Have you ever wondered what the numbers and complicated words on your blood tests mean? In this video, we will talk about the comprehensive metabolic panel, a series of blood tests which assess your body's electrolytes levels and functioning of vital organs. These organs include the liver, kidneys, and thyroid. 

The comprehensive metabolic panel. It is a panel of blood tests serving as an initial broad medical screening tool, including electrolyte levels and functional states of some vital organs.

Electrolyte levels. Some examples of electrolytes include sodium, potassium, and chloride. Electrolytes are tightly regulated in your body, and abnormalities in the levels of electrolytes can indicate problems.

Liver function tests. These tests indicate if your liver is working correctly or if it is inflamed or damage. The liver filters the blood coming from the digestive tract, detoxifies chemicals, metabolizes drugs, and makes essential proteins. It is vulnerable to the toxic effects of many medications and alcohol.

Tests for liver function. These include measuring the levels of total protein and albumin — total protein. Typical range is 6.1 to 8.1 grams per deciliter. Low levels may indicate impaired liver function. Albumin. Normal range is 3.6 to 5.1 grams per deciliter. Low levels may indicate impaired liver function.

Tests for liver inflammation or damage. Increased levels of liver enzymes in the blood may indicate that they are being leaked out from damaged liver cells. AST, or aspartate amino transferase. Normal range is 10 to 35 units per liter. ALT, alanine amino transferase. Normal range is 9 to 60 units per liter. Alkaline phosphatase. Normal range is 40 to 115 units per liter.

Kidney function tests. These tests tell you if your kidneys are working properly. Kidneys filter the blood to remove wastes, control your body's fluid balance and regulate the balance of electrolytes. They are vulnerable to toxic effects of many medications.

Creatinine serum. Normal range is 0.7 to 1.11 milligrams per deciliter. Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine, a normal metabolic byproduct. It is taken out of your body by the kidneys to be passed out into the urine. An increase in blood creatinine indicates kidney disease or damage. BUN, or blood urea nitrogen. Normal range is 7 to 25 milligrams per deciliter. It measures the amount of nitrogen in your blood that comes from the waste product of urea, a breakdown product of proteins. An increase indicates kidney disease or damage.

BUN-to-creatinine ratio. This ratio may be used to determine the cause of kidney injury or dehydration. The reference ratio is 8 to 19. GFR, glomerular filtration rate. The desired level is greater than 60 milliliters per minute. A lower rate indicates kidney disease. It is often used to determine kidney failure.

Thyroid function tests. The thyroid produces thyroid hormones that influence metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. The thyroid gland produces two hormones, triiodothyronine, or T3, and thyroxin, or T4. These hormones are produced when the pituitary gland releases thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH. TSH triggers the release of the thyroid hormones.

Thyroid hormone T4 levels and thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH, levels are usually tested. The T4 levels are measured to evaluate the total amount of T4 made by the thyroid gland. The normal amount of T4 in the body is considered to be between 0.82 to 1.77 nanograms per deciliter. The TSH levels are used to evaluate overall thyroid function. The normal level of TSH in the body is considered to be 0.45 to 4.5 micro units per milliliter.

You may want to check your thyroid function if you experience unexplainable weight loss or heart palpitations caused by potential hyperthyroidism, or unexplainable weight gain and lethargy caused by potential hypothyroidism.