The CBC Test: What It Can Tell You About Your Health
The Complete Blood Count (CBC) test is a blood serum test that provides information on the cells in a person’s blood. The complete blood count of a person gives insights into the overall health of a person and indicates if any health issue is present. Any kind of infection, anemia, and leukemia can be monitored with the help of a CBC test. When patients go to a doctor with an undiagnosed health condition, the CBC test is the first basic step of diagnosis. The CBC test shows the count of different blood cells, which can be interpreted to take up the further diagnosis of a disease. A routine blood checkup also includes a CBC test.
What does the CBC test measure?
A CBC test measures the blood cells present in the blood during circulation. Blood is made up of plasma and different blood cells that have different functions. The count and number of these blood cells can tell many things about the vitals. The CBC test takes the count of the following cells.
- Red Blood Cells (RBC) – The red blood cells in our body, also referred as Erythrocytes. These cells bind oxygen and are responsible for the red colour of the blood
- White Blood Cells (WBC) – White blood cells in our body are cells of immunity which are also called Leukocytes. White blood cells should always be present in the blood for proper protection of the body.
- Hemoglobin – Hemoglobin is the compound in red blood cells that binds oxygen and supplies it to different body organs. The level of hemoglobin is important for oxygen transport and the optimum health of different parts of the body. A low level of hemoglobin shows that you are suffering from anaemia. The test also checks for hematocrit in the blood.
- Platelets- High level of platelets in the blood can be a sign of thrombosis, while a low level of platelets can be a sign of hemophilia. The count of platelets is important to understand the person’s response during injury and trauma.
Why is the CBC test done?
The increase or decrease of cell count in the blood is taken with the help of a CBC test. The doctor might suggest a CBC test for the following reasons.
- To monitor overall health – a CBC test is done to judge the health vitals of a person. The doctor might suggest a CBC test under routine health checkups. If you are going for a routine health check, the CBC test might be prescribed. CBC test results show your immunity level and oxygen capacity and other factors.
- Diagnose a medical condition – If you are suffering from a fever or the warning signs of an infection, the doctor will suggest a CBC test to make the initial diagnosis. The blood count can show if you have inflammation or not. A CBC test can reveal the reason for swelling, pain and fatigue.
- To check a medical condition – if you have a long-term disease that can only be managed and not cured, its management also includes monitoring and taking the CBC test. Long-term diseases and lifestyle diseases affect your blood composition and immunity levels. With the help of a CBC test, the disease factors in the blood can be monitored.
- To find the efficacy of an ongoing treatment – the efficacy of an ongoing treatment in case of an injury or infection can be seen with the help of CBC test results. Blood cells like platelets and WBC respond to the use of medicines, and doctors use CBC to monitor if the goal of treatment is being achieved or not.
What happens during a CBC test?
The cost of a CBC test under a panel is somewhere between ₹ 300 to 500. Some laboratories also offer discounts on CBC and other tests. The CBC test procedure is easy and does not cause any problems for the patient. The patient has to give his blood sample for the test which is collected with the use of an intra-vein syringe. The phlebotomist uses a sterile syringe to take blood from the vein. The blood sample is then stored in the lab and analyzed for the complete blood count. The patient does not need any special preparation before the test.
The CBC test can tell us a lot about our health. Normal levels of all blood cells within their count range show that the individual is healthy. The CBC test shows the health vitals of a person and indicates if the person is infected or facing inflammation internally. CBC test results can show the initial signs of blood disorders like hemophilia or anemia. The test itself falls under the category of tests done under routine health checkups. CBC test is one of the first tests the doctor will recommend for any diagnosis.
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