RF. ESR. Anti-CCP. ANA. CPR. No, these aren’t codes used by secret agents to communicate their missions. They’re names of blood tests used in diagnosing and managing rheumatoid arthritis. When you’re new to this disease, they can seem as mysterious and impenetrable as a secret language. What do they measure? What do the numbers mean? What’s normal, what isn’t? This post is all about demystifying RA blood tests .
RA Blood Tests
There are a number of blood tests that can be used when doctors are trying to find out if you have RA, as well as indicators of how the disease is managed. Some of the most common blood tests are:
Rheumatoid Factor (RF) . RF is a type of antibody that may be associated with inflammation. This is usually one of the first tests your family doctor will order if they suspect you might have inflammatory arthritis. However, it’s important to know that 20-30 percent of people with RA are negative for RF (also called seron...
For some of us who have migraines, the nausea that often occurs during migraine attacks can be the worst of our symptoms. It can be more severe and debilitating than the pain of a migraine attack. Moreover, it can truly wreak havoc with any oral medications we might take during a migraine. Many migraineurs have commented that keeping their meds down during a migraine is one of their biggest treatment challenges because of severe nausea and vomiting.
BUT, Here's a Vital Question:
Is the severe nausea and the accompanying vomiting truly making the meds, "not stay down?" The very, very important answer to that questions is, " Probably not entirely. " You may have read about gastric stasis and how it can keep oral medications from absorbing correctly and being optimally effective. That's not uncommon, but even if gastric stasis is a problem, SOME of the medication can enter our system within seconds of swallowing it.
Here's a Huge Problem:
Some of the same migraineurs who have commented t...
Let’s first take a look at what drives your blood pressure. Unlike a river, which flows continuously downstream, blood flow is pulsatile, with ebb and flow driven by pumping heart muscle. This cycle repeats itself 60 or so times each minute, every time your heart beats. With each heartbeat occurring about once per second, the heart squeezes, or contracts, within a split-second. The rapid contraction forces about 90 cc of blood (approximately 1/3 cup) up, pushing the aortic valve open, and blood passes up into the aorta and rapidly distributes upward to the brain (via the carotid arteries on either side of the neck), the arms, and downward to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs. The force of heart contraction and its rapid distribution to the body is measured as systolic pressure, or the top number in blood pressure. As the 90 cc or so of ejected blood distributes rapidly throughout the body, pressure in all the arteries drops over the ensuing half second, and the aortic valve closes. Th...
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