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...
Alternative Names Acquired qualitative platelet disorders; Acquired disorders of platelet function Symptoms Abnormal menstrual periods Heavy menstrual periods Prolonged menstrual bleeding (more than 5 days per menstrual period) Abnormal vaginal bleeding Bleeding in the urine Bleeding under the skin or in the muscles (soft tissues) Gastrointestinal bleeding Bloody, dark black, or tarry bowel movements Vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds Nosebleeds Prolonged bleeding, easy bruising Skin rash Bruises Pinpoint red spots (petechiae) Signs and tests Bleeding time Platelet aggregation test Platelet count PT and PTT
[Humor] We're all familiar with -- or should be familiar with -- the standard lab tests to assess our diabetes control. You know, the hemoglobin A1c, the lipid level tests, blood pressure, kidney function tests, and so forth. Sometimes it seems as if every time we work hard to get our numbers in the normal range, some authority decides to lower the bar so the doctors can continue to nag us to "get those numbers down." But how many know about these new tests that scientists have designed to make us work even harder? In case your health care team hasn't told you about them, I thought I should fill you in. D1c. The D1c test measures how often you've thought about doughnuts in the past three months divided by 100. Normal values range from 3 to 5. Some people with diabetes have been known to have values as high as 100, thus proving the old saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." The test uses three months because ...
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