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Apr 26, 2019 23:10:22

Basics of a blood and urine test (Part 2)

by @hiro | 643 words | 🐣 | 347💌


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Today I had an annual checkup with my family doctors and he gave me feedback about my blood and urine test result. However, it was a quick moment to digest what he said and there were many medical terminologies and acronyms without definitions or declaration in the result web page. I would like to understand them more. So today I will walk through each item in a blood test and urine test with my word.

The tests I took are as follows:


Disclaimer: this is the first time to take a blood test and urine test in the U.S. and I am not a doctor. The test itself can also vary from people to people. Please do not take it as it is. Also, it would be great if you can share with me great material.  

CBC W/ Auto Differential = Blood Test

CBC stands for Complete Blood Count. Now it is easy to understand what it is. "W/" is shorthand for "with." According to the National Cancer Institute, this test measures 

  • the number of red and white blood cells, platelets (starching blood)
  • the amount of hemoglobin (oxygen carrier) and hematocrit (ratio of red blood)

I did not find a clear definition of "with auto differential" but I guess it will automatically classify different kinds of white blood cells. 

This is useful to diagnose more than 10 disorder or sickness (see the list


This is also a part of a blood test, which measures sugar level and electrolyte (to see the balance between a plus and minus ion in our blood) according to Michigan Medicine UoM

It can also check the function of our kidney that keeps the right balance of water, salts, and minerals in the blood and liver that helps to digest foods and produce some vitamins. 

LIPID PANEL  = Blood Test

Lipid is a kind of fat such as cholesterol (and triglycerides). So lipid panel means to measure the amount of good and bad fat in our blood.  12-hour fasting is required because of this test. 

We will see the rest tomorrow. 


TSH and RFX stand for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone and Reflex. It took a while to find out what RFX stands for. The thyroid is located around our neck and controls one of the hormones to slow down or rev up metabolism. T4 is a shorthand form of Thyroxine, which is one of the hormones controlled by the thyroid. There seem to be two types: bound and free T4. Free T4 is less than 1% out of T4 and more important to measure. 


UA stands for Urinalysis that comes from urine with analysis. C&S means urine Culture and Sensitivity, which investigate if there are germs or bacteria in your urine.  The "culture" in this context means a kind of germs group or mob when the growth of germs is promoted in a lab environment. If we find such a culture, it means positive and there are germs. 


This seems to be overlapped with the above examination in terms of using microscopic. However, it examines different things such as WBC (white blood count), RBC (red blood count), Mucas threads, Bacteria. 

My Comments

I was going to more detail about the numbers for each test measurement, what is the mean, normal range, etc. However, it was already many things to search for to understand what was tested. 

I hoped even if we have a discussion with a doctor, it would be better to give some guidance to understand the results. 

  • 1

    @hiro There is a lot to learn about what these blood tests measure, the correct ranges, and all the things you can do to modify the results. If you are looking for anything specific let me know and I might be able to point you in the right direction.

    Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Apr 27, 2019 08:20:10
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      @brandonwilson Thank you. I am interested in a type of cancer risk, especially thyroid cancer. I also asked a doctor if I miss any other test related to cancer but he said no. I doubt it ... I assume we can take such a test if I want. Any idea about such an addition test?

      Hiro avatar Hiro | Apr 28, 2019 15:12:38
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      @hiro If you are concerned about the thyroid specifically I would start with a comprehensive thyroid panel that would include the following:
      Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) - Evaluates overall thyroid function
      Total Thyroxine (T4) - Measures the total amount of T4 produced by the thyroid gland
      Free Thyroxine (T4) - Measures the amount of T4 available to the cells and tissues
      Free Tri-iodothyronine (T3) - Measures the amount of T3 (the active form of the hormone) available to the cells and tissues
      Reverse T3 - Measures the non-functioning form of the active hormone T3
      Thyroglobulin antibody (ATA) - Often measured along with TPO, these antibodies can attack proteins involved in the production of thyroid hormones rendering them dysfunctional
      Thyroid Peroxidase antibody (TPO) - Often measured along with ATA, these antibodies can attack proteins involved in the production of thyroid hormones rendering them dysfunctional
      There is a retail test available here: https://www.lifeextension.com/Vitamins-Supplements/itemLC100018/Comprehensive-Thyroid-Panel-Blood-Test
      Regarding cancer risk, I know there are some genetic tests for certain kinds of cancers but I am unfamiliar with what is available and how reliable the tests are.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Apr 29, 2019 07:44:04
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    @hiro fascinating! :D

    Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Apr 27, 2019 10:49:14
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