Chemistry Profile (Chem)

The Chemistry Profile gives us information about the health and function of some of the major internal organ systems in the body.

  • Kidney Function: The kidneys are like a sophisticated waste water treatment plant; they are responsible for filtering the blood and getting rid of the “trash” (waste products) while recycling the good substances for re-use. Increased “kidney values” (BUN, Creatinine, and SDMA) alert us to impaired kidney function, and allow us to make recommendations about further testing (to search for an underlying disease condition) and treatment options.
  • Liver Function: The liver is the largest solid organ in the body and has many jobs including removing toxins from the body, storing energy, manufacturing proteins, and producing chemicals necessary for digestion. Increased or decreased “liver values” (ALT, AST, GGT, ALP, and Bilirubin) alert us to impaired liver function, and allow us to make recommendations about further testing and treatment options.
  • Blood Sugar: Blood sugar (glucose) is the main source of energy used by the body. Increased glucose indicates diabetes. Decreased glucose can indicate conditions such as liver failure, pancreatic tumors, or adrenal gland disorders.
  • Protein Levels: There are two categories of proteins that are made by the liver; albumin and globulins. Albumin keeps fluid from leaking out of blood vessels, nourishes tissues, and transports substances (hormones, vitamins, calcium, drugs) around the body. Globulins are a varied group of proteins which include enzymes, antibodies, and hormones, all responsible for the day-to-day function of the body. Increased or decreased protein levels can alert us to a multitude of problems including kidney disease, liver disease, infection, dehydration, and cancers.
  • Electrolyte Levels: Electrolytes are small ionically charged molecules which are essential for life. Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride, phosphorous, and potassium. Abnormalities in the amount or ratio of electrolytes can alert us to problems with the kidneys or the adrenal glands.
  • Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a fat-like substance which the body needs to make hormones, Vitamin D, and digestive enzymes. While cholesterol is a good thing for the body in normal amounts, having cholesterol which is too high can be bad for health. Detecting increased cholesterol on blood work allows us to make dietary recommendations to combat this problem.