Laboratory Tests and Arthritis: What You Need to Know

If your doctor suspects that you are suffering from arthritis, he will ask you to undergo some tests. So, why should you go for these tests? Well, the tests will help the physician find out whether or not you are suffering from arthritis, and if yes, what type? He or she can also use the lab results to know how you’ll be responding to the treatment.

You know what? Even the simplest medications like aspirin that are commonly used to treat various types of arthritis, can cause serious side effects. If you suspect you have arthritis, go for arthritis laboratory services Johnson City TN provides before you start taking any type of medication. Aspirin can create side effects such as vomiting, bleeding, liver damage, and kidney damage.

Blood tests

If you have arthritis you are likely to have many blood tests. This is simply because blood is safely and easily sampled body tissue. Furthermore, it contains components from every part of the body. Common blood tests are discussed below.

  1. a) Hemoglobin and Hematocrit counts

This test measures the quality as well as the number of erythrocytes. If a patient has chronic inflammation, he is likely to have fewer erythrocytes. Low hemoglobin and hematocrit counts may indicate that the medication you are taking is causing blood to move from the stomach and passing via the bowel. It can also indicate low blood cell production.

  1. b) Platelet count

This is another important test for people with arthritis. It helps physicians find out the number of platelets in the patient’s body that can be helpful during blood clotting process. If there are few platelets in your body, you are likely to suffer from too much bleeding. Some of the medications that people with arthritis take during treatment can lower the number of platelets.

  1. c) White blood cell count

In most cases, WBC tests are used to determine the number of leucocytes present. If you have an infection, your body will definitely make more leucocytes. If you are taking the wrong medication, your body may be unable to make enough white blood cells to fight infections.

Joint fluid tests:

During these tests, a physician removes synovial fluid from the joints of a patient using a needle. This is called joint aspiration. The procedure is not that painful when done in the right manner. The already removed fluid is examined to find out what the cause of the problem is. With correct results, physicians will have an easy time when prescribing medications.

X-rays

With the help of X-rays, physicians can check any possible bone abnormalities. It can take several years before the signs of bone damage as a result of arthritis can be determined using an X-ray. However, conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis can be determined during their early stages. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, your physician will want your bones to be X-rayed. The small bones indicate the advancement of the ailment in better detail.

Conclusion

If you are suffering from arthritis, your doctor may require you to undergo several tests. The results will guide him or her during the process of treatment and diagnosis. However, it is important to know that too many tests may lead to errors that can cause serious problems when it comes to the treatment process. Take tests that are helpful to you.