Other Common Labs

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GLUCOSE (Fasting)

Glucose, formed by the digestion of carbohydrates and the conversion of glycogen by the liver is the primary source of energy for most cells. It is regulated by insulin, glucagon, thyroid hormone, liver enzymes and adrenal hormones. It is elevated in diabetes, liver disease, obesity, pancreatitis, steroids, stress, or diet. Low levels may be indicative of liver disease, overproduction of insulin, hypothyroidism, or alcoholism.

Reference Adult Range: 60 – 115 mg/dl
Optimal Adult Reading: 87.5


Iron is necessary for the formation of some proteins, hemoglobin, myoglobin, and cytochrome. Also it is necessary for oxygen transport, cellular respiration and peroxide deactivation. Low levels are seen in many anemias, copper deficiencies, low vitamin C intake, liver disease, chronic infections, high calcium intake and women with heavy menstrual flows. High levels are seen in hemochromitosis, liver damage, pernicious anemia and hemolytic anemia.

Reference Adult Range: 30 – 170 mcg/dl
Optimal Adult Reading: 100



Cholesterol 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 synthesized in the liver, some is absorbed through the diet, especially one high in saturated fats. High density lipoproteins (HDL) is desired as opposed to the low density lipoproteins (LDL), two types of cholesterol. Elevated cholesterol has been seen in artherosclerosis, diabetes, hypothyroidism and pregnancy. Low levels are seen in depression, malnutrition, liver insufficiency, malignancies, anemia and infection.

Reference Adult Range: 120 – 240 mg/dl
Optimal Adult Reading: 180


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.

Reference Adult Range: 0 – 200 mg/dl
Optimal Adult Reading: 100

LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein)

LDL is the cholesterol rich remnants of the lipid transport vehicle VLDL (very-low density lipoproteins) there have been many studies to correlate the association between high levels of LDL and arterial artherosclerosis. Due to the expense of direct measurement of LDL a calculation, known as the Friedewald formula is used. It is Total Cholesterol – HDL Cholesterol – Triglycerides/5. When triglyceride levels are greater than 400, this method is not accurate.

Reference Adult Range: 62 – 130 mg/dl
Optimal Adult Reading: 81 mg/dl

HDL (High Density Lipoprotein)

HDL or High-density lipoprotein is the cholesterol carried by the alpha lipoproteins. A high level of HDL is an indication of a healthy metabolic system if there is no sign of liver disease or intoxication. the two mechanisms that explain how HDL offers protection against chronic heart disease are that HDL inhibits cellular uptake of LDL and serves as a carrier that removes cholesterol from the peripheral tissues and transports it back to the liver for catabolism and excretion.

Reference Adult Range: 35 – 135 mg/dl
Optimal Adult Reading: +85 mg/dl


The ratio of total cholesterol and LDL (low density lipoprotein).

Reference Adult Range: 1 – 6
Optimal Adult Reading: 3.5

Nitrogen Elements

B.U.N. (Blood Urea Nitrogen)

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

Reference Adult Range: 7 – 25 mg/dl
Optimal Adult Reading: 16


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.

Reference Adult Range: .7 – 1.4 mg/dl
Optimal Adult Reading: 1.05


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 toxemia in pregnancy. Low levels may be indicative of kidney disease, malabsorption, poor diet, liver damage or an overly acid kidney.

Reference Adult Female Range: 2.5 – 7.5 mg/dl
Optimal Adult Female Reading: 5.0
Reference Adult Male Range: 3.5 – 7.5 mg/dl
Optimal Adult Male Reading:5.5



Proteins are the most abundant compound in serum. The protein makeup of the individual is of important diagnostic significance because of proteins involvement in enzymes, hormones and antibodies as well as osmotic pressure balance, maintaining acid-base balance and as a reserve source of nutrition for the bodies tissues and muscles. The major serum proteins measured are Albumin and Globulin (alpha1, alpha2, beta and gamma). Decreased levels may be due to poor nutrition, liver disease, malabsorption, diarrhea, or severe burns. Increased levels are seen in lupus, liver disease, chronic infections, alcoholism, leukemia, tuberculosis amongst many others. Careful review of the individuals albumin, globulin and A/G ratio are recommended.

Reference Adult Range: 6.0 -8.5 g/dl
Optimal Adult Reading: 7.25


Albumin is the major constituent of serum protein (usually over 50%). It is manufactured by the liver from the amino acids taken through the diet. It helps in osmotic pressure regulation, nutrient transport and waste removal. High levels are seen rarely in liver disease, shock, dehydration, or multiple myeloma. Lower levels are seen in poor diets, diarrhea, fever, infection, liver disease, inadequate iron intake, third-degree burns and edemas or hypocalcemia.

Reference Adult Range: 3.2 – 5.0 g/dl Optimal Adult Reading: 4.1


Globulin, a larger protein than albumin, is important for its immunologic responses, especially its gamma portion (IgA, IgG, IgM, and IgE). Globulins have many diverse functions such as, the carrier of some hormones, lipids, metals, and antibodies. When chronic infections, liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, myelomas, and lupus are present, elevated levels are seen. You may find lower levels in immune compromised patients, poor dietary habits, malabsorption and liver or kidney disease.

Reference Adult Range: 2.2 – 4.2 g/dl (calculated)
Optimal Adult Reading: 3.2

A/G RATIO (Albumin/Globulin Ratio)

A/G ratio is an important indicator of disease states although a high level is not considered clinically significant.

Reference Adult Range: 0.8 – 2.0 (calculated)
Optimal Adult Reading: 1.9



Sodium is the most abundant action in the blood and its chief base. It functions in the body to maintain osmotic pressure, acid-base balance and to transmit nerve impulses.

Reference Adult Range: 135-146 meg/L
Optimal Adult Reading: 140.5


Potassium is the major intracellular action in the blood. It, along with sodium, helps to maintain osmotic balance and in also involved in acid-base balance. It is needed for proper nerve and muscle action.

Reference Range: 3.5 – 5.5 meg/L
Optimal Adult Reading: 4.5


Chlorides significance relates to its maintenance of cellular integrity through it influence on osmotic pressure, it also helps monitor acid-base balance and water balance. Elevated levels are related to acidosis as well as too much water crossing the cell membrane. Decreased levels with decreased serum albumin may indicate water deficiency crossing the cell membrane (edema).

Reference Adult Range: 95-112 meg/L
Optimal Adult Reading: 103

CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)

The CO2 level is related to the respiratory exchange of carbon dioxide in the lungs and is part of the bodies buffering system. Generally when used with the other electrolytes, it is a good indicator of acidosis and alkalinity.

Reference Adult Range: 22-32 meg/L
Optimal Adult Reading: 27
Reference Children’s Range – 20 – 28 meg/L
Optimal Children’s Reading: 24


The most abundant mineral in the body, it is involved in bone metabolism, protein absorption, fat transfer muscular contraction, transmission of nerve impulses, blood clotting and cardiac function. It is highly sensitive to elements such as magnesium, iron and phosphorus as well as hormonal activity, vitamin D levels, alkalinity and acidity, and many drug.Normal Adult Range: 8.5-10.3 meg/dl

Optimal Adult Reading: 9.4


Phosphorus is an abundant element found in most tissues and cells. It is closely related to the calcium level with an inverse relationship. When calcium is increased, phosphorus tends to decrease and vice versa. Careful following of blood draw procedures are necessary because improper handling may cause false elevated readings. Phosphorus is needed for its buffering action, calcium transport and osmotic pressure.

Reference Adult Range: 2.5 – 4.5 meg/dl
Optimal Adult Reading: 3.5
Reference Children’s Range: 3 – 6 meg/dl
Optimal Children’s Range: 4.5