Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in your joints resulting in severe joint pain. Though there is no complete cure for RA, early diagnosis and treatment can help you manage your RA symptoms better. Your doctor may ask you to undergo a rheumatoid arthritis RA test after assessing your symptoms.
A physical examination and imaging tests may also be required to confirm RA. Here are some of the common symptoms observed in RA:
Here are some of the common tests for rheumatoid arthritis prescribed by doctors.
This is one of the important tests for rheumatoid arthritis that checks for any inflammation in your body. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate test can assess how quickly red blood cells get separated from other blood cells. In this test, your blood cells are treated with a substance that prevents clotting. When your body has inflammation, the erythrocytes or red blood cells may clump together. This separates these cells from other blood cells, and results in a high ESR. If ESR levels are low, it indicates low inflammation levels. However, apart from inflammation, high levels of ESR may also occur when you have any other injury or infection . Therefore, this test cannot be used as the only diagnostic test for RA.
RA factors are proteins in the immune system that are capable of attacking your own cells. During viral infections, the immune system protects the body from pathogens. Sometimes, RA factors attack healthy cells and cause autoimmune disorders. An RA test helps in measuring these proteins in your blood to determine if you have RA or not. Autoimmune conditions can be diagnosed using this test. The presence of rheumatoid factor may indicate RA .
This test check for the levels of C-reactive protein in your blood. This is a protein produced by the liver and is released when you have any infection. CRP helps your immune system respond to an infection that results in inflammation. High levels of CRP may indicate RA. However, this cannot be the deciding test for an RA diagnosis.
Additional read: CRP Test: What is it and Why is it Important for Your Health?
CCP antibodies are called autoantibodies that are capable of attacking healthy tissues and cells. These abnormal proteins are found in almost 60-80% of people suffering from RA. With a CCP test, doctors can detect these antibodies for RA confirmation. This test also helps in determining the severity of RA. High CCP levels indicate that the disease is progressing rapidly and can result in joint damage. A CCP test is always combined with a RF test. A positive result for both tests indicates a higher risk of RA.
Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) attack your body’s healthy cells and tissues. If there are ANAs in your blood, you may suffer from autoimmune conditions. Getting this test done may help confirm an RA diagnosis.
A complete blood count test helps in measuring different types of cells in your body. These cells include white blood cells, platelets and red blood cells. If there is no inflammation, your body produces the appropriate number of healthy cells depending on the function. In case of RA, these numbers can be disrupted. However, you cannot rely only on this test for an RA diagnosis.
Usually, doctors prescribe multiple tests for proper diagnosis of this condition. With the help of these blood tests, you can check for inflammation in your body. For further confirmation, you may be asked to undergo certain imaging tests as well. You can book your blood tests on Bajaj Finserv Health and get your RA test done at the right time. Get your results checked by expert specialists and manage your RA symptoms on time.
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