Did your doctor ever recommend you to undergo a series of tests to understand your health condition or disease?
Of those tests, a blood test is probably one of the most common tests. However, there are numerous variables to a blood test. Each providing results of various health parameters. One such being Complete Blood Count (CBC) test.
In this article, let us understand the Complete Blood Count (CBC) test. You will get to know everything about it, right from its purpose to what its results signify.
What is a Complete Blood Count (CBC) test?
CBC, which is also known as Full Blood count or Blood Cell Count, is one of the most common blood tests requested by a doctor. It provides the count of the cells that are present in your blood, which in turn determines your overall health and warns of any disorders like anemia, infections, and even cancer.
The disorders are determined through the increase or decrease in the number of cells in the blood. The Complete Blood Count test measures all the components in blood, the most common ones being:
Red Blood Cells (RBC): RBCs removes carbon dioxide and carries oxygen throughout your body. A CBC test determines the percentage of hemoglobin and hematocrit in Red Blood Cells. Hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen throughout the blood, whereas, hematocrit is the percentage of RBCs present in the fluid component of the blood. Low levels of these often include iron deficiency in the blood, also known as anemia.
White Blood Cells (WBC): WBCs or leukocytes are also known as the soldiers of our body as they provide immunity and protects us from diseases and infections by fighting with foreign pathogens. Any increase or decrease in these numbers indicates either an infection or cancer.
Platelets: Platelets help in the clotting of blood and control bleeding. A variation in platelet levels can result in excessive bleeding, which is a serious medical condition.
Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV): It provides the average size of an RBC. Variation of this determines deficiency of Vitamin B12, iron, or folate.
Importance of Complete Blood Count test?
Your doctor may request a CBC test when you are unwell to determine the cause or as part of a routine check-up. Below are some of the important reasons why your doctor might request a CBC test.
- Determine disorders
- Review overall health
- Monitor a medical condition or treatment
How is it done?
A CBC test is a simple and quick procedure where a sample of your blood is drawn, preferably from the vein in your elbow bend through a needle. So, remember to wear a short-sleeved dress before going to the test. If the doctor has ordered for only a CBC test you may eat and drink like you normally do.
What does the CBC test results indicate?
An increase or decrease in the readings generally signifies a deficiency or a disorder. However, the readings depend on various factors like age and gender. Below are the reference range for a CBC test reading.
White Blood Cells (WBC): 3,500-11,000 cells per microliter.
Red Blood cells (RBC): 4.3-5.7 million cells per microliter in men and 3.9-5.1 million cells per microliter in women.
Hemoglobin: 135-175 grams per liter in men and 120-155 in women.
Hematocrit: 39-50% in men and 35-45 in women.
Platelets: 1,50,000-4,50,000 platelets per microliter.
Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV): 80-96
While CBC is not the definitive test to determine an issue, further tests are suggested to confirm the disorders like cancer, infections, reactions, heart diseases, anemia, and bleeding disorders.
Abnormalities in CBC readings suggest issues in your health, which can be rectified through proper diet or medication. Your doctor will provide you with an appropriate treatment based on the issue.
Do remember that the CBC test is only one of the tests to understand your health and is not the sole deciding test. Contact us if you have more queries about the Complete Blood Count Test or would like to book one today.