Blood Tests and Electrolytes



Some Common Blood Tests

Blood Tests

Used For Diagnosing

Blood Urea Nitrogen Kidney Function
Creatinine Kidney Function
Glucose To Check for Diabetes or Insulin induced Hypoglycemia
Calcium and Phosphorus Kidney function and the patient’s nutritional condition
Bilirubin (conjugated and unconjugated) Liver Function
Aminotransferase Enzymes Injury to Liver, Muscles, Heart, Hepatitis Infection
Alkaline Phosphatase Liver, Bone, and Gallbladder Diseases
Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase (GGTP) Liver Disease, Alcohol Abuse
Total Protein and Albumin Water balance, Nutrition, Liver Disease
Uric Acid Gout, Kidney Disease
Electrolytes: Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Bicarbonate Electrolyte balance, for monitoring patients on IV or diuretics
Lipids: Including cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL or (high-density
lipoprotein) LDL or (low-density lipoprotein)  apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein A-1
Risk of Coronary Artery Disease

Medical Abbreviations & Lab Norms

@ – At

ac – Before Meals

a – Before

p – After

AP – Acu Puncher

AKA – Above the knee Amputation

amb – Ambulate – to walk

BEAM – A kind of Brain Scan

BID – Twice a Day

BM – Bowel Movement

BRP – Bath Room Privilege

Ca – Cancer

CBB – Complete Bed Bath

CBC – Complete Blood Count

cc – Cubic Centimeter

CD4, CD8 etc. — immune cells

CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA agency),
responsible for estimating prevalence rates and making epidemiological

EBV – Epstein-Barr Virus. CFS was once thought to be this.

CBT – Cognitive Behavior Therapy

CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

CHD – Coronary Heart Disease

CHF – Coronary Heart Failure

CFIDS – Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, a name for CFS often used in the USA.

CNS – Central nervous system

CO Q10 – Co-enzyme Q10, a naturally occurring substance which some patients find helpful; available without prescription

CT & DB – Turn Cough & Deep Breath

CVA – Cerebral Vascular Accident

DC – Discontinued

DHEA – Dehydroepiandrosterone, a steroid hormone that some patients find helpful although this medication has risks

DHHS – Dept. of Health and Human Services (USA agency)

Dx – Diagnosis

-ectomy – Removal

EBV – Epstein-Barr Virus

EPD – Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization: a treatment

FDA – Food and Drug Administration; a USA agency which regulates
drug approvals, nutritional supplements, and food quality and labeling

FMS -Fibromyalgia Syndrome

FUO – Fever of Unknown Origin

FX – Fractures

gtts – Drops

GWS – (a.k.a. PGS) = Gulf War Syndrome

HHV6 -Human Herpes Virus 6: Might be involved in several conditions, including CFS/ME

HMO – health maintenance organization (USA); a pre-paid plan which provides comprehensive medical services

HPA – hypothalmic pituitary adrenal; this axis controls stress
response and many other bodily functions; damage to this has been
implicated as a possible cause of CFS.

HS – Hour of Sleep

HX – History

hyper – High

hypo – Low or below

IVIG – intravenous gamma globulin; a treatment that some find helpful

MAO – Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors: A class of drugs that some find helpful

MCS – multiple chemical sensitivities, also known as EI ( =
environmental illness). Very similar to CFS except that in MCS,
chemical & fume exposures are a clear trigger that worsen symptoms.
Often discussed on the “immune” discussion group (to subscribe, contact

ME – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: The name used to describe: CFIDS/Fibro/IVN This is the proper definition.

M.I. – Myocardial Infarction

MRI – magnetic resonance imaging: A kind of brain scan

NIH – National Institutes of Health (USA agency)

NK – Natural Killer Cell, A type of Immune cell

NMH – Neurally Mediated Hypotension, A blood pressure ailment linked to CFS /ME

NOC – Night

NPO – Nothing by Mouth

N&V – Nausea & Vomiting

NSAID – Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: Naproxen Sodium, Ibuprofen, Arudis, Used for pain & inflamation

OB – Obstetrics

OR – Operating Room

OT – Occupational Therapy

-otomy – Cutting in to

PCR -Polymerase Chain Reaction: A ( DNA ) Technique used for identifying viruses and other Genomes

PDR – Physician Desk Reference

PET – A kind of Brain Scan

PHS – Public Health Service (USA agency)

PNI – Psycho-Neuro-Immunology: new field that studies relations between emotions and the immune system.

pt – Patient

PRN – When Ever Necessary

PWC – Person with CFS

PGS – Persian Gulf Syndrome; see GWS.

P.T. – Physical Therapy

PVFS – Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome: A term used in Britain, associated with CFS/ME

q – Every

Q4H – Every 4 hours

QID – Four times Per Day

ROM – Range of Motion

RX – Treatment

s – With out

SOB – Shortness of Breath

SPECT – A type of brain scan

SSA – Social Security Administration

SSDI – Disability Benefit Program from the Social Security Administration & State/GOV

SSRI — Selective Seratonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors: examples: Zoloft,
Paxil, Prozac: Often used to treat: fatigue, cognitive dysfunction and

STAT – Immediately

T4, T8 etc. — kinds of immune cells

TCA – Tricyclic Anti-Depressants: Examples: doxepin and amitriptyline; often used for sleep disorder, and muscle and joint pain:

TID – Three times per day

TLC – Tender loving care

TPR – Temperature Pulse & Respiration

Tx – Traction

TTT – Tilt Table Test: Used to diagnose, neurally mediated hypotension (NMH), a condition that has been linked to CFS

URI – Upper Respiratory Infection

VS – Vital Signs

WBC — White Blood Cell Count

wt – Weight

c/o – Complains of

w/c – Wheelchair

ASHD – Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease

OD – RT Eye

OS – LFT Eye

OU – Both Eyes

Definition Of Laboratory Terms (Arranged Alphabetically)

Not all of the “normal” ranges are considered abnormal, other factors besides blood results have to be taken into consideration.

ALKALINE PHOSPHTASE – Bone and liver function; normally elevated in children
BILIRUBIN, TOTAL – A form of bile; liver function test
BUN – (blood urea nitrogen) kidney function, urea is the chief end product of protein meta~s·
BUN/CREATININE – provides more information when used with individual BUN G 
CALCTIM – Mineral, rrrainbins proper nerve/muscle excitability G is needed for blood clotting
CHLORIDE – Fluid balance
CHOLESTEROL – A fat substance found in meat, fish poultry, egg
yolk and other food derived from animals. Essential for functioning of
brain and other organs – but too much can cause deposits on arterial
C02 – (carbon dioxide) fluid balance
CREATININE 1 Kidney function
CRP – ~C-reactive -protein increased in an acute inflarmnatory disease or process
GLUCOSE Iblood sugar) used mainly to diagnosis diabetes
IRON – mineral, screening for blood loss or certain anemias
LCH – (tactic dehydrogenase) used in conjunction witih other liver tests to detect disease
PHOSPHOWS – mineral, elevated or decreased inparticular diseases or nutritional status, normally elevated in children.
POTASSIUM – keeps a normal water· balance between cells and body
fluids and plays essential in the response of nerves to stimulation and
contraction of muscles
PROTEIN, TOTAL/ALBUMIN/N/BLOGULIN/A/G RATIO – Liver/kidney .function tests, interpretation der on all results
RA-TEST” (rheumatoid arthritis test) some patients always have·a false positive test
SGOT/SC;PT – Chiefly used to test for-myocardial infarction and liver diseases
SODIIM`- regulates cellular fluid balance in this ase a T-3 a anC:
T-4 – thyroid function test/hormones can falsely elevate this test, FTI should also be done
TIRIGLYCERIDES – a fat like substance- composed of three fatty acids, found mostly in sweets.-; starches and alcohol
URIC ACID – kidney function; used mainly to rule out gout, elevation of this can cause stc_
VDRL – serology test for syphilis – this is sometimes false positive·with connective tissues diseases

COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT – Cell counts go us and down with
particular diseases or drug reaction Iliseases affecting this would be
anemia, leukemia, or acute infections.

WBC – white blood cell count
RBC – red blood cell count
HCT – Hanatocrit (volume of packed red blood cells)
HGB – Hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying RBC’s – how much hemoglobin is present in the blood
MCH M(HC, MCV – fractions of RBC’s, HBG and HCT may help diagnosis a specific type of anemia.

White blood cell differential: Ihe following names are all white
blood cells of differing ages – these tests shaw the maturity of the
white cells to determine types of infection and how your blood is
combating diseases.
BANDS and SEG (segmented) are neutrophils
LYMPHS – Lymphocytes
MONO nonocytes
BASO – basophils

Medical Terminology

1. Abduction – tomove away from the body
2. Adduction – to move or to bend the trunk towards the body
3. aspiration – to draw in/or out/ as by suction
4. acute – having a rapid onset, severe symptoms, and a short course;not chronic
5. afebrile – without fever
6. aneurysm – spontanous dilation of a blood vessel due to congenital defect or weakness
of the wall of the vessel.
7. arteries – vessels that carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the whole body.
8 autoclave – machine used for sterilazation of equipment by using steam under pressure
9. bilateral – pertaining to both sides of the body
10. calculi – stones
11. contracture – permanent shortening or tightening of a muscle
12. Cheyne-Stokes respirations – irregular breathing, beginning with slow and shallow –
then fast and deep, with final stoppage of breathing. ( 10 to 20 seconds
approximatel) before cycle is repeated.
13. catheter – a tube for removing or injecting fluids
14. capillaries – very small microscopic blood vessels which carry nutrients to the
body tissue
15. coma – unconsciousness
16. chronic – long,drawn out
17. commode – portable potty chair
18. constriction – a narrowing, binding or squeezing of a part
19. cynosis – bluish discoloration of skin (nail beds, lips, earlobes)
20. dangle – to be seated on the edge of the bed with the feet over the side
21. dilation – to stretch in oraer to eniarge
22. diaphoretic – diaphoresis, profuse sweating
23. diagnosis – a doctor’s considered opinion -determination- of the k6nd of disease, also
of medical condition present in the patient (currently being treated)
24. decubitus – a pressure sore, also called a Bed sore
25. debilated – in a waekened condition
26. defecation – bowel movement
27. eccymosis – a bruise – a purple disc: lioration from hemorrhage into the tissue
28. edema – a swelling of a part of the body (usually ankles, legs, hands) cuased by a
collection of fluid in the area(Sometimes edema is hidden ie. collection of fluid
in the linf area.
29. electocardiogram – ERG – (also called EGG) this is a tracing of the electrical impulse
of the heart
30. expectorate – to spit
31. extension- straightening of a limb
32. emesis – vomitus
33. embolus – blood clot TRAVELING through the bloodstream
34. etiology – study of the cause of a given disease.
35. febrile – feverish, having an elevated body temperature
36. feces – bowel movement, excreta, stool
37. flatus – intestional gas
38. flexion – bending of a limb
39. gastric – pertaining to the stomache
40. gentalia – external reproductive organs
41. guerney – stretcher on wheels used for transporting patients
42. hemiplegia – paralysis on ONE SIDE of the body
43. hypertension – high blood pressure
44. hypotension – low blood pressure
45. hemorrhage – excessive bleeding 
46. immobilization – prevention of movement of a given part.

47. jaundice – yellow discoloration of the skin; and the whites of the eye(due to bile
pigment in the bloodstream)
48. laceration – a jagged or irregular wound
49. muscular atrophy – wasting away(shrinking) of muscular tissue
50. nausea – inclination to vomit
51. paraplegic – paralyzed form the WAIST DOWN
52. profuse – large amounts
53. prognosis – the doctor’s considered opinion of the probable outcome of a given disease
54. peristalsis – the wave-like movement of the smooth muscle of the digestive tract that
serves to advance food and waste during the natural process of digestion
55. quadraplegic – paralyzed from the NECK DOWN
56. rotation – turning
57. stool – bowel movement, feces
58. thrombus stationary blood clot obstructing a blood vessel(Not – no matter is an
embolus or thrombus – a clot could be composed of fat,air or blood)
59.void – to urinate, to discharge urine from the body, act of voiding
60 urinal – portable container used to urinate into in wliile in bed
61.–apnea – tmp- temporary cessation of breathing(occcurs in Cheyne Stokes)
62., dyspnea – difficulty breathing
63. ad lib – at liberty; at desire
64.c- CBS – Chronic Brain Syndrome


Common causes of abnormal sodium and chloride levels:

kidney disease


prolonged vomiting

severe dehydration or water loss

congestive heart failure

acid-base imbalance (an imbalance of acid and base [alkaline] in the body)

Potassium is important for proper heart function. People taking diuretics
tend to lose potassium, so your doctor orders a potassium test to make sure you
have enough potassium. People with a low potassium may have leg cramps.

Common causes of abnormal potassium levels:

kidney disease

prolonged vomiting and diarrhea

heart attack

people taking certain drugs, such as diuretics

excessive sweating

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the gas that we exhale when we breathe. People with
lung problems may have a high CO2 level. Too little or too much CO2 affects the
pH (or acidity) of the body, which is a reflection of the acid-base balance in
your cells.

Common causes of an abnormal CO2:

acid-base disorders (an imbalance of acid and base [alkaline] in the body)

excessive loss of stomach acid due to severe vomiting

severe emphysema (lung damage)

Lab Values

Blood Chemistry

dl = deciliter
mg = milligram
mmol = millimole
mEq = milliequivalent
cc = Cubic Centimeter


CHEM-7 (or a) Basic Metabolic Panel:

Indicates the levels or concentrations in the blood of the key
electrolytes or minerals enzymes sugars proteins and metabolites or
byproducts of chemical processes in the body.

Normal Values for CHEM-7

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) = 7 to 20 mg/dl
Serum chloride = 101 to 111 mmol/liter
Carbon dioxide (CO2) = 20 to 29 mmol/liter
Creatinine = 0.8 to 1.4 mg/dl
Glucose test = 64 to 128 mg/dl
Serum potassium = 3.7 to 5.3 mEq/liter
Serum sodium = 136 to 144 mEq/liter

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel:

NA. norm: [136 – 145]
K. norm: [3.7 – 5.2]
CL. norm: [102 – 110]
CO2. norm: [22 – 30]
GLUCOSE norm: [77 – 113]
BUN. norm: [6 – 26]
CREAT. norm: [0.7 – 1.3]
CALCIUM. norm: [8.4 – 9.9]
TOTAL PROTEIN. norm: [6.2 – 8.0]
ALB. norm: [3.8 – 5.0]
BILIRUBIN TOTAL. norm: [0 – 1.2]
AST. norm: [8 – 40]
ALT. norm: [12 – 65]
ALK PHOSPHATASE. norm: [33 – 121]

CHEM-20: indicates levels of
blood electrolytes or minerals, enzymes, sugars, proteins and
metabolites, or substances produced by chemical processes.

Normal Values for CHEM-20

Albumin = 3.9 to 5.0 mg/dl
Alkaline phosphatase = 44 to 147 IU/liter
Alanine transaminase (ALT or SGPT) = 6 to 59 IU/liter
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT) = 10 to 34
Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) = 7 to 20 mg/dl
Serum calcium = 8.5 to 10.9 mg/dl
Serum chloride = 101 to 222 mmol/liter
Carbon dioxide (CO2) = 20 to 29 mmol/liter
Creatinine = 0.8 to 1.4 mg/dl
Direct bilirubin = 0 to 0.3 mg/dl
Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) = 0 to 51 IU/liter
Glucose = 64 to 128 mg/dl
Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) = 105 to 333 IU/liter
Serum phosphorus = 2.4 to 4.1 mg/dl
Potassium test = 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/liter
Total bilirubin = 0.2 to 1.9 mg/dl
Total cholesterol = 100 to 240 mg/dl
Total protein = 6.3 to 7.9 g/dl
Uric acid = 4.1 to 8.8 mg/dl

CBC = Complete Blood Count:
(RBCs) (WBCs) Platelets Hemoglobin Hematocrit
Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH)
Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC)
Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)

This test is used for checking: Blood, Heart, Kidney & Nutritional Status.
Also called a Routine Blood Test.

Normal Values for a CBC are:
Male, 4.7-6.1 million cells/mcl
Female, 4.2-5.4 million cells/mcl

WBC: 4,500-10,000 cells/mcl

Male, 40.7-50.3%
Female, 36.1-44.3%

Male, 13.8-17.2 gm/dcl
Female, 12.1-15.1 gm/dcl

MCV: 80-95 femtoliter
MCH: 27-31 pg/cell
MCHC: 32-36 gm/dl

Some of these values may change with different altitudes

CO2: Checks the amount of carbon dioxide in your blood.

The purpose of the test is to determine the blood levels of
bicarbonate (HCO3-). During laboratory testing, HCO3- is converted to
CO2. That is why CO2 levels are
measured to determine HCO3- levels. HCO3- is important in neutralizing
acids. Its concentration in the blood is an indication of the ability
of the kidneys and lungs to control acid-base balance.

Normal Values for CO2 are:
20 to 29 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L)

Abnormally high levels may be attributed to:
vomiting, breathing disorders, abnormal amounts of hormones, or too
much corticosteroids, either from drugs, or from natural production by
the body

Abnormally low levels may may be from:
KETOACIDOSIS, or acidic blood from severe diabetes, fasting almost to
the point of starvation, lactic acidosis, or lactic acid build up by:

Kidney Disease
Antifreeze Poisoning
Methanol Poisoning
Addison’s disease


Checks for the amount of creatine phosphokinase in the blood.

CPK is an enzyme that can be found in the Brain, Heart, and Muscles

CPK Isoenzymes: CPK-bb = Brain. CPK-mb = Heart. CPK-mm = Muscles.

When Muscle tissue is damaged, (like in a car accident, or a Heart
attack) CPK levels can rise in the bloodstream. This test is usually
done in the ER when a patient complains of chest pain. It will show
elevated CPK (mb fraction) indicating that there is muscle damage done
to the heart.

Normal levels of CPK in the blood range from 0 to 220 upl.

Other factors that may contribute to a high CPK are:
brain trauma
convulsions or seizures
delirium tremens, or severe withdrawal from alcohol
dermatomyositis, a disease in which the immune system
attacks the muscles and the skin
heart attack
muscular dystrophy
polymyositis, a disease in which the immune system
attacks the muscles
lung damage
severe muscle breakdown from prolonged or strenuous

CPK Isoenzymes

This test measures the levels of the three alternate forms of the
enzyme creatine phosphokinase (CPK) in the blood. These alternate forms
are known as isoenzymes and are called CPK-bb, CPK-mb, and CPK-mm. 

This blood test determines the amounts of CPK-1, CPK-2, and CPK-3 in
the bloodstream. These levels can help a doctor to diagnose certain
illnesses and conditions.

CPK-bb is found mainly in the brain and lungs
CPK-mb is found mainly in the heart
CPK-mm is found mainly in skeletal muscle

Damage to the brain, lungs, heart or muscle may cause the corresponding isoenzyme to leak into the bloodstream.

What do the test results mean?

If a disease process is taking place, the total amount of CPK will
be high and the individual isoenzyme increases are used to determine
what part of the body is responsible for the increase in total CPK. For
example, when a heart attack occurs, the total CPK becomes high because
of an increase in the CPK-mb and CPK-mm isoenzymes. The normal total
CPK level is roughly 35 to 190 units per liter.

Normal values for each of the isoenzymes are as follows:

CPK-bb: 0% of the total CPK
CPK-mb: 0% to 5% of the total CPK
CPK-mm: 96% to 100% of the total CPK

Abnormally high levels of CPK-bb may indicate the following:

brain cancer, head injury or bleeding in or around the brain
other brain trauma, such as from brain surgery
lung damage
prolonged seizures

Abnormally high levels of CPK-mb may indicate the following:

heart attack
any other trauma to the heart, such as from heart
electrical injuries

Abnormally high levels of CPK-mm may indicate the following:

heart attack
muscle damage
intramuscular injections
muscular dystrophy
myositis, an inflammation in the muscles usually due to
infection or immune system disease
recent surgery
rhabdomyolysis (widspread muscle destruction, usually
due to alcoholism or exercise)
strenuous exercise

Liver Function Tests:

For the specific way in which each liver test is performed, refer to one of the following tests:

albumin, a protein synthesized by the liver
ALP, an enzyme found in the liver, bones and placenta
ALT, an enzyme found primarily in liver cells
AST, an enzyme found in the liver as well as many other body organs
serum bilirubin, a waste product formed by the breakdown of red blood cells
urine bilirubin
GGT, an enzyme present in the liver, pancreas and kidney
LDH, an enzyme found in the liver
PT or prothrombin time, which tests the blood’s ability to clot
total cholesterol, a substance stored in the liver
total protein, a nutrient normally broken down by the liver and its enzymes