I am glad to hear that you're on a path to treatment & to a rheummy! Hopefully the description I give of the bloodwork labs will be of some help to you and clarify some of the things that the doc wants to look @ in your blood.
The tests you mentioned are pretty routine when looking @ a person with pain, arthritis and possible autoimmune problems. The general CBC looks at the blood for infection, virus....looks at the red blood cells and all the basic stuff.
The ANA: antinuclear antibody test is most commonly performed in screening for patients suspected of having systemic rheumatic disease. Some examples are systemic lupus, mixed connective tissue disease, Sjogren's sysndrome, scleroderma and RA. The ANA test alone does not diagnose anything very specific right then. The test if come back positive wil direct the doc where to go from there. Normal is Negative and if positive, the blood is then titered and looked at further.
The BMP: Basic Metabolic Panel measures all the basic stuff in your blood such as calcium, sodium, BUN, potassium, glucose, chloride, your kidney chemicals, Carbon dioxide. Your cholesterol levels might be taken as well.
Rheumatoid Factor test: Many people who have RA show a positive RF antibody. It's useful in detecting RA, but again, is not an absolute diagnnosis alone.
All of these specific labs will be taken in account along with your symptoms. Everyone is different! People have ALL the symptoms and swelling and deterioration, and it is possible for many of their labs to come back within normal range. On the other hand...the oppisite is true! They can have a lot of whacky bloodwork, but not as many symtpoms!!
Arthritis and rheumatics is a tricky science. I can definitely say, it is an art for these docs! Many diagnosis and treatments are trial and error. Which of course makes it oh so pleasant for us right?! LOL.
I sure hope you get a rheummy who's on the ball!
If I can explain anything further, I'de be more than happy. Please, when you get the results, let us know how you made out. Wishing you the very best!
Oh! forgot!....The Sedimentation rate or sed rate: This test looks for inflammatory processes. Basically it measures how the blood settles and at what time/or how long. A positive sed rate is common with people having autoimmune disease and arthritis.
Post Edited (erin kachmar) : 10/24/2005 12:14:35 PM (GMT-6)