Blood tests

As part of a health examination there is a possibility to do a complete blood count, blood glucose and cholesterol count on site, and the SEM doctor can see the results almost immediately. Other samples (including the tests within the package for fitness athletes) are dispatched for processing to our partner medical laboratory SYNLAB Eesti OÜ, and we send the encrypted results to patients by e-mail.

For the purpose of tests, venous blood samples are collected by the nurse when the patient is seated or lying down.

Complete blood count

This is an important test that allows the body’s condition to be evaluated and/or a disease process to be suspected. The blood panel measures hemoglobin level in the patient’s blood, determines the cell count of leukocytes (white blood cells), erythrocytes (red blood cells) and thrombocytes (platelets), and calculates the indices characterizing the blood cells.

Hemoglobin is the protein found in erythrocytes, which transports body oxygen and, to a lesser extent, also carbon dioxide. The level of hemoglobin in the athlete’s blood is an important indicator for identifying the causes of fatigue, poorer performance, rapid heartbeat, muscle cramps and other complaints. Lower than normal hemoglobin level may indicate anemia, and its cause (iron deficiency, blood loss, chronic disease, etc.) needs to be determined by further testing. Hemoglobin level can also drop after increased fluid intake. Hemoglobin concentration reference values depend on age and sex: lower for children than for adults and lower for women (118-150 g/l) than for men (136-163 g/l).

A change in erythrocyte count may indicate a variety of conditions and chronic diseases. In case of anemia, erythrocyte count decreases. Erythrocyte count can increase as the result of dehydration or being in an oxygen-poor environment (for instance, at high altitudes).

Total leukocyte count indicates the likelihood of an inflammatory state (high values), body fatigue and exhaustion (low values), a malignant disease, etc. Leukocyte count can increase after physical exertion.

Thrombocytes influence blood clotting. If their number is low, bleeding may occur easier than normal. If their number is significantly higher than the reference value, there is an increased risk of a blood clot. Unless there are other complaints, slight deviations in the number of thrombocytes may occur in healthy people.

The complete blood count test is normally performed as a part of a health examination package, but it can be done separately if necessary.


The blood test package for fitness athletes consists of 12 tests:


  1. Hemogram
  • General overview of the state of the body
  • Characterises the condition of the immune system
  • Shows the ability of the blood to transport oxygen and the body’s hydration level
  • Allows numerous diseases and conditions that affect blood cells, for example, anemia, infections, inflammations, bleeding disorders, etc., to be diagnosed
  1. Ferritin
  • Characterises the body’s iron reserves
  • The iron status affects oxygen supply to tissues
  • Iron deficiency impairs muscle strength and performance
  • A supplementary test for the identification of the cause of various complaints, for instance, excessive fatigue, general weakness, loss of appetite, poor cold tolerance, etc.
  1. C-reactive protein (high-sensitivity CRP test)
  • Indicator of inflammation or tissue damage
  • Allows the risk of cardiovascular diseases to be assessed
  • For the assessment of the risk of cardiovascular diseases the simultaneous manifestation of inflammatory diseases must be ruled out
  1. Glucose 
  • Body’s main and first-choice source of energy
  • Important metabolic regulator
  • High level may indicate diabetes
  • Low level may occur if the amount of carbohydrates in the diet is not sufficient for the amount of physical activity
  1. Creatine kinase (CK)
  • An enzyme found in muscle cells and providing the energy for muscle work
  • The test is used for monitoring physical effort and recovery after training
  • Elevated levels can be caused by excessive muscle exertion (overstrain)or injury
  1. Calcium (Ca)
  • Necessary for strong bones and healthy teeth
  • Ensures muscle performance
  • Important for blood clotting
  • Calcium deficiency may manifest itself as chronic fatigue, joint, bone and muscle aches, cramps
  1. Magnesium (Mg)
  • Participates in the metabolism of carbohydrates and protein synthesis as well as ensures the normal functioning of nerves and muscles
  • Necessary for bone strength
  • Magnesium deficiency may cause muscle weakness and spasmophilia, chronic fatigue and impaired memory



  1. Urea
  • Protein breakdown end product
  • Reflects the intensity of protein breakdown in the body
  • Can indicate that the workout has damaged the muscles
  • Allows the effectiveness of kidney functioning to be assessed
  • Shows the effectiveness of recovery after training
  1.  Aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT)
  • An enzyme found in muscle cells, which is involved in protein metabolism
  • Moderate increase may indicate the overstrain of skeletal muscles
  • In case of injuries or excessive physical exertion the increase is pronounced
  1. Creatinine
  • End product of metabolism in muscles
  • The amount depends on muscle mass
  • Allows the effectiveness of kidney functioning to be assessed
  1. Vitamin D (25-OH)
  • Contributes to bone strength
  • Affects protein synthesis in muscles, which, in its turn, influences muscle size, response rate, coordination and endurance
  • Regulates the metabolism of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium
  • Low level is associated with an increased risk of numerous conditions, for example, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, etc.
  1. Cholesterol
  • An important risk factor of cardiovascular diseases in case of elevated levels in blood
  • Strengthens cell walls and contributes to cellular metabolism
  • Important for the production of vitamin D, bile acids and sex hormones


How to prepare for blood tests?

It is important to follow the doctor’s recommendations before a blood test so that blood samples are usable. The blood samples for the tests within the fitness athlete’s package should be collected in the morning between 9:30 and 11:00 without eating or drinking before.

In case any deviations are discovered, additional tests can be run. The necessity for additional tests depends on the person’s age, current or past conditions, physical activity, etc.

Laboratory doctors and SEM doctors recommend undertaking the fitness athlete’s package of tests once a year.