Nearly 53 million adults and 300,000 children in America have arthritis. By 2030, 67% of the population will suffer from one type of arthritis. Arthritis, joint pain or joint disease, is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Common symptoms of arthritis include swelling, pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. There are over 100 types of arthritis, as it can be caused by immune disorders, infections, or overuse and age.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. When cartilage wears away, bone rubs on bone, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. This can be aggravated by obesity, overuse, and age.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s cells fight the healthy cells, resulting in damaged or destroyed healthy cells, causing loss of motion in the fingers. Early diagnosis is critical. Slowing progression and aggressive treatment can minimize or prevent permanent joint damage. Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis affects young people under age 16.
Infectious arthritis is caused from an illness that gets into the joints. Such infections include salmonella, shigella, and hepatitis C. Symptoms can last up to a year, but can be treated with antibiotics.
Most arthritis can be managed with education, doctor care, weight loss, and exercise. Exercise is vital as it allows the joints to open and remove stiffness. Moderate to low impact physical activity can less symptoms and delay disability due to arthritis. Joint protection includes weight control, exercise, good posture, and knowing your limits. To preserve joint function and mobility, making time for physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight are essential.
Protect your future mobility and quality of life from the negative effects of arthritis by getting some specialized lab tests. This is a great way to be proactive and keep up with your health as well as that of your loved ones. Below are the May specials from DirectLabs.
Sedimentation Rate – $19 (Regular Price $28; Retail $36)
An indirect measure of the degree of inflammation present in the body. It is used to screen for inflammation, cancer, and infection. A high sed rate is found in a wide variety of infectious, inflammatory, and malignant diseases – the presence of an abnormality which needs further evaluation.
General Health Panel – $29 (Regular Price $45; Retail $77)
CMP-14: The Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP-14) is a frequently ordered group of 14 laboratory tests that gives important information about the current status of your kidneys, liver, and electrolyte and acid/base balance as well as of your blood sugar and blood proteins. Abnormal results, and especially combinations of abnormal results, can indicate a problem that needs to be addressed.
CBC: Used as a broad screening test to check for such disorders as anemia, infection, and many other diseases. It is actually a panel of tests that examines different parts of the blood.
C-Reactive Protein, (CRP) Quantitative – $39 (Regular Price $54; Retail $68)
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a substance made by the liver and secreted into the bloodstream within a few hours after the start of an infection or inflammation. CRP levels are used to diagnose and monitor autoimmune disorders.
Arthritis Package – $99 (Regular Price $197; Retail $349)
C-Reactive Protein: Used as a test for inflammatory diseases, infections, and neoplastic diseases. CRP is a more sensitive, rapidly responding indicator than ESR. CRP may be used to detect early postoperative wound infection and to follow therapeutic response to anti-inflammatory agents. Progressive increases correlate with increases of inflammation/injury.
Rheumatoid Factor: The test for rheumatoid factor (RA) is used to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. The test may also be used to help diagnose an arthritis-related condition called Sjögren’s syndrome. About 80% to 90% of patients with this syndrome have high amounts of RA in their blood.
ANA: Antinuclear Antibodies, is used to help diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and drug-induced lupus, but may also be positive in cases of scleroderma, Sjögren’s syndrome, Raynaud’s disease, juvenile chronic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, autoimmune hepatitis, and many other autoimmune and non-autoimmune diseases. For this reason, SLE, which is commonly known as lupus, can be tricky to diagnose correctly. Because the ANA test result may be positive in a number of these other diseases, additional testing can help to establish a diagnosis of SLE. Your doctor may run other tests that are considered subsets of the general ANA test and that are used in conjunction with patient symptoms and clinical history to rule out a diagnosis of other autoimmune diseases.
Uric Acid: The uric acid test is used to learn whether the body might be breaking down cells too quickly or not getting rid of uric acid quickly enough. The test also is used to monitor levels of uric acid when a patient has had chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
Sed Rate: A blood test which is used to screen for inflammation, cancer, and infection. A high sed rate is found in a wide variety of infectious, inflammatory, and malignant diseases – the presence of an abnormality which needs further evaluation.
CMP-14: Includes the following:
Glucose: Blood sugar level, the most direct single test to uncover diabetes, may be used not only to identify diabetes, but also to evaluate how one controls the disease.
Kidneys: Bun (Urea Nitrogen)—Another by-product of protein metabolism eliminated through the kidneys. BUN is an indicator of kidney function.
Creatinine, Serum—An indicator of kidney function
Bun/Creatinine Ratio—Calculated by dividing the BUN by the Creatinine
Glomerular Filtration (eGFR)—Provides an assessment of the filtering capacity of the kidney.
Fluids & Electrolytes:
Sodium—One of the major salts in the body fluid, sodium is important in the body’s water balance and the electrical activity of nerves and muscles.
Potassium—Helps to control the nerves and muscles
Chloride—Similar to sodium, it helps to maintain the body’s electrolyte balance
Carbon Dioxide, Total—Used to help detect, evaluate, and monitor electrolyte imbalances.
Calcium: A mineral essential for development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. It is important also for the normal function of muscles, nerves and blood clotting.
Liver: Protein, Total—Together with albumin, it is a measure of the state of nutrition in the body. Globulin, Total—A major group of proteins in the blood comprising the infection fighting antibodies
Albumin/Globulin Ratio—Calculated by dividing the albumin by the globulin
Bilirubin, Total—A chemical involved with liver functions. High concentrations may result in jaundice.
Alkaline Phosphatase—A body protein important in diagnosing proper bone and liver functions
Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST or SGOT)—an enzyme found in skeletal and heart muscle, liver and other organs. Abnormalities may represent liver disease.
Albumin—Serum one of the major proteins in the blood and a reflection of the general state of nutrition Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT or SGPT)—an enzyme found primarily in the liver. Abnormalities may represent liver disease.
CBC w/diff & plt: The Complete Blood Count (CBC) test is used as a broad screening test to check for such disorders as anemia, infection, and many other diseases.
“What is Arthritis?” About Arthritis. Arthritis Foundation. Web. 5 May 2015.
“May is Arthritis Awareness Month”. Direct Laboratory Services Email Specials, 1 May 2015. Web. 5 May 2015.