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ESR is a blood test that indicates the presence of inflammation in the body. A high ESR test shows that the body is experiencing inflammation due to an underlying medical condition. The test is usually performed using a blood sample that is sent to the laboratory. A high ESR test could be due to a number of reasons, such as arthritis, bacterial infections, certain types of cancer, etc. Your doctor will recommend conducting an ESR test if you are suffering from symptoms such as loss of appetite, anaemia, weight loss, fever, etc.
What is ESR?
ESR, also known as Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate, is a blood test that assists in detecting whether or not you have inflammation in your body. Our immune system reacts to any infection, injury, or any other health condition that it suffers due to inflammation. These health conditions range from certain types of cancer to blood disorders and immune system disorders.
Erythrocytes are the red blood cells in our body. To detect the body's ERS levels, a blood sample is sent to the laboratory for performing an ESR test. A lab professional sets the blood sample into a long, thin test tube. This is performed to check the rate at which the red blood cells in the blood sample sink in the test tube.
Under normal circumstances, the red blood cells sink at a slow pace. However, when the body is experiencing inflammation, the sinking process occurs at a faster rate. This is because the red blood cells get together, causing them to sink faster. And hence it is a case of inflammation, meaning the person suffers from an underlying medical condition.
The speed at which you acquire your ESR test result indicates the rate of inflammation in your body. The faster the test result, the higher the inflammation in your body. However, an ESR test result does not notice what type of health condition you are suffering from.
What Are the Normal Ranges of ESR?
The ESR test result shall vary and depends on factors like the person's medical history, age, and gender, among other things. The test result could also vary from lab to lab. And sometimes, the test does not indicate a medical problem in the person.
ESR is generally measured in millimeters per hour (mm/hr). The normal range is different for both men and women. The ESR normal ranges for men are in between 0 mm/hr to 15 mm/hr. And the ESR normal ranges for women are in between 0 mm/hr to 20 mm/hr.
What Are the Reasons for High ESR?
A high ESR test result means that you may be suffering from a health condition that causes high levels of inflammation. These medical conditions could be:
- Certain cancers
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
- Systemic vasculitis
- Old Age
- Thyroid diseases
- Kidney diseases
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- And other autoimmune diseases
There are instances when the ESR levels are high without the body experiencing any form of inflammation; this could indicate an underlying cancer condition.
What Are the High ESR Treatment Options?
Your doctor may recommend additional test results based on the ESR test results to further diagnose the condition. A second ESR test is also performed for further verification and confirmation. These test results can deliver a more accurate view of the health condition of the person and the reason for inflammation in the body.
ESR tests are also used to check whether the treatments are working. And the doctor might also suggest you consult a specialist for an expert opinion who can perform specific and related treatments for your inflammation.
High ESR treatments also include anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen or ibuprofen to fight inflammation. Additionally, corticosteroid therapy also helps to reduce inflammation. If bacterial infections cause high levels of ESR, antibiotics are the best solution.
What are ESR Tests?
To find the body's ERS levels, a blood test is required. The blood sample is kept in a test tube, and the sinking process of the red blood cells is observed. The aim is to measure how quickly the red blood cells or the erythrocytes sink and whether they form clots or not.
The red blood cells sink at a lower pace generally. However, the sinking process is quicker when the red blood cells form clots. This is the case when the body is going through inflammation. Thus, indicating a high ESR level.
What is the ESR Test Price?
An ESR test price is generally between Rs. 100 to 200 in metropolitan cities, which may or may not vary from place to place.
Why is ESR Test Required?
If a person suffers from any symptoms of a medical condition that causes inflammation, the doctor prescribes an ESR test. The symptoms vary from person to person. Some of them are listed below:
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained fever
- Neck pain or shoulder pain
- Weight loss
- Joint stiffness
ESR is a blood test that helps notice the inflammation rate in the body. It is a type of blood test that measures inflammation and is mainly performed along with other types of laboratory tests to diagnose the cause of the inflammation. Based on the ESR test results, the physician would ask for more tests or suggest consulting a specialist.
The inflammation is a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as bowel diseases, heart diseases, arthritis, obesity, old age, pregnancy, and thyroid diseases. A long list of reasons could affect the range of the ESR levels. Hence it is better to consult a doctor when your ESR blood tests show high ESR levels. Talking to a doctor when you experience any severity in the symptoms can help detect health conditions early.