The ESR test is something that stands for the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate test which is basically the frequency of red blood cell deposition in a 1 hour time period. There is an analysis of the frequency of deposition or sedimentation of red blood cells which are called erythrocytes in the sample which is put into a vertical, thin and tall tube.
Red blood cells usually drop into the same in a slower pattern normally and higher amounts of proteins such as immunoglobins and fibrinogen increase on account of inflammation, thereby leading to rapid drops of red blood cells and scaling up the ESR. This can also happen in case one has cancer or an autoimmune disease. The inflammation degree in one’s body is basically ascertained through this test. Any rate which is swifter than the normal threshold indicates higher inflammation in the body which could be reactions to injuries or infections or even several ailments and medical conditions. This is basically what is the sed rate and this blood test is conducted for several reasons.
When and why you should take this test
The test is important for the following reasons:
- Tumour, infection, inflammation and other ailment detection.
- Any functional problems in body organs or tissues.
- Identification of polymyalgia rheumatica or temporal arthritis which are inflammatory ailments.
- Detection of autoimmune ailments, cancer and other infections.
- Detection of diseases like Systematic Lupus Erythematosus and Rheumatoid arthritis.
When to take the test:
If you have the following symptoms, you should consider taking this test:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the body
- Jaw Pain
- Squeezing and uncomfortable chest sensations often referred to as fullness
- Vomiting and nausea
For diagnosis of the inflammation in the body, a few other tests may be conducted simultaneously by medical practitioners along with the ESR test. The results are usually available within 24-36 hours on an average.
Decoding the results
The ESR test is for detection of inflammation and results may vary across testing labs. Some of the factors behind a higher ESR rate include arthritis, anaemia, pregnancy, lymphoma, old age, thyroid, kidney ailments, temporal arthritis, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia and multiple myelomas. Autoimmune diseases may also be linked to the higher occurrence of symptoms. High ESR may be anywhere between 117-13.3mm/h for men and for women it could be 115.9-12.5mm/h.
Other information about the ESR test
The test is conducted by taking some blood from the body. A needle will be inserted for this purpose. The blood will be put into a tube for an hour or so. The doctor will be examining the rate of drops for the red blood cells and the count resting at the bottom in this duration. There are no such risks arising from this test although some of the minimal risks in extreme cases include inflammation of the veins, some bleeding, light-headedness, bruises, fainting and infections. The test results may be impacted by medication however.
The doctor should be told clearly about any medication being taken before taking this test. There is no fasting that you have to undergo as well.
Side-effects of ESR test
ESR tests are highly secured and safe procedure which are only carried out by trained professionals. This test might put a few children at unease due to fear of needles or give them anxiety, but the side effects of the test wears off eventually. The patient could feel a mild sore or potential bruising around the injected area. This may only last for a few days in the least.