Table of contents:
- Conditions that require a blood sedimentation rate test
- Procedures performed on the blood sedimentation rate test
- Conditions that can affect the rate of blood sediment
The blood sediment rate test is used to assess the condition of inflammation or infection in the body. This procedure is carried out by taking a number of blood samples and examined in the laboratory
The blood sediment rate test is a test conducted to measure how long the time needed for red blood cells to clot or settle to the bottom of the test tube. This test is generally carried out in conjunction with other tests to diagnose certain inflammation or infections that you may suffer.
Conditions that require a blood sedimentation rate test
You may need a blood sedimentation rate if you experience symptoms of inflammation, such as:
- Joint or stiff pain that lasts more than 30 minutes in the morning
- Shoulder pain, neck, or pelvis
- Headache, especially related to pain in the shoulder
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss that occurs quickly and drastically
In addition, another condition that might make you need to do a blood sedimentation rate test is a digestive disorder, such as diarrhea, bloody chapter, or unusual abdominal pain and does not heal.
The blood sediment rate test can also help doctors in diagnosing various diseases, such as infections, inflammation, cancer, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Procedures performed on the blood sedimentation rate test
In conducting a blood sedimentation rate test, medical officers will take blood samples which are then stored in a special container. Blood samples will then be taken to the laboratory.
The clinical pathologist will place some of your blood samples into the test tube, then measure how high red blood cell deposits are formed in a span of 1 hour. Some other blood will be used for other examinations, for example complete blood tests.
If you experience inflammation, the body will produce protein that makes red blood cells easily clot. This clumping will make red blood cells settle and down under the container. Well, the faster the blood cell settles, the higher the possibility of inflammation in the body.
To re-ensure inflammation and diseases that you may suffer, doctors will usually also recommend other examinations, such as C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and blood viscosity tests.
Conditions that can affect the rate of blood sediment
There are some special conditions that might affect the speed of deposition of red blood cells, so as to reduce the accuracy of the test results, namely:
- Pregnancy or menstruation
- History of kidney disorders
- Thyroid disease
- Consumption of certain drugs, for example drugs for breathing such as theophylline, nerve drugs such as methyldopa, birth control pills, aspirin, and inflammatory corticosteroids in the long run
If you have one of the conditions above, first inform the doctor before the blood sedimentation test is done.
That's the information and procedures regarding the blood sedimentation rate test that you need to know. Keep in mind that not all conditions require this examination. To find out whether or not the blood sedimentation test is needed, you need to consult a doctor.
The request for the blood sediment rate test should be carried out on recommendations and under the supervision of a doctor. After the examination results come out, you are also advised to conduct a reconsult to get an explanation related to the results of the test and suggestions for handling in accordance with your condition.