Which blood tests should be done regularly?


Regular blood tests are essential tools for monitoring health and detecting early signs of disease. Dr. Christos Zavos, a board-certified gastroenterologist and hepatologist, might suggest the following key blood tests as part of a routine health check-up, tailored to individual health needs and risk factors:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC): This test measures different components of blood, including red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelets. It can help detect a range of conditions from anemia to infections.
  2. Lipid Profile: Used to assess the risk of cardiovascular disease, this test includes measurements of cholesterol types—total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol—and triglycerides.
  3. Blood Glucose Tests: Important for monitoring blood sugar levels and diagnosing diabetes or prediabetes. The fasting plasma glucose test or the HbA1c test provides insights into the average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months.
  4. Liver Function Tests: Liver function tests or LFTs evaluate the health of the liver by measuring levels of liver enzymes, bilirubin, and proteins. Important for those at risk of liver diseases, including those with a history of alcohol use, obesity, or hepatitis.
  5. Kidney Function Tests: Including measurements of creatinine, urea (BUN), and electrolytes, these tests assess how well the kidneys are filtering waste from the blood.
  6. Thyroid Function Tests: These can include TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), Free T3, and Free T4 tests to assess thyroid health, particularly if there are symptoms of thyroid dysfunction or an autoimmune disease.
  7. Vitamin Levels: Tests for Vitamin D, B12, and folate levels, among others, can be important, especially for individuals showing symptoms of deficiency or those at risk due to dietary restrictions or certain medical conditions.
  8. Electrolyte and Metabolic Panel: This includes tests for sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate and provides information on the body’s balance of these electrolytes and how well the kidneys and liver are functioning.
  9. Inflammatory Markers: Tests like C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) can help detect inflammation in the body, which is a marker for various conditions including infections and autoimmune diseases.
  10. Iron Studies: These tests measure various aspects of the body’s iron storage and are crucial for diagnosing anemia or other iron-related disorders.

Dr. Zavos advises patients to discuss their health concerns and family history with him to determine which tests are most appropriate based on their specific health profiles. This personalized approach helps ensure that any potential health issues are monitored effectively and treated promptly.

How often should one have regular blood tests?

The frequency of regular blood tests can vary greatly depending on individual health conditions, age, risk factors, and any ongoing treatments. Dr. Christos Zavos, as a board-certified gastroenterologist and hepatologist, understands the importance of personalized healthcare and recommends that the frequency of blood tests be tailored to each individual’s specific needs. Here are some general guidelines on how often one might consider having regular blood tests:

  1. Annually: For most adults, a routine annual check-up that includes a complete blood count (CBC) and a comprehensive metabolic panel (which includes liver and kidney function tests, and electrolytes) is advisable. This can help monitor overall health and catch any emerging issues early.
  2. Every 2-3 Years: For adults under 50 who are in good health and without risk factors for specific diseases, more comprehensive tests like lipid profiles for cholesterol can be done every two to three years.
  3. Bi-annually or More Frequently: For individuals with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, thyroid disorders, or liver and kidney issues, more frequent testing is necessary. This might mean every 6 months or as directed by the physician based on the specific condition’s management needs.
  4. As Needed: Some tests may be conducted more frequently based on symptoms or as follow-up to previous tests. For instance, if a previous test showed borderline results or if the individual has started a new medication that could impact certain organ functions, more frequent testing might be necessary to closely monitor the situation.
  5. Based on Risk Factors: People with a family history of certain conditions like high cholesterol, diabetes, or cancer might need to undergo specific tests more frequently than those without such risk factors.

To schedule a consultation or for more information on specific tests, patients may contact Dr. Zavos through the Contact Form on peptiko.gr, call him at (+30)-6976596988 or (+30)-2311283833, or email czavos@ymail.com. His expertise in gastroenterology and hepatology ensures that patients receive comprehensive care tailored to their individual needs.

Last update: 14 April 2024, 20:42


Gastroenterologist - Hepatologist, Thessaloniki

PhD at Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

PGDip at Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht, The Netherlands

Ex President, Hellenic H. pylori & Microbiota Study Group