The Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP14) is a battery of tests that check your liver and kidney functions plus electrolyte levels and acid/base balance. A CMP also shows your blood protein and blood sugar levels. Physicians recommend CMP testing annually for reliable information on the state of your health. Health Testing Centers provide an easy and convenient way to get the tests you need.
Specific Tests In A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
Click Here for sample CMP test results.
- Proteins, including Albumin and Total Protein
- Electrolytes such as Sodium, Potassium, Carbon Dioxide and Chloride
- Kidney Tests: BUN (blood urea nitrogen), Creatinine
- Liver Tests: ALP (alkaline phosphatase), AST (aspartate amino transferase, also called SGOT)
What Your Calcium Level Says about Your Health
Testing for calcium in your blood shows how much of this mineral is circulating freely throughout your body. If your calcium levels deviate from the norm, your physician may order further tests to explore the underlying cause. Kidney stones, bone disease such as osteoporosis, or neurological abnormalities may be at fault. Low levels of blood calcium could be related to thyroid disease, kidney disease or malnutrition.
What are Blood Proteins?
Albumin and globulin are the two primary classes of blood proteins. When you have a CMP, you will see two related results. One is your albumin/globulin (A/G) ratio and the other is your total blood protein level. A high ratio of albumin to globulin can indicate serious health problems, including leukemia. A low A/G ratio could reveal the presence of cirrhosis of the liver, nephrotic syndrome from kidney damage or an autoimmune disease.
A high total protein count may indicate infection or inflammation in the body caused by a disease such as viral hepatitis. Low total protein may be due to a kidney or liver malfunction.
How Do Glucose Levels Affect the Body?
The blood glucose component of your CMP reveals how well your body metabolizes the specific type of sugar called glucose, which provides your body with its primary source of energy. In healthy people, the pancreas releases insulin to process glucose when levels become too high, for example right after a meal. Without insulin, elevated glucose in your bloodstream can damage your eyes, your kidneys, your blood vessels and even your nervous system.
People who have diabetes do not produce enough insulin naturally to keep glucose in balance. If your CMP results show higher than normal glucose levels, you are at risk for developing diabetes. Unusually low blood glucose levels can indicate hypoglycemia, which can make you lethargic or, in extreme cases, cause loss of consciousness.
Electrolytes and Their Effects
Sodium, chloride and potassium are electrolytes that help keep your body fluids balanced. They are electrically charged and conduct electronic pulses that make your muscular system respond to your brain. Electrolytes are critical to healthy heart and nerve functions. A heightened level of these minerals could suggest kidney problems. Low electrolyte levels often result from dehydration, which can be life-threatening if not adequately addressed.
Evaluating Kidney Health
Your CMP tests two substances directly related to kidney function. These are your BUN -- blood urea nitrogen -- and creatinine. Test results quantify how well your kidneys are working and also help physicians monitor patients already diagnosed with renal problems. When your body breaks down proteins, it creates urea nitrogen. Normal levels of this substance in your blood confirm that your kidneys are functioning as designed. Abnormal levels indicate a need for further renal testing.
Creatinine is a waste product of muscular function. Normal kidneys filter virtually all traces of it from your blood. The presence of creatinine suggests kidney malfunction.
Liver ALP and AST
Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme in your liver that helps it metabolize phosphates. A damaged liver releases higher than normal levels of ALP into your blood. Aspartate amino transferase (AST) is another liver enzyme. High levels of AST in your blood may signal liver disease or damage.
What is Bilirubin?
Bilirubin is an element present in bile, the dark liquid produced by your liver. A healthy liver breaks down bilirubin for disposal. Too much of this substance in your blood causes jaundice, indicating liver dysfunction.
To get the most accurate test results, you should abstain from eating
and drinking for eight to 10 hours prior to having your blood drawn. CMP test results are easy to read and understand. For each component tested, you will see your results and the normal range for a healthy individual for your reference. Should any of your tests prove to be outside acceptable health parameters, those items are highlighted. This clearly indicates that you should follow up with your physician.
Related Laboratory Tests
When ordering a CMP, consider upgrading to a comprehensive package of tests such as the Essential Health Screen
, which also includes a Complete Blood Count
, a Lipid Profile
and a urinalysis.