Why would a doctor run a complete metabolic panel?


Quick Answer

A doctor may request a comprehensive metabolic panel as a means to determine the overall condition of a patient’s metabolic and chemical balance. The tests provide information about how well the kidneys and liver are working and whether or not cholesterol, calcium, blood sugar, sodium and protein levels are adequate, according to Medline Plus.

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Full Answer

A comprehensive metabolic panel, also known as a complete metabolic panel, is a group of 14 blood tests that provides a complete picture of the chemical and metabolic makeup of a patient. Testing is done on a sample of the patient's blood to reveal the exact composition of the blood and whether chemical levels are high, normal or low, according to Medline Plus.

A comprehensive metabolic panel is also sometimes used as part of a regular health checkup to help investigate and diagnose various medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, according to WebMD.

Test results usually vary among patients depending on factors such as age and overall physical health, and understanding what the results mean typically requires consultation with a qualified physician. According to Medline Plus, abnormally high or low results can indicate a number of conditions, including kidney failure, diabetes, liver ailments or breathing problems.

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