You might have had a complete medical checkup just today and your doctor ordered a CBC test or a complete blood count test.
However, you do not need to worry about any complications as in most cases CBC test shows your complete blood analysis and is a part of regular tests your doctor orders.
But if you are not healthy, it could be a potential indicator of an underlying medical condition.
One of the most common tests many doctors recommend is a CBC test that screens for certain disorders that can affect your health.
A CBC determines if there are any changes in your blood cell counts,
Normal values vary depending on your age and your gender.
Your lab report can help tell the normal value range for your age and gender.
Moreover, it can help diagnose a wide range of conditions, from anemia to cancer.
Read on to learn about the basic types of cells, what the results show, and more in this guide.
The Three Basic Types of Bloods Cells
Measuring the changes in your blood cells levels can help your doctor to elevate your overall health and detect any disorder.
Moreover, this test helps to measure 3 basic types of blood cells.
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
Now let’s discuss what these cells are and why they are important.
Red Blood Cells, RBC Count
Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body and remove carbon dioxide.
Moreover, a CBC measures 2 components in your red blood cells:
- hemoglobin: this is an oxygen-carrying protein
- hematocrit: it represents the percentage of red blood cells in your blood.
Red blood cells count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit are related to one another as they each measure aspects of your red blood cells.
If the measure of these three areas is lower than normal, then it indicates you have anemia.
Anemia causes fatigue and weakness and may also cause low levels of certain vitamins or iron, blood loss, or an underlying medical condition.
White Blood Cells, WBC Count
White blood cells help your body fight infections. A CBC measures the number and types of white blood cells in your body.
A low white blood cell count (leukopenia) may be due to a medical condition like an autoimmune disease or inflammation.
An autoimmune disease destroys the white blood cells, bone marrow problems, or cancer.
Certain medical conditions can also cause white blood cells to count to drop.
However, if your white blood cell count is higher than the normal range, then it indicates that you have an infection or inflammation.
Or it could also indicate an immune system disorder or a bone marrow disease.
It is important to note that a high white blood cell count can also be a reaction to the medications you are taking.
Platelets help your blood clot and control bleeding. When a cut stops bleeding, it is because your platelets in the blood are doing their job.
A platelet count that is lower than the normal range (thrombocytopenia) or higher than the normal range (thrombocytosis) is often a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Or it may be a side effect of a certain medication.
However, if your platelet count is outside the normal range, then you are likely to need additional tests to diagnose the cause.
Learn more about how to deal with Buck teeth here.
When your Doctor orders a CBC Test?
Your doctor may order a CBC test as a part of a normal routine checkup or if you have unexplained symptoms like bleeding or bruising.
A CBC test can help your doctor to understand the following:
Elevate your Overall Health: Many doctors will order a CBC so that they have a baseline of your overall health.
It also helps your doctor screen for any health problems.
Diagnose a Health Problem: Your doctor may order a CBC if you have certain symptoms like weakness, tiredness, fever, redness, swelling, bruising, or bleeding.
Monitor a Health Problem: doctors may order a CBC regularly to monitor your health condition.
This is particularly in case if you have been diagnosed with a disorder that affects blood cell counts.
Monitor the Treatment: Certain medical conditions can affect your blood cell counts and may require regular CBCs.
They may also elevate how well your treatment is working based on your CBC. Learn more about Iron Deficiency here.
What Happens During a CBC Test?
During a CBC test, a lab technician will draw your blood from a vein, usually from the inside of your elbow or from the back of your hand.
This test usually takes a few minutes. The technician will:
Cleanse your skin with an antiseptic and place an elastic band or tourniquet around the upper arm to help the vein swell with blood.
Then they will insert a need in your vein and collect a blood sample in or more vials.
After taking the blood, they will remove the elastic band, cover the area with a bandage to stop any bleeding.
Lastly, they will label your sample and send it to a lab for analysis.
A blood test can be slightly uncomfortable as when the needle punctures your skin, you might feel a prick or pinching sensation.
Some people might also feel faint or light-headed when they see blood. Afterward, you can have a slight or minor bring and will clear up in a few days.
In young infants, a nurse will sterilize the heel of the foot and use a small needle or a lancet to prick the area.
They will then gently squeeze the heal and collect a small amount of blood in a vial for the test.
At AlQudra, we have the best facility for lab tests. You can visit our clinic for regular checkups as well as tests.
Results of CBC Test
The test results may vary based on your blood cell counts.
The following are the normal results for adults, however, it is important to note that different labs may deliver slight variations.
|Blood component||Normal levels|
|red blood cell||In men: 4.32-5.72 million cells/mcL
In women: 3.90-5.03 million cells/mcL
|hemoglobin||In men: 135-175 grams/L
In women: 120-155 grams/L
|hematocrit||In men: 38.8-50.0 percent
In women: 34.9-44.5 percent
|white blood cell count||3,500 to 10,500 cells/mcL|
|platelet count||150,000 to 450,000/mcL|
A CBC is not a definite test.
Blood cells counts that are too high or too low can indicate a wide range of conditions. For this, you will need more specialized tests to diagnose a specific condition.
Certain conditions that can cause an abnormal CBC and may require additional testing include:
Iron or other vitamin and mineral deficiencies, bleeding disorder, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, bone marrow problems, cancer, infection, or inflammation or reaction to a certain medication.
Moreover, if your CBC shows abnormal levels, your doctor may order another blood test to confirm the results.
Additionally, they may also order other tests to help further evaluate your condition and confirm a diagnosis.
Learn more about Individual lab tests at our clinic here.
CBC Test Measures
The test helps your doctor to understand your overall health. It measures the following:
White Blood Cells, (WBC): it could indicate infection or inflammation in your body.
Red Blood Cells(RBC): indicates anemia or other conditions
Hemoglobin, (Hb or Hgb): a protein that hols oxygen
Hematocrit, (Hct): This test shows how much of your blood is made of red blood cells.
A high score means that you are dehydrated, and a low score means your blood does not have iron.
Mean Corpuscular Volume, (MCV): This test tells the average size of red blood cells.
If they are bigger than usual, it indicates that you have low vitamin B12 or folate levels.
In case, they are smaller, it means you might have a type of anemia.
Platelets: These help your blood clot.
Learn more about vitamin B12 Deficiency.
What Else your CBC Test indicates?
Your physician or doctor can also order more results to learn whether you have an illness or blood conditions including:
Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH): This test shows how much hemoglobin is in your typical red blood cells.
Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration, (MCHC): This measures the concentration of hemoglobin in a certain amount of blood.
Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW): Shows how much your red blood cells vary in size.
Reticulocyte Count: Measures the number of new red blood cells in your body
MPV, Mean Platelet volume: The results give the average size of the platels in your blood.
White Blood Cell Differential: There are 5 types of white blood cells: basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils.
It tells how many of each kind you have in your blood.
A complete blood count or CBC test helps to elevate your overall health and detect a wide range of disorders if you have unexplained symptoms like weakness, fever, anemia, infection, inflammations, etc.
Moreover, it measures different components and features of your blood and helps the doctor to diagnose any treatment or the effect of ongoing treatment on your blood.