In this post i’ll be going over the important information concerning the ESR test.
This will include:
- How the test works, and what components of your blood it measures.
- What the results mean and wether you need to be concerned about a high or low result.
- How to address potential problems if your results fall in an unhealthy range.
With that said, let’s get into the details of the post.
A Brief Description of how the test works and what it’s testing for.
Basically, the ESR test looks at how quickly you’re red blood cells settle down in a tube.?The RBCs (red blood cells) pile up on the bottom of the tube in what is called a rouleaux formation.
The sedimentation rate (the SR of ESR) tells us how quickly and in what formation the red blood cells settle into the tubes.
Using this information blood technicians are given a unique look into your blood health.
So what do the test results mean? What does a high or a low reading tell us about our body?
This test, often called a “sed rate”, is often ordered to for people with certain conditions or expected conditions.
These often include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Certain forms of arthritis
- Inflammatory diseases that cause vague symptoms
- Tissue death
- Muscle symptoms
- Other vague, but undefined symptoms
Keep in mind that the test is not used to diagnose a specific disorder, rather it is a screening test used to evaluate the simple presence of issue by indirectly measuring inflammation in the body.
Additionally, once a diagnosis has been made, this test may be used to monitor whether the illness is becoming more active or flaring up.
What to do if your results are lower or higher than they should be?
The normal ranges for the ESR test (measured in millimeters/per hour) are as follows:
- Men under 50: less than 15 mm/hr
- men over 50: less than 20 mm/hr
- women under 50: less than 20 mm/hr
- women over 50: less than 30 mm/hr
- Newborn 0-2 mm/hr
- Puberty 3-13 mm/hr
These result levels are commonly considered. You should always ask?your doctor about specific results that you have.
While results above or below these normal ranges may signal problems, this alone will not prove that you have a condition. You will need to take other tests to show the presence of a certain condition. But the ESR can help diagnose these can conditions, it is just not able to show it indefinitely.
Below normal results in the ESR could potentially result from:
- Congestive heart failure
- Decreased Fibrinogen levels (Hypofibrinogenemia)
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Low Plasma (kidney or liver issues)
Above normal results can occur due to multiple reasons.
From conditions such as:
- Cancers such as lymphoma or?multiple myeloma
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid disease
Infections such as:
- Body-wide (systemic) infection
- Bone infections
- Infection of the heart or heart valves
- Rheumatic fever
Autoimmune disorders such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Allergic vasculitis
- Giant cell arteritis
- Hyperfibrinogenemia (increased?fibrinogen?levels in the blood)
- Macroglobulinemia – primary
- Necrotizing vasculitis
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
That is a long list of potential issues!
If you take the ESR test and have abnormal test results, I HIGHLY recommend that you get further testing done.?Getting a full health check panel done – one including the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) is important.
If you are interested in this test you can order the CMP Health Check from True Health Labs – the online vendor I mentioned before. You can find the test by following this link. And remember, they will provide you with a free personal explanation of your results.