What a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Can Reveal About Your Health

May 01, 2023
What a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Can Reveal About Your Health
Your blood travels every square inch of your body daily — oh, the stories it could tell. Routine blood tests, such as the comprehensive metabolic panel, allow doctors to read those “stories” and glean information about what’s happening inside you.

Blood tests are mainstays in the physician’s diagnostic arsenal, because they reveal critical information about your overall health. 

At Glendale Obstetrics and Gynecology, PC in Glendale, Arizona, Dr. Diana Heard and our phlebotomy team use various blood tests to check for health problems, such as infections, nutrient deficiencies, diabetes, and more. 

One of the tests we use most frequently during well-woman exams and prenatal care, the comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), tells us about your electrolyte and blood sugar levels and provides valuable insights into your organs and overall health status. In this blog post, Dr. Heard explains what a CMP is, its uses, who needs it, and what its results can mean for your health.

What is a comprehensive metabolic panel?

A comprehensive metabolic panel is a blood test that measures your blood sugar and electrolyte levels, your kidney and liver function, and other important health biomarkers. Our experienced phlebotomist draws blood from your arm and sends it to a laboratory for analysis. The CMP comprises multiple blood tests, including:

  • Blood sugar (glucose) levels
  • Kidney function tests (BUN and creatinine)
  • Liver function tests (AST, ALT, and alkaline phosphatase)
  • Electrolyte levels (sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, and chloride)
  • Total protein levels
  • Albumin
  • Calcium
  • Bilirubin

Knowing the details about these factors can help Dr. Heard determine the underlying cause or causes of your symptoms, detect problems before symptoms appear, and diagnose your health condition.

What can a CMP detect?

Whether you’re ill or just coming in for an annual well-woman exam, we may use the comprehensive metabolic panel to:

  • Diagnose medical conditions that can affect your liver, kidneys, or blood sugar 
  • Monitor your active health conditions
  • Determine your overall health status
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of medications or treatments

The CMP is a routine blood test that covers a wide array of issues. Depending on your health history, we may order a lighter version of the CMP called the basic metabolic panel

Who needs a CMP?

Anyone concerned about their overall health should consider a CMP. Dr. Heard typically includes the CMP in routine blood work-ups. 

She might order the CMP test if you have symptoms of a medical condition that affects the liver, kidneys, or blood sugar levels. CMP is generally not recommended for pregnant women, as their results may not be accurate.

What do CMP results mean?

CMP results can vary from person to person, depending on age, gender, and overall health status. If your results indicate abnormal levels, Dr. Heard may order further testing, recommend lifestyle changes, or prescribe medication. Here’s a brief look at what each biomarker can indicate:


High blood sugar levels may indicate diabetes or prediabetes.

BUN and creatinine

These tests measure kidney function. High levels may indicate kidney damage or disease.

AST, ALT, and alkaline phosphatase

These tests measure liver function, and higher levels may indicate liver damage, disease, or obstruction.


Low and high levels of electrolytes — sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, and chloride — can indicate dehydration, overhydration, or liver/kidney diseases.


Too much bilirubin — which is a waste product in your blood — can cause jaundice, which makes your skin and eye whites yellow. 

Total protein and albumin

Lower levels of protein and albumin may indicate liver or kidney disease.

If you have concerns about your body’s organ function, blood sugar levels, or related issues, talk with Dr. Heard about whether you need a CMP test. To learn more, call 602-298-8977 or book an appointment online with Glendale Obstetrics and Gynecology, PC today.