Blood Element Analysis Test

blood elements analysis

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is the blood element analysis test?

Many doctors suggest that an annual blood element analysis is important to learn about the necessary chemical and physical properties of blood. Multiple tests can be carried out on one blood sample by making use of the plasma, serum or whole blood.

The two main components of blood are the plasma and the blood cells. The blood cells consist of three prime components which are the white blood cells, red blood cells, and the platelets, suspended in the plasma. When the plasma is allowed to clot, a clear cell-free fluid called serum is formed. The serum can also be separated from plasma by using centrifuges. The test checks the various parameters related mainly to the intracellular elements.

While extracellular elements are transported through the blood plasma or serum, the intracellular elements are found within the blood cells. The method of whole blood analysis is used to check for deficiencies, excesses, and imbalances of various essential elements.

What does this test measure?

The test is also used to check for any recent or ongoing exposure to specific toxic elements like lead, mercury, arsenic, and others. Heavy levels of any toxic elements deposited in the body and in the brain can be lead to significant developmental and neurological damage.  A metal like lead is transported by both intracellular and extracellular modes in blood and hence the test of both the compartments is essential for a clear diagnosis.

The test does not provide any accurate information about the amount of toxic material retained in the blood. Additional testing of body tissues may be necessary for the diagnosis of imbalances or problems related to assimilation, transport, retention, or excretion of elements. In the case of patients undergoing metal detoxification therapy, the test is conducted intermittently throughout the process.

What are the essential elements are tested for in a blood element analysis?

The following elements are the primary ones that are tested as per the requirements.

Nutrient Elements
– Chromium
– Copper
– Manganese
– Selenium
– Vanadium
– Zinc

Toxic Elements
– Lead
– Arsenic
– Cadmium
– Tin

Why do I need to undergo a blood element analysis test?

A blood element analysis test is recommended during standard health check-ups or in specific scenarios where the patient has been exposed to certain environments. In addition, it can also be used with the diagnosis of the following issues.

– Identification of dietary adequacy.
Gastrointestinal complications.
– Issues associated with renal and endocrine functions.
– Excess or deficiency conditions for various elements.
– Study the overall metal toxicity or mineral deficiency.
– To analyze the effects of supplementation of important minerals.
– To monitor the effects of chelation, a process where heavy metals are eliminated from the body.

In some cases, toxic exposure can interfere with enzyme functions or disrupt cellular activities. Such cases may be associated with symptoms like the ones listed below.

– Mood disorders like depression or anxiety
– Fatigue
– Chronic pain, inflammatory conditions or migraine.
– Diarrhea, hair loss, and muscle weakness.
– In some severe cases, it might lead to kidney and liver failure, shock and even coma.
– Problems related to vision.

How is a blood element analysis test performed?

The test is performed by collecting a blood sample from the patient through the process of venipuncture. In this process, a needle is inserted into a vein to draw the required volume of blood. The process involves the following steps.

– An elastic band is tied in the upper arm to make the veins swell with blood, thus making the collection process easier.

– The collection site is generally around the elbow region and the healthcare practitioner disinfects the area where the needle will be inserted. In some cases, blood may also be collected from the back of the hand.

– A needle is inserted into the vein and the required volume of blood is drawn through it in an attached tube. A stinging or burning sensation is felt when the needle is inserted.

– The needle is then withdrawn and pressure is applied on the site through a gauze or a cotton piece to prevent any excessive bleeding.

– The spot is then covered with a sterile bandage and the sample is sent to the laboratory for testing.

The entire process is safe and is generally concluded within a few minutes. Since the size of the veins can differ from one person to the other, the process may be difficult for some patients and multiple punctures may be needed before the right vein is found. Some patients might feel dizzy or lightheaded after the collection and may need proper care.

Any pain or bruising in and around the collection site is generally cured within a few days. Chances of infection or excessive bleeding from the site are rare but might happen in exceptional cases.

What is the price for a blood element analysis test in India? 

The cost of the blood element analysis test in India ranges between Rs 700 to Rs 1500 depending on the location and facilities provided in the testing center.

When will I get the test results?

The test results are generally delivered within 24 to 72 hours.

What is the normal range for a blood element analysis test?

Ideally, the normal levels of elements like cadmium and lead in the blood should be zero. But this is not usually so because of various environmental issues. The results can vary depending on various factors including geographical location and food habits. The chart attached below indicates the general levels of some toxic elements in the blood, based on a particular study.

Heavy metal Normal Range
Arsenic 0-12 ng/mL
Cadmium 0.0-4.9 ng/mL
Lead 0.0-4.9 mcg/dL
Mercury 0-9 ng/mL

What do the results mean?

The results may indicate that you have a high concentration of a particular heavy metal in your body which can be harmful to your health. You will need to avoid any exposure to that element in any form by changing your diet or your working environment. In some severe cases, the doctor can also adopt chelation therapy that removes the excess metals from the body.

In case the reports are normal but you are suffering from symptoms, the doctor may order further tests. You may need to take a urine test or provide a sample of your hair, fingernail, or other tissue for analysis. While some metals like manganese, copper, and zinc are nutritionally important, excess amounts can harm the system. The doctor can study the report in relation to the symptoms and make a necessary diagnosis.

Do I need to fast for the blood element analysis test?

Fasting is generally not required for the test but in some cases, the doctor can suggest it.

What else do I need to know before I appear for a blood element analysis test?

The following points can be kept in mind before appearing for the test. Health disorders from heavy metal poisoning are rare so if you are tested positive, you need to check your food and work environment. In addition, it is always preferable to buy any food supplements from reliable sources.

Seafood may contain mercury in some cases and hence you might be advised to stop consuming it a few days before the test. Chelation therapy can have side effects for some patients so doctors use it only in cases of severe poisoning from high levels of any metal. Blood analysis may not represent the exact metal burden in the body and urine tests are often recommended.

Can pregnant women undergo a blood element analysis test?

Pregnant women can undergo the test without any restrictions.

Is the blood element analysis test possible for new-born babies?

The test is possible for new-born babies as advised by the doctor.

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