The Doctors help you make your best health decisions today!
From physical attraction to the “big O,” The Doctors answer your sex questions.
Blood Test vs. Urinalysis
Sometimes when I go to the doctor they order a blood test, a urine test or both. What’s the difference and which tells my doctor more information?
“There are a lot of scenarios where your doctor will order a urinalysis and a blood test,” Dr. Travis says. “We look for different things with different tests.”
A common disorder that involves both tests is kidney stones, a painful ailment that’s often caused by not drinking enough water. Salts, minerals and other substances are filtered by the kidneys and if they’re not flushed out right away, stones can form and grow. While inside the kidneys, stones are not painful; however, once they migrate toward and down the ureters, it can cause severe pain. Most kidney stones are passed naturally, but some may require procedures or medications.
If you suspect you have a kidney stone, your doctor will order a urinalysis to check for the presence of crystals and blood in your urine, as well as a urinary tract infection.
A blood test is performed to further test for kidney function changes and levels of calcium, phosphorus, uric acid and electrolytes. Only a blood test can determine how severe the kidney stones are.
Screening for diabetes also requires analyses of both the urine and blood.
“We see if you’re spilling sugar in your urine,” OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson explains. “This is a screening test, but we can only diagnose [diabetes] with a blood test.”
A blood test is required to show how high your blood sugar is. Normal is between 70 and 100 milligrams while 126 milligrams or higher means you are diabetic.
“So, there is a rhyme and reason to why we do what we do,” Dr. Travis adds. “And one isn’t always better than the other.”
If it’s not healthy to hold in your urine, then why do we do it for 8 hours while we sleep? The Doctors explain. Plus, get tips for curing urinary incontinence.
High Blood Pressure vs. High Cholesterol
Blood pressure and cholesterol are both essential to our overall health, but should we focus on one more than the other?
“They’re both silent killers,” Dr. Travis says. “And by lowering one you’ll often lower the other.”
The answer is, both are equally as important to your health because both are major factors in heart disease. High blood pressure and cholesterol are fairly silent diseases that can do a lot of damage before they’re even diagnosed.
High blood pressure can damage blood vessel walls, making them vulnerable to cholesterol plaque buildup. Over time, excessive plaque can accumulate, causing the blood vessel to burst and create a blockage, which can lead to heart attack or stroke depending on the location.
You can lower your risk of heart disease by eating a nutritional diet low in saturated fats and exercising regularly. If you have high cholesterol, increase the amount of fiber in your diet, and for high blood pressure, limit sodium, alcohol and quit smoking. Additionally, keep track of your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers so you can monitor them as you age.
“It’s kind of a shame but I’m seeing more and more of these problems in kids,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. “But healthy lifestyle habits will lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and all those things in general help you live a healthier life.”
Martin writes: “When you’re constipated, is it more important just to get your poop out, even if it means meds or enemas? Or should you wait until it naturally makes its way out?”
Gastroenterologist Dr. Jorge Rodriguez says that the natural way is always best.
“Some people think if they don’t have a bowel movement every day they’re constipated,” Dr. Rodriguez says. “Normal is from three bowel movements a day to one every three days. The best way to have regular bowel movements is to do it naturally with plenty of water and exercise.”
- What’s better for staying regular: Probiotics or fiber?
Making the Best Choice
What’s worse to eat: moldy food or sour milk? What’s better for your face: hot water or soap? Find out how to make the right choices for your health.