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Your blood is the window into your metabolic soul. It carries all of the vital elements that keep you alive and kicking. But what can just one drop of blood tell you?
Known as a blood spot, a small amount of blood from a fingerstick can provide information about inflammation, infection, blood glucose regulation, blood fat levels, and nutritional status. This type of testing uses blood from a capillary, the smallest blood vessel in your body, instead of a large vein in your arm.
Blood spot testing is considered more convenient, less invasive, and hopefully less painful. It has been used for decades in research and population settings and can measure important biomarkers, including glucose, hemoglobin A1C, hemoglobin, triglycerides, cytokines, C-reactive protein, and vitamin D. This method is widely used in screening newborns for metabolic disorders and is also used for monitoring infectious diseases.
However, reference ranges for blood spot testing can differ from ranges determined from venous blood samples, and the different ranges should be used as needed.
You can learn more about capillary blood spot testing here.