Your metabolism affects more than your girth, says family medicine physician Daniel Allan, MD. A basic metabolic panel (BMP) shows how well your body keeps all systems humming.
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Here’s what you need to know about your BMP and what it measures:
Glucose is the type of sugar that your body uses for energy.
What’s normal: 70 to 99 mg/dL (after 8 to 12 hours of not eating).
- What’s normal: 70 to 99 mg/dL (after 8 to 12 hours of not eating).
- What abnormal results can mean: If there’s too much, then it can mean diabetes or prediabetes. If there’s too little, it could mean hypoglycemia.
Calcium is needed for many body functions, including building bones, heart function, muscle contraction and nerve signaling.
- What’s normal: 8.5 to 10.2 mg/dL.
- What abnormal results can mean: Kidney/liver problems, bone disease, thyroid disease, cancer and malnutrition
Electrolytes are minerals that maintain fluid levels and chemical balance in your body.
- What’s normal: Bicarbonate (total) 18 to 30 mEq/L; Chloride: 98 to 106 mEq/L; Magnesium: 1.8 to 3.6 mg/dL or 1.5 to 3.0 mEq/L; Phosphorus: 3 to 4.5 mg/dL or 1.8 to 2.3 mEq/L; Potassium: 3.5 to 5.5 mEq/L; Sodium: 135 to 147 mEq/L.
- What abnormal results can mean: Dehydration, kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure and high blood pressure.
4. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) is a waste product that kidneys filter out of your body.
- What’s normal: 6 to 20 mg/dL.
- What abnormal results can mean: If there’s too much, then it can mean kidney disease, heart failure or dehydration. If there’s too little, it could mean liver failure or malnutrition.
Creatinine is a waste product that kidneys filter out of your body.
- What’s normal: For men, 0.7 to 1.3 mg/dL. For women, 0.6 to 1.1 mg/dL.
- What abnormal results can mean: If there’s too much, then it can mean kidney disease, muscle breakdown or dehydration. If there’s too little, it could mean malnutrition or low muscle mass.
“Metabolism involves any way your body converts or uses energy,” says Dr. Allan. “That includes digestion, breathing, circulation, and functioning of your organs, muscles and nervous system.”
Your doctor can see how well your metabolism is working through your BMP. This blood test is like a scorecard for your kidney function, blood sugar levels and more. It can offer clues to help detect various diseases.
Don’t worry — abnormal results don’t necessarily mean you’re sick. Medication and other factors can affect your scores. Talk to your doctor about your test results. They will explain any areas of concern and help you determine next steps.