Respiratory

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.


Name Matches

This test is used to determine the presence of respiratory synctial virus (RSV) in a patient's specimen. Organisms may be detected by PCR prior to diagnosis by immunological methods. PCR provides more rapid results than other methods, including culture.


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is considered the single most important virus affecting infants and young adults causing acute lower respiratory tract illness, mainly bronchiolitis and pneumonia. Adults are susceptible to infection but usually experience mild respiratory tract illness. Elderly patients may suffer severe lower respiratory tract disease.

This test is used to determine the presence of respiratory virus RNA/DNA in a patient's specimen. PCR provides more rapid results than other methods, including culture. The use of a panel for virus detection provides a useful differential diagnosis.



This test is used to determine the presence of Avian Influenza RNA in a patient's specimen. PCR provides more rapid results than culture. Furthermore, this test will specifically detect the H5 virus strain.

 

Bordetella pertussis toxin (PT) Antibody (IgG), Immunoassay

Clinical Significance

Antibody levels above the reference range are highly suggestive of recent infection or vaccination.

Reference Range(s)

Bordetella pertussis toxin(PT) Ab (IgG), IA

  • ≤10 Years<66 IU/mL
  • 11-59 Years<43 IU/mL
  • ≥60 Years<32 IU/mL

Alternative Name(s)

Whooping Cough




Description: A CBC or Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets test is a blood test that measures many important features of your blood’s red and white blood cells and platelets. A Complete Blood Count can be used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide variety of conditions such as infection, anemia, and leukemia. It also looks at other important aspects of your blood health such as hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. 

Also Known As: CBC test, Complete Blood Count Test, Total Blood Count Test, CBC with Differential and Platelets test, Hemogram test  

Collection Method: Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: Whole Blood 

Test Preparation: No preparation required 

When is a Complete Blood Count test ordered?  

The complete blood count (CBC) is an extremely common test. When people go to the doctor for a standard checkup or blood work, they often get a CBC. Suppose a person is healthy and their results are within normal ranges. In that case, they may not need another CBC unless their health condition changes, or their healthcare professional believes it is necessary. 

When a person exhibits a variety of signs and symptoms that could be connected to blood cell abnormalities, a CBC may be done. A health practitioner may request a CBC to help diagnose and determine the severity of lethargy or weakness, as well as infection, inflammation, bruises, or bleeding. 

When a person is diagnosed with a disease that affects blood cells, a CBC is frequently done regularly to keep track of their progress. Similarly, if someone is being treated for a blood condition, a CBC may be performed on a regular basis to see if the treatment is working. 

Chemotherapy, for example, can influence the generation of cells in the bone marrow. Some drugs can lower WBC counts in the long run. To monitor various medication regimens, a CBC may be required on a regular basis. 

What does a Complete Blood Count test check for? 

The complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test that determines the number of cells in circulation. White blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs), and platelets (PLTs) are three types of cells suspended in a fluid called plasma. They are largely created and matured in the bone marrow and are released into the bloodstream when needed under normal circumstances. 

A CBC is mainly performed with an automated machine that measures a variety of factors, including the number of cells present in a person's blood sample. The findings of a CBC can reveal not only the quantity of different cell types but also the physical properties of some of the cells. 

Significant differences in one or more blood cell populations may suggest the presence of one or more diseases. Other tests are frequently performed to assist in determining the reason for aberrant results. This frequently necessitates visual confirmation via a microscope examination of a blood smear. A skilled laboratory technician can assess the appearance and physical features of blood cells, such as size, shape, and color, and note any anomalies. Any extra information is taken note of and communicated to the healthcare provider. This information provides the health care provider with further information about the cause of abnormal CBC results. 

The CBC focuses on three different types of cells: 

WBCs (White Blood Cells) 

The body uses five different types of WBCs, also known as leukocytes, to keep itself healthy and battle infections and other types of harm. The five different leukocytes are eosinophiles, lymphocytes, neutrophiles, basophils, and monocytes. They are found in relatively steady numbers in the blood. Depending on what is going on in the body, these values may momentarily rise or fall. An infection, for example, can cause the body to manufacture more neutrophils in order to combat bacterial infection. The amount of eosinophils in the body may increase as a result of allergies. A viral infection may cause an increase in lymphocyte production. Abnormal (immature or mature) white cells multiply fast in certain illness situations, such as leukemia, raising the WBC count. 

RBCs (Red Blood Cells) 

The bone marrow produces red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, which are transferred into the bloodstream after maturing. Hemoglobin, a protein that distributes oxygen throughout the body, is found in these cells. Because RBCs have a 120-day lifespan, the bone marrow must constantly manufacture new RBCs to replace those that have aged and disintegrated or have been lost due to hemorrhage. A variety of diseases, including those that cause severe bleeding, can alter the creation of new RBCs and their longevity. 

The CBC measures the number of RBCs and hemoglobin in the blood, as well as the proportion of RBCs in the blood (hematocrit), and if the RBC population appears to be normal. RBCs are generally homogeneous in size and shape, with only minor differences; however, considerable variances can arise in illnesses including vitamin B12 and folate inadequacy, iron deficiency, and a range of other ailments. Anemia occurs when the concentration of red blood cells and/or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood falls below normal, resulting in symptoms such as weariness and weakness. In a far smaller percentage of cases, there may be an excess of RBCs in the blood (erythrocytosis or polycythemia). This might obstruct the flow of blood through the tiny veins and arteries in extreme circumstances. 

Platelets 

Platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are small cell fragments that aid in the regular clotting of blood. A person with insufficient platelets is more likely to experience excessive bleeding and bruises. Excess platelets can induce excessive clotting or excessive bleeding if the platelets are not operating properly. The platelet count and size are determined by the CBC. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Complete Blood Count test: 

  • Reticulocytes
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Basic Metabolic Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Von Willebrand Factor Antigen

Conditions where a Complete Blood Count test is recommended: 

  • Anemia
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Heart Disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Leukemia
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Inflammation
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Mononucleosis

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Complete Blood Count test? 

The complete blood count (CBC) is a common, comprehensive screening test used to measure a person's overall health status.  

What do my Complete Blood Count results mean? 

A low Red Blood Cell Count, also known as anemia, could be due many different causes such as chronic bleeding, a bone marrow disorder, and nutritional deficiency just to name a few. A high Red Blood Cell Count, also known as polycythemia, could be due to several conditions including lung disease, dehydration, and smoking. Both Hemoglobin and Hematocrit tend to reflect Red Blood Cell Count results, so if your Red Blood Cell Count is low, your Hematocrit and Hemoglobin will likely also be low. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

What do my Differential results mean? 

A low White Blood Cell count or low WBC count, also known as leukopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, severe infection, and lymphoma. A high White Blood Cell count, or high WBC count, also known as leukocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including infection, leukemia, and inflammation. Abnormal levels in your White Blood Cell Count will be reflected in one or more of your different white blood cells. Knowing which white blood cell types are affected will help your healthcare provider narrow down the issue. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

What do my Platelet results mean? 

A low Platelet Count, also known as thrombocytopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, viral infection, and leukemia. A high Platelet Count, also known as Thrombocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including cancer, iron deficiency, and rheumatoid arthritis. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported. Certain biomarkers do not appear in healthy individuals. 

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Reflex Parameters for Manual Slide Review
  Less than  Greater Than 
WBC  1.5 x 10^3  30.0 x 10^3 
Hemoglobin  7.0 g/dL  19.0 g/dL 
Hematocrit  None  75%
Platelet  100 x 10^3  800 x 10^3 
MCV  70 fL  115 fL 
MCH  22 pg  37 pg 
MCHC  29 g/dL  36.5 g/dL 
RBC  None  8.00 x 10^6 
RDW  None  21.5
Relative Neutrophil %  1% or ABNC <500  None 
Relative Lymphocyte %  1% 70%
Relative Monocyte %  None  25%
Eosinophil  None  35%
Basophil  None  3.50%
     
Platelet  <75 with no flags,
>100 and <130 with platelet clump flag present,
>1000 
Instrument Flags Variant lymphs, blasts,
immature neutrophils,  nRBC’s, abnormal platelets,
giant platelets, potential interference
     
The automated differential averages 6000+ cells. If none of the above parameters are met, the results are released without manual review.
CBC Reflex Pathway

Step 1 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes:

  • Confirmation of differential percentages
  • WBC and platelet estimates, when needed
  • Full review of RBC morphology
  • Comments for toxic changes, RBC inclusions, abnormal lymphs, and other
  • significant findings
  • If the differential percentages agree with the automated counts and no abnormal cells are seen, the automated differential is reported with appropriate comments

Step 2 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes: If any of the following are seen on the slide review, Laboratory staff will perform a manual differential:

  • Immature, abnormal, or toxic cells
  • nRBC’s
  • Disagreement with automated differential
  • Atypical/abnormal RBC morphology
  • Any RBC inclusions

Step 3 If any of the following are seen on the manual differential, a Pathologist will review the slide:

  • WBC<1,500 with abnormal cells noted
  • Blasts/immature cells, hairy cell lymphs, or megakaryocytes
  • New abnormal lymphocytes or monocytes
  • Variant or atypical lymphs >15%
  • Blood parasites
  • RBC morphology with 3+ spherocytes, RBC inclusions, suspect Hgb-C,
  • crystals, Pappenheimer bodies or bizarre morphology
  • nRBC’s

Description: A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel or CMP is a blood test that is a combination of a Basic Metabolic Panel, a Liver Panel, and electrolyte panel, and is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases such as liver disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. 

Also Known As: CMP, Chem, Chem-14, Chem-12, Chem-21, Chemistry Panel, Chem Panel, Chem Screen, Chemistry Screen, SMA 12, SMA 20, SMA 21, SMAC, Chem test

Collection Method: 

Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: 

Serum 

Test Preparation: 

9-12 hours fasting is preferred. 

When is a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test ordered:  

A CMP is frequently requested as part of a lab test for a medical evaluation or yearly physical. A CMP test consists of many different tests that give healthcare providers a range of information about your health, including liver and kidney function, electrolyte balance, and blood sugar levels. To confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis, abnormal test results are frequently followed up with other tests that provide a more in depth or targeted analysis of key areas that need investigating. 

What does a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel blood test check for? 

The complete metabolic panel (CMP) is a set of 20 tests that provides critical information to a healthcare professional about a person's current metabolic status, check for liver or kidney disease, electrolyte and acid/base balance, and blood glucose and blood protein levels. Abnormal results, particularly when they are combined, can suggest a problem that needs to be addressed. 

The following tests are included in the CMP: 

  • Albumin: this is a measure of Albumin levels in your blood. Albumin is a protein made by the liver that is responsible for many vital roles including transporting nutrients throughout the body and preventing fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. 

  • Albumin/Globulin Ratio: this is a ratio between your total Albumin and Globulin  

  • Alkaline Phosphatase: this is a measure of Alkaline phosphatase or ALP in your blood. Alkaline phosphatase is a protein found in all body tissues, however the ALP found in blood comes from the liver and bones. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage, gallbladder disease, or bone disorder. 

  • Alt: this is a measure of Alanine transaminase or ALT in your blood. Alanine Aminotransferase is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in the liver with small amounts in the heart and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • AST: this is a measure of Aspartate Aminotransferase or AST. Aspartate Aminotransferase is an enzyme found mostly in the heart and liver, with smaller amounts in the kidney and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • Bilirubin, Total: this is a measure of bilirubin in your blood. Bilirubin is an orange-yellowish waste product produced from the breakdown of heme which is a component of hemoglobin found in red blood cells. The liver is responsible for removal of bilirubin from the body. 

  • Bun/Creatinine Ratio: this is a ratio between your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and Creatinine result.  

  • Calcium: this is a measurement of calcium in your blood. Calcium is the most abundant and one of the most important minerals in the body as it essential for proper nerve, muscle, and heart function. 

  • Calcium: is used for blood clot formation and the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. 

  • Carbon Dioxide: this is a measure of carbon dioxide in your blood. Carbon dioxide is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels.  

  • Chloride: this is a measure of Chloride in your blood. Chloride is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as potassium and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels. 

  • Creatinine: this is a measure of Creatinine levels in your blood. Creatinine is created from the breakdown of creatine in your muscles and is removed from your body by the kidneys. Elevated creatinine levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

  • Egfr African American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Egfr Non-Afr. American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Globulin: this is a measure of all blood proteins in your blood that are not albumin. 

  • Glucose: this is a measure of glucose in your blood. Glucose is created from the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion and is the body’s primary source of energy. 

  • Potassium: this is a measure of Potassium in your blood. Potassium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in cell metabolism, nerve and muscle function, and transport of nutrients into cells and removal of wastes products out of cells. 

  • Protein, Total: this is a measure of total protein levels in your blood. 
    Sodium: this is a measure of Sodium in your blood. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in nerve and muscle function. 

  • Urea Nitrogen (Bun): this is a measure of Urea Nitrogen in your blood, also known as Blood UreaNitrogen (BUN). Urea is a waste product created in the liver when proteins are broken down into amino acids. Elevated levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test: 

  • Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein

Conditions where a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test is recommended: 

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Hypertension

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test? 

The comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a broad screening tool for assessing organ function and detecting diseases like diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. The CMP test may also be requested to monitor known disorders such as hypertension and to check for any renal or liver-related side effects in persons taking specific drugs. If a health practitioner wants to follow two or more separate CMP components, the full CMP might be ordered because it contains more information. 

What do my Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test results mean? 

The results of the tests included in the CMP are usually analyzed together to look for patterns. A single abnormal test result may indicate something different than a series of abnormal test findings. A high result on one of the liver enzyme tests, for example, is not the same as a high result on several liver enzyme tests. 

Several sets of CMPs, frequently performed on various days, may be examined to gain insights into the underlying disease and response to treatment, especially in hospitalized patients. 

Out-of-range findings for any of the CMP tests can be caused by a variety of illnesses, including kidney failure, breathing issues, and diabetes-related complications, to name a few. If any of the results are abnormal, one or more follow-up tests are usually ordered to help determine the reason and/or establish a diagnosis. 

Is there anything else I should know? 

A wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medications can have an impact on the results of the CMP's components. Any medications you're taking should be disclosed to your healthcare professional. Similarly, it is critical to provide a thorough history because many other circumstances can influence how your results are interpreted. 

What's the difference between the CMP and the BMP tests, and why would my doctor choose one over the other? 

The CMP consists of 14 tests, while the basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a subset of those with eight tests. The liver (ALP, ALT, AST, and bilirubin) and protein (albumin and total protein) tests are not included. If a healthcare provider wants a more thorough picture of a person's organ function or to check for specific illnesses like diabetes or liver or kidney disease, he or she may prescribe a CMP rather than a BMP. 

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Please note the following regarding BUN/Creatinine ratio: 

The lab does not report the calculation for the BUN/Creatinine Ratio unless one or both biomarkers’ results fall out of the published range. 

If you still wish to see the value, it's easy to calculate. Simply take your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and divide it by your Creatinine result.  

As an example, if your Urea Nitrogen result is 11 and your Creatinine result is 0.86, then you would divide 11 by 0.86 and get a BUN/Creatinine Ratio result of 12.79. 


This test will identify approximately 90% of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) mutations in the Caucasian population, and 97% in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. For prenatal specimens, use test code 10226.

Screen for West Nile virus RNA in potential donors of human blood, cells, tissues, or tissue-based products.

Haemophilus influenzae is a gram-negative bacteria that is present in approximately three-quarters of children and adults. In infants and young children, haemophilus influenzae, especially type B, may cause bacteremias and meningitis. In children and older individuals haemophilus influenzae may cause respiratory tract infections.

Support the clinical diagnosis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Clinical Significance

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Evaluation - Support the clinical diagnosis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.


Allergy

Most Popular
For diagnosis of allergic disease. A normal IgE level does not exclude the possible presence of an allergic disorder.

Most Popular
Increased IgG is associated with acute and chronic inflammations, monoclonal IgG myeloma, autoimmune diseases; decreased IgG is found in selective IgG deficiency, Bruton's Disease, and acquired immune deficiency.

Most Popular
Increased IgM is associated with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, infectious mononucleosis, viral infections, nephrotic syndrome, and estrogen therapy; decreased IgM is found in selective IgM deficiency, Bruton's Disease, and acquired immune deficiency.

Most Popular

Immunoglobulin A (IgA)

Test Highlight

 

   

Clinical Use

  • Diagnose IgA deficiencies

  • Determine etiology of recurrent infections

  • Diagnose infection

  • Diagnose inflammation

  • Diagnose IgA monoclonal gammopathy

Clinical Background

IgA is the first line of defense for the majority of infections at mucosal surfaces and consists of 2 subclasses. IgA1 is the dominant subclass, accounting for 80% to 90% of total serum IgA and greater than half of the IgA in secretions such as milk, saliva, and tears. IgA2, on the other hand, is more concentrated in secretions than in blood. IgA2 is more resistant to proteolytic cleavage and may be more functionally active than IgA1.

IgA deficiency is the most prevalent isotype deficiency, occurring in 1/400 to 1/700 individuals. Many patients with IgA deficiency are asymptomatic, while others may develop allergic disease, repeated sinopulmonary or gastroenterologic infections, and/or autoimmune disease. Individuals with complete absence of IgA (<5 mg/dL) may develop autoantibodies to IgA after blood or intravenous immunoglobulin infusions and may experience anaphylaxis on repeat exposure. 

Elevated serum IgA levels are associated with infection, inflammation, or IgA monoclonal gammopathy.

 

This test is used to determine the presence of influenza A or B viral RNA in a patient's specimen, and to differentiate among possible influenza A virus subtypes.

Aid in the detection and differentiation of seasonal influenza A virus infection and infection by the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus

IgM antibody testing is valuable for early diagnosis in children; in adults, paired sera for specific IgG and IgM are generally required together with PCR. Specific IgM antibodies are often absent in reinfections; specific IgA might be quite useful in this circumstance.


Mycoplasma pneumoniae Antibody (IgG)

 

Clinical Significance

Mycoplasma are the smallest of the free-living organisms. M. pneumoniae causes approximately 10-20% of all cases of pneumonia. These pneumonias that can affect otherwise healthy individuals, are commonly referred to as "walking" and "aypical" pneumonias.

 



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.

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.