Diagnosing and Treating Arthritis
The diagnosis and treatment of arthritis typically involves a hands-on approach. An experienced doctor can get a good idea of what’s going on inside your tender joints and muscles with a combination of physical examination and listening closely to you describe your experience. But there are times when a doctor needs information that only a laboratory examination of bodily fluids and tissues can reveal.
You or your doctor can use lab tests to confirm a diagnosis, monitor the progress of disease or how effective your medications are. Lab tests can also help your doctor determine whether or to what degree your medications may be causing side effects, before they are so serious as to be perceptible at a sensory level.
Blood Screens to Narrow Diagnosis and Design Treatment
Not every form of arthritis requires lab tests for diagnosis. But some types of arthritis and related conditions are more decisively confirmed based on the presence of certain chemicals and reactions in your blood. ARCpoint Labs Arthritis Screening Panel includes tests for:
Rheumatoid factor (RF) –
Designed to detect and measure the level of an antibody that acts against the blood component gamma globulin, this test is often positive in people with rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune diseases. A significant deviation from the normal range may require further evaluation by your physician.
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate –
Also called ESR or “sed rate,” this test measures how fast red blood cells cling together, fall and settle (like sediment) in the bottom of a glass tube over the course of an hour. The higher the sed rate, the greater the amount of inflammation. There are many conditions that can cause an elevated ESR, including an infection or anemia.
Once your doctor determines the nature of your particular disease, he or she is better equipped to make treatment recommendations, and you can be more confident of their efficacy.
Contact Your Local ARCpoint Labs Location for your Arthritis Screening Needs
ARCpoint labs provides arthritis tests and many other wellness tests for women and men at our nationwide labs. Contact your nearest location today.