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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...
An insulin testis a blood test that measures the amount of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
How the test is performed
Blood is drawn from a vein on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic, and an elastic band is placed around the upper arm to apply pressure and restrict blood flow through the vein. This causes veins below the band to fill with blood.
A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. After the blood is drawn, the band is removed to restore circulation. Then, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
For an infant or young child:
The area is cleansed with antiseptic and punctured with a sharp needle or a lancet. The blood may be collected in a pipette (small glass tube), on a slide, onto a test strip, or into a small container. Cotton or a bandage may be applied to the puncture site i...
Did you know that Linda Ronstadt, Mary-Louise Parker, Oprah, Kim Cattrall and George and Barbara Bush have thyroid disease? Probably not. Thyroid problems don't make the news, at least not as often as mental health issues do. But if you believe that you have clinical depression, or have been diagnosed with clinical depression, you should make sure that your doctor rules out thyroid disease as a cause or contributing factor.
We are all taught how our brain and the nerves in our body act as an electrical control system for everything we do, but we rarely learn about how our endocrine system controls all of the biological processes in our bodies. The endocrine system consists of a series of glands scattered throughout the body. These glands include the pituitary, the pineal, the hypothalamus, the thyroid, the parathyroid, the pancreas, the testes and ovaries, the liver, the adrenal glands and a host of lesser known glands. Each of these glands release hormones into our blood that ...
You should know
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