2 Annual Blood Tests Recommended for Proactive Health Management

How these blood tests can help you manage your health

Daniesha Govender
By Daniesha Govender
Jovan Mijailovic
Edited by Jovan Mijailovic

Updated December 6, 2023.

Man talking to a doctor about his health.

You may be familiar with annual blood tests, typically performed at your yearly physical to check certain markers in your blood are within expected ranges.

But routine blood tests can also be a valuable part of proactive health management. These tests offer important insight into your body's internal dynamics, providing useful information about your current health status.



The value of regular testing

There are many benefits to blood testing on a regular basis, and recognizing these benefits can help determine how to integrate this practice into your health management plan.

Note: Regular blood tests serve as a health check and a proactive strategy, helping individuals and healthcare providers to achieve optimal health.

By taking these tests, you establish a baseline starting point from which you can track patterns and changes in your health markers over time. The results empower you to make informed decisions about your lifestyle, and you can even share results with your healthcare provider to create strategies that promote overall well-being.

And the more you measure, the more you know. Frequent testing can provide a more accurate view of your health, allowing you to understand how your biomarkers respond to lifestyle changes.

» Discover how to accurately understand your blood test lab results

Frequently recommended blood tests

When discussing important blood tests, there are two that are often brought up:

  • The liver panel
  • Comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) [1]

The most important blood test for assessing liver health is the liver panel, which includes the liver enzymes ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase), as well as bilirubin and albumin. You can use InsideTracker to measure ALT, AST, and albumin.

Note: Elevated ALT and AST levels may indicate liver damage, while abnormal bilirubin levels can signal bile duct issues.

A CMP is a blood test for overall metabolic health. It measures various markers like glucose, electrolytes, kidney function, and liver enzymes, providing valuable insights into your body's vital functions.

Note: With InsideTracker, you can monitor biomarkers measured in a typical CMP, like glucose, calcium, albumin, sodium, and potassium. By testing this way, you can establish your baseline and measure over time to understand what aspects of your health need the most attention so you can live healthier for longer.

» Explore more about what happens behind the scenes of blood testing

Biomarkers: The silent narrators of our health story

While it's easy to rely on how we feel as an indicator of health, biomarker measurement is a data-driven approach. Biomarkers provide a way to measure your health state at a given point in time. And a diverse panel that assesses various aspects like cholesterol levels, inflammation, and metabolic health can offer invaluable insights into your body’s functionality.

Routine blood tests can include key biomarkers like:

  • Glucose
  • Calcium
  • Albumin
  • Sodium
  • Potassium

How often should you get blood work done?

The frequency with which you should get blood work done can depend on various factors, including your age, health status, and existing medical conditions.

Generally:

Healthy adults may undergo an annual blood test to detect markers outside of the clinically "normal" range. For a more proactive approach, plan for routine blood testing every three to six months with InsideTracker.

Individuals with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may require more frequent testing to monitor their conditions effectively.

Individuals taking certain medications may need regular blood tests to monitor for potential side effects.

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InsideTracker is a personalized health and wellness platform that aims to help people optimize their biomarkers to live healthier and longer lives. It analyzes genetics, behaviors, and goals to give you personalized nutrition, fitness, sleep, stress, and supplementation recommendations.

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Monitoring your markers: A proactive approach to health management

Certain biomarkers can be particularly critical to monitor at specific life stages. For instance, cholesterol levels become especially vital to monitor in middle age, while hormones like estrogen and testosterone are pivotal during puberty and adulthood. [2]

Reference ranges for these markers change depending on factors like age and sex. So while there are certain life stages where some biomarkers play notable roles, measurement can be valuable throughout adulthood.





Embracing a future of proactive health management

The recommended annual blood tests serve as a linchpin in our pursuit of optimal health and well-being. They are not merely diagnostic tools but mechanisms that empower us to take control of our health narrative.

InsideTracker serves as a supportive ally, helping you comprehend your body's needs and navigate through your wellness journey feeling empowered and ready to make informed health decisions.

Inside Tracker doesn't provide a medical diagnosis. If you have any medical concerns, please visit a qualified healthcare professional.



References:

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15243834/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4211000/#