell.
Complete Blood Count is conducted to assess the overall health of a patient and it is one of the most common tests. It helps physicians to diagnose autoimmune disorders, infections, anemia, and other diseases. Here are some of the common abbreviations in CBC test –
The main function of red blood cells is to provide your lungs with much-needed oxygen through body tissues and remove carbon dioxide from the body. Here are the recommended normal RBC values –
Infant – 4.1 to 6.1 million/µlt
Children – 3.8 to 6 million/µlt
Men – 4.5 to 5.5 million/µlt
Women – 4 to 5 million/µlt
High Level – The high level is It indicating smoking, dehydration, pulmonary fibrosis, congenital heart disease, renal cell carcinoma, pulmonary fibrosis, and polycythemia vera.
Drugs increasing RBC levels – Gentamicin, Methyldopa
Low Level – Anemia, Bleeding, overhydration, malnutrition, hemolysis, deficiency of erythropoietin, multiple myeloma, leukemia, thalassemia, porphyria, sickle cell anemia
Drugs which lower RBC level – Hydantoins, quinidine, chloramphenicol, and drugs for chemotherapy
The Red blood cells contain a protein named hemoglobin. Our blood is made bright red by hemoglobin due to the presence of iron. People living thousands of meters above sea levels and smokers are more likely to have high hemoglobin levels. It is because their body produces it more to fulfill the need of oxygen.
However, low amount of hemoglobin leads to different types of blood diseases like thalassemia and sickle cell disease.
Pregnancy – 10-15 g/dL
Male – 13.5-16.5 g/dL
Female – 12-15 g/dL
High Level – Reasons for high level are due to smoking, dehydration, tumors, polycythemia vera, lung disease, erythropoietin abuse, blood doping
Drugs causing high hemoglobin count – Iron supplements, erythropoietin
Low Level – The low level is due to blood loss, lack of nutrients, sickle cell anemia, renal problems, leukemia, bone marrow suppression, etc.
Drugs causing low hemoglobin count – Antibiotics, aspirin, sulfonamides, anti-neoplastic drugs, trimethadione, doxapram, indomethacin, primaquine, and rifampin.
Also called as PCV or packed cell volume, Hematocrit refers to the percentage of a volume of RBCs in the blood. Hence, the result you will get varies by structure, size, and total RBC value. It is important to determine Hct to assess and diagnose a lack of nutrition, blood diseases, and hydration level.
Men – 41% to 50%
Children – 36% to 40%
Women – 36% to 44%
Infant – 55% to 68%
High level – Some of the common causes include smoking, dehydration, hypoxia, tumors, polycythemia vera, lung diseases, erythropoietin abuse, cor pulmonale, and blood doping.
Drugs which increase levels – Iron supplements
Drugs which reduce levels – Antibiotics, aspirin etc.
There are, generally five different types of white blood cells – lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, monocytes, and basophils.
Recommended Range – 5000 to 10000 per microliter
High Level – Some of the common causes include smoking, infections, inflammatory diseases, leukemia, severe mental or physical stress, tissue damage
Drugs causing high level – Heparin, Corticosteroids, epinephrine, beta-adrenergic agonists, lithium, and granulocyte colony-provoking drugs
Low Levels – It may caused due to deficiencies in bone marrow, autoimmune disorders, liver problems, viral diseases, spleen issues, radiation therapy, and extreme bacterial infections
Drugs causing low levels – Chemotherapeutic medicines, Diuretics, captopril, histamine-2 blockers, antibiotics, quinidine, anti-thyroid medications, terbinafine, chlorpromazine, etc.
Also known as thrombocytes, platelets bind together and circulate in the blood to clot over the blood vessel which is damaged. Also, it is very important to assess platelet count to diagnose the risk of thrombosis in patients.
Recommended range – 150,000 to 400,000 per Micro-liter
High Level – Some of the common causes of high level are:
Drugs causing high platelet – Steroids, romiplostim, immunosuppressants, human IgG
Low Level – Some of the common causes of low levels are:
Drugs causing low platelet – Some of the common drugs include aspirin, chemotherapeutic drugs, anagrelide, hydroxyurea, ranitidine, statins, quinidine, vancomycin, tetracycline, sulfonamides, valproic acid, etc.
In blood tests, reference ranges are, basically, sets of values used to figure out a set of test results by a health professional from blood samples.
Therefore, the reference ranges are assessed using clinical chemistry, pathology and statistics. As such, blood test results are analyzed with the reference range that comes from the laboratory.
Simply put, a reference range is the set of values, which is 95% prediction based off of mass statistical data. Lab Me is working hard to rethink this out dated methodology and create ranges that are specific to you.
A simple explanation of all CBC test markers
Do you get a fasting blood test every year? have you asked for markers like thyroid, vitamin C- or D-reactive protein, and hormones? You get a copy of test results to compare your files year by year? Are you familiar with the meaning of blood markers?
Therefore, you should look for the following markers when your blood test is being done along with regular ones –
When it comes to hair loss, hormones that are discussed mostly are a group of hormones named as androgens. DHT is the combined term which describes three categories of androgen hormones.
If a woman is having hair loss, it is wise to evaluate her thyroid health because hyper or hypothyroidism could be at the root of the hair.
According to the experts, your hair indicates your overall health. So, whatever you do for your health may lead to a direct impact on hair.
Here are some of the blood test markers you should include when CBC test is conducted by the doctor –
Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) test to detect LUPUS and other autoimmune problems
So checking out blood test report seem boring to you? Add more than just regular markers to know more about your health and make it more interesting.
Now consider the CBC test apart from the test result in Organic Acid test. You can get to know about the imbalances in your body, how your body is working, lack of nutrition, and pathways to detoxifications. Also, order the Organic Acid Test and get CBC test from the physician to get a complete insight.
Levels going below or above the normal CBC values in the following areas are the indicators of a certain problem–
White Blood Cells (Leukopenia)
Low WBC count represents a medical condition like bone marrow problems, cancer or autoimmune disorder which removes white blood cells. There are some medications that may lower the WBC counts.
On the other side, higher WBC count represents inflammation or infection. It could also be a sign of bone marrow disease or immune system disorder. Reaction to a certain medication is the major cause of high WBC count.
RBC Count (Hematocrit and Hemoglobin)
Hematocrit and hemoglobin are related to Red Blood Cell count as your red blood cells are determined by each measure. In these areas, if readings are lower, it is the sign of anemia, which causes weakness and fatigue.
There are many causes of anemia, such as low levels of iron or vitamins or blood loss. Higher RBC count than normal or erythrocytosis or high hematocrit or hemoglobin levels could be the cause of heart disease.
Platelet count – Higher or lower platelet count may represent a common medical condition or side effects of a drug. If platelet count goes beyond the recommended range, you may need other tests to determine the cause.
Clearly Defined Ranges for Each Biomarker
The Common CBC test Panels
CBC with Differential
It determines the percentages and numbers of several types of blood cells in a sample. CBC lab test is one of the widely-used tests to keep track of overall health.
It determines fatty elements in your blood because high cholesterol and triglyceride levels are responsible for high risk of heart diseases.
CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel)
This type of protein in your blood delivers oxygen to the cells. It may increase due to poor oxygen, dehydration, increased testosterone levels, lack of thiamin, and insulin resistance.
It measures the variation in the size of the red blood cell. The main causes of increased levels are anemias related to deficiency of nutrients (vitamin A, iron, zinc, copper, vitamin B6).
It is a type of white blood cell, including T-cells, B-cells, and Natural Killers. The main causes of its high level are viral infections, auto-immune diseases like Crohn's disease, and hypoadrenalism. Major causes of its lower levels include a spike in white blood cells and zinc deficiency.
This is a kind of most abundant WBC which controls pathogens. However, it may increase because of inflammation or bacterial infection. Also, It may reduce because of deficiencies of nutrients (B12, copper folate) and a spike in other WBCs.
These are the immune cells which activate in last stage inflammation. Hence, Allergies, parasitic infection, asthma, skin diseases like ulcerate colitis, eczema etc. Also, aspirin sensitivity is the major causes of its increased levels. Elevated cortisol may be the major cause of its lower levels.
These are basically white blood cells which turn into macrophages and leave the circulation. It may increase due to collagen problems, inflammation, recovery after a trauma, and ulcerative colitis.
These are white blood cells related to hypersensitivity and inflammation. It may increase due to allergies, inflammation, hypothyroidism and hemolytic anemia.
There is a long list of anemia causes. These are simply a few of the widespread causes. Due to the constant loss of blood, the CBC test report may suggest anemia. However, we can use this test to diagnose colon cancer and other types of cancers also. Usually, RDW and MCV indicate some clues if anemia is found.
The Low platelet count may also be one of the common problems found in the CBC test report.
MPV can show the frequency of making platelets in the bone marrow and how it is releasing into your blood. Also, the blood malignancy or inflammation may also be the cause of high platelet count.
Lab me is the first in the USA to offer an at-home CBC test. Our lab is CAP & CLIA accredited, and use the same technology that your hospital or clinic would use. We then use proprietary technology to turn your results into something that is visually appealing, simple & easy to understand.
Also, you can use this application for different types of tests, including
As the result, you can start using Lab.me today and start interpreting your complete blood test reports at home. It works on machine intelligence which gives accurate measurements of your blood reports.
Lab Me can explain what your blood test report has to say in easy and simple language. Hence, it can help avoid confusions and gives detailed and in-depth insight into your future.
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