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Basic Metabolic Panel BMP

Also known as

BMP Blood test, BMP, Chemistry Panel, Chemistry Screen, Chem 7

The basic metabolic panel (BMP) is used by the doctor to check your overall health, your kidney function, the status of your electrolyte and acid/base balance, as well as your blood glucose level. All of these are linked to the healthy metabolism of the body. It can be used to evaluate and screen for diseases such as diabetes or kidney disease and keep a check on known conditions, such as high blood pressure (hypertension). It is also used to keep a check on and evaluate treatment with specific medications that may affect kidneys.This test panel is ordered by your health care practitioner to get an idea about your general health care status.
The tests are ordered by the doctor commonly as a part of a routine health check-up. But it may also be ordered when you are ill, under monitoring for some specific conditions, or are suspected to be experiencing side effects from some medicines. It is ordered by the doctor during routine health exams. It may also be ordered when you are ill, admitted to the hospital, or in the emergency department. The panels may also be ordered when you have an on-going condition and are on a treatment plan which needs to be consistently evaluated or monitored. In addition, it may be ordered when you are on some medication that has a direct impact on the way your kidneys function.
The panel is a blood test. The healthcare practitioner draws blood from a vein in your arm using a syringe and sends the sample to the lab.
This depends on why you are being tested. In some cases, the doctor may tell you to fast – you may only drink water – for nearly eight hours before the blood is drawn from your arm. It is important that you follow all the instructions detailed by the doctor. In addition, make sure that the doctor is aware of your prescriptions and any over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbs you are on.
The basic metabolic panel consists of eight tests that measure different substances like minerals and otherwise present in the blood. The BMP is commonly ordered by the doctor. The BMP provides the doctor a general overview of your health status and the functioning of your metabolism. It provides information about the blood sugar level, the balance of electrolytes and fluids, the health of kidneys. The BMP includes the following tests:
  1. Glucose: which is the primary source of energy for the body, it should be available in steady supply and present in stable amounts in the blood.
  2. Calcium: this is one of the most important minerals for the body as it aids in the proper functioning of the nerves, muscles, and heart. It is also essential for the formation of bones and important for blood clotting.

The BMP also tests for electrolytes which are minerals present in the blood and tissues as dissolved salts. Electrolytes move nutrients into the cells and push out waste. In addition, they ensure that the body maintains a healthy water balance and stabilize the body’s pH level. The electrolyte test includes:

  1. Sodium: this is essential for the normal functioning of the body, particularly nerves and muscles.
  2. Potassium: important for cell metabolism and muscle function. It helps in transmitting messages between muscles and nerves.
  3. Bicarbonate: this helps in maintaining the body’s pH level.
  4. Chloride: this substance helps in regulating the levels of fluid in the body and maintains the acid-base balance.
Kidney tests include:
  1. Blood urea nitrogen: Also known as BUN. This test measures the amounts of blood urea nitrogen. When the waste product is filtered out of the body by the kidneys or as kidney function decreases simultaneously do blood, urea, and nitrogen levels rise.
  2. Creatinine: This test measures how much of creatinine is produced in the kidneys. Creatinine is a waste product of the muscles, which is filtered out of the blood by the kidneys. Creatinine levels are a good indicator of kidney function.
The results of the panel are interpreted in cohesion with one another. The results are evaluated according to reference ranges in order to rule out or diagnose disorders and conditions. Interpreting BMP test results can provide indications of potential health issues, although it does not guarantee a diagnosis. An abnormal BMP result or a combination of results may suggest various conditions, such as kidney disease, diabetes, or high blood presssure. In addition, a BMP can assist in diagnosing sudden and severe conditions like dehydration, diabetes-related ketoacidosis, low blood sugar, and kidney failure. If a patient receives an abnormal BMP result, their healthcare provider will likely recommend further tests to confirm or rule out a specific diagnosis. 
Should you have any questions regarding your tests results please consult your healthcare provider. 
Related Tests: Liver Panel (LFT), Renal Panel, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel


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Medically reviewed and last updated: March 29, 2023

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