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Exploring the medical and scientific background of blood drinking
Investigation and Research Into Sanguinarians
Investigation and Research Into Sanguinarians
Copyright 2005
by Sarah Mediv 
  All Rights reserved 
  E-Mail: s_faolchu@yahoo.com
Blood Result Interpretation
    Often times it seems people get blood tests run, which is good, but then don't know how to interpret the results or understand the abbreviations used. Not uncommon, as they are confusing. Here I will try and list the most common parts of a blood panel, their abbreviations, what they test for, what the normal values are (Laboratory reference ranges, though the "normals" vary depending on the lab used), and what high or low could indicate. Also, these values and desriptions are based on the assumption that the cells themselves are apparently normal in size, shape, and structure. However, I do make the statement I am not a human doctor, and so any in-depth questions should be directed to your doctor or nurse. These are the horses, but they know about the zebras and "what if"s.

    Brief Definitions:
    Whole Blood: Has nothing removed
    Plasma: Fluid portion of the blood that also contains fibrinogen (clotting factor)
    Serum: Fluid portion of the blood after the blood has been allowed to clot, so the fibrinogen is removed.
    g: gram
    mg: milligram
    dL: deciliter
    IU: International Unit
    L: Liter
    mmol: millimole
    mEq: Milliequivalent

Complete Blood Count (CBC)
This is a measure of percents. Helps determine hydration, anemias, infection, parasites and allergies.

    Hematocrit/Packed Cell Volume (PCV)
    Percent of packed red cells after a sample has been "spun down"
        Normal: 40-50% for males; 37-47% for females
        Low: Anemia
        High: Dehydration

    Neutrophils
    Function to "eat" and break down foriegn particles in the body. Also can cause inflammation.
        Normal: 50-70% (2500-7000 per ml)
        Low: formation disorders
        High: pheumonia, meningitis, acute hemorrhage, some drugs. Normally high in newborns, late pregnancy, hard exercise, extensive vomiting, or severe pain.

    Eosinophils
    Respond to bacteria and histamines (allergic reactions). Also respond to parasites.
        Normal: 1-3% (50-300 per ml)
        Low: formation disorders
        High: Usually allergies or internal parasites. Also can be from asthma, some skin conditions, some blood diseases, or after irridation.
  
    Basophils
    Add to inflammatory response.
        Normal: 0-1% (0-100 per ml)
        Low: N/A
        High: Sinus inflammation, Hodgkin's disease, and pernicious anemia.

    Monocytes/Macrophages
    Monocytes later become macrophages. Monocyte is the circulating cell and is part of inflammatory response. Macrophages "eat" foreign particles.
        Normal: 2-8% (100-800 per ml)
        Low: formation disorders
        High: chronic infection, "mono"

    Lymphocytes
    General primary immune response cells.
        Normal: 20-40% (1000-4000 per ml)
        Low: Formation disorders and immune diseases (HIV/AIDS)
        High: acute infections

Chemistry Panel
Evaluates the chemicals and protiens in the blood.

    Albumin
    Major blood protien. Regulates water balance, moves nutrients, and removes wastes. Made in the liver.
        Normal: 3.9 to 5.0 g/dl
        Low: Liver disease, kidney or intestinal loss, malnutrition, extensive burns.
        High: Dehydration

    Bilirubin
    Byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells. Usuale removed by the liver and excreted in the bile.
        Normal: 0.2 to 1.9 mg/dl
        Low:
        High: Certain antiviral drugs, liver disease, excessive red blood cell breakdown, gall bladder disease, chronic hemorrhage

    Creatinine
    Waste product of protien breakdown. Used to measure kidney function.
        Normal: 0.8 to 1.4 mg/dl
        Low: Not significant
        High: Kidney disease, dehydration.

    Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
    Waste product of protien breakdown. Typically formed by the liver and removed by the kidneys.
        Normal: 7 to 20 mg/dl
        Low: Formation disorders, pregnancy, severe liver damage.
        High: High-protien diet, kidney failure, dehyration, heart disease.

    Creatine Kinase (CK or CPK)
    Product of muscle breakdown
        Normal:
        Low: Not significant
        High: Myopathy, recent exercise

    pH
    Measure of the acidity of the body/blood.
        Normal: 7.4
        Low: Acidic - hyperventilation, chronic diarrhea
        High: Basic - vomiting

   Aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT)
    Enzyme from the heart, liver and muscles.
        Normal: 10 to 34 IU/L
        Low: Not significant
        High: heart attack, liver disease, muscle trauma

    Alkaline Phosphotase (ALP)
    Enzyme from the liver and bone, also small amount created from the intestines.
        Normal: 44 to 147 IU/L
        Low: Not significant
        High: Liver or bone disease, third trimester pregancy, immaturity.

   Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT or SGPT)
    Enzyme primarily from the liver, some muscle production.
        Normal: 6 to 59 IU/L
        Low: Not significant
        High: Liver disease

   Calcium (Ca)
    Most abundant blood mineral. Critical for muscle function, blood clotting, and bone formation.
        Normal: 8.5 to 10.9 mg/dl
        Low: PTH deficiency, kidney disease, Vitamin D deficiency, malabsorption.
        High: Excessive parathyroid hormone (PTH), bone disease, excess intake.

    Sodium (Na)
    Basic Blood electrolyte. Important for proper kidney function, water retention/excretion, and nerve signaling.
        Normal: 136 to 144 mEq/L
        Low: diuretics, diarrhea, kidney disease.
        High: dehydration

    Potassium (K)
    Basic Blood electrolyte. Important in muscle movement/nerve impulses, however is found in lower blood levels then in tissue levels.
        Normal: 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/L
        Low: prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, kidney disease, or when taking diuretics.
        High: Renal disease, growth

    Chlorine (Cl)
    Basic blood electrolyte.
        Normal: 101 to 111 mmol/L
        Low: Vomiting
        High: Intestinal obstruction

    Phosphorus (P)
    Basic Blood electrolyte. Close relationship with Calcium in regulation of bone mass.
        Normal: 2.4 to 4.1 mg/dl
        Low: formation disorders
        High: chronic infection, "mono"

    Glucose
    "Blood sugar" responsible for brain function, cell "fuel".
        Normal: 65 to 140 mg/dL
        Low: Excessive insulin production
        High: Diabeties

    Cholestrol
    Lipid important for cell wall formation. Present in two main forms Hidensity (HDL, "Good Cholesterol") and Low Density (LDL, "Bad Cholesterol")
        Normal: 105 to 333 IU/L (for LDH) 100 to 240 mg/dl (Total)
        Low: formation disorders
        High: Some cancers and endocrine diseases.
References:

National Institute of Health Publication. "Understanding Your Complete Blood Count" <http://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/patient_education/pepubs/cbc97.pdf>