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Diagnostic Tests

Bicarbonates (HCO3-) Blood

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Bicarbonates (HCO3-) Blood

Also known as Bicarbonates Blood
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What is this test?

Bicarbonate Blood Test measures the amount of bicarbonate levels in the blood.

What is Bicarbonate?

Bicarbonate (HCO3) is a form of carbon dioxide in the blood. It regulates body pH and maintains acid-base balance. It is one among the group of electrolytes, that helps the body to remain hydrated. The excess amount of bicarbonate in the blood may cause an imbalance in the pH of the blood. Kidneys and lungs are the major organs that help in the removal of excess bicarbonate from the blood. Kidneys help to eliminate bicarbonate through urine. The lungs remove excess bicarbonate from the blood by exhaling it out as carbon dioxide.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed as part of a complete electrolyte panel, comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), or basic metabolic panel (BMP) to detect, evaluate and monitor the individuals for electrolyte imbalances or acid-base imbalance. Your doctor may ask to perform this test as a routine health check-up or if you experience any symptoms of electrolyte imbalances or acid-base imbalance. The symptoms include weakness, prolonged vomiting, confusion, or breathing problems etc. This test helps to monitor conditions such as kidney disorders, lung diseases or hypertension (High blood pressure). You may also advise you to perform this test if you are taking medications that can cause electrolyte imbalances.

This test is performed on a regular basis in individuals who are prone to electrolyte imbalances as instructed by the doctor.

Also known as Bicarbonates, Bicarbonates (HCO3-).

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Bicarbonates (HCO3-) Blood. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Bicarbonates (HCO3-) Blood.

No specific preparation is necessary for this test. However, follow all the instruction given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding your test results

If the test result falls in the normal reference range generally no medical intervention is necessary.

If the test results show high bicarbonate levels in the blood it may indicate that your body cannot maintain an acid-base balance. This may occur due to an electrolyte imbalance or if the body is not able to remove bicarbonate through the lungs or the kidneys. Increased bicarbonate levels can also be due to lung diseases, metabolic alkalosis (a condition of increased bicarbonate levels in the blood), Cushing syndrome (a condition due to high levels of cortisol in the body), or Conn syndrome (a condition where there is increased aldosterone levels in the body).

If the test results show low bicarbonate levels in the blood it may also indicate that your body cannot maintain an acid-base balance. Decreased bicarbonate levels can occur due to diabetic ketoacidosis (a complication of diabetes where the body overproduces ketones), Addison's disease (an adrenal gland disorder), metabolic acidosis (a condition of decreased bicarbonate levels in the blood), respiratory alkalosis, shock, salicylate poisoning etc. Severe chronic diarrhea may also result in low bicarbonate levels in the blood.

If you have higher or lower than normal bicarbonate levels in the blood, consult your doctor for further instructions. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise appropriate medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, or further diagnostic tests.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groups22 - 29mmol/L
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