Unlocking the Secrets of Your Health:
The Power of a Complete Blood Count
Whether or not you know it, you’ve probably had a complete blood count (CBC) at some point in your life, maybe as part of a routine physical.
Although the lab test is commonly performed annually, the information it provides can also help answer questions that may plague you on a daily basis, such as:
- Am I just tired, or is there something really wrong?
- Is my recent fever a fluke, or do I have a serious infection?
- Is this normal hair loss, or am I going bald?
- Is my joint pain from overdoing it, or is there inflammation in my body?
- Is this seasonal allergies, or is my immune system off?
The CBC from Hoag measures your red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets–offering key clues into your health.
So what can a CBC reveal about your symptoms?
How Your CBC Explains Fatigue
While we know oxygen is essential, its insufficient supply does more than just leave us out of breath.
The RBC component of a complete blood count (CBC) provides insights here. It measures two critical factors:
- Hematocrit: The percentage of your blood made of red blood cells.
- Hemoglobin: A protein that carries oxygen throughout your body.
When either of these values dips below normal—often seen in conditions like anemia—it could mean your body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs. Oxygen deprivation extends beyond fatigue and paleness; it can even lead to hair loss, underscoring the profound ways in which our internal health manifests externally.
The CBC Connection To Our Immunity
The immune system is like our body’s security team, always on the lookout for potential threats. Its main responsibility is to notify us of underlying infection & inflammation and provide the protection we need to avoid or fight off, serious illness.
The CBC test is a tool doctors use to gauge how well this team is working.
Here’s a simple breakdown of some critical metrics from the CBC that can reveal invaluable clues:
- White Blood Cell (WBC) Count: The WBCs protect your body against
- High WBC Count: This could mean the body is rallying its defenses against an infection or there is underlying inflammation.
- Low WBC Count: This might indicate potential immune disorders, certain severe illnesses, or the effects of specific medications.
However, sometimes our security team gets a bit overactive. Instead of just tackling threats, it starts seeing harmless substances, like pollen, as dangers. This overreaction manifests as allergies, and the key player in this response are eosinophils.
Eosinophils, a specialized type of WBCs, respond to these perceived threats. Their elevated numbers, identified by a CBC, might indicate allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders, or severe illnesses.
Schedule a CBC with Hoag Today
Experiencing unexplained health concerns? Don’t wait. At Hoag, we utilize the complete blood count to uncover the underlying causes, from fatigue to inflammation (and more).
Schedule an appointment today with a Hoag doctor for more information at any of our convenient locations throughout Orange County. Even easier, join our membership program, Hoag Compass, for unlimited same day or next-day appointments. You can also download our mobile app for outstanding care from wherever you are.
The good news is CBC lab tests are covered by most insurance plans. A quick check with your doctor or insurance provider will confirm this.
If you’re feeling confused by your symptoms, take the first step towards understanding. Schedule an appointment at Hoag now.