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Home > Blog > ESR Test - Purpose, Test Results & Preparation

ESR Test - Purpose, Test Results & Preparation

ESR Test - Purpose, Test Results & Preparation

Max Lab

May 10, 2023

Do you experience persistent fatigue, inflammation, or joint pain? If so, an ESR test may be just what the doctor ordered. This simple blood test can help diagnose a range of conditions and diseases by measuring the body's inflammation levels. In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about ESR tests – who should get tested, how to prepare for it, and interpret the results.

What is ESR Test?

ESR, also known as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate test, is a blood test that measures the speed at which red blood cells settle to the bottom of a tube containing anticoagulated blood. The ESR Test is a non-specific but useful screening tool for inflammation in the body.

The test works by measuring how quickly red blood cells fall to the bottom of a narrow tube over time. High levels of protein and fibrinogen in your blood due to an inflammatory process will cause red blood cells to stick together and form clumps or rouleaux. These heavy rouleaux tend to sink faster than normal erythrocytes and are responsible for elevating ESR levels in your bloodstream.

The ESR Test helps doctors diagnose autoimmune diseases, infections, cancers, and other inflammatory disorders such as arthritis. However, it should be noted that having elevated levels doesn't necessarily indicate any specific condition since some factors can affect results like age, gender, or even pregnancy.

Who Should Get Tested for ESR Test?

People with unexplained symptoms such as fever, fatigue, joint pain or stiffness may need an ESR test to rule out underlying conditions like infections or autoimmune disorders.

Individuals with chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and vasculitis may require regular ESR tests to monitor disease activity and treatment response.

Patients on long-term medication that can affect immune function and cause adverse side effects may need periodic ESR testing to assess drug safety.

Individuals undergoing cancer treatment or recovering from surgery may benefit from an ESR test to evaluate their overall health status and detect any postoperative complications.

In summary, anyone experiencing persistent signs of inflammation or at risk of developing certain medical conditions should consider getting an ESR test done.

When do I need ESR Test?

There are several situations where a doctor may recommend an ESR test to their patients. One of the most common reasons is when the patient shows symptoms that suggest inflammation, such as pain, swelling, redness, or fever.

ESR tests can also be useful in diagnosing chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune disorders. These conditions cause long-term inflammation that can damage tissues and organs if left untreated.

In some cases, an ESR test might be ordered along with other blood tests to check for infections caused by bacteria or viruses.

Additionally, an ESR test might be included as part of a routine medical checkup for older adults who may have underlying health issues they don't yet know about.

How do I Prepare for an ESR Test?

Preparing for an ESR test is relatively easy, and there aren't many specific steps that you need to follow. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before getting your blood drawn.

Firstly, be sure to inform your Max Lab's healthcare provider if you're taking any medications or supplements as they might affect the results of the lab test. You may also want to avoid certain foods and drinks such as alcohol or caffeine 24 hours before the test.

It's recommended that you wear loose clothing with sleeves that can be rolled up easily since most ESR tests require drawing blood from a vein in your arm. 

Maxlab offers an exhaustive list of tests for a comprehensive diagnosis of your health. Take a look at ESR test to rule out underlying conditions like infections or autoimmune disorders.

What Do High ESR Levels Mean?

High ESR levels can indicate inflammation or infection in the body. It's important to note that an elevated ESR doesn't provide specific information about the underlying condition; rather, it serves as an indicator that further investigation may be necessary.

There are numerous factors that can contribute to high ESR levels. Chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, Chronic kidney may also result in elevated ESR levels.

Understanding the ESR Test Results?

If your results show high ESR levels, it could be an indication of an underlying condition that requires further testing or treatment. Your doctor will use these results along with other tests to evaluate your overall health.

ESR is measured in millimeters per hour (mm/hr). The normal values are:

  • EST Test normal range in Males is 0 to 15 mm/hr
  • EST Test normal range in Women is 0 to 20 mm/hr

If you have an ESR Test level of above 100 mm/h, that means you caused by an active disease

What Might Affect My ESR Test Results?

Many things that you do not have active diseases, but increase your ESR Test levels. This includes: 

  • Pregnancy
  • Old age
  • Being female
  • You are on Periods
  • Recently had a fatty meal
  • Being obese
  • Taking certain medicines

Want to book a Blood Test?

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