The full-service, in-house laboratory allows the center’s staff to provide diagnostic testing on-site. The lab is fully accredited by the Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation and received the prestigious National Laboratory Excellence Award. All tests are performed by registered medical technologists. Tests must be ordered by a Taylor Health and Wellness Center physician or from an outside referral. Patients must provide proper documentation.
Below are brief descriptions of some health indicators that may be tested for in a laboratory panel ordered by your health care provider. Any questions related to these indicators or to your specific laboratory test results should be directed to your personal provider. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
||High-density lipoprotein. HDL is sometimes referred to as "good" cholesterol. HDL carries cholesterol away from the arteries to the liver.
||Low-density lipoprotein. LDL is sometimes referred to as "bad cholesterol. High levels of LDL are thought to be associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease.
||Very low-density lipoprotein. VLDL contain large quantities of triglyceride and 10% to 15% of total plasma cholesterol.
||Recent studies have established that total blood cholesterol levels may be independently and positively correlated with risk for coronary heart disease. Lipids (fats) that account for 95% of the fat stored in tissue.
||Lipids (fats) that account for 95% of the fat stored in tissue. Elevated serum triglyceride levels are found in metabolic disorders, liver disease, diabetes, and hypothyroidism (deficiency of thyroid activity). When serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels are both elevated, the probability of coronary artery disease may be increased.
||Chloride is involved in maintaining the normal amount of water and the acid-base balance in body fluids. In general, the serum level of chloride is closely associated with the level of sodium. Chloride levels higher or lower than normal can be associated with metabolic acidosis and alkalosis and with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, and adrenal gland.
||Potassium is involved in the functioning of nervous tissue and in heart and muscle contraction. Serum potassium levels higher or lower than normal can be caused by various conditions, including diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney and adrenal gland.
||Sodium is involved in maintaining the normal amount of water and the acid-base balance in body fluids. Within cells of the body, sodium is involved in nerve conduction. Serum sodium levels higher or lower than normal can be caused by various conditions, including diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, and adrenal gland.
||An enzyme that is found in the heart, liver, muscle, kidney, pancreas, spleen, lung, and red blood cells. Diseases involving or affecting these tissues can cause elevations in serum AST levels.
|Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH)
||An enzyme found in human tissue, especially the heart, kidney, liver, and muscle. Tissue damage can cause the release of LDH into the blood. Conditions associated with elevated blood LDH levels include myocardial infarction (heart damage), certain types of anemia (caused by excessive red blood cell destruction or vitamin deficiency), liver disease, progressive muscular dystrophy, and cancer. High LDH levels may also be the result of improper blood collection procedures.
|BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)
||The main waste product produced by the liver during the breakdown of proteins. More than 90% of the urea is excreted by the kidneys. A variety of kidney diseases can result in an increase in the BUN level. Elevated BUN levels are also found in urinary tract obstruction, congestive heart failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and in individuals on a high-protein diet. Low BUN values may be associated with severe liver damage, acromegaly, and pregnancy. Diets low in protein and high in carbohydrates may also be responsible for low BUN levels.
||A waste product released from muscle tissue and excreted by the kidneys. The creatinine test is frequently used to assess kidney function. Elevated serum levels of creatinine may indicate kidney disease.
||A mineral necessary for many important bodily functions, including bone formation, muscle contraction, and blood clotting. In addition, calcium is involved in maintaining the stability of nerve cells. Abnormal blood calcium levels are associated with bone diseases and a variety of other conditions.
||A widely distributed element throughout the body. Approximately 85% of the body's phosphorus is found in the bone in a complex with calcium. Phosphorus plays an important role in bone formation, carbohydrate metabolism (sugar formation and degradation), and acid-base balance. Blood phosphorus levels fluctuate during the day and are affected by your diet and some antacids. Abnormal blood phosphorus levels are found in different types of bone disease and several other disease states.
||An enzyme found in almost all body tissues. Its highest levels exist in the intestine, kidney, bone, liver, and placenta. Measurements of serum alkaline phosphatase are thought to be particularly useful in the evaluation of liver and bone disease. Minor increases in the level of alkaline phosphatase are sometimes observed during the normal aging process.
||An orange-yellow bile pigment formed by the spleen during the breakdown of hemoglobin. Bilirubin is transported by a blood protein (albumin) to the liver for excretion in the feces. Elevated levels of serum bilirubin are often associated with liver disease, bile duct obstruction, hemolytic (red blood cell breakdown) disease, and prolonged fasting.
||The major protein of blood. Albumin plays an important role in maintaining the water of blood in the blood vessels (osmotic pressure), transporting substances, and in nutrition. It is made by the liver. Consequently, decreased albumin levels may be associated with liver disease. Albumin levels may also indicate general health and nutritional status.
|Albumin/Globulin (A/G) Ratio
||The calculated ratio of the levels of these two serum proteins. A low A/G is found in certain liver diseases, kidney disease, myeloma, and inflammation, as well as other disorders.
||The second most common substance in blood (water is the most common). Serum proteins have many functions, including the transport of other substances, immune defense, blood clotting, and inflammation defense. Serum protein levels are useful for evaluating nutritional status, infection, and various other disorders.
||One of the main protein groups found in blood. The alpha and beta-globulins are produced by the liver, whereas the gamma-globulins (antibodies that play an important role in the body's defense against disease) are produced by blood cells and plasma cells. The level of serum globulin is often elevated in liver disease, collagen diseases, myeloma, etc.
||A hormone secreted by the thyroid gland. Thyroxine is necessary for normal growth and development and plays an important role in regulating the body's rate of metabolism (formation and breakdown of biological substances). Measurement of serum thyroxine levels provides an indication of general thyroid gland function. Various medications can affect thyroxine levels.
||This test assesses the number of unbound sites available on the protein that transports thyroid hormones in the blood. This protein is called thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG). Variations in the serum levels of thyroid hormones can be caused by changes in the level of TBG. The T3 Uptake test may be used in combination with the level of thyroxine to calculate the free thyroxine index (FTI). Various medications can affect the results of this test.
|Free Thyroxine Index (FTI)
||A mathematical calculation that reflects the level of free or unbound thyroxin (a hormone produced by the thyroid gland) present in the blood. FTI is helpful for evaluating thyroid function, as well as for diagnosing hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
|Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
||A hormone produced by the pituitary gland that helps regulate thyroid activity. TSH is useful for assessing thyroid gland function.
||A sugar and a primary source of energy for bodily functions. Glucose levels are useful in diagnosing and evaluating several conditions, most frequently diabetes mellitus.
||A product formed mainly by the liver during the breakdown of nucleic acids. Following handling by the kidney, uric acid is excreted in the urine. Elevated serum uric acid has been found to occur in kidney failure, gout, dehydration, endocrine disorders, and other disease states. Certain drugs can also cause uric acid levels to be elevated. Decreased uric acid levels may be associated with liver disease and kidney tubule defects.
||Iron is essential to the formation and function of hemoglobin (carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues). Iron levels may be measured to help in diagnosing a number of conditions, including anemia.
Source: Guide to General Laboratory Testing, Labcorp, Laboratory Corporation of America, 1996.