19 Important Laboratory Tests to Review With Your Doctor

The human body is complicated and intricate. While it works hard to power us efficiently through each day, it’s not without its flaws and errors.

As a natural part of life, we may go through changes that result in disorders or diseases. Because so many are symptomless in the beginning, we may not know until it’s too late.

In this article, we’ll discuss 19 important laboratory tests you should review with your doctor.

1. Apolipoprotein B

Apolipoprotein B is a test that measures the low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in your blood. LDL is a type of cholesterol that most people know as the “bad” type.

LDL is bad for you because if you have an excessive amount of it in your body, it can clog up your arteries and cause atherosclerosis, which is plaque buildup that hardens and narrows your arteries. Once there’s enough buildup, it may lead to a heart attack.

In general, your apolipoprotein B levels should be under 90 mg/dL. 90-119 mg/dL represents moderate risk and over 120mg/dL represents high risk.

2. C-Reactive Protein

The c-reative protein (CRP) is something produced by your liver in response to inflammation in your body. While inflammation doesn’t feel too great, it’s your body’s way of protecting itself if you have an infection or are injured.

This is how it should normally work. But with some chronic diseases and autoimmune disorders, your liver may mistake those for injury or infection, and continually pump out CRP.

Getting a CRP test done can help your doctor determine if you have an autoimmune disorder, chronic disease, or even a serious infection. The normal range should be below 8.0 mg/L.

3. CBC

“CBC” stands for “complete blood count.” A CBC test is extremely useful in helping your doctor evaluate your overall health. 

This test measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelets you have in your blood. The results allow your doctor to diagnose you with conditions such as anemia. CBC tests can also be used to monitor any medical conditions you have.

The following are the normal ranges for CBC tests:

  • Red blood cells: 4.20-5.80 million cells/uL (male); 3.80-5.10 million cells/uL (female)
  • White blood cells: 3.8-10.8 thousand cells/uL
  • Hemoglobin: 13.0-17.1 g/dL (male); 11.7-15.6 g/dL (female)
  • Hematocrit: 38.5-50.0% (male); 35.0-45.0% (female)
  • Platelets: 140-400 thousand/uL

4. Hemoglobin A1c

The hemoglobin A1c test can tell you how your blood sugar levels were like over the past couple of months. If you’re at risk for diabetes, or if you already have this disease, it’s vital you get this test done regularly.

Having hemoglobin A1c tests done routinely can tell the doctor if you have this disease. It can also tell them if your medications are working or not; if not, they can adjust and retest to see how effective the adjustment is.

If you don’t have diabetes, the normal range for hemoglobin A1c is less than 5.7%. An A1C level between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes. If the number is over 6.5%, it indicates that you have diabetes.

5. hs-CRP

This test also deals with c-reative protein (CRP). However, what makes this test different from the normal CRP test is instead of screening for inflammation, it screens for risk of cardiovascular disease.

The “hs” stands for “high sensitivity”; as the name suggests, it’s more sensitive than the standard CRP test. It measures less than 10 mg/L.

This is what the different hs-CRP levels mean:

  • <1.0: Lower relative cardiovascular risk
  • 1.0-3.0: Average relative cardiovascular risk
  • 3.1-10.0: Higher relative cardiovascular risk (Consider retesting in 1 to 2 weeks to exclude a benign transient elevation in the baseline CRP value secondary to infection or inflammation)
  • > 10.0: Persistent elevation, upon retesting, may be associated with infection and inflammation.

6. Lipid Panel

A lipid panel test will tell you how much total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL; “bad” cholesterol), high-density lipoprotein (HDL; “good” cholesterol), and triglycerides you have in your bloodstream.

Below are the normal ranges for each:

  • Total cholesterol: Less than 170 mg/dL for patients under 20 years of age and less than 200 mg/dL for patients 20 years old and older
  • HDL: Over 45 mg/dL for men and women under 20 years old, over 40 mg/dL for men 20 years old and older, and over 50mg/dL for women 20 years old and older
  • LDL: Less than 110 mg/dL for patients under 20 and less than 100 mg/dL for patients 20 years old and older
  • Triglycerides: Less than 75 mg/dL for patients up to 9 years old, less than 90 mg/dL for patients between the ages of 10 and 19, and less than 150 for patients 20 years old and older

7. Vitamin D

You may have heard that sunshine is good for you because it has vitamin D. This is definitely true, but you can also get it from the foods you eat.

This vitamin is important to our bodies because it helps our immune system, bones, insulin levels, cardiovascular health, and more. The normal range for vitamin D is 30-100 ng/dL; anything under 12 ng/mL indicates a deficiency.

8. TSH

“TSH” stands for “thyroid stimulating hormone” and is responsible for your hormone levels. Sometimes, your thyroid can produce too little or too much TSH, which can affect how you feel and function. This test lets your doctor determine how well your thyroid’s working.

The normal level of TSH is outlined below. However, your TSH levels can be vastly different when comparing results from 10 years ago to now. Your doctor can help decide whether or not TSH is the cause of your health problems by having a full discussion about your lifestyle.

  • 1-2 days: 3.20-34.60 mIU/L
  • 3-4 days: 0.70-15.40 mIU/L
  • 5 days-4 weeks: 1.70-9.10 mIU/L
  • 1-11 months: 0.80-8.20 mIU/L
  • 1-19 years: 0.50-4.30 mIU/L
  • ≥20 years: 0.40-4.50 mIU/L

9. Free T3

In addition to a TSH test, you should consider getting a free T3 test done. T3 (or triiodothyronine) is one of the primary hormones your thyroid makes, and it’s responsible for your metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate.

While your T3 should bind to protein, some may end up circulating in your blood. These are what are called “free” T3.

The normal range for free T3 is outlined below. If your test comes back outside of the range, you may have hyperthyroidism or hypopituitarism.

  • 1-23 months: 3.3-5.2 pg/mL
  • 2-12 years: 3.3-4.8 pg/mL
  • 13-20 years: 3.0-4.7 pg/mL
  • ≥20 years: 2.3-4.2 pg/mL

10. Free T4

T4 (thyroxine) is also one of the main hormones produced by your thyroid. It’s responsible for your metabolism and growth.

In addition to a TSH and free T3 test, you should consider a free T4 test. A comprehensive look at your TSH, free T3, and free T4 levels will aid in diagnoses.

The normal range for free T4 is outlined below. Like with the free T3 test, if your free T4 results are abnormal, possible culprits are hyperthyroidism or hypopituitarism.

  • 1-23 months: 0.9-1.4 ng/dL
  • 2-12 years: 0.9-1.4 ng/dL
  • 13-20 years: 0.8-1.4 ng/dL
  • ≥20 years: 0.8-1.8 ng/dL

11. Ferritin

Ferritin is a protein in your blood cells that carry iron. As you may already know, iron is an important substance for your bodily functions. This test will show how well your body is storing iron.

If you have iron-deficiency anemia, you’ll usually suffer from low energy and fatigue. You can also have too much iron in your body. This may indicate rheumatoid arthritis, liver disease, or even hyperthyroidism or cancer.

The normal range for ferritin is outlined below.

Pediatric

  • <4 days: Not established
  • 4-14 days: 100-717 ng/mL
  • 15 days-5 months: 14-647 ng/mL
  • 6-11 months: 8-182 ng/mL

Male

  • 1-4 years: 5-100 ng/mL
  • 5-13 years: 14-79 ng/mL
  • 14-15 years: 13-83 ng/mL
  • 16-18 years: 11-172 ng/mL
  • 19-59 years: 38-380 ng/mL
  • ≥59 years: 24-380 ng/mL

Female

  • 1-4 years: 5-100 ng/mL
  • 5-13 years: 14-79 ng/mL
  • 14-18 years: 6-67 ng/mL
  • 19-40 years: 16-154 ng/mL

12. Iron & Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC)

Usually, if you’re concerned about the iron levels in your body, not only would you get a ferritin test, but also an iron and total iron binding capacity (TIBC) test. Through this test, you can find out if you have too little or too much iron in your blood.

A TIBC test can help determine if you have iron-deficiency or hemolytic anemia. It can also point to iron or lead poisoning if there’s fear of either.

The normal range is outlined below. If it’s over the range noted below, this means you have a deficiency. If it’s under the range noted below, then this means you have an excess.

Iron, Total

Male (mcg/dL), Female (mcg/dL)

  • <1 month: 32-112, 29-127
  • 1-11 months: 27-109, 25-126
  • 1-3 years: 29-91, 25-101
  • 4-19 years: 27-164, 27-164
  • 20-29 years: 50-195, 40-190
  • 30-49 years: 50-180, 40-190
  • ≥50 years: 50-180, 45-160

Iron Binding Capacity

Male mcg/dL (calc), Female mcg/dL (calc)

  • <1 month: 94-232, 94-236
  • 1-5 months: 116-322, 89-311
  • 6-11 months: 176-384, 138-365
  • 1-19 years: 271-448, 271-448
  • ≥20 years: 250-425, 250-450

% Saturation

Male % (calc), Female % (calc)

  • <1 year: 10-48, 12-45
  • 1-12 years: 12-48, 13-45
  • 13-19 years: 16-48, 15-45
  • ≥20 years: 20-48, 16-45

13. Gamma Glutamyl Transferase

Gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) is found all throughout your organs, but mostly in the liver. Although it’s highly present in your body, this enzyme usually is found at low levels.

A GGT test can help determine if you have liver damage, as high levels will indicate that. It can be a preliminary test to confirm liver damage, but it won’t be very specific.

The normal range for GGT is outlined below.

Reference Ranges

Male (U/L):

  • <6 months: 12-122
  • 6-11 months: ≤39
  • 1-12 years: 3-22
  • 13-15 years: 8-32
  • 16-19 years: 9-31
  • 20-29 years: 3-70
  • 30-39 years: 3-90
  • 40-54 years: 3-95
  • 55-59 years: 3-85
  • ≥60 years: 3-70

Female (U/L):

  • <6 months: 15-132
  • 6-11 months: ≤39
  • 1-12 years: 3-22
  • 13-15 years: 18-7
  • 16-19 years: 6-26
  • 20-29 years: 3-40
  • 30-39 years: 3-50
  • 40-49 years: 3-55
  • 50-59 years: 3-70
  • ≥60 years: 3-65

14. Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

A comprehensive metabolic panel tests a wide variety of things to give you a complete look at your health. This panel will show how your body is using the energy in it, and your doctor can see if it’s performing normally.

It’s a good idea to get this panel done every year, so you can see if there are any subtle changes. Not only can it help pinpoint problems early on, but it can also assist your doctor in monitoring any current diseases or disorders you have.

The following are the normal ranges for the tests conducted in a comprehensive metabolic panel.

Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)

Male (U/L), Female (U/L)

  • <1 month: 75-316, 48-406
  • 1-11 months: 82-383, 124-341
  • 1-3 years: 104-345, 108-317
  • 4-6 years: 93-309, 96-297
  • 7-9 years: 47-324, 184-415
  • 10-12 years: 91-476, 104-471
  • 13-15 years: 92-468, 41-244
  • 16-19 years: 48-230, 47-176
  • ≥20 years: 40-115
  • 20-49 years: 33-115
  • ≥50 years: 33-130

Alanine Amino Transferase (ALT)

Male U/L, Female U/L

  • <1 month: 3-25, 3-25
  • 1-11 months: 4-35, 3-30
  • 1-3 years: 5-30, 5-30
  • 4-12 years: 8-30, 8-24
  • 13-15 years: 7-32, 6-19
  • 16-19 years: 8-46, 5-32
  • ≥20 years: 9-46, 6-29

Aspartate Amino Transferase (AST)

Male U/L, Female U/L

  • <1 month: 3-51, 3-49
  • 1-11 months: 3-65, 3-79
  • 1-3 years: 3-56, 3-69
  • 4-6 years: 20-39, 20-39
  • 7-19 years: 12-32, 12-32
  • 20-49 years: 10-40
  • 20-44 years: 10-30
  • ≥45 years: 10-35
  • ≥50 years: 10-35

Bilirubin

  • ≤1 day: ≤5.1 mg/dL
  • 2 days: ≤7.2 mg/dL
  • 3-5 days: ≤10.3 mg/dL
  • 6-7 days: ≤8.4 mg/dL
  • 8-9 days: ≤6.5 mg/dL
  • 10-11 days: ≤4.6 mg/dL
  • 12-13 days: ≤2.7 mg/dL
  • 14 days-9 years: 0.2-0.8 mg/dL
  • 10-19 years: 0.2-1.1 mg/dL
  • ≥20 years: 0.2-1.2 mg/dL

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)

Male (mg/dL), Female (mg/dL)

  • <1 month: 4-12, 3-17
  • 1-11 months: 2-13, 4-14
  • 1-3 years: 3-12, 3-14
  • 4-19 years: 7-20, 7-20
  • ≥20 years: 7-25, 7-25

Creatinine

Male (mg/dL), Female (mg/dL)

  • ≤2 days: 0.79-1.58, 0.79-1.58
  • 3-27 days: 0.35-1.23, 0.35-1.23
  • 1 month-9 years: 0.20-0.73, 0.20-0.73
  • 10-12 years: 0.30-0.78, 0.30-0.78
  • 13-15 years: 0.40-1.05, 0.40-1.00
  • 16-17 years: 0.60-1.20, 0.50-1.00
  • 18-19 years: 0.60-1.26, 0.50-1.00
  • 20-49 years: 0.60-1.35, 0.50-1.10
  • 50-59 years: 0.70-1.33, 0.50-1.05
  • 60-69 years: 0.70-1.25, 0.50-0.99
  • 70-79 years: 0.70-1.18, 0.60-0.93
  • ≥80 years: 0.70-1.11, 0.60-0.88

Sodium

Sodium levels should be anywhere from 135-146 mmol/L.

Potassium

  • ≤1 week: 3.2-5.5 mmol/L
  • 8-27 days: 3.4-6.0 mmol/L
  • 1-5 months: 3.5-5.6 mmol/L
  • 6 months-1 year: 3.5-6.1 mmol/L
  • 2-19 years: 3.8-5.1 mmol/L
  • ≥20 years: 3.5-5.3 mmol/L

Chloride

Chloride levels should be anywhere from 98-110 mmol/L.

CO2

CO2 levels should be anywhere from 20-32 mmol/L.

Albumin

Albumin levels should be anywhere from 3.6-5.1 g/dL.

Total Protein

Male (g/dL), Female (g/dL)

  • <1 month: 4.1-6.3, 4.2-6.2
  • 1-5 months: 4.7-6.7, 4.4-6.6
  • 6-11 months: 5.5-7.0, 5.6-7.9
  • 1-19 years: 6.3-8.2, 6.3-8.2
  • ≥20 years: 6.1-8.1, 6.1-8.1

15. Lactate Dehydrogenase

Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is the enzyme responsible for turning sugar into energy you can use. This is why you can find LDH almost everywhere in your system.

In normal circumstances, they’re found inside your cells. But when they’re damaged or destroyed, this can cause them to leak LDH into your blood.

If you or your doctor suspect you have tissue damage, bad infections, or cancer, an LDH test can help. The normal range for LDH is outlined below.

Male (U/L), Female (U/L)

  • <1 month: 125-735, 145-765
  • 11 months: 170-450, 190-420
  • 3 years: 155-345, 165-395
  • 6 years: 155-345, 135-345
  • 10 years: 140-270, 140-270
  • 13 years: 110-250, 110-250
  • 17 years: 110-230, 110-230
  • 49 years: 100-220, 100-200
  • ≥49 years: 120-250, 120-250

16. Phosphate

In your body, phosphates work with calcium to repair your bones, muscles, and nerves. While they’re absorbed in your gastrointestinal system, phosphates exit your body through your kidneys.

By getting a phosphate test done, you can see if there are any issues with your kidneys. Abnormal levels can indicate diabetes, malnourishment, or hormone imbalances. It can also help your doctor see if your body’s absorbing and using calcium correctly.

The normal range for phosphates is outlined below.

  • <1 week: 4.0-9.0 mg/dL
  • 1 week-2 years: 4.0-8.0 mg/dL
  • 3-12 years: 3.0-6.0 mg/dL
  • 13-64 years: 2.5-4.5 mg/dL
  • ≥64 years: 2.1-4.3 mg/dL

17. Uric Acid

Uric acid is the waste product that comes out in your urine. However, it can also be found in your bloodstream. 

Having too much uric acid in your body can cause gout, which results in joint inflammation. Other conditions you may also develop from high uric acid levels include kidney stones and kidney failure if left untreated for long enough.

The normal range of uric acid is outlined below.

Male (mg/dL), Female (mg/dL)

  • <1 month: 1.5-3.9, 1.5-4.6
  • 1-11 months: 1.5-5.6, 1.5-5.4
  • 1-3 years: 2.1-5.6, 1.8-5.0
  • 4-6 years: 1.8-5.5, 2.0-5.1
  • 7-9 years: 1.8-5.4, 1.8-5.5
  • 10-12 years: 2.2-5.8, 2.5-5.9
  • 13-15 years: 3.1-7.0, 2.2-6.4
  • 16-18 years: 2.1-7.6, 2.4-6.6
  • ≥19 years: 4.0-8.0, 2.5-7.0

18. Glucose

Glucose is the scientific term for sugar, and it plays an important role in your metabolism. If you have an issue processing glucose, this is known as diabetes.

So, as you can see, a glucose test can determine whether or not you have type 2 diabetes. This test measures how your body responds to glucose.

The normal blood glucose level 2 hours after testing is lower than 140 mg/dL. If your levels are over 200 mg/dL, you may already have diabetes.

Otherwise, a range of 140-199 mg/dL is considered a “prediabetes” range. If your results are within this range, you may also be at risk of heart disease, even without the development of diabetes.

The normal range for glucose is outlined below.

  • Fasting reference interval: 65-99 mg/dL
  • Non-fasting reference interval: 65-139 mg/dL

19. Magnesium

Magnesium is an element found mostly in your bones. You can also find it in your organs and tissues.

It’s extremely important for many functions in your body, such as blood pressure, muscle and nerve function, and your immune system. If you have an abnormal amount of magnesium, it can be signs of adrenal insufficiency, diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney failure, alcohol use disorder, uncontrolled diabetes, and more.

The normal range for magnesium is 1.5-2.5 mg/dL. It’s possible to have either too little or too much magnesium in your body.

Order Your Laboratory Tests to Know Your Health

Now you have a good idea of what laboratory tests you need to get. Initially, you need tests to establish some baseline markers. But you shouldn’t stop there.

The 10 Key Lab Tests to Review with Your Doctor™ panel contains each of these important 18 tests and the 80 biomarkers.

  1. Apolipoprotein B, Cardio IQ
  2. C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
  3. CBC (includes Differential and Platelets)
  4. Hemoglobin A1c, Cardio IQ™
  5. hs-CRP, Cardio IQ™
  6. Lipid Panel, Cardio IQ™
  7. QuestAssureD™ 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (D2, D3)
  8. TSH, Free T3, and Free T4 Blood Test Panel
  9. Ferritin, Iron & Total Iron Binding Capacity -TIBC
  10. BCA Chemistry Panel
    – Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT)
    – Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
    – Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD)
    – Phosphate (as Phosphorus)
    – Uric Acid
    – Glucose
    – Magnesium

Make sure you get routinely tested and compare the results with your doctor. Having baseline markers will be extremely helpful since they’ll have something to refer to; changes from the norm will be more noticeable. Prevention and pro-activeness are key to the early detection and treatment of many illnesses.

If you’d like to get started on the road to better health, please take a look at the tests you can order from Ulta Lab Tests.