Inflammation Lab Tests
What Are Inflammation Tests and How Can They Help You?
Inflammation is your body's natural response to injury, toxins, and cell damage. It will automatically prompt your immune system to release chemicals that rush to the affected area and heal it. Without an inflammatory response, you wouldn't be able to survive.
Here are good examples of how inflammation works: you cut your finger, blood starts to get out, and in a few minutes it will eventually stop. That's because your body sent coagulant factors that seal the cut, so you don't bleed to death. Some inflammation is good, but when it's too much, it can be a problem.
This is where inflammation tests come into the picture. They look at certain substances in your body to determine the level of inflammation in your tissues. Chronic inflammation can lead to life-threatening diseases, that's why you shouldn't treat body inflammation lightly. Keep reading to find out more.
What Are the Substances Checked by Inflammation Tests?
As mentioned earlier, specific substances in your body are released when inflammation occurs. These are usually called inflammation biomarkers and let doctors know if you're in danger or your inflammation levels are normal. Let's take a look at a few of them:
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
This is a common hematology test that can help to diagnose a wide variety of inflammatory diseases. The test is performed by putting a blood sample in a special tube. The rate at which red blood cells fall to the bottom of the tube is known as ESR.
If the rate exceeds 100 mm/hour, this might indicate different issues such as kidney disease, auto-immune diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, etc. If your ESR is lower than 100 mm/hour then your body inflammation level is probably normal.
Creatine Kinase + Isoenzymes
Creatine kinase is another inflammation biomarker that could indicate different diseases. It usually splits into 3 isoenzymes. Depending on which isoenzyme is found in the blood, the doctors will know if your inflammation level is normal or not.
For example, if the MM isoenzyme of creatine kinase is found, you probably have little to no body inflammation. The MB isoenzyme is found in people with myocardial infarction. This substance tells doctors the severity of the infarction too.
In rare cases, the BB isoenzyme can be found and it's usually associated with adenocarcinoma of various tissues such as breast, ovary, prostate, etc. The presence of BB isoenzyme might also signify brain injury, stroke, or other problems.
As explained in a previous example, coagulant factors are sent to the affected area in case of a scratch, cut, or severe injury. These factors seal the wound quickly, so you don't lose too much blood. The speed at which your injury is sealed is usually known as prothrombin time.
Prothrombin is a coagulant protein that creates a seal called fibrin. If your body doesn't close a wound quickly enough, this can be a sign of severe inflammation. This test helps your doctor determine the amount of inflammation in your body and whether your blood-thinning medication works well or not.
Complete Inflammation Panel
It's possible to order the tests individually or by ordering a complete inflammation panel. This panel of tests looks at multiple inflammation biomarkers at the same time. For example, it checks your creatine kinase levels, prothrombin time, C-Reactive Protein, Homocysteine, and others.
This type of panel is ideal for people who have serious inflammation symptoms and don't know what might cause them. It's also suitable for professional athletes who usually have a lot of inflammation in their bodies as a result of a rigorous exercise regimen.
At the same time, anyone can order a complete inflammation panel to detect abnormalities in the body. Remember that systemic low-level inflammation can lead to more complicated issues. A simple test can help you prevent that and all the troubles associated with a chronic disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Inflammation?
There are two types of inflammation - acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is good and happens only when the body detects a foreign substance, injury, or toxin. Chronic inflammation is bad and it can lead to more complicated health issues.
Here is a short list of inflammation symptoms. If you have one or more of these symptoms, you should order an inflammation test right away.
- Pain and swelling - these are usually symptoms of acute inflammation and they can last for a few hours or a few days. They can appear in any part of the body and cause you serious discomfort
- Excessive fatigue - feeling tired most of the time is not good. This could be a sign of chronic inflammation and it needs to be treated as soon as possible
- Chest and abdominal pain - these symptoms are commonly associated with an inflammation of the lungs and/or stomach. They might lead to inflammatory bowel disease and/or asthma
- Fever and rashes - the symptoms could be attributed to allergens or toxins that entered the body. Persistent rashes might lead to skin problems and constant itching
- Chronic pain - there is a big difference between acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain goes away after a while. Chronic pain persists for months or even years. Many people live with chronic neck or back pain and this could lead to loss of mobility, auto-immune diseases, and more
Pick Your Inflammation Test Today!
Remember that some inflammation helps you fight bacteria and injuries. Too much inflammation can turn against you and lead to chronic and potentially life-threatening diseases. That's why you should order an inflammation panel today and find out what your inflammation levels are.