The COVID-19 infection can take a major toll on the body and lead to complications even after recovery. Getting key blood tests done post COVID recovery is crucial to analyze important health parameters, detect any abnormalities and initiate timely treatment if required.
This guide will cover:
- Recommended blood tests after COVID recovery
- Normal and abnormal values for key tests
- How test results provide insights into overall health
- Frequently asked questions on post COVID-19 blood testing
Understanding the need for periodic monitoring and follow-up even after COVID recovery is essential to ensure good long term health.
Recommended Blood Tests Post COVID Recovery
Here are some important blood tests that doctors may recommend after recovering from COVID-19:
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
The CBC report provides a detailed overview about the cells in blood:
- White blood cell (WBC) count - Indicates infection if elevated. Low lymphocyte count requires evaluation.
- Red blood cell (RBC) count, hemoglobin and haematocrit - Low levels signify anemia.
- Platelets - Crucial for blood clotting. Low platelets increase bleeding risk.
CBC helps pick up anemia, infections, blood cancer etc. that may arise post COVID.
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP) – CRP levels rise significantly in inflammatory conditions. Persistently high CRP post COVID indicates continued inflammation.
- Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) – Elevated ESR likewise points to inflammation or infection.
- Serum ferritin – High ferritin accompanies prolonged inflammation from COVID.
- Interleukin-6 – This cytokine is raised in severe inflammatory states like cytokine storm syndromes.
- D-dimer – Evaluates abnormalities in clotting seen in some COVID patients.
These markers assess residual inflammation after recovery from COVID.
Organ Function Tests
- Liver function tests - Assess for liver injury that can occur in COVID. Check bilirubin, liver enzymes, proteins.
- Kidney function tests - Evaluate kidney functions which may be impaired after COVID. Tests check creatinine, urea, electrolytes.
- Cardiac biomarkers - Troponin levels, CK-MB etc. are monitored to assess any heart muscle damage.
Early detection of organ involvement ensures prompt treatment.
Blood glucose levels should be monitored periodically post COVID recovery to check for:
- New onset diabetes
- Worsening of pre-existing diabetes due to COVID
Tests include fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, insulin levels.
- Vitamin D - COVID depletes vitamin D reserves. Measuring levels is vital as vitamin D boosts immunity.
- B12, folate - Important to test for nutritional deficiencies.
- Zinc, magnesium – Impaired levels need correction to aid recovery.
Thyroid Function Tests
Thyroid imbalances worsened by COVID must be treated to manage lingering symptoms like fatigue, weakness and weight changes.
Interpreting Key Test Results
Here are the normal reference ranges for some important post COVID blood tests:
- White blood cells - 4000-11000/microliter
- Lymphocytes - 800-4000/microliter
- Hemoglobin - 12-16 gm/dl for men; 11-15 gm/dl for women
- Platelets - 1.5-4.5 lakh/microliter
- CRP - Less than 6 mg/L
- Ferritin - 30-400 ng/ml
- D-dimer - Less than 0.5 mg/L
- Fasting blood glucose - Less than 100 mg/dl
- HbA1c - Less than 5.7%
- Vitamin D - 30-100 ng/ml
- B12 - 200-900 pg/ml
- TSH - 0.4-4 mIU/L
Significant derangements from normal merit medical attention to diagnose and manage any underlying conditions. Repeat testing helps track improvement with treatment.
How Blood Tests Offer Insights Into Overall Health Post COVID?
Comprehensive blood testing after recovering from COVID is important for several reasons:
- Screens for health issues like diabetes, thyroid problems that may have newly developed or worsened due to COVID stress.
- Assesses disease-related complications affecting liver, heart, kidneys etc. Early detection enables prompt care.
- Analyses for persisting inflammation, deficiencies and imbalances that impede complete recovery.
- Establishes baseline values for key parameters, so future trends can be monitored.
- Guides lifestyle modifications and therapy based on test results.
- Provides reassurance when results are within normal limits.
Blood tests give an objective overview of health status after COVID illness. Any deviations from normal must be addressed quickly.
When should I get blood tests done after recovering from COVID?
It is advisable to initially get tested 2 weeks after recovery and thereafter once every 3 months for the first year as per doctor’s advice based on your health status. High risk individuals may need more frequent monitoring.
Which blood tests are most important after COVID?
CBC, kidney and liver function, vitamin D, diabetes screen, thyroid function and cardiac markers provide key insights. Additional specific tests may be needed based on symptoms and comorbidities.
What blood test values are concerning after COVID recovery?
Significantly abnormal results like high CRP, low lymphocyte and platelet counts, deranged liver enzymes and cardiac markers, very low vitamin levels warrant medical review.
How long can COVID-19 affect blood test results?
Inflammatory markers and organ function tests may remain deranged for 2–3 months after recovery as the body is still healing. Vitamin D deficiency can persist much longer if not corrected.
When should I consult a doctor about my post COVID blood test results?
You must consult your doctor if the test results are markedly outside the normal range or if you have persisting symptoms like fatigue and weakness despite normal reports.
The COVID virus can negatively impact many organs even after recovery. Getting a set of important blood tests done at periodic intervals post recovery is strongly advised to enable the early detection and treatment of any health problems. This helps ensure optimal restoration of health and wellbeing in the months after COVID illness.
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