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Is it Possible to Diagnose Chemical Imbalances Using Blood Tests?

written by: weborglodge•edited by: lrohner•updated: 2/23/2011

Your doctor may order a series of tests to identify a specific condition by its effects on body function. What lab tests indicate chemical imbalance? Blood tests and urinalysis offer a comprehensive picture in a non-invasive manner.

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    Chemical Imbalances

    The human body functions as a stable unit. When certain health conditions occur, some processes may be impaired, resulting in chemical imbalances. For example, if you have a sinus infection, your body will respond by as part of the immune response. In a blood test, your condition manifests itself in a high white blood cell count.

    The organs of the body produce several types of chemicals including hormones, enzymes, and other vital substances. Abnormalities of these chemicals can indicate damage or a problem with organ function. Running a liver panel can reveal chemical imbalances which may detect liver damage due to toxins, hepatitis, or cirrhosis. The advantage of running these tests is that they are non-invasive. A doctor can rule out certain conditions without the need for surgery or other medical procedures.

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    Ordering Lab Tests

    lab test tubes Your symptoms provide a basis for ordering further analysis. What lab tests indicate chemical imbalance? Any test can show if body function is somehow impaired. Which tests are ordered depends upon your history. If your symptoms indicate a particular condition, further testing will confirm or refute this initial diagnosis.

    Bear in mind that some symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset or hair loss are so vague that only through testing can your doctor arrive at a diagnosis.

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    Testing for Adults

    Some tests are part of a routine health exam. The frequency will depend upon your history and state of health. Tests which can show a chemical imbalance include blood sugar or a cholesterol blood test. Both of these tests look for abnormally high readings which can indicate a chronic health condition.

    A high blood sugar may point to insulin resistance, a pre-cursor to diabetes. In this case, the body is not responding appropriately to insulin secreted by the pancreas. Blood sugar levels are remaining high. A high total cholesterol reading identifies a person at risk for developing atherosclerosis or heart disease.

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    Special Testing

    Your doctor may order other types of tests if you experiencing unexplained symptoms or after you have reached a certain age. The American Thyroid Association recommends that adults get tested for thyroid function every five years after the age of 35.

    A blood test can show hyper- or hypothyroidism by the concentration of thyroid hormones in a blood sample. A high TSH test will indicate hypothyroidism, whereas a low test shows hyperthyroidism. Taken together with other symptoms, your doctor can then proceed with a course of treatment.

    If you wonder what lab tests indicate chemical imbalance, the answer is that most tests reveal some type of information which can give a better glimpse into the internal function of the body. Testing is the first course of action which will point your doctor in the right direction. For you as the patient, these tests can help relieve some of the anxiety of an undiagnosed health condition.

    Photo by Thier Aquino, stock.xchng

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    Lab Tests Online: TSH

    L. Sherwood. Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems. 2008.

    G. Tortora, et al. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. 2005.