8 Unexpected Things A Blood Test Can Reveal About You

by Chandrama Deshmukh

We’ve all had a blood test at some point in our lives and hence possess a somewhat rough idea as to what to expect: Glucose. HDL. LDL. Cholesterol. Red blood cells. HbA1c.

We did say rough idea.

The point is, from knowing whether you’re anemic, fighting an infection, having nutritional deficiencies to your diabetes status. We’ve all reconciled with the idea that when it comes to our health status, a simple blood test is like our little black book for doctors. It has all those dirty secrets. “Honey I swear, I didn’t cheat with those Oreo cookies… how could you go through my blood tests? …Babe, I swear it was one time, didn’t mean anything to me!”You get the idea.

But what more secrets do your blood hide? According to an associate professor of immunology, Stefan Enroth, from Sweden’s Uppsala University, each one of us possesses around, “1,000 and 2,000 measurable proteins in our blood”.Each protein has several functions, which once researchers learn more about, can tell us exactly what’s happening throughout our body.

Following are 8 surprising things still under development, which your blood test could reveal about you:

1. Your Biological Age

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And we ain’t talking passport age. ‘Chronological age’ tells you the time passed since your birth. However, your ‘biological age’ reveals how old your internal organs and body are compared to other people in your age group. So say chronologically you’re 54, your biological age may be closer to a healthier 49.

According to a study conducted in 2015, Enroth and his team produced a model of protein types and levels across 1000 people. If you compare your blood to this model, you could determine your true biological age. His research indicates that smoking, a high sugar diet, and high BMI could increase your biological age by 2-6 years. However, eliminating these habits combined with regular exercise could decrease the same amount of years!

2. Your Potential For Alzheimer’s

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 Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that leads to progressive mental deterioration and is responsible for around 70% of dementia cases. According to a 2015 study conducted in the UK, a small group of blood proteins could reveal your risk of developing Alzheimer’s 10 years from now, before the appearance of any symptoms! Though the research is as yet preliminary, identifying those at-risk earlier could lead to more effective treatment.

3. If You’ve Ever Suffered A Concussion

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Doctors have long struggled with producing an effective procedure to accurately diagnose if you’ve had a concussion. Sometimes despite physical trauma to the brain, patients may not show any symptoms of a concussion in the hours and days ensuing the injury. This could be fatal if you’re an athlete, for another blow to the head soon after the first concussion could lead to long-term cognitive problems or death. Concussions have also been associated with Alzheimer’s later on in life. However, a recent study published in JAMA Neurology reveals that by assessing certain protein markers in your blood, you could diagnose a concussion up to 7 days post injury.

4. Level Of Dehydration

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 Dehydration can increase cognitive dysfunction, fatigue and adds stress upon your heart.Research suggests, proximately 20% of older people residing in assisted homes are dehydrated because they simply don’t drink enough liquids. However, the researchers have found a blood test that can reveal if you’re precariously dehydrated; this discovery can save lives.

 5. Degree Of Your Blues

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 Due to the lack of brain scans or blood tests for mood disorders all these years, it could be very tough for most doctors to differentiate between the average, transient touch-of-blues from the more menacing forms of depression. However, a recent Australian study has identified a distinct chemical in your blood that could reveal if you’re clinically low on happy hormones.

6. Every Common Cold You’ve Had. Ever.

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 A liquid medical history pumping through your veins, your blood can reveal to doctors every cold and virus you’ve ever encountered. According to a study in Science, every time you fall ill your body produces antibodies specific to that illness which circulate in your blood throughout your life. This can now help doctors prescribe more effective drugs customized to you.

7. Risk Of Alcoholism

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 According to a research published in Alcohol and Alcoholism, a blood chemical by the name of ‘PEth’ can reveal whether you’re at risk of alcoholism. PEth levels were seen to rise in college students who indulged in binge drinking; the chemical was also associated with alcoholism in older individuals.

8. Your Pesky Anxiety

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 Anxiety is an emotion that can manifest as tension in muscles, fatigue, restlessness and concentration difficulties. According to researchers from Jerusalem, they can identify this anxiety in your blood by searching for a special protein released by your body when it’s stressed. By assessing its levels, doctors will now be able to tell if your anxiety is harmless or requires medical attention.

All in all, after all the secrets our blood can divulge, who could blame people for getting squeamish at its sight! No matter what lies your body, heart and mind may tell you; it seems the old maxim got it right. Blood will always tell.

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Chandrama Deshmukh

Creativity has no limits. And words have no barriers. Together they can create magic, bridge all gaps.I work with words. Words that sound great, words that make sense, words that sell and words that tell.