Have you been diagnosed with lupus by your healthcare provider? In this case, you will need to get lab tests on a routine basis.
Today, we will take a closer look at why your doctor or functional medicine practitioner may request you to do routine blood tests, an antibody blood test, and urine tests.
Why Diagnosing Lupus Is Challenging
Research tells us that 52% of patients underreport their symptoms when they have appointments with their physicians. Also, symptoms tend to change over time, making it hard to pinpoint their exact cause. That’s why a comprehensive suite of lab tests plays an important role in diagnosing lupus.
Importance of Regular Lab Tests for Patients with Lupus
Systemic lupus is a disease that can cause inflammation of multiple organs or organ systems. While there is no treatment, your healthcare provider may recommend that you adopt lifestyle changes. These may include regular exercise and a healthy diet rich in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids to improve your quality of life. Lab tests play an important role in helping your healthcare provider assess the efficiency of the treatment and monitor your health for any negative escalations.
Antibody Blood Test
Statistics tell us that 97% of people with lupus test positive for the antinuclear antibodies test (ANA). That is why this blood test plays an important role in diagnosing the disease. Antinuclear antibodies are antibodies that target normal proteins by mistake, causing inflammation of joints or tissue damage.
Remember that ANA is never a single source of accurate diagnosis because people without lupus may get a positive result as well.
Routine Blood Tests
Lupus affects the blood, causing blood disorders. It decreases the number of white blood cells that are the body’s immune response to infections. Regular blood tests help catch a moment when the number of white blood cells falls dangerously low. While it usually doesn’t occur with lupus alone, the prescribed drugs such as azathioprine and cyclophosphamide may cause a dangerous decrease in white blood cells.
Also, lupus may increase the risk of thrombosis, which is excessive blood clotting. Platelets are cells that activate the blood-clotting process. Blood clots are dangerous as they may block vitally important arteries. Therefore, bone marrow testing and determining the levels of platelets are important.
If you are getting ready to do a blood test, remember to check out our FAQs page.
This test is perhaps the most important one for patients living with lupus. The disease may damage organs, including kidneys. Conducting regular urine tests can help catch signs of problems with the kidneys promptly.
Two common urine tests look for:
- Cell casts (bits of cells that the kidneys should but fail to remove)
- Signs of proteinuria (protein being spilled into the body system)
At Clarity Labs, we understand the importance of accurate lab tests for patients and healthcare providers. We are proud to be a CLIA and CAP-accredited laboratory that is ready to support every patient with lupus. Contact us today if you need a high-quality lab test.