Can Arthritis be Identified by a Blood Test?



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Can Arthritis be Identified by a Blood Test?Doctors and researchers estimate that there are over 100 different types and forms of arthritis. Because of the variety and the different ways in which the disease presents, there is no conclusive tests to determine that an individual suffers from arthritis.

Arthritic conditions can affect the joints, bones, soft tissue and organ systems depending upon which condition his presence. When a doctor pieces together a diagnoses may use blood tests, imaging studies a thorough history and physical in order to determine an accurate diagnosis.

Arthritis does not usually exist in a vacuum. This means that patients often have more than one medical condition or disease process going on at the same time. Therefore, tests are used to not only identified the disease but to rule out other issues which may be causing the same symptoms. Sometimes doctors have to use it diagnosis of exclusion. This means the doctor will exclude everything else that the condition could be and will be left with the diagnosis it probably is.

Blood tests are used to not only identified the disease but also evaluate the progression and to make decisions about a treatment plan. After an accurate diagnosis is done blood testing can be used to evaluate the efficacy of the medications and therapies and the effects that they have had on patients.

Doctors will usually draw blood at their office, using a nurse or phlebotomist. The blood is put into different files that have different colored tops. Each colored top represents a different type of preservative or reactive agents for the different types of blood tests being drawn. Some tests can take up to 24 hours to get results and others may take up to two weeks.

The first test the physician will often order is a complete blood counts (CBC) which will help determine if the patient has a low red blood count and the status of the white cells use to fight infection. A complete blood count will also give an indication of the level of platelets available to help in clotting. Individuals who suffer from arthritis will often have minor abnormalities in these specific blood counts because of the increased inflammation in the body. Physicians must also use this blood counts to his value way the fact that certain drug therapies will have on the body as well.

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a test which shows the time it takes for red blood cells to settle to the bottom of the tube once the blood is drawn. This time actually measures the amount of inflammation in the body and gives the doctor a measurement tool to compare and evaluate the inflammatory response of the illness over time.

One commonly known test, the rheumatoid factor (RF) is a blood test which detects the antibody in the blood that Psalm individuals with arthritis will have. Unfortunately, it is not a conclusive test of individuals who have rumen toward arthritis be, as it is not present in up to one third of individuals who have rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors will use this test in combination with other results to make decisions about treatment protocols and not as an individual test results.

The anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) are antibodies found in individuals who have arthritic conditions. The test is used as a screening test also for Lupus because the detects inflammation in the joints, soft tissue and organ system.

Doctors may also order a test for Urate, which is a waste product that results from the breakdown of proteins in the body. When you’re a crystals buildup they deposit in the joints and can cause gout.

Doctors don’t usually include genetic testing since there has been only one genetic marker found which indicates an individual may be predisposed to an arthritic condition. That marker is found only in 60% of the people who have that particular diagnoses. Since genetic testing is expensive physicians have rolled it has only research implications at this time and is not conclusive for diagnoses.

Blood tests, or any tests, is not conclusive for arthritis. Positions will use a combination of physical exam, thorough medical history a both patient and their family as well and blood tests to identify any problems with arthritis. They may also use imaging tests that include x-rays, bone scans, MRI, CAT scan and pulmonary function tests.

An accurate diagnosis is the only real way to develop an appropriate treatment plan that will have a positive effect on the treatment of pain and inflammation as well as slow the progression of the disease.

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