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Home > Blog > IL 6 Test - Results, Normal Range And Purpose

IL 6 Test - Results, Normal Range And Purpose

IL 6 Test - Results, Normal Range And Purpose

Max Lab

May 12, 2023

Your immune system might be the culprit. It's the unsung hero that keeps us healthy and strong, but sometimes it can go into overdrive and cause more harm than good. That's where IL-6 comes in – a protein that plays a crucial role in regulating our immune response. An IL-6 test can help diagnose autoimmune disorders, infections, and even cancer. In this blog post, we'll explore what an IL-6 test is all about, who should get tested for it, how to prepare for the test, and what the results mean.

What is IL-6 Test?

IL-6 is an abbreviation for Interleukin 6, which is a type of protein in the body that plays a vital role in our immune system's response to infections and inflammation. An IL-6 test measures the levels of this protein in your blood, providing valuable information about your overall health status.

This test can help diagnose various conditions such as autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus), chronic inflammatory conditions (Crohn's disease), and some cancers. It also helps monitor treatment effectiveness by tracking changes in IL-6 levels over time.

The IL-6 test is a simple blood test and involves drawing blood from the vein typically located on either arm. The sample will then be sent to a Max lab laboratory for analysis.

Who Should Get Tested for IL-6 Test?

Well, there are several groups of people who may benefit from this type of testing. Firstly, individuals with chronic or autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may have elevated levels of IL-6 and may need to monitor these levels regularly.

Additionally, those with certain types of cancer such as lymphoma or multiple myeloma may also require regular testing for IL-6 as it can be a marker for disease progression.

Athletes undergoing intense training regimens or individuals recovering from surgery may benefit from an IL-6 test to track inflammation levels and ensure proper healing.

When do I Need the IL-6 Test?

One of the most common reasons to get an IL-6 test is to evaluate inflammation levels in your body. If you have symptoms like fever, joint pain, or fatigue, your doctor may recommend this test to determine if inflammation is present.

Additionally, if you have an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, getting an IL-6 test can help monitor disease activity and treatment progress.

Furthermore, studies suggest that elevated levels of IL-6 are associated with various cancers including lung cancer and breast cancer. Therefore, those who are at risk for these types of cancers may also benefit from getting an IL-6 test.

How do I Prepare for an IL-6 Test?

Preparing for an IL-6 test is a simple process and requires minimal effort. However, there are some things that you should keep in mind before taking this test.

Firstly, it's essential to inform your doctor about any medications or supplements you're currently taking as they may interfere with the results of the test. In some cases, your healthcare provider may ask you to stop taking certain medications for a few days leading up to the test.

Fasting is not required for IL - 6 Test. Additionally, avoid drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes on the day of the test. Both these substances can affect IL-6 levels in your body and cause inaccurate results.

Make sure to wear comfortable clothing on the day of testing as tight sleeves can restrict blood flow which could impact results too.

Maxlab offers an exhaustive list of tests for a comprehensive diagnosis of your health. Take a look at IL-6 test to diagnose various conditions such as autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus), chronic inflammatory conditions (Crohn's disease), and some cancers.

Understanding the IL-6 Test Results

After taking the IL-6 test, your doctor will provide you with the results. The normal range for IL-6 levels in healthy adults is less than 5 pg/mL. If your results fall within this range, it means that your IL-6 levels are normal.

However, if your results show higher levels of IL-6, it could indicate an underlying health condition such as inflammation or infection. Your doctor may recommend further tests or treatments based on these results.

An increase in IL-6 test results may be seen in conditions such as:

Normal Range of IL-6 Test Levels

The normal range of the Interleukin 6 Test is an important parameter to determine the level of inflammation in a person's body. The normal range for IL 6 test varies depending on age, gender, and health status.

  • In adults, the average range is between 1-5 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL)
  • Children typically have higher levels at around 7-15 pg/mL

However, it's essential to note that these values are subject to variation based on various factors such as obesity and stress levels. Physicians use this test alongside other diagnostic tools to assess inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and sepsis accurately. Overall, understanding the normal range of the Interleukin 6 Test provides valuable insights into an individual's immune system function and overall health status.

Time Required for IL-6 Test

Generally, Interleukin 6 tests are processed within 1-3 days from collection. However, this may vary depending on your location and laboratory availability. It is important to note that rushing test processing can compromise the accuracy and reliability of results; hence patience during this period is crucial. Rest assured that healthcare professionals involved in your care will ensure timely communication of your results once they become available.

How to Reduce Interleukin 6 Levels

If you are looking to lower your IL-6 level, there are a number of practical steps that you can take. To begin with, it is important to 

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious meals and exercising regularly. 
  • Consuming foods rich in antioxidants - such as berries, leafy greens, and nuts – may help reduce inflammation within the body. 
  • Reducing stress levels through practices like meditation or yoga can also have an impact on IL-6 levels. 
  • Certain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be effective at lowering IL-6 levels in specific conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis. 

By implementing these strategies into your daily routine and working closely with your healthcare provider, it is possible to successfully manage and decrease your IL-6 levels over time.

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