Hair Loss (Alopecia) Blood Test Panel
The Hair Loss (Alopecia) Blood Test Panel includes Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential and Platelets, Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH), Testosterone Total, Iron and TIBC, Sedimentation Rate (ESR), and Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA).
Alopecia areata (Alopecia) is an autoimmune condition in which your hair falls out in clumps the size and shape of a quarter. The degree of hair loss varies from person to person. Some individuals lose it in a few places, while others suffer a significant loss. For some, hair grows back but then falls out again. In others, the hair grows back for good.
The disorder develops when white blood cells attack the cells in hair follicles, causing them to shrink and hair development to drop substantially. It's unclear what triggers the immune system to attack hair follicles in this manner.
Hair loss can be sudden, occurring in a matter of days or over a period of weeks. Before hair loss, there may be itching or burning in the area. Because the hair follicles are not destroyed, hair can regrow if the follicle inflammation calms. People who only have a few patches of hair loss often recover entirely on their own without any therapy.
This hair loss (alopecia) panel includes:
Complete Blood Count (CBC) With Differential and Platelets
A CBC is a comprehensive screening test that can help diagnose a wide range of illnesses and diseases, including anemia, leukemia, bleeding disorders, and infections. The CBC provides the following information:
- White Blood Cells (WBC) - The body's primary defense against disease and helps to fight infection.
- Red Blood Cells (RBC) - Responsible for carrying oxygen to and carbon dioxide away from all cells. Iron deficiency will lower the RBC count.
- Hemoglobin - A chemical compound inside red cells that transports oxygen through the bloodstream to all cells of the body. Hemoglobin gives the red color to blood.
- Hematocrit - Measures the amount of space red blood cells take up in the blood. It is reported as a percentage.
- Lymphocytes - This result, along with basophils, eosinophils, monocytes, and neutrophils, deal with white blood cell function.
- Monocytes - This result, along with basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, and neutrophils, deal with white blood cell function.
- Neutrophils - This result, along with basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes, deal with white blood cell function.
- Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) - The average hemoglobin concentration within a red blood cell.
- Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) - The average hemoglobin concentration percentage within a red blood cell.
- Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) - The average size of red blood cells.
- Platelets - Blood cell particles associated with the forming of blood clots.
- Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW) - Measures the amount of red blood cell variation in volume and size.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
TSH is used to diagnose a thyroid disorder in a person with symptoms, screen newborns for an underactive thyroid, monitor thyroid replacement therapy in people with hypothyroidism, help evaluate the function of the pituitary gland (occasionally), and screen adults for thyroid disorders.
Testosterone testing may be done to screen for infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or to evaluate women with irregular or no menstruation. Testosterone testing may be used as a screening for testicular tumors.
This test is typically ordered to monitor testosterone levels in men who have been diagnosed with hypogonadism or are showing symptoms such as infertility, erectile dysfunction, decrease in muscle mass, lack of facial or body hair growth, osteoporosis, decreased sex drive, or fatigue. This test is also ordered for women who are showing symptoms of abnormal testosterone levels such as abnormal facial or body hair growth, thinning hair, acne, abnormal menstrual
Women taking estrogen therapy, however, may exhibit increased testosterone levels.
This blood test checks for abnormal levels of testosterone, which may affect sexual libido, cause erectile problems and infertility in men, and may promote male characteristics in women such as excessive hair.
Iron and Total Iron-Binding Capacity (TIBC) Blood Test
The Iron and TIBC Blood Test is ordered to assess the body's ability to bind and transport iron in the blood. It is used when an iron deficiency or iron overload is suspected.
The Iron and TIBC Blood Test goes by many names: TIBC and Iron, TIBC and Fe, Fe and TIBC, Iron Indices, Iron Profile, Transferrin Saturation, TIBC (Total Iron-Binding Capacity), and UIBC (Unsaturated Iron-Binding Capacity).
The Iron and TIBC Blood Test quantifies iron serum and total iron-binding capacity (TIBC). Iron serum measures iron levels in the blood, while TIBC measures the total amount of iron that transferrin can bind (transferrin is the primary protein that binds to iron and transports it throughout the body). These quantities are used to calculate transferrin saturation, an indicator of the body’s iron status. In iron-deficiency states, iron levels are low while the TIBC is higher, resulting in low transferrin saturation. In iron overload states, iron levels are high while the TIBC is low or normal, resulting in increased transferrin saturation.
Sedimentation Rate Blood Test, Westergren
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) westergren is an easy, inexpensive, nonspecific test that has been used for many years to help diagnose conditions associated with acute and chronic inflammation, including infections, cancers, and autoimmune diseases. ESR is said to be nonspecific because increases do not tell the health provider exactly where the inflammation is or what is causing it, and also because it can be affected by conditions other than inflammation. Because it is nonspecific, ESR is typically used in conjunction with other tests. ESR aids in diagnosing two specific inflammatory diseases, polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritism, a high ESR being one of the main test results used to support the diagnosis. The test is also used to monitor disease activity and response to therapy in both polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritism.
A sed rate test is typically ordered when someone is suspected of having a condition which is causing inflammation or to monitor treatment for various conditions which cause inflammation. A sed rate test isn't a stand-alone diagnostic tool, but it can help your doctor diagnose or monitor the progress of an inflammatory disease. It is used to detect the presence of inflammation caused by one or more conditions such as infections, tumors or autoimmune diseases; to help diagnose and monitor specific conditions such as temporal arteritis, systemic vasculitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, or rheumatoid arthritis.
ANA Screen, IFA, with Reflex to Titer and Pattern Blood Test
The test for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) is done to help diagnose if you have an autoimmune disease. Antinuclear antibodies are found in individuals whose immune system can not distinguish between their healthy cells and virus and bacterial cells. Your body will produce proteins that attack your healthy cells when this happens. These proteins are also referred to as antibodies.
Redness and swelling, known as inflammation, occur when the proteins attack cells in the body.
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