Arthritis Wellness #2 Blood Test Panel
The Arthritis Wellness #2 Blood Test Panel helps to screen for, diagnose, and monitor rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and autoimmune diseases.
What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic type of arthritis characterized by stiffness, pain, and immobility in the joints. RA differs from most common types of arthritis caused by normal wear and tear on the joints as individuals age. Instead, RA is an autoimmune disorder marked by inflammation and degeneration of the joints due to the immune system attacking otherwise healthy joint tissue. As the disease progresses, a person's cartilage, bones, and ligaments can wear away and cause the joint to bend, twist, or scar over time.
RA usually occurs proportionally. For example, the right wrist is likely affected if the left wrist is affected. Although RA primarily affects the wrists and fingers, it can also impact other joints, such as the:
RA may also cause other health conditions in the:
- Blood vessels
What conditions cause rheumatoid arthritis?
While the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, researchers believe this condition may develop when a person with an increased risk for RA is exposed to environmental factors that trigger inflammation. For example, increasing age, female sex, and genetics increase a person’s risk for RA. At the same time, environmental triggers that can lead to inflammation and RA include certain bacterial infections, cigarette smoking, and stress. However, just because someone has risk factors and is exposed to environmental triggers does not mean they will develop RA. Similarly, some people develop RA with no known risk factors or triggers.
The Arthritis Wellness #2 Blood Test Panel includes:
C-Reactive Protein - used as a test for infections, inflammatory diseases, and neoplastic diseases. CRP is a more sensitive, rapidly responding indicator than ESR. CRP may be used to detect early postoperative wound infection and to follow therapeutic responses to anti-inflammatory agents. Progressive increases correlate with increases in inflammation/injury.
Rheumatoid Factor - the test for (RA) rheumatoid factor is used to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. The test may also help diagnose an arthritis-related condition, Sjogren's syndrome. About 80% to 90% of patients with this syndrome have high amounts of RA in their blood.
ANA-Antinuclear Antibodies - is used to help diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and drug-induced lupus, but may also be positive in cases of scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, Reynaud's disease, juvenile chronic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, autoimmune hepatitis, and many other autoimmune and non-autoimmune diseases. For this reason, SLE, commonly known as lupus, can be tricky to diagnose correctly. However, because the ANA test result may be positive in many of these other diseases, additional testing can help establish a diagnosis of SLE. In addition, healthcare providers may run other tests considered subsets of the general ANA test and use them with patient symptoms and clinical history to rule out a diagnosis of other autoimmune diseases.
Sedimentation Rate - a blood test used to screen for inflammation, cancer, and infection. A high sedimentation rate is found in wide varieties of inflammatory, infectious, and malignant diseases - the presence of an abnormality that needs further evaluation.
Wellness #2 Essential Panel:
A detailed assessment of overall health and contains 55 separate laboratory tests, including:
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (14 tests) Includes:
- Glucose - blood sugar level, the most direct test to discover diabetes, may be used not only to identify diabetes but also to evaluate how one controls the disease.
- Uric Acid - the blood uric acid test measures the amount of uric acid in a blood sample. Uric acid is produced from the natural breakdown of the body's cells and the foods individuals eat.
- Fluids & Electrolytes:
- Sodium - one of the major salts in the body fluid, sodium is essential in the body's water balance and the electrical activity of nerves and muscles.
- Potassium - helps to control the nerves and muscles.
- Chloride - similar to sodium, helps maintain the body's electrolyte balance.
- Carbon Dioxide, Total -used to help detect, evaluate, and monitor electrolyte imbalances.
Lipid Panel With Total Cholesterol: HDL Ratio:
- Cholesterol, Total - a sterol in the blood. Knowing the cholesterol level may be as important as knowing the blood pressure. Elevated cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
- Triglycerides - fat in the blood that provides energy to the body's cells. Triglycerides should be less than 400 mg/dl even while in a non-fasting state.
- HDL Cholesterol - High-density lipoproteins are believed to take cholesterol away from cells and transport it back to the liver for removal or processing. They are known as the "good" cholesterol, as people with high levels of HDL may have less heart disease. Low HDL could be the result of a lack of exercise and smoking.
- LDL Cholesterol - Low-density lipoproteins contain the most significant percentage of cholesterol and may be responsible for depositing cholesterol on the artery walls. They are known as the "bad" cholesterol.
- Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio - calculated by dividing the total cholesterol by the HDL cholesterol. This is the ratio used by physicians in determining the relative risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Complete Blood Count (CBC) With Differential and Platelets - A complete blood count (CBC) will give important information about the kinds and numbers of cells in the blood, especially red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. A CBC helps health professionals check any symptoms, such as fatigue, weakness, or bruising, that you may have. A CBC also helps diagnose conditions such as anemia, infection, and many other disorders.
Mineral and Bone - Total Iron, Calcium, and Phosphorus
When should I order an Arthritis #2 Blood Test Panel?
Individuals may order this test if they have experienced symptoms related to rheumatoid arthritis. Common signs or symptoms may include:
- Recurring stiffness in the mornings lasting for 30 minutes or longer
- Periodic fever
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Firm lumps underneath the skin
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