Essential Guide to Life Insurance Lab Tests
At Dynacare Insurance Solutions we understand that applicants may feel anxious or worried about the insurance medical exam process. It’s natural for them to have questions about the exam, the tests required, and what to expect. That’s why we’ve developed this concise, easy to understand guide covering some of the key tests. Advisors will be able to understand the purpose of each lab test.
As the only paramedical provider with a lab based in Canada, we are able to draw on over 50 years of experience in the diagnostic industry to offer advisors resources to educate themselves and their clients about insurance medical exams.
This category of tests is used to assess how well kidneys are functioning. Under this category, tests performed include Creatinine and Urea.
Abnormal results may simply be the result of conditions at the time of the test, so no clinical conclusion should be drawn from these results. It is likely that a physician or healthcare provider will want to recheck results.
Creatinine is a waste product found in blood that is produced when our muscles metabolize energy. If kidney function is impaired, they are unable to filter creatinine out of the blood and remove it from the body through urination. As a result, levels of creatinine in the blood become elevated.
Urea is a waste product found in blood that is produced when the protein used by a body’s cells is broken down by the liver. If kidney function is impaired, they are unable to filter urea out of the blood and remove it from the body through urination. As a result, levels of urea in the blood become elevated.
Urinalysis is used to screen for a variety of different diseases. Under this category, tests performed include Glucose, Protein and Microalbumin, Protein/Creatinine ratio, Red Blood Cells (R.B.C.) and White Blood Cells (W.B.C.)
An out-of-range result typically requires a physician recheck before any action should be taken or any conclusions are drawn. It is quite common for healthy individuals to have minor abnormalities in this category of tests.
The presence of Glucose (sugar) in urine is used as a screening test for diabetes. If urine glucose is positive or any results are elevated, individuals should seek advice from their physician or healthcare provider.
Protein and Microalbumin
Protein and/or Microalbumin in the urine are warning signs that may indicate kidney disease. However, it can also occur temporarily due to infection, stress, exercise, or as a result of certain medications.
If urine protein is elevated, and Protein/Creatinine ratio is within the expected range, this may indicate a concentrated urine specimen rather than kidney disease.
Red Blood Cells (R.B.C.)
R.B.C. are generally absent or present in small amounts in urine. Increased amounts are seen in kidney disease, kidney stones, urinary tract infections or inflammation. Results can also be significantly impacted by a woman’s menstrual cycle.
White Blood Cells (W.B.C.)
W.B.C. (White Blood Cells) are sometimes present in low amounts in urine. Elevated levels may indicate a urinary tract infection or inflammation.
Tests in this group are part of a general screening and are helpful in assessing how well the liver is working. Under this category, tests performed include Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP), Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) and Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST), Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) and Bilirubin.
If results fall significantly outside of the expected ranges, individuals should seek advice from their physician or healthcare provider. It is likely that they will want to recheck results. Liver function tests that are elevated may be due to a temporary situation such as a viral illness or due to certain medications. Mild elevations can also be found in healthy people.
Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)
ALP is a protein that is found in all body tissues. The liver, bile ducts and bones have higher amounts. An elevated ALP result could indicate liver disease but may also be elevated in bone disorders, in young people and in pregnancy.
Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) & Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)
ALT and AST are liver enzymes that are released into the circulation when liver cells are injured or die. Generally, the higher the number, the greater the extent of liver damage.
Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase (GGT)
GGT is an enzyme found predominantly in the liver. Damaged cells release this protein into the blood making it a very sensitive indicator of liver damage. Heavy alcohol consumption, certain medications and illicit drugs, and bile tract obstruction may all lead to elevated levels.
Bilirubin is a yellow-coloured breakdown product of hemoglobin that causes jaundice when levels are high. A slightly elevated level can be a normal finding in some healthy people.
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