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What does a low anion gap mean

what does a low anion gap mean

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What do my blood tests mean?

This is a question almost everyone with lupus will ask especially at the beginning of their journey to better health. Unless you are in the medical field and studied rheumatic diseases, you probably have never heard of some of the blood tests associated with diagnosing, and managing lupus. Due to the complexities of SLE, there are many blood tests that need to be regularly run just to keep track of where, how, and how badly the disease is affecting your body. Lupus can go into any part or organ of the human body, making it impossible to predict, but with the use of proper and continual testing, our specialists can keep track of lupus and manage it properly.

Lupus is difficult to diagnose because of the vagueness of the symptoms each person might have. There is no single test that can diagnose lupus. A diagnosis is usually confirmed based on a complete medical history, reported symptoms, and a physical examination that may include the following:

  • Blood test (to detect for certain antibodies that are present in most people with lupus)
  • Blood and urine tests (to assess kidney function)
  • Complement test (to measure the level of

    complement, a group of proteins in the blood that help destroy foreign substances; low levels of complement in the blood are often associated with lupus)

  • X-rays - a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (also called ESR or sed rate) - a measurement of how quickly red blood cells fall to the bottom of a test tube. When swelling and inflammation are present, the blood's proteins clump together and become heavier than normal. Thus, when measured, they fall and settle faster at the bottom of the test tube. Generally, the faster the blood cells fall, the more severe the inflammation.
  • C-reactive protein (CRP) - is a protein that is elevated when inflammation is found in the body. Although ESR and CRP reflect similar degrees of inflammation, sometimes one will be elevated when the other is not. This test may be repeated to test your response to medication.

    This information is from a wonderful lupus group I joined years ago, it gives some of the best and most in depth info on lupus. I have not been able to find any other blog or site with better or more SLE facts and details.

    Category: Forex

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