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What Is Included in a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel?

Medically reviewed on June 27, 2022 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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Blood sample testing is an important tool for healthcare providers to evaluate and better understand aspects of your health. One of the most important of these lab tests is the comprehensive metabolic panel, also known as a CMP Test. Read on to learn more about what the panel includes below.

What Is a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel?

The comprehensive metabolic panel is a blood test that measures substances in the blood that can provide insight into metabolism and chemical balance. Metabolism is the process by which the body breaks down food and turns it into energy that the cells can easily use [1].

What Does a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Measure?

A comprehensive metabolic panel test is relatively expansive in what it measures. It evaluates 14 different substances present in the blood. The test result includes:

  • Blood glucose level, or blood sugar, which is the body’s main source of energy
  • Calcium, an essential mineral that is needed for healthy bones and teeth, as well as the general function in the nerves, muscles, and heart
  • Electrolytes (specifically carbon dioxide, chloride, potassium, and sodium), which control the body’s pH levels, regulate hydration, and support basic nervous system functions
  • Albumin, a protein that is produced in the liver and transports nutrients throughout the body
  • Total protein, which measures the protein of albumin and globulin (an immune system factor)
  • Bilirubin, which is a waste product that naturally comes from the breakdown of proteins
  • Liver enzyme, including alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine transaminase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
  • Blood urea, nitrogen, and creatinine, three waste products that are usually filtered out of the blood through kidney function

Any abnormal levels with any of these substances may point to serious underlying health problems [1].

Why Do You Need a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel?

Your healthcare provider may order a comprehensive metabolic panel as part of a regular checkup. Suppose you are using certain types of medication. In that case, your healthcare provider may also ask for a CMP to monitor the effectiveness of treatment and any potential side effects you may be experiencing.

If your provider believes you may have kidney or liver problems, they may order a CMP to check.

Generally, your healthcare provider can use a CMP to check for:

  • Liver and kidney function
  • Metabolism
  • pH balance
  • Glucose levels, which can help to determine potential diabetes
  • Blood proteins
  • Fluid and electrolyte balance

What to Expect

A comprehensive metabolic panel offers a simple blood draw. Your healthcare provider may ask you to fast, meaning you can’t eat or drink anything other than water. Food can cause some of the substances, like glucose, to fluctuate, which can throw off the results.

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1. Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP). MedlinePlus. URL. Accessed June 27, 2022.

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