Let’s face it: No one likes having a blood test. From the anxiety to the pain, the process is a jam in your day. But did you know that blood test readings can help your diet quest? The findings in these tests can help you and your physician focus on your needs to better suit your diet and exercise plan. While not all tests cover every aspect of your health, there are certain tests that you should invest in to optimize your health.

Health care professionals working in laboratory.

1:  Complete Blood Panel. This seem like it should be the basic test, but many doctors perform only the bare minimum needed to find a cause of illness. With a complete blood panel, you are not only looking for an illness or shortage of a vitamin, but a plethora of information to judge your overall health. The platelets, blood cells, and total cholesterol readings can show the health of your liver, kidneys, and vascular systems.

2:  Fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is important to blood clotting, but we all need to a certain extent. Fibrogen helps with healing injured tissue, which is why many who have a high level of fibrogen have a slower pace of healing and a higher instance of stroke, heart disease, and a lower life expectancy. Too little fibrogen can also have a dangerous effect, as it can lead to serious health issue with something as small as a bruise. An optimal fibrogen level is one of the keys to a healthy life, and this test should be taken my all adults.

3:  Hemoglobin A1C. Many who are diabetic or pre-diabetic have taken this test, but it is valuable for all of us. This test shows your blood sugar control over the past 8-12 weeks, which can better judge the risk for diabetes and heart issues.

4:  DHEA. DHEA, or dehydroepiandrostrone, is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is the pre-curser to sex hormones. These peak in the mid-20s, and drop thereafter. Too low estrogen or testosterone can lead to health issues, from weight gain to increased body hair, and even mood changes. Studies have shown the elderly women with a low estrogen level have an increased risk of DVT and varicose veins. While varicose veins may seem like a vanity issue, the risk of DVT is enough to take this quick test. Blood clots are dangerous, and these tests should be taken by men and women, though the old theory was that varicose veins and DVT was a female problem. It is not, and DVT is an evenly keeled ailment that can put a life on hold.

5:  PSA. PSA, or Prostate-Specific Antigen is one of the tests men need after the age of 40. This test helps judge prostate health, as well as shows the risk for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is highly treatment when it is detected early, but many men forgo this simple blood test to check for it.

Blood tests can put a jam into your schedule, but they are well worth it to gauge your health status. While you may feel fine and look fine overall, a blood test can detect any abnormalities in your system. These tests are usually covered by insurance, but it is always best to check with your provider to make sure.