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Superdrug Health Check – what does it tell you? 

Blood tests can be key to getting a better picture of your health and helping you stay well. Here’s what our Health Check tests can reveal about your body.  

A blood test is one of the simplest and most effective ways to get a picture of your overall health. Just a few vials of blood can tell clinicians an astonishing amount about your body without the need for more invasive testing. Testing against a wide range of health markers can also narrow down the cause of non-specific symptoms like fatigue, weight gain and feeling generally run down.  

Here’s how our Health Checks analyse your blood. 

Our broad spectrum of tests cover eight key areas, which are: 

  • Liver health 
  • Cholesterol status 
  • Kidney health 
  • Diabetes
  • Iron levels 
  • Levels of key vitamins, including B12, D and folate 
  • Full blood count 
  • Inflammation 


Our analysis uses 44 specific health markers to show how your results compare to a ‘normal’ result – the range that 95% of healthy individuals fit into. Your age, sex, race and other factors like pre-existing conditions can influence your results. That’s why we also ask you to fill out a health questionnaire during your Health Check.  

Using this information, our healthcare professionals can quickly pinpoint any areas for concern and offer you helpful advice on your next steps. It also allows you to check your results over the long-term should you choose to retest. This allows you to map in time how you feel versus whats going on at cellular level, reflected by your blood tests. Here is a quick breakdown of how our health markers help us evaluate your body’s key functions. 

What our liver function test looks at:

The liver is one of the body’s most important organs. It plays a significant part in more than 500 essential bodily processes, including metabolising medicines to aid in their absorption, filtering blood from our digestive tract and detoxifying potentially harmful chemicals.  

If your liver is damaged, it can make you feel weak, tired and  generally unwell. Thankfully, this organ is resilient and can heal itself from pretty substantial damage, which is most commonly caused by drinking too much alcohol or eating an unhealthy diet.  

The markers that reflect the health of your liver (amongst other things) are:  

  • Alkaline Phosphatase 
  • Alanine Transferase 
  • Aspartate Transferase 
  • Gamma GT
  • Bilirubin  
  • Albumin 

Checking your cholesterol:

Cholesterol is an essential type of lipid that helps to make hormones and form bile. Good cholesterol, or HDL, carries away excess amounts to the liver, while bad cholesterol (LDL) can collect in your organs and blood vessels, putting you at greater risk of cardiovascular disease.  

To make sure your cholesterol is at a healthy level, we check your: 

  • Triglycerides 
  • Cholesterol 
  • HDL Cholesterol 
  • LDL Cholesterol 
  • Non-HDL Cholesterol
  • Total to HDL Cholesterol Ratio 


What kidney function tests show:

Your kidneys are one of the most important organs in your body. Essentially, they filter toxins out of your blood and make sure vital substances like vitamins, glucose and amino acids are carried around your body. These organs are incredibly hard-working – it’s estimated they filter more than 227 litres of blood every day! 

If your kidneys aren’t working properly it can make you feel unwell quickly. Symptoms vary greatly and can often be mistaken for other problems, but they include: 

  • Tiredness 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Swollen ankles 
  • Lethargy 

The following health markers tell our clinicians if your kidneys are functioning at the level they should be: 

  • Creatinine 
  • Estimated GFR 
  • Sodium 


How to tell if you have diabetes:

Type 2 diabetes is often triggered by poor lifestyle choices, including an unhealthy bad diet, excessive weight gain and smoking. Increasing age and a family history are also risk factors for its development. If left untreated, this condition can make you seriously unwell. . Common symptoms include: 

  • Extremely thirst 
  • Urinating excessively 
  • Tiredness 
  • Recurrent infections  


We use the “HbA1c” marker to test for conditions like diabetes, as it shows a picture of your average blood sugar over the last three months. If it is higher than the upper limit of normal, it’s best to visit your doctor to discuss how to manage your health. 

Looking at blood iron levels:

Low iron levels can be a pre-cursor to iron deficiency anaemia, and often can present without any symptoms. If not identified, Iron-deficiency anaemia can follow, which is the most common type of anaemia (a condition that affects how much oxygen your red blood cells can carry). It can make you feel tired, weak and short of breath, causing you to feel low on energy even when you’re well rested.  

If left untreated, iron-deficiency anaemia can lead to increased risk of infections, pregnancy complications and heart conditions. The following health markers can tell us if you’re at risk of, or suffering from, iron-deficiency anaemia.  

  • Iron level 
  • Ferritin (iron storage protein) 
  • Transferrin (iron transporter protein) 
  • Transferrin saturation (another indicator of your body’s iron stores) 


Checking your vitamin levels: 

Deficiencies in key vitamins such as vitamin D, vitamin B12 and folate can also contribute to fatigue and a poor immune system. Up to 40% of the UK’s population is deficient in vitamin D in the winter months, while low levels of vitamin B12 affect around 1 in 10 over 75s and 11% of those with plant-based diets 

Deficiencies can be caused by a restrictive diet, lack of sunshine (for vitamin D) or health conditions like atrophic gastritis (for B12). Low levels of vitamin D can cause tiredness, depression, a poor immune system and osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones). The consequences of untreated B12 deficiency can be even more severe, causing long-term nerve damage and even memory or vision loss. 

To make sure your vitamin levels are optimal, we check: 

  • Folate 
  • Active B12 
  • 25(O)H Vitamin D 


Looking at the full blood count 

Analysing your full blood count is an efficient way to screen for a wide range of infections, deficiencies and diseases. We analyse your red and white blood cells, as well as the amount of oxygen-carrying haemoglobin and blood-clotting platelets, to paint a picture of your overall health. The health markers we use are: 

  • Number of Basophils 
  • Percentage of Basophils 
  • Number of Eosinophils 
  • Percentage of Eosinophils 
  • Number of Neutrophils
  • Percentage of Neutrophils 
  • Number of Monocytes 
  • Percentage of Monocytes 
  • Number of Lymphocytes
  • Percentage of Lymphocytes 
  • Haemoglobin 
  • Haematocrit (PCV) 
  • Haemoglobin Mass (MCH) 
  • Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration (MCHC)
  • Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) 
  • Mean Platelet Volume (MPV) 
  • Platelet Count  
  • Red Blood Cell Count (RBC) 
  • Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW)
  • Number of Leukocytes (WBC) 


Signs of inflammation 

Inflammation is a sign that your body is fighting off something it has recognised as harmful. This could be recurring infections, toxins and internal injuries, as well as autoimmune type conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease – where the body’s immune system causes damage to itself. 

We can tell if there is inflammation in your body by looking at the following health markers 

  • CRP (C-Reactive Protein) 
  • Number of Neutrophils 
  • Percentage of Neutrophils 
  • Number of Leukocytes (WBC) 


Speak to a medical professional  

If you’re concerned about your health or blood test results, it’s always best to discuss it with a qualified medical professional. Some information on the internet can be highly misleading or factually incorrect, meaning you could underestimate a serious sign of illness or panic unnecessarily.   

Our Health Check results include accurate advice from experienced doctors, helping you understand what your results mean for your unique health situation. If you’d like to book a Health Check and find out more about your body, click here to get started.   






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