Your Guide to Inflammation Blood Tests
Chronic inflammation is one of the most common indicators of chronic disease. Inflammation can wreak havoc on the body, causing shifts in gut health, hormonal balances, and more.
In other words, inflammation can lead to a lot of other problems.
To stop the disease process at the source, you need to stop the inflammation. First, you need to understand whether you have inflammation and where in the body it's located. To do that, you need to get inflammation blood tests.
With inflammation labs, you'll have all of the information that you need to make better decisions about your health.
Keep reading to learn more about inflammation and lab tests to detect inflammation.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a result of natural immune system processes. Your body builds inflammation as your white blood cells are trying to protect you from outside invaders.
Sometimes, inflammation can come from unnatural immune system processes, like autoimmune diseases. These conditions occur when your immune system mistakingly believes that normal tissues are invaders. Thus, your body attacks itself.
Inflammation can be acute (short-lived) or chronic (long-lived). Acute inflammation goes away in a few hours or days, while chronic inflammation can last for months and years.
Risk Factors for Inflammation
Since inflammation occurs when the body perceives a threat or foreign invader, the process is commonly set off by everyday things. Here are a few ways to ease and deter long-term inflammation:
- Quit smoking
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Manage your stress
- Get regular physical activity
- Eat a balanced diet
By practicing a healthy lifestyle, you'll be able to lower your risk for inflammation. If you have existing inflammation, these practices will help you control it.
Causes of Inflammation
When a part of your body becomes inflamed, your body sends a signal to your immune system to send white blood cells. These enter your blood and tissues to protect your body from foreign invaders, increasing the blood flow to the afflicted area.
The increase in blood flow causes redness and warmth.
As more and more chemicals and blood travel to the area, some fluids leak out of the blood vessels into the tissues, which causes swelling and pain. The more white blood cells there are, the more severe the symptoms become.
If this process happens continually for a long time, that part of your body is chronically inflamed. In turn, you're going to experience long-term symptoms as well as potential damage from the alterations to that part of your body.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Inflammation?
Depending on where the inflammation is taking place in your body, you may experience a myriad of symptoms:
- Swollen joints
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
- Muscle stiffness
Most often, signs and symptoms of inflammation aren't discovered until they reach the joints. Be sure to pay attention to your energy levels as a sign of inflammation in the body. Often, inflammation goes undiagnosed because fatigue isn't often recognized as a sign of the condition.
How Is Inflammation Diagnosed?
Inflammatory diseases go undiagnosed for a long time. It isn't until inflammation becomes chronic that most patients get a diagnosis. All of this waiting allows inflammation to worsen over time, causing more damage to the body.
If you bring up symptoms associated with inflammation, your physician will start by asking questions about your family history and past medical history. They will also conduct a physical that will assess your range of motion and tenderness.
The physician is going to be looking for a few key things:
- A pattern of inflammation
- The presence of stiff joints
- A history of autoimmunity
From there, they will obtain blood work and imaging. Your blood work will consist of biomarkers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein and sedimentation rate. Imaging, such as x-rays, will help your physician determine whether the inflammation has caused any long-term damage to the affected regions.
The Lab Tests to Screen, Diagnose, and Monitor Inflammation
Inflammation lab tests focus on general and specific biomarkers. General tests alert physicians of existing inflammation, while specified tests look for the exact location of the inflammation.
At Ulta Lab Tests, our inflammation 1 panel looks at the following biomarkers:
- Anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) screen - a marker associated with autoimmunity
- Complete blood count (CBC) - a general look at the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets
- Comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) - a general look at the electrolytes in the blood
- Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) - an enzyme in the body
- hs-CRP - a general marker of inflammation
- Iron - important for oxygen concentration in the blood
- Lipid panel with ratios - a measure of cholesterol in the blood
- Rheumatoid factor - positivity is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease
- Sedimentation rate - how long it takes your blood to settle
- Uric acid - a waste product in the blood
If you'd like a panel that looks for more markers, you should consider looking at our Inflammation Panel Complete. This panel looks at a larger number of biomarkers so you and your healthcare provider can learn even more about your immune system.
By gathering all of these results, you and your healthcare provider can work together to determine the best next steps for treatment and long-term care.
Get Your Inflammation Blood Tests With Ulta Lab Tests
If you're showing signs of inflammation, you need to get inflammation blood tests as soon as possible. Undiagnosed and untreated inflammation can run rampant, causing issues throughout your body.
Luckily, you can get your inflammation lab tests with Ulta Lab Tests. We offer highly accurate and reliable tests so that you can make informed decisions about your health. Here are a few of the great things that you'll love about Ulta Lab Tests:
- You'll get secure and confidential results
- You don't need health insurance
- You don't need a physician's referral
- You'll get affordable pricing
- We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee
Order your inflammation blood tests today, and you will receive your results in 24 to 48 hours for most tests.
Take control of your health with Ulta Lab Tests today!