Respiratory Illness Testing and health information

Do you have respiratory problems?

Ulta Lab Tests can help you find the right lab tests for respiratory illness, lung infections, pneumonia, and acute bronchitis.

Respiratory disease is a serious condition that can be life-threatening. It’s important to get tested for respiratory disease if you are experiencing symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood. If left untreated, respiratory diseases can lead to pneumonia and other complications. We offer lab tests for both acute and chronic respiratory diseases at affordable prices so you can find out what’s causing your symptoms today!

If you want to learn more about respiratory disease and lab testing that can help you, click on the title of the article below.

If you’re looking for a way to get tested for respiratory disease, Ulta Lab Tests is the place to be. We offer comprehensive tests that can help you determine what type of respiratory problem you might be facing. Our tests are quick and easy so that you can get the answers as soon as possible. You don’t have to suffer with your symptoms any longer!

Don’t let another day pass by without getting checked out for respiratory disease. Take action today by ordering your labs with Ulta Lab Tests today. We provide affordable lab tests online with 2,100 sites nationwide, and Quest Diagnostics results in 24 to 48 hours for most tests. Ulta Lab Tests provides accurate test results for your health. The quality service you deserve without breaking the budget is ensured with our low prices. Ulta Lab Tests is fast and reliable!

Order your tests for respiratory diseases from the list below to take charge of your health.

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Did you know almost 37 million people in the United States live with chronic respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis?

Acute respiratory disease and infectious respiratory diseases also cause ongoing health problems for millions more in America. For this reason, respiratory lab tests are an essential tool for the treatment and management of respiratory diseases.

You can catch many respiratory diseases through the air that can impact your respiratory system. If you want to learn more about respiratory disease and respiratory testing, keep reading this guide to learn everything you need to know.

What Is Respiratory Disease?

There are different types of respiratory disease, both acute and chronic. Acute respiratory infections are usually infectious caused by viruses and bacteria that can affect you anywhere in the respiratory system.

Acute respiratory infections are especially dangerous for children, older adults, and anybody with problems with their immune system. Causes of acute respiratory symptoms include:

  • The common cold
  • Ear infections
  • Throat infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia

Usually, people with acute respiratory infections have fatigue, body aches, and chest congestion.

Chronic Respiratory Disease

One of the most common types of chronic respiratory disease is asthma. When asthma flares up, it causes wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. It's not known exactly why some people get asthma, and others don't, but the belief is that genetics play a role. 

Another common chronic respiratory disease is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which occurs when your lungs become inflamed. This inflammation leads to difficulty breathing, thickening of the lining of your lungs, and an overproduction of mucus.

Emphysema is another chronic respiratory disease that damages the air sacs in your lungs. When your lungs are healthy, the air sacs are strong, but emphysema weakens these sacs causing them to rupture.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is cancer that starts in your lungs. There are two main types of lung cancer, based upon how the cells appear under a microscope. The two main types include:

  • Small cell lung cancer usually occurs from heavy smoking
  • Non-small cell lung cancer is a term for all other types of lung cancer

If you smoke, you have the greatest risk of getting lung cancer, yet some people develop lung cancer that has never smoked. Even if you've been smoking for a long time, you can still quit and significantly reduce your chances of developing lung cancer.

Risk factors for Respiratory Disease

There are different risk factors for both acute and chronic respiratory disease. Risk factors for acute respiratory disease include:

  • Smoking
  • Poor hygiene
  • Chronic medical conditions
  • Old age
  • Stress and poor mental health

Risk factors for chronic respiratory disease have a lot to do with the environment you live in. Risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Second-hand smoke
  • Outdoor air pollution
  • Indoor air pollution

Certain allergens and occupational risks include working with chemicals, dust, and fumes regularly.

Causes of Respiratory Disease

There are many causes of respiratory disease, depending on the type. Respiratory disease is most often caused by a bacteria, virus, or fungal infection. 

Other respiratory diseases like asthma and lung cancer can be associated with asbestos exposure and air pollution. Other causes include:

  • Smoking
  • A genetic condition called Alpha-1 Deficiency 
  • A history of numerous respiratory infections during childhood
  • Breathing in secondhand smoke frequently

Sometimes radon, an orderless gas present in many homes, can contribute to the development of lung cancer. 

Signs and Symptoms of Respiratory Diseases

Most of the time, symptoms of a respiratory problem don't stick around for long, but there are symptoms you need to pay attention to, such as:

  • A cough that becomes chronic, lasting more than eight weeks
  • Shortness of breath at rest or with exercise
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Ongoing chest pain
  • Fever
  • Coughing up a lot of phlegm
  • Not being able to cough up congestion

You should see your doctor right away if you're concerned about any respiratory symptoms you're having, especially if you feel shortness of breath and chest pain.

Diagnosis of Respiratory Disease

Your doctor will first ask you questions about your past medical history and current symptoms and then a physical exam. Your doctor will pay close attention while listening to your lungs and order tests to assess your lung function.

A pulmonary function test is a noninvasive test that measures your lung volume, capacity, flow, and how well you exchange gas. This is a great test to give an overall picture of how well your lungs are working.

An arterial blood gas test is usually done in a hospital and involves directly measuring your blood's oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. Blood is taken directly from an artery in your wrist to do this test, where your pulse is usually taken.

Other tests like a chest x-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound of your chest are also done to check the structure of your heart and lungs. Blood tests are also ordered to check for things like infections and antibody levels.

Lab Tests for Respiratory Disease

One of the first tests you'll have is a complete blood count (CBC), which measures your red blood cells and will detect if your white blood cells are elevated, which is a sign of infection.

comprehensive metabolic panel is an important test to understand your electrolyte balance, liver and kidney health, and blood sugar levels.

Alpha-1-antitrypsin is used to test for a genetic problem in the alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) protein. This protein is a protectant for the lungs, and if they are not the right shape, they get stuck in the liver and never reach the lungs.

An ANA screen tests for autoimmune diseases like lupus and scleroderma, which can affect your lungs. A c-reactive protein lab will test for inflammation from infections, autoimmune disease, or a heart attack.

FAQS about Respiratory Disease

Have you ever wondered if there is a cure for asthma? The answer is no, there is no cure, but asthma can be effectively managed so you can live a full life. Being mindful of avoiding allergens and asthma triggers, as well as using your inhalers for immediate relief, are the best things you can do.

What is mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that is caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is an insulating material that used to be used in building construction, but it was later found to cause cancer.

Tests for Infectious Respiratory Diseases

Ulta Lab Tests offers highly accurate tests, allowing you to make informed decisions about your health. 

Here are a few things to love about Ulta Lab Tests:

  • You get secure and confidential results
  • No need for health insurance
  • No need for a physician's referral
  • Always affordable pricing
  • A 100% satisfaction guarantee

Respiratory diseases are serious and can lead to chronic health problems. Order your infectious respiratory disease test today, and you'll get secure online results in 24 to 48 hours in most cases.

Take charge of your health and visit Ulta Lab Tests today!

As the name suggests, norovirus is a virus.  It causes an infection in the digestive tract.  This infection will often irritate the stomach and intestines, gastroenteritis, and is often incorrectly thought to be a stomach bug or the stomach flu. There are many common symptoms of the norovirus, including diarrhea, nausea, sudden stomach pain, and vomiting. 

The norovirus is extremely contagious and will spread through ingesting contaminated liquids or foods, touching contaminated surfaces, and coming into close contact with infected people.  Those who are contagious may spread the virus for much longer than they are actually ill with it.  This is due to norovirus being present in the stool before signs and symptoms are exhibited, and for up to two weeks after the person starts to feel better. 

The CDC (or the Centers for Disease Control) believes that norovirus affects approximately 20 million people in the US each year.  This makes it the most common cause of food poisoning in the country.  It is also considered the most common cause of acute diarrhea in healthy adults. 

As norovirus can rapidly spread, outbreaks in college dorms, daycare centers, schools, nursing homes, cruise ships, and other places where food is served, and people stay in close contact can occur.  People who live in these settings are at a higher risk of catching this virus.  

Drinking and eating in a place where food handling procedures are unsanitary is another common cause of infections.   

Anyone can become infected, but most people will recover in a few days.  However, the elderly, young children, and people who have underlying health conditions and weakened immune systems, can have further problems.  The infection can cause serious complications such as severe dehydration that can be fatal if not treated.  After being infected, people do not become immune and can be re-infected multiple times throughout their lives.   

The Symptoms 

People who have been infected by the norovirus will start to show signs within 12 to 48 hours following exposure.  The symptoms of this virus will last for one to three days on average.  Some of the common symptoms and signs include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fever 
  • Body aches 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Vomiting 
  • Headache 

As the norovirus causes diarrhea and vomiting several times a day, it can easily lead to dehydration.  The signs of dehydration include less frequent urination, dizziness, and dry mouth.  Dehydration can be dangerous to the elderly, young children, and people who have underlying medical conditions. 

Laboratory Testing 

Usually, norovirus is diagnosed clinically, by considering the person’s signs and symptoms, the severity and duration of the symptoms, and what the person has recently eaten. 

Laboratory testing is not usually performed except if the person has a higher risk for complication from infections or if the symptoms may be part of a broader outbreak, may be caused by a different condition with the same type of symptoms, are severe and/or last more than a few days. 

If public health authorities suspect an outbreak, testing may be conducted to figure out whether it is norovirus or another microbe causing the illness.   Also, testing may be implemented to manage/contain outbreaks or to track cases and their locations. 

Infected people who are at a higher risk for complications and those with severe illness should have a stool sample analyzed in a laboratory.  There is a range of tests that can be used to diagnose norovirus and rule out any other type of infection. 

Gastrointestinal pathogens panels will look for multiple gastrointestinal microbes that cause disease and show in stool samples.  

Individual molecular tests, including PT-PCR, will look specifically for norovirus in the stool sample.  These are the preferred tests for diagnosing any norovirus infection. 

Stool culture tests will look for several bacterial pathogens that are common, including Shigella and Salmonella.  These infections can cause symptoms that are similar to the norovirus.   

Stool WBC (or white blood cells), as the name suggests, looks at the number of white blood cells in the stool, which can be an indicator of infection from parasites and bacteria.  People who are infected with norovirus will generally not have these cells in their stool. 

O&P (or ova and parasite exam) is done to rule out any potential parasite infections because the symptoms of these infections are similar to the norovirus.  This is a good test for anyone who had traveled internationally before their symptoms appeared. 

FOBT (or fecal occult blood test) is ordered in cases where bloody diarrhea occurs and identifies the illness causing the bloody stool.  Occult blood will not be present in a stool that has norovirus.   

There are other general tests that will also be performed should someone become very ill.  This includes when a person suffers from dehydration and a high fever.   

Blood cultures are sometimes ordered to rule out any bacterial infections which spread into the blood. 

BMP (or basic metabolic panel) is a test panel used to monitor potassium and sodium as well as acid-based imbalances in people who suffer from severe dehydration to ensure proper organ function. 

CBC (or complete blood count) is a panel that is sometimes ordered to determine if there is an increase in white blood cells pointing to bacterial infections. 

Preventing Norovirus 

To protect against getting this highly contagious virus and the accompanying infection, a person should: 

  • Thoroughly wash hands often, especially after handling diapers or using the restroom and prior to handling or eating food. 
  • Stay away from contaminated food and water, and food prepared by someone who has, or has recently had, norovirus. 
  • Cook seafood thoroughly and wash vegetables and fruits. 

People who have had recent norovirus infection should: 

  • Use a chlorine bleach solution to disinfect virus-contaminated surfaces. 
  • Stay at home – don’t go to work and avoid other activities, especially food handling. 
  • Keep sick children at home. 
  • Avoid traveling until signs and symptoms have passed and keep washing hands. 

Treating Norovirus 

Like many food and waterborne illnesses, norovirus does not usually require treatment beyond supportive care like drinking fluids and resting.  The symptoms will often go away within a few days in otherwise healthy people. 

Antibiotics are not effective because norovirus is not a type of bacteria. People older than 65 may be prescribed anti-diarrheal medication.  Intravenous fluids may be required in cases of severe symptoms and significant dehydration, along with hospitalization.