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Blood Chemistry

Blood Chemistry

  • Is the chemical composition of the blood.
  • This is done to assess a wide range of conditions and the function of organs.
  • Usually it check the electrolytes, the minerals that help keep the body’s fluid levels in balance, and are necessary to help the muscles, heart, and other organs work properly.
  • Levels of various substances in the blood can provide clues to a patient’s condition, ranging from the presence of a liver disorder to a pregnancy.

Sodium

  • Plays a major role in regulating the amount of water in the body.
  • Low level can be caused by loss of sodium through diarrhea or vomiting.
  • High level can be caused by intake of too much salt or not enough water.

Potassium

  • Essential to regulate how the heart beats.
  • Low levels can be caused by use of diuretics, low dietary intake, severe vomiting or diarrhea, certain medications, alcohol abuse, and other medical conditions. It can cause muscle weakness and heart problems.
  • High levels can be caused by having kidney problems and excessive intake of potassium supplement.

Chloride

  • Helps maintain a balance of fluids in the body.
  • Changes in the chloride level are usually associated with changes in the sodium level; when one goes up the other goes down and vice versa.
  • When there is too much or too little acid in the blood, chloride is an important clue that helps doctors determines the cause of the acid abnormality.

Bicarbonate

  • Prevents the body’s tissues from getting too much or too little acid.
  • The kidney and lungs balance the levels of bicarbonate in the body.
  • If bicarbonate levels are too high or low, it might indicate a problem with those organs.

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)

  • A measure of how well the kidneys are working.
  • A waste product produced when proteins are broken down in the liver and excreted by the kidney.
  • Dehydration and blood loss can cause a high BUN level.
  • Low BUN level might indicate liver ailments, a low protein diet, or too much water intake.

Creatinine

  • Is a waste product that is formed when food is converted to energy and when muscles are injured.
  • Men have higher values than women because they have more muscle mass.
  • High levels of creatinine often mean that the kidneys are not doing a good job of clearing waste products and toxins from the blood.

Glucose

  • Is the main type of sugar in the blood.
  • Is the chief source of energy for all living organisms and, as such, is very important for a healthy body.
  • High glucose levels after 12 hours of fasting is consistent with diabetes.


Hematocrit (HCT)

The word hematocrit means “to separate blood,” a procedure which is followed following the blood draw through the proper use of a centrifuge. Hematocrit is the measurement of the percentage of red blood cells in whole blood. It is an important determinant of anaemia (decreased), polycythemia (increased), dehydration (elevated), increased R.B.C. breakdown in the spleen (elevated), or possible over hydration (elevated)

  • Normal Adult Female Range: 37 – 47 %
  • Optimal Adult Female Reading: 42%
  • Normal Adult Male Range: 40 – 54%
  • Optimal Adult Male Reading: 47
  • Normal Adult Newborn Range: 50 – 62%
  • Optimal Adult Newborn Reading: 56

Hemoglobin (HGB)

Hemoglobin is the main transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. It is composed of globin a group of amino acids that from a protein and heme which contains iron atoms and red pigment, porphyrin. As with Hematocrit, it is an important determinant of anaemia (decreased), dehydration (increased), polycythemia (increased), poor diet/nutrition, or possibly a malabsorption problem.

  • Normal Adult Female Range: 12 – 16 %
  • Optimal Adult Female Reading: 14
  • Normal Adult Male Range: 14 – 18%
  • Optimal Adult Male Reading: 16
  • Normal Adult Newborn Range: 14 – 20%
  • Optimal Adult Newborn Reading: 17


R.B.C. (Red Blood Cell Count)

Red blood cells main function is to carry oxygen to the tissues and to transfer carbon dioxide to the lungs. This process is possible through the R.B.C. containing hemoglobin which combines easily with oxygen and carbon dioxide.

  • Normal Adult Female Range: 3.9 – 5.2 mill/mcl
  • Optimal Adult Female Reading: 4.55
  • Normal Adult Male Range: 4.2 – 5.6 mill/mcl
  • Optimal Adult Male Reading: 4.9
  • Lower ranges are found in Children, newborn and infants


W.B.C (White Blood Cell Count)

White blood cells main function is to fight infection, defend the body by phagocytosis against invasion by foreign organism, and to produce, or at least transport and distribute, antibodies in the immune response. There are a number of types of leukocytes (see differential) that are classified as follows.

  • Granulocytes
  • Neutrophiles
  • Neutrophils
  • Eosinophils
  • Basophils
  • Nongranulocytes
  • Lymphocytes
  • Monocytes
  • Normal Adult Range: 130 – 400 thous/mcl
  • Optimal Adult Reading: 265
  • Higher ranges are found in Children, newborn and infants

 

Liver Enzymes

SGOT (Serum Glutamic-Oxalocetic Transaminase – AST)

Serum Glutamic Oxalocetic Transaminase or AST is an enzyme found primarily in the liver, heart, kidney, pancreas, and muscles. Seen is tissue damage, especially heart and liver this enzyme is normally elevated. Vitamin B deficiency and pregnancy are two instances where the enzyme may be decreased.

Normal Adult Range: 0 – 42 U/L

Optimal Adult Reading: 21

ALT – alanine aminotransferase

AST – aspirate aminotransferase

SGPT (Serum Glutamic-Pyruvic Transaminase-ALT)

Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase or ALT is an enzyme found primarily in the liver but also to a lesser degree, the heart and other tissues. It is useful in diagnosing liver function more so than SGOT levels. Decreased SGPT in combination with increased cholesterol levels is seen in case of a congested liver. We also see increased levels in mononucleosis, liver damage, kidney infection, chemical pollutants or myocardial infarction.

Normal Adult Range: 0 – 48 U/L

Optimal Adult Reading: 24

 

Nitrogen Elements

B.U.N (Blood Urea Nitrogen)

The nitrogen component of urea, B.U.N. is the end product metabolism and its concentration is influenced by the rate of excretion. Increases can be caused by exercise protein intake, intestinal bleeding, exercise or heart failure. Decreased levels may be dur to a poor diet, malabsorption, liver damage or low nitrogen intake.

Normal Adult Range: 7 – 25 mg/dl

Optimal Adult Reading: 16

Creatinine

Creatinine is the waste product of muscle metabolism. Its level is a reflection of the bodies muscle mass. Low levels are sometimes seen in kidney damage, protein starvation, liver disease or pregnancy. Elevated levels are sometimes seen in kidney disease due to the kidneys job of excreting creatinine, muscle degeneration, and some drugs involved in impairment of kidney function.

Normal Adult Range: 7 – 1.4 mg/dl

Optimal Adult Reading: 1.05

Uric acid

Uric acid is the end product of urine metabolism and is normally excreted through the urine. High levels are noted in gout, infections kidney disease, alcoholism, high protein diets, and with toxaemia in pregnancy. Low levels may be indicative of kidney disease, malabsorption, poor diet, liver damage or an overly acid kidney.

Normal Adult Female Range: 2.5 – 7.5 mg/dl

Optimal Adult Female Reading: 5.0

Normal Adult Male Range: 3.5 – 7.5 mg/dl

Optimal Adult Male Reading: 5.5

 

Lipids

Cholesterol

Cholestirol is a critical fat that is a structural component of cell membrane and plasma lipoproteins, and is important in the synthesis of steroid hormones, glucocorticoids, and bile acids. Mostly synthesis in the liver, some is absorbed (HLD) is desired as posed to the low density lipoproteins (LDL), two types of cholesterol. Elevated cholesterol has been in artherosclerosis, diabetes, hypothyroidism and pregnancy. Low levels are seen in depression, malnutrition, liver insufficient, malignancies, anemia and infection.

Normal Adult Range: 120 – 240 mg/dl

Optimal Adult Reading: 180

Triglycerides

Triglycerides, stored in adipose tissues as glycerol, fatty acids and monoglyceroids, are reconverted as triglycerides by the liver. Ninety percent of the dietary intake and 95% of the fat stored in tissues are triglycerides. Increased levels may be present in artherosclerosis, hypothyroidism, liver disease, pancreatitis, myocardial infarction, metabolic disorders, toxemia, and nephrotic syndrome. Decreased levels may be present in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, brain infarction, hyperthyroidism, malnutrition, and malabsorption.

Normal Adult Range: 0 – 200 mg/dl

Optimal Adult Reading: 10

Source:

http://www.rnpedia.com/home/notes/medical-surgical-nursing-notes/blood-chemistry

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