Bristol GP Service

Blood Tests

At the Beard Medical Practice, we are able to offer a variety of blood tests and provide you with detailed results. Blood tests can be used to diagnose a range of abnormalities such as a low blood count (anaemia) thyroid problems, diabetes, coeliac disease (autoimmune gluten intolerance) raised cholesterol, vitamin deficiencies and a number of more complex conditions.

If you require blood tests, your GP will explain to you what tests are required and why they are recommended. During this consultation, the GP will also ask you how you would like to receive your results and inform you of the cost before proceeding.

We usually have results back within a few days. If you require a particular test, please call us for a quote.


Specific blood tests

Full blood count (FBC)

A full blood count examines your blood count (red cells) immune system (white cells) and clotting system (platelets). Doctors often request a full blood count to investigate breathlessness/ shortness of breath, weight loss, poor appetite, low energy levels, chronic fatigue, feeling tired all the time, chest pain, abdominal pain, persistent indigestion, pelvic pain, headaches, muscle aches, change in bowels, blood in stools or urine, heavy or painful periods, recurrent infections, problems with the immune system, recurrent bruising or bleeding.

A full blood count is particularly useful to doctors for diagnosing conditions such as a low blood count (anaemia) coeliac disease (autoimmune gluten intolerance) vitamin deficiencies, iron deficiency, joint pains and inflammatory conditions. Kidney disease, liver disease and thyroid disease may also affect the blood count.

A full blood count is helpful as a general health screen and may show early evidence of cancer. This is because many cancers can cause the blood count to drop and this can sometimes be the first sign of cancer. The picture we often see is an anaemia (low blood count) with small red blood cells. This can be seen in many gastrointestinal cancers such stomach cancer, oesophageal cancer and bowel (colorectal) cancer. The blood count may also drop with the cells remaining a normal size. This can be seen in other cancers such as myeloma (blood cancer) and chronic inflammatory conditions.

If you would like to book an appointment please click here: Appointment Booking Page


Creatinine and Electolytes (kidney function)

 
 

The creatinine and electolytes (kidney function) blood test is useful for investigating nonspecific symptoms such as tiredness, chronic fatigue, lethargy, as well as urinary disorders and as a general health screen. Although this test is not as well known as the full blood count, it is still extremely important. Kidneys are very sensitive and small changes in kidney function may give an indication of problems elsewhere in the body. It is particularly useful in assessing the risk of heart disease, strokes, vascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and monitoring the effects of medication.

It is one of the tests used for general health screening and it may show evidence suggestive  of cancer. This is because some cancers can reduce kidney function and this is particularly the case with abdominal and pelvic cancers. Examples include kidney cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, myeloma (blood cancer) and more rarely, bowel cancer and cervical cancer.

If you would like to book an appointment please click here: Appointment Booking Page


Liver Function Tests

Liver function tests are frequently requested by doctors to investigate disorders of the gastrointestinal system. The tests are useful in investigating abdominal (tummy) pain, bloating, abdominal swelling, excess wind, change in bowels, jaundice, itching, pale stools, dark urine, weight loss, poor appetite, tiredness, chronic fatigue, low energy and alcohol excess.

Liver function tests are often used to assess the effects of lifestyle on health. The test can show conditions such as fatty liver disease, gallstones, alcohol-related damage and infections such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Medication can also have serious effects on the liver and evidence of this may be demonstrated on liver function tests.

Liver function tests are a useful general health screen and may be useful as a cancer screen. This is because there are many types of cancer, which may spread to the liver e.g. bowel cancer (colorectal cancer) breast cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer and skin cancer (malignant melanoma).

Liver function  tests may also can suggest muscle and bone problems. This means liver tests are a useful screen for cancers which may spread to bone e.g. breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer and multiple myeloma. Chronic inflammation may also be picked up from the blood test.


 
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Cholesterol (blood lipids)
A cholesterol blood test is helpful in predicting the risk of heart disease and other types of cardiovascular disease e.g. strokes. As a result, it is integral to health and wellbeing screening assessments (health MOTs).

The main indications for checking cholesterol are:

  • If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, strokes, mini-strokes (TIAs) or other cardiovascular disease.

  • If you have a family history of heart attacks, heart disease, strokes or other cardiovascular disease.

  • If you have high blood pressure or diabetes

  • If you are aged over 40

  • If you have a family member with a cholesterol-related condition

  • If you are overweight

Raised cholesterol may also be associated with a number of other conditions, which makes it an integral part of any general health screening assessments.


Glucose tests (sugar levels/diabetes test)

 
 

Testing blood glucose is an important tool in the diagnosis of diabetes. Diabetes is on the increase and an early diagnosis can avoid serious complications such as heart disease, strokes, vascular disease, kidney disease, diabetic eye disease and nerve problems (neuropathy).

Glucose levels are important in people without diabetes too. As our understanding of diabetes has developed, we know that blood tests can indicate those individuals who may be at an increased risk of diabetes later in life.

Health screening using blood glucose can be used to identify other health risks. Raised glucose levels are a significant risk factor for heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and vascular disease. We also know that increased levels can be associated with some types of cancer e.g. pancreatic cancer. 

If you would like to book an appointment please click here: Appointment Booking Page


 
 

Bone profile (Calcium tests)
Bone profile tests are good indicators of overall health and it can be a useful investigation in many clinical scenarios. We often request this test for patients with vague symptoms such as muscle aches, muscle cramps, pins and needles, chronic fatigue, tiredness, general weakness, low mood, mild confusion, abdominal pains and constipation.

High calcium may be associated with hormone imbalances (parathyroid hormone and thyroid disease) high Vitamin D and several types of cancer. Such types of cancer may spread to bone and this may produce a high calcium level e.g. breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer and multiple myeloma (blood cancer).

Low calcium may be associated with hormone imbalances (parathyroid hormone) kidney disease, low Vitamin D, low dietary calcium and several gastrointestinal disorders with reduced absorption. e.g. coeliac disease.


Other blood tests
We have outlined our more commonly requested blood tests above, but we have access to a huge range of investigations. If you would like us to check a particular test, please book an appointment and we can arrange bloods to suit your requirements.


If you would like to book an appointment please click here: Appointment Booking Page


If you have any questions, please call our reception on 0117 973 13 23. You can also email us directly on info@beardmedical.com or send a message to us via our contact form.