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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...
Urine collection - clean catch; Clean catch urine specimen
Normal values will depend on the specific test ordered, for example, whether you've had a urinalysis or urine culture.
What abnormal results mean
If the urine sample was sent for urinalysis, abnormal results may indicate the presence of white blood cells, red blood cells, or excessive amounts of protein.
If the urine sample was sent for urine culture, abnormal results may indicate excessive growth of bacteria, a urinary tract infection , or a bladder infection.
A time of mixed feelings. That is how I would describe my outlook on life at this holiday time. I've recently returned from a twelve day cruise; that could easily cause a letdown feeling. My dad is dying; his death is expected within days. That certainly brings feelings of sadness. And then there's Christmas, the celebration of Christ's birth...and the joy of God's promise to love us always. I can only feel that happiness from moment to moment. I wrap gifts with little enthusiasm. I shop with even less. I bake cookies just so I will have some. Top all of this off with the problems that dementia and little to no short term memory causes and no wonder I have such mixed emotions this year. Granted, many people are going through similar situations and feelings, people who do NOT have dementia. Maybe they are better able to handle all of this than I am...
Dementia is definitely having an effect on my life now. It causes me to doubt myself all the time! For example, one...
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