Demystifying Blood Tests: What Your Results Really Mean

Blood tests can often seem like a mystery. You know they’re essential for diagnosing illnesses and checking your health, but what do all those numbers and terms mean? Let’s shed some light on it.

Firstly, a complete blood count (CBC) is a standard blood test that measures different components of your blood. This includes red blood cells, which carry oxygen; white blood cells, which fight infections; and platelets, which help in clotting. Unusual counts can indicate issues like anaemia, infections, clotting problems, and certain cancers.

Then there’s cholesterol. You’ve probably heard about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol – but what’s the difference? LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) is known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol because high levels can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries. HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein), or ‘good’ cholesterol, helps remove LDL from your bloodstream. A healthy balance between these two is crucial for cardiovascular health.

Another common measurement is blood glucose, crucial for diagnosing and managing diabetes. If your fasting blood glucose is high, it means your body isn’t effectively using insulin to manage sugar levels, indicating possible diabetes.

Blood tests also check for specific markers like PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) for prostate health, TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) for thyroid function, and various vitamin and mineral levels for nutritional deficiencies.

Remember, while it’s good to understand your results, always consult with a healthcare professional for accurate interpretation. And next time you get a blood test, you won’t feel like you’re reading a foreign language!

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Important Safety Information

Take any medicines called nitrates, often prescribed for chest pain, or guanylate cyclase stimulators like Adempas (riociguat) for pulmonary hypertension. Your blood pressure could drop to an unsafe level are allergic to Tadalafil or any of the ingredients in Tadalafil

Discuss your health with your doctor to ensure that you are healthy enough for sex. If you experience chest pain, dizziness, or nausea during sex, seek immediate medical help

Tadalafil can cause serious side effects. Rarely reported side effects include:

an erection that will not go away (priapism). If you have an erection that lasts more than 4 hours, get medical help right away. If it is not treated right away, priapism can permanently damage your penis

sudden vision loss in one or both eyes. Sudden vision loss in one or both eyes can be a sign of a serious eye problem called non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). Stop taking Tadalafil and call your healthcare provider right away if you have any sudden vision loss

sudden hearing decrease or hearing loss. Some people may also have ringing in their ears (tinnitus) or dizziness. If you have these symptoms, stop taking Tadalafil and contact a doctor right away

Before you take Tadalafil, tell your healthcare provider if you:

have or have had heart problems such as a heart attack, irregular heartbeat, angina, chest pain, narrowing of the aortic valve, or heart failure

have had heart surgery within the last 6 months

have pulmonary hypertension

have had a stroke

have low blood pressure, or high blood pressure that is not controlled

have a deformed penis shape

have had an erection that lasted for more than 4 hours

have problems with your blood cells such as sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia

have retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic (runs in families) eye disease

have ever had severe vision loss, including an eye problem called NAION

have bleeding problems

have or have had stomach ulcers

have liver problems

have kidney problems or are having kidney dialysis have any other medical conditions

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Tadalafil may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect the way Tadalafil works, causing side effects. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take any of the following:

medicines called nitrates

medicines called guanylate cyclase stimulators such as Adempas (riociguat)

medicines called alpha-blockers such as Hytrin (terazosin HCl), Flomax (tamsulosin HCl), Cardura (doxazosin mesylate), Minipress (prazosin HCl), Uroxatral (alfuzosin HCl), Jalyn (dutasteride and tamsulosin HCl), or Rapaflo (silodosin). Alpha-blockers are sometimes prescribed for prostate problems or high blood pressure. In some patients, the use of Tadalafil with alpha-blockers can lead to a drop in blood pressure or to fainting medicines called HIV protease inhibitors, such as ritonavir (Norvir), indinavir sulfate (Crixivan), saquinavir (Fortovase or Invirase), or atazanavir sulfate (Reyataz)

some types of oral antifungal medicines, such as ketoconazole (Nizoral) and itraconazole (Sporanox)

some types of antibiotics, such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), telithromycin (Ketek), or erythromycin

other medicines that treat high blood pressure

other medicines or treatments for ED

Tadalafil should not be used with REVATIO or with other PAH treatments containing PDE5 inhibitors.

Tadalafil does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

The most common side effects of Tadalafil: headache; flushing; upset stomach; abnormal vision, such as changes in color vision (such as having a blue color tinge) and blurred vision; stuffy or runny nose; back pain; muscle pain; nausea; dizziness; rash.