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The biochemistry profile is a frequently ordered panel of 14 tests that gives a healthcare provider important information about the current status of a person's metabolism, including the health of the kidneys and liver, electrolyte and acid/base balance as well as levels of blood glucose and blood proteins. Abnormal results, and especially combinations of abnormal results, can indicate a problem that needs to be addressed.

About

The biochemistry profile is used as a broad screening tool to evaluate organ function and check for conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. This profile may also be ordered to monitor known conditions, such as hypertension, and to monitor people taking specific medications for any kidney- or liver-related side effects. If a health practitioner is interested in following two or more individual biochemistry parameters components, he or she may order the entire profile because it offers more information.

Preparation

You may need to fast (nothing but water) for 10 to 12 hours prior to the blood draw. Depending on the reason for ordering this profile, it may be drawn after fasting or on a random basis.

Indications

The biochemistry tests are routinely ordered as part of a blood work-up for a medical exam or yearly physical. While the individual tests are sensitive, they do not usually tell a health practitioner specifically what is wrong. Abnormal test results or groups of test results are usually followed up with other specific tests to confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis.

Interpretation

Results of the tests that are part of the biochemistry profile are typically evaluated together to look for patterns of results. A single abnormal test result may mean something different than if several test results are abnormal. For example, a high result on just one of the liver enzyme tests has different implications than high results on several liver enzyme tests.


Out-of-range results for any of the tests in this profile can be due to a variety of different conditions, including, for example, kidney failure, breathing problems, and diabetes-related complications. Typically, if any results are out-of-range, one or more follow-up tests are performed to help pinpoint the cause and/or help establish a diagnosis.


See the pages on the individual tests for more detailed information about each one.

Disclaimer

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario. Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

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