A comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a series of blood tests that give your doctor a snapshot of your body’s chemistry and the way it uses your energy. Most people get a CMP as part of their yearly checkup.
The CMP can tell your doctor:
- How your kidneys and liver are working
- Your blood sugar (glucose)
- Your electrolyte levels
- How much protein is in your blood
Your doctor might tell you not to eat or drink anything except water for up to 12 hours before you get this test.
What is Considered Normal?
Your report will usually have one column called a “reference range” and another for your results. If your results are inside the reference range, they’re normal. If they’re above or below it, they’re considered abnormal.
Reference ranges depend on the lab that handles your blood tests. Why? Because different labs use their own special equipment. They also have different ways of analyzing your blood.
There are more than a dozen tests in a CMP. Below are the main tests usually included in a CMP and the general ranges for what’s considered normal.
An important thing to note – always go by the ranges that are on your report because that’s what your doctor will use.
These check 3 substances your liver makes: ALP, ALT, AST and bilirubin, a waste product of your liver. Normal ranges are:
- ALP (alkaline phosphatase): 44 to 147 international
units per liter (IU/L)
- ALT (alanine amino transferase): 7 to 40 IU/L
- AST (aspartate amino transferase): 10 to 34 IU/L
- Bilirubin: 0.3 to 1.9 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
The CMP tests albumin, the main protein made by your liver, and the proteins in your blood in general. If these come back low, it could mean liver or kidney disease or a problem with nutrition. Normal ranges are:
- Albumin: 3.4 to 5.4 grams per deciliter (g/dL)
- Total protein: 6.0 to 8.3 g/dL
This is also commonly called blood sugar. If it’s too high, it could mean you have diabetes. If it’s too low, you could have a condition called hypoglycemia. The normal range is 70 to 99 mg/dL.
This is important for healthy muscles, nerves, and hormones. If calcium is abnormal, you might have a hormone imbalance or problems with your kidneys, bones, or pancreas. The normal range is 8.6 to 10.2 mg/dL.