Blood and urine tests

Blood tests may be taken to help diagnose and monitor your condition

Blood tests may be taken to help diagnose and monitor your condition

Blood tests

Routine blood tests include:

  • Full blood count (FBC): this test measures the levels of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. It also measures the haemoglobin (oxygen carrying component of red blood cells).
  • Urea and Electrolytes (U's & E's): urea levels help to monitor how the kidneys are working. Electrolytes (e.g. sodium, potassium) and minerals (e.g. calcium) help to stabilise the heart rhythm.
  • Glucose: this test measures the level of sugar in the blood.
  • Liver and thyroid function.

Other blood tests include:

  • Troponin blood test: troponin is a protein which is released into the blood stream when the heart muscle is damaged. The troponin level provides a quick and accurate measure of any heart muscle damage. It is used to help diagnose a heart attack and may need to be taken on admission to hospital and / or 12 hours from the onset of symptoms.
  • Checking for altered hormone levels: this can be a possible cause of high blood pressure.
  • Cholesterol level and lipid profile.

Understanding 'good' and 'bad' cholesterol

  • Lipoproteins are substances (composed of fat and proteins) which carry cholesterol and triglycerides from your liver to wherever they are needed throughout your body.

There are several groups of lipoproteins. Measuring the amounts of these lipoproteins can give an indicator of how much fat is being carried in your blood stream that may be harmful.

  •  LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is known as 'bad cholesterol'. It carries cholesterol from your liver to the tissues around your body.The recommended LDL level is below 3.0mmol / l
  • HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is known as 'good cholesterol' because it carries surplus cholesterol from the tissues back to your liver to be recycled or excreted.The recommended HDL level is above 1.0mmol / l (men) and above 1.2mmol / l (women)

Urine tests

You may need to give a urine sample. This will be tested for protein and blood which, if found, may indicate that your kidneys need to be examined more closely. Kidney damage / disease can be a cause of high blood pressure and high blood pressure can make any existing kidney disease worse.

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