sic Metabolic Panel (BMP) is a blood test that helps measure eight different substances present by nature in your blood. Your doctor generally recommends this blood test to check your physical health. It may be utilized in screening, diagnosing, and monitoring particular medical conditions. This article focuses on BMP, why you require it, and what is the procedure for this test. You will also receive knowledge about the results and its difference from the comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP).
What is a Basic Metabolic Panel?
A basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a blood test that evaluates the amount of eight substances in your blood. A BMP blood test determines the information about your body’s kidney function, chemical balance, fluid balance, and metabolism. Metabolism is the internal body process in which your body converts the food you take into energy.
What substances are included in a Basic Metabolic Panel?
A BMP blood test examines your blood sample for eight different substances in your blood, such as
- Calcium – Calcium is one of the significant minerals in your body. It helps maintain strong bones and provides feasibility in blood clotting.
- Glucose – A form of sugar that gives energy to your body and brain. Glucose in your blood is also called blood sugar. High levels of glucose show severe medical problems such as diabetes.
- Creatinine – It is a waste substance developed during the regular activity of your muscle. Your kidneys clear it from your blood and remove it from the body. The amount of creatinine in your blood can indicate whether or not your kidneys are properly functioning.
- BUN (Blood urea nitrogen) – BUN is an indicator of urea, another waste substance. Your kidneys eliminate it from your blood.
A BMP test shows the quantities of these four electrolytes. Electrolytes are important minerals that transport an electric charge when they are immersed in a liquid. The aim of the electrolytes in your blood is to regulate the function of nerves and muscles. It also helps balance the acid-base (pH balance) of your blood, besides water level.
- Sodium – Sodium is an essential mineral that helps in providing sufficient water to your blood cells and tissues so they can work correctly. Your kidneys control the sodium levels in your body.
- Potassium – Potassium is another important mineral that assists in the function of your muscle and regulates your breathing. Your kidneys usually eliminate additional potassium from your blood. But, if you experience kidney disease, they lose the ability to remove extra potassium, which will be stored in your blood.
- Bicarbonate – It shows carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in your blood. The amount of carbon dioxide indicates the conditions of your lungs and kidneys.
- Chloride – Chloride indicates the fluid’s balance in your body and regulates several processes, similar to sodium, potassium, and bicarbonate.
Why do we need a basic metabolic panel?
A healthcare provider may recommend a basic metabolic panel (BMP) for several reasons. They often suggest a BMP test to understand and assess your physical health. Measuring eight substances can check and monitor different functions and processes of your body, including
- Glucose or blood sugar levels
- The health and function of your kidney
- Acid-base balance (pH balance) in your blood
- Fluid balance
- Electrolyte balance
A BMP helps see particular medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease. A BMP also indicates the effectiveness of any medication you are using.
You may also need to take a BMP if you have these general symptoms, such as:
- Breathing problems
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Different occurrences of vomiting
Consult a healthcare provider online if you are experiencing these symptoms or a medical problem. A healthcare provider will ask you about the medical history, symptoms, and others.
A basic metabolic panel may suggest by the doctors due to the following:
- Screening – Screening is the initial testing or way to detect health problems before you experience symptoms. Routine screening can check particular medical conditions in the initial stages. Since it involves the measurement of eight different substances, a BMP may be used for regular health checkups.
- Diagnosing – A provider can use a BMP to diagnose particular health problems.
- Monitoring – A BMP can evaluate the effectiveness of treatment when you have a particular medical health condition. BMPs can also determine the risk factors of taking certain medications, specifically those that may influence your kidneys. If you have a recent abnormal test result, you may need to take a BMP to check the changes in your levels with time.
What is the difference between a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) and a basic metabolic panel (BMP)?
A comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a blood test that evaluates the measurement of the same substances as included in a basic metabolic panel test and also determines other substances developed by your liver.
CMP and BMP both are referred to as routine tests. A CMP includes six more tests to measure particular proteins and liver enzymes in your blood. Following are the other chemicals that examine in a comprehensive metabolic panel include:
Albumin – Your liver develops this protein. Albumin helps carry significant substances through your blood vessel and prevents fluid from entering your blood vessel. If you have a kidney problem, albumin may be released into your urine, leading to low levels in your blood.
Total protein – It indicates the total amount of proteins, including albumins and globulins, in your blood.
Bilirubin – Bilirubin is a waste substance that develops during the breakdown of red blood cells. Your liver is responsible for eliminating bilirubin from your body.
A CMP may also help to determine these three liver enzymes. Enzymes are the catalytic substance that helps your body in particular functions and processes.
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
- Alanine transaminase (ALT)
- Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
A healthcare provider may order a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) rather than a basic metabolic panel (BMP) to see more detailed information about the conditions of different organs, such as the liver or kidney.
How is a BMP test performed?
A BMP test generally requires a blood sample to examine different substances. You can schedule a BMP blood test online before visiting the laboratory.
Following are the steps of a procedure for a basic metabolic panel include:
- A provider will ask you to remove the cloth from one of your arms.
- A small needle attached to a test tube will be inserted into a vein in your arm.
- A small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube. A bandage covers your vein area.
- Your blood sample will be stored at the laboratory for examination.
- After that, you can resume your regular activities.
- This test often takes at least five minutes.
- The BMP test will be delivered to you within one or two days, depending on the laboratory.
What are the preparations required for a BMP test?
If a healthcare provider suggests a BMP blood test, you may need to fast for 7 to 8 hours before the test. You cannot eat or drink except for the water. A healthcare provider will tell you the necessary instructions before the test that you need to follow. Inform your provider if you take any medications or supplements that may affect your test results. You do not need to stop your medications on your own. Discuss it with your healthcare provider.
Risk factors of a BMP test
A BMP or any other blood test does not have high risks. You may have low risk while providing your blood sample. These risks include slight bruising, bleeding, tenderness, or pain from the vein where the needle was injected. However, these generally disappear readily.
BMP Blood Test Results
A healthcare provider can judge and understand your BMP results. If you have any abnormal results may show that you are experiencing medical problems, such as kidney disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. A BMP can also detect these sudden and severe health problems, including dehydration, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), kidney failure, or diabetes-related ketoacidosis. A provider will possibly recommend additional tests to verify any diagnosis.
What happens if I get abnormal BMP test results?
You may not always have a medical problem if one of your BMP results is not within the recommended range. A few factors, including medications, stress, diet, and medical conditions, can influence the BMP results. If you think these factors may change your test results, immediately inform your provider.
A basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a combination of blood tests that determines the levels of eight substances in your blood. The test may help your doctor to assess several body functions, including electrolyte levels, kidney function, and fluid balance. If you have abnormal levels of these substances, you might have several health problems, including glucose disorders, kidney failure, or breathing problems. People may need to take a BMP as a routine checkup or to diagnose a medical problem. If you have abnormal BMP results, a healthcare provider may recommend more tests to detect the disease and provide treatment for it. Schedule an appointment online with a provider to review your BMP results.