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Nicolette Star Maggiolo, RD, LDN

The Importance of a CMP Blood Test: A Registered Dietitian’s Guide

Explore more personalized nutrition with our comprehensive guide to a CMP blood test. This comprehensive test offers a detailed analysis of your metabolic profile, covering essential biomarkers like glucose, electrolytes, liver and kidney function. Learn about the 14 tests included in the CMP, understand how they influence your health, and discover the difference between a CMP and a Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP). Understand how, with insights from the CMP, Registered Dietitians (RDs) craft tailored nutrition plans, addressing specific concerns and optimizing your health outcomes.
5 minutes read
Nutrition
Evidence Based
An image of the Author and Top Nutrition Coaching nutritionist, Nicolette
Nicolette Star Maggiolo, RD, LDN

The Importance of a CMP Blood Test: A Registered Dietitian’s Guide

Explore more personalized nutrition with our comprehensive guide to a CMP blood test. This comprehensive test offers a detailed analysis of your metabolic profile, covering essential biomarkers like glucose, electrolytes, liver and kidney function. Learn about the 14 tests included in the CMP, understand how they influence your health, and discover the difference between a CMP and a Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP). Understand how, with insights from the CMP, Registered Dietitians (RDs) craft tailored nutrition plans, addressing specific concerns and optimizing your health outcomes.
An image of the Author and Top Nutrition Coaching nutritionist, Nicolette
Nicolette Star Maggiolo, RD, LDN

The Importance of a CMP Blood Test: A Registered Dietitian’s Guide

Explore more personalized nutrition with our comprehensive guide to a CMP blood test. This comprehensive test offers a detailed analysis of your metabolic profile, covering essential biomarkers like glucose, electrolytes, liver and kidney function. Learn about the 14 tests included in the CMP, understand how they influence your health, and discover the difference between a CMP and a Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP). Understand how, with insights from the CMP, Registered Dietitians (RDs) craft tailored nutrition plans, addressing specific concerns and optimizing your health outcomes.
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Understanding the Importance of a CMP Blood Test in Personalized Nutrition

A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) is a powerful tool that provides detailed insights into an individual's metabolic profile. This comprehensive blood test evaluates key biomarkers such as glucose, calcium, electrolytes, liver function indicators, and kidney function markers. Each of these components plays a critical role in maintaining overall health and well-being. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of CMP blood test in personalized nutrition and how it can help Registered Dietitians (RDs) tailor personalized nutrition plans to meet the unique needs of their clients.

What 14 Tests are in a Comprehensive Metabolic Blood Test (CMP)?

The CMP offers a comprehensive view of an individual's health status by measuring key biomarkers:

  1. Alkaline phosphatase(ALP) - ALP is an enzyme found in various tissues throughout the body, including the liver, bones, kidneys, and digestive system. Elevated levels of ALP in the blood may indicate liver damage, bone disorders, or other conditions.
  2. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) - ALT is an enzyme primarily found in the liver. Elevated levels of ALT in the blood can indicate liver damage or disease, such as hepatitis or cirrhosis.
  3. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) - AST is an enzyme found in various tissues, including the liver, heart, muscles, and kidneys. Elevated levels of AST in the blood can indicate liver damage, heart issues, or muscle injury.
  4. Bilirubin - Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment produced during the normal breakdown of red blood cells. Elevated levels of bilirubin in the blood can indicate liver disease or other conditions affecting the liver's ability to process bilirubin.
  5. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) - BUN is a waste product produced when the liver breaks down proteins. Elevated levels of BUN in the blood can indicate kidney dysfunction or dehydration.
  6. Creatinine - Creatinine is a waste product produced by muscles. Elevated levels of creatinine in the blood can indicate kidney dysfunction or muscle damage.
  7. Sodium - Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a crucial role in maintaining fluid balance in the body. Abnormal levels of sodium in the blood can indicate dehydration, kidney issues, or hormonal imbalances
  8. Potassium - Potassium is an electrolyte essential for nerve and muscle function. Abnormal levels of potassium in the blood can indicate kidney disease, heart issues, or other conditions.
  9. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) - Carbon dioxide is a waste product produced by the body's metabolism. Abnormal levels of CO2 in the blood can indicate respiratory or metabolic issues.
  10. Chloride - Chloride is an electrolyte that works with sodium to maintain fluid balance and acid-base balance in the body. Abnormal levels of chloride in the blood can indicate dehydration, kidney issues, or metabolic disorders.
  11. Albumin - Albumin is a protein produced by the liver that helps maintain fluid balance in the body. Abnormal levels of albumin in the blood can indicate liver or kidney disease, or inflammation.
  12.  Total protein - Total protein measures the total amount of protein in the blood, including albumin and other proteins. Abnormal levels of total protein can indicate liver or kidney disease, malnutrition, or inflammation
  13. Glucose - Glucose is a sugar that serves as a primary source of energy for the body's cells. Abnormal levels of glucose in the blood can indicate diabetes or other metabolic disorders.
  14. Calcium - Calcium is a mineral essential for bone health, muscle function, and nerve signaling. Abnormal levels of calcium in the blood can indicate bone disorders, thyroid issues, or other conditions.

What does a CMP Blood Test check for?

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Results

Glucose Monitoring:

  • Glucose is the body's primary energy source, and abnormal levels can indicate underlying issues like diabetes mellitus.
  • Effective management of diabetes is crucial for weight control, cardiovascular health, and overall mortality.

Electrolyte Balance:

  • Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride are essential for muscle and nerve function, as well as fluid balance.
  • Imbalances in electrolytes can lead to health complications such as muscle weakness, cardiac arrhythmias, and dehydration.

Liver Function:

  • The CMP includes markers that assess liver health, such as alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST).
  • Elevated liver enzymes may indicate liver damage or inflammation, which could stem from conditions like fatty liver disease or hepatitis.

Kidney Function:

  • Creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels are measured in the CMP to assess kidney function.
  • Abnormalities in these markers may indicate impaired kidney function or renal disease, which can lead to fluid imbalances and electrolyte disturbances.

What is tested in a Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)?

A Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) is a simpler version of the CMP blood test and includes tests for glucose, calcium, electrolytes, and kidney function markers. It does not include liver function tests. A BMP provides a snapshot of an individual's metabolic health and is often used as a screening tool to assess overall health and identify potential issues that may require further evaluation.

What is the difference between a CMP Blood Test and BMP Blood Test?

A Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) and a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) are similar but different. They're both considered routine, go-to blood tests for evaluating key biomarkers. The primary difference, however, is that a CMP includes 14 individual tests — the same eight tests as a BMP blood test, plus six more tests. The additional six tests measure certain proteins and liver enzymes in your blood.

What other tests might I have along with this test?

In addition to a CMP, conducting a ferritin test or a thyroid labs can offer valuable insights into specific aspects of health that may not be fully captured by the CMP alone:

Ferritin Test:

  • Measures iron stores in the body and provides crucial information about iron status.
  • Low ferritin levels may indicate iron deficiency anemia, while elevated levels may suggest iron overload disorders.

Thyroid Labs:

  • A thyroid panel evaluates thyroid function, which is essential for regulating metabolism and energy production.
  • Abnormalities in thyroid hormone levels can indicate thyroid dysfunction, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

By incorporating these additional tests alongside the CMP, healthcare professionals can gain a more comprehensive understanding of an individual's metabolic health and tailor interventions accordingly.

How can I get a CMP test?

three young healthy women

The CMP uses blood samples that are normally obtained in medical laboratories, offices, or clinics. The test is administered by doctors and analysis is carried out in laboratories.

What might affect my test results?

Eating or exercising during or immediately before the test may impact the outcome. Some medications may also cause side effects. 

Do I need to fast for a comprehensive metabolic panel?

It is likely that you will be asked to avoid eating or drinking for 10 - 12 hours before taking your blood sample so that your glucose blood draw results do not reflect any sugars from food or fluids that you've recently eaten.

Should I be concerned if I have abnormal comprehensive metabolic panel test results?

When you have abnormal results, you do not necessarily have health issues or diseases. Some other factors, like recent dietary intake or medications, can affect your test result. It is also possible that an error was made when the test was collected, transported or processed. 

It’s important to consult with your dietitian or healthcare professional if you ever have any abnormal results. They can help you better understand what the results mean, request additional testing if necessary, and recommend next steps. 

How does a Registered Dietitian use the results of a CMP Test?

A dietitian will adjust someone's nutrition plan based on CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel) blood test results in several ways:

  • Liver Health: If the CMP shows elevated liver enzymes (such as ALT, AST, or ALP), the dietitian may recommend reducing alcohol consumption, avoiding high-fat foods, and increasing intake of liver-supportive nutrients like antioxidants (e.g., vitamins A, C, and E) and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Kidney Function: Abnormal BUN and creatinine levels may indicate kidney dysfunction. The dietitian may suggest reducing protein intake and monitoring phosphorus and potassium levels, as well as ensuring adequate hydration and avoiding excessive sodium intake.
  • Electrolyte Balance: Abnormal levels of sodium, potassium, chloride, or carbon dioxide can indicate electrolyte imbalances. The dietitian may recommend adjusting the intake of foods rich in these electrolytes to help restore balance.
  • Blood Sugar Control: Elevated glucose levels may indicate diabetes or impaired glucose metabolism. The dietitian can provide guidance on carbohydrate intake, meal timing, and portion control to help manage blood sugar levels.
  • Bone Health: Abnormal calcium or albumin levels may affect bone health. The dietitian may recommend increasing calcium-rich foods and vitamin D intake, as well as ensuring adequate protein intake to support bone health.
  • General Nutrition: The dietitian will also consider the individual's overall nutritional status and health goals when adjusting their nutrition plan, taking into account factors such as age, gender, activity level, and any underlying medical conditions.

Without the insight from CMP blood test results, an individual may fail to see their desired results because their nutrition plan may not be tailored to address specific nutrient deficiencies, organ function issues, or metabolic imbalances revealed by the test. For example, someone with undiagnosed kidney dysfunction who continues to consume high-protein foods may worsen their condition, leading to poor health outcomes. Similarly, someone with uncontrolled diabetes may struggle to manage their blood sugar levels without appropriate dietary modifications informed by blood test results. In essence, CMP blood test results provide valuable information that allows dietitians to customize nutrition plans to optimize health outcomes.

Develop a personalized nutrition plan with the results from your CMP Test

In conclusion, a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) is a valuable tool that provides a detailed assessment of an individual's metabolic health. By analyzing the data provided by the CMP blood test, Registered Dietitians (RDs) can develop personalized nutrition plans that address specific metabolic concerns while promoting overall health and well-being. Incorporating additional tests such as ferritin and thyroid panels can offer further insights into specific aspects of health, allowing RDs to provide more comprehensive care to their clients. By leveraging the information provided by these tests, RDs can empower their clients to make informed dietary choices and achieve optimal health outcomes.

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Top Nutrition Coaching’s Annual Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship

Scholarship award: $1000
The Top Nutrition Coaching First-Gen Futures Scholarship is a quarterly recurring scholarship open to all first-generation students whose parents did not receive a four-year bachelor’s degree. The next deadline to apply is October  1, and winners will be announced on October 31.
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About the first-gen futures scholarship

Scholarship award available for both college and high school students
Being the first in your family to attend college is an inspiring feat, often with its own unique challenges. First-generation students may not have the same guidance in navigating parts of the higher education system as other students, such as the application process, obtaining financial aid, and even what to expect in college itself.

Financial constraints can also be a significant roadblock for such students, which may limit their choices, force them to balance jobs, family responsibilities, and school work all at once, and make the college experience much more stressful.

Despite these struggles, first-generation college students have proven time and again to be extremely resilient, determined, and hard-working. They embody a spirit of ambition and perseverance as they work toward creating the future they want for themselves and their families.

The First-Gen Futures Scholarship aims to recognize and support exceptional students who are overcoming the barriers of being the first in their families to attend college. By providing financial assistance to deserving individuals, we seek to alleviate some financial stress so that these students can focus more on their studies.

Previous Top Nutrition Coaching scholarship winners

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Mayci H.
Awarded:
$500
On:
October 12, 2022
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Jordan C.
Awarded:
$500
On:
December 20, 2022
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Bethanie S.
Awarded:
$500
On:
December 27, 2022
Romeo G.
Awarded:
$500
On:
February 8, 2023
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Ian C.
Awarded:
$500
On:
December 28, 2022
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Kristopher W.
Awarded:
$500
On:
December 14, 2022
Scholarship details:
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Amount: $1,000
Winner Announcement Date: October 31
Recurring: Quarterly
Read FAQ
6
Scholarships Awarded
6
Winners
$6,000
Total Awards
Eligibility requirements:
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To qualify for this scholarship, please review the following eligibility criteria carefully. Ensure you meet these requirements prior to submitting your application.
A first-generation college student (meaning neither of their parents has obtained a four-year college degree)
A high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student
Applicant must be a current U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident
How to Apply:
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You can apply for this scholarship on the Bold.org scholarship platform. Follow the directions and submit your application for the First-Gen Futures Scholarship, along with a short essay answering the following prompts:
Why have you chosen to pursue higher education?
How have you prepared yourself for college as a first-generation student?
Scholarship frequently asked questions:
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When is the scholarship deadline?
The application will be open through October 1.
What is the scholarship prize? 
The scholarship award is $1,000.
When will the winner be chosen and notified?
Prior to the announcement date, we may contact finalists with additional questions about their application. Recipients will be chosen based on the merit of their application. 
How will the scholarship be paid?
The prize check will be sent to the scholarship winner’s college institution in their name and in the name of their institution (depending on the school’s requirements).
Is this a recurring scholarship?
Yes, the First-Gen Futures Scholarship is a quarterly scholarship.
How will my scholarship application be verified?
A high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student
How can I get in touch with questions?
If you have any questions about this scholarship, please email hello@topnutritioncoaching.com, and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.
How will my application information be used?
Top Nutrition Coaching manages this scholarship with the support of the Bold.org scholarship platform. Bold.org takes student confidentiality and privacy incredibly seriously. Please refer to the application page on Bold.org for full details.

Top Nutrition Coaching’s Annual Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship

Scholarship award: $1000
The Top Nutrition Coaching Annual Hero's Legacy Scholarship is open to any high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student who is a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident and the child of at least one parent who has served in the U.S. military. The next deadline to apply is September 1st 2024, and winners will be announced on October 1st 2024.
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About the Annual Hero's Legacy Scholarship

Scholarship award available for both college and high school students
Military families embody resilience, strength, and unwavering support for their loved ones in uniform. There are many overlooked sacrifices they make that should be recognized and rewarded. Military families endure extended deployments, adjust to new environments, and face uncertainty on a frequent basis.

The children of military families often adapt to new schools and environments, embodying the values of adaptability and perseverance, and experience the emotional toll of their loved one being deployed in dangerous situations.

The Heroes' Legacy Scholarship is a tribute to the extraordinary dedication and sacrifice of military families who stand alongside their loved ones in service to our country. Unfortunately, there are many struggles that military families endure while a parent or guardian serves in the armed forces.

In recognition of the burden higher education can place on military families, this scholarship seeks to give back to these dedicated families to honor their sacrifices.

Any high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student who is a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident and the child of at least one parent who has served in the U.S. military may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us about your experience as the child of a military parent.

Previous Top Nutrition Coaching scholarship winners

The image features a profile icon of a young Caucasian woman with long blonde hair, styled in loose waves. She is wearing makeup with prominent lipstick and is smiling. She has a badge overlay indicating that she is a scholarship recipient, marked by a medal symbol to denote achievement or honor.
Mayci H.
Awarded:
$500
On:
October 12, 2022
The image depicts a profile icon of a Caucasian woman with shoulder-length blonde hair. She has a friendly smile and is wearing what appears to be a white top. She also has a badge overlay indicating that she is a scholarship recipient, which includes a medal icon to symbolize her achievement.
Jordan C.
Awarded:
$500
On:
December 20, 2022
The image shows a profile icon of a young Caucasian woman with long blonde hair, smiling. She has a badge overlay, suggesting she is a student who has received a scholarship. The badge includes a medal symbol to signify achievement or honor.
Bethanie S.
Awarded:
$500
On:
December 27, 2022
Romeo G.
Awarded:
$500
On:
February 8, 2023
The image displays a profile icon of a young Caucasian man with curly brown hair, dressed in a dark suit and tie. He is smiling and standing outdoors, with greenery in the background. He also features a badge overlay indicating that he is a scholarship recipient, complete with a medal symbol to highlight his achievement.
Ian C.
Awarded:
$500
On:
December 28, 2022
The image features a profile icon of a young Black man wearing a suit and tie, with an afro hairstyle. He has a badge icon overlay, indicating that he is a student who has won a scholarship. The badge includes a medal symbol, typically used to represent achievement or honor.
Kristopher W.
Awarded:
$500
On:
December 14, 2022
Scholarship details:
A white icon of a plus sign within a circle, used as a button to expand content.
Amount: $1,000
Winner Announcement Date: October  1st 2024
Recurring: Quarterly
Read FAQ
6
Scholarships Awarded
6
Winners
$6,000
Total Awards
Eligibility requirements:
A white icon of a plus sign within a circle, used as a button to expand content.
To qualify for this scholarship, please review the following eligibility criteria carefully. Ensure you meet these requirements prior to submitting your application.
Family Background: At least one parent has served in the U.S. military
A high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student
Applicant must be a current U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident
How to Apply:
A white icon of a plus sign within a circle, used as a button to expand content.
You can apply for this scholarship on the Bold.org scholarship platform. Follow the directions and submit your application for Annual Hero's Legacy Scholarship, along with a short essay answering the following prompts:
Why have you chosen to pursue higher education?
How have you prepared yourself for college as a first-generation student?
Scholarship frequently asked questions:
A white icon of a plus sign within a circle, used as a button to expand content.
When is the scholarship deadline?
The application deadline is Sep 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on Sep 30, 2024.
What is the scholarship prize? 
The scholarship award is $1,000.
When will the winner be chosen and notified?
Your privacy is a top priority on the Bold.org platform, and you can find our privacy policy in full here. You may opt out of communications from Bold.org at any time, and unless we’ve first notified you and gotten your consent, you’ll never receive communication from any third parties related to personal information you give us.
How will the scholarship be paid?
Award checks will be sent to the financial aid office of the winner's academic institution or future academic institution in their name to be applied to their tuition, and in the name of their institution (depending on the school's requirements). If the award is for a qualified educational non-tuition expense, we will work with the winner directly to distribute the award and make sure it goes towards qualified expenses.
Is this a recurring scholarship?
Yes, the Hero's Legacy Scholarship is a  Annual scholarship.
How will my scholarship application be verified?
Before we award the scholarship, the winner will be required to confirm their academic enrollment status. Depending on the circumstances, verification of Student ID and/or their most recent transcript will be required.
How can I get in touch with questions?
If you have any questions about this scholarship, please email hello@topnutritioncoaching.com, and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.
How will my application information be used?
Top Nutrition Coaching manages this scholarship with the support of the Bold.org scholarship platform. Bold.org takes student confidentiality and privacy incredibly seriously. Please refer to the application page on Bold.org for full details.
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