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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...
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressive motor neuron disease affecting as many as 20,000-30,000 people in the United States. One of the most common neuromuscular diseases worldwide, ALS affects people of all races and ethnic backgrounds, typically between the ages of 40 and 60.
ALS attacks the nerve cells (motor neurons) that control voluntary movement and strength. Motor neurons are located in the spinal cord and brain. In ALS, motor neurons gradually die which interferes with muscle control and movement, ultimately leading to death. The cause of ALS is still unknown although research has identified a genetic risk factor in familial (inherited) cases of ALS which account for 5-10% of all ALS cases diagnosed.
New research published in the Annals of Neurology suggests that the consumption of foods containing colorful carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene and lutein, may prevent or delay the ons...
Definition The RBC urine test measures the number of red blood cells in a urine sample. Alternative Names Red blood cells in urine; Hematuria test; Urine - red blood cells How the test is performed A clean-catch urine sample is needed. To obtain a sample, boys and men should wipe the head of the penis clean. Girls and women need to wipe between the vaginal "lips" (labia) with soapy water and rinse well. Your doctor may give you a special clean-catch kit that contains a cleansing solution and sterile wipes. Urinate a small amount into the toilet bowl to clear the urethra of any contaminants. Then, collect a sample of urine in a clean or sterile container. About 1 - 2 ounces of urine is needed for a test. Remove the container from the urine stream without stopping the flow. You may finish urinating into the toilet bowl. Take the sample to the lab. For infants, the genital area is cleaned and dried, and then a collection device is attached to collect the urine. If you are asked to collect the ur...
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