the main blood tests doctors order are the CBC and Chem7, which give them a good picture of the overall state of the patient.
CBC stands for complete blood count, and it identifies the amounts of different blood cells that can show anemia, infection, or more serious stuff like leukemias, etc.
Chem7 gives you the non-bloodcell composition of blood, which includes stuff like electrolytes, albumin, etc. The test is a quick way to check that the patient's liver, kidneys, etc are working right, and that there isn't a big problem with a particular ion (potassium, calcium, etc) that might point at other conditions.
Its far simpler for a doctor to order these than specific tests before they know what they're looking for, so that's why it was run.
My problem is that Albumin is referred to as protein as far as blood tests are concerned... but it means something totally different if its low.
Also, yes, you can tell that a person isn't eating enough protein by checking the chem7 and cbc... but its not as direct as looking at one value.
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