In this blog post, we will be discussing the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test and what high or low results may mean. The ESR test is a type of blood test used to measure how quickly erythrocytes, or red blood cells, settle in a period of one hour. This test can be useful in diagnosing various diseases and conditions, such as inflammation, infection, and cancer. It can also be used to monitor the progress of these diseases and conditions. If you have been ordered an ESR test by your doctor, it is important to understand what the results may mean. Keep reading to learn more about ESR tests and what high or low results may indicate.
How is the ESR Test Performed?
There are a few different ways that an ESR test can be performed, but the most common is the Westergren method. In this method, blood is drawn from a vein in the arm and placed into a tall, thin tube. The tube is then placed on a special stand that allows it to rotate very slowly. After one hour, the amount of sedimentation (or settling) that has occurred is measured and recorded.
Other methods of performing an ESR test include the Wintrobe method and the modified Wintrobe method. In the Wintrobe method, blood is also drawn from a vein in the arm and placed into a tube. However, this tube is much shorter and wider than the Westergren tube. It is also not placed on a rotating stand. After one hour, the amount of sedimentation that has occurred is measured and recorded.
In the modified Wintrobe method, blood is again drawn from a vein in the arm and placed into a tube. However, this tube is shorter than the Westergren tube but wider than the Wintrobe tube. It is also not placed on a rotating stand. After 30 minutes, the amount of sedimentation that has occurred is measured and recorded.
So, as you can see, there are slight differences in how each of these methods are performed. But ultimately, they all give healthcare providers valuable information about what’s going on inside your body.
The cost of an ESR test may vary depending on the facility where you have the test done, but typically it falls between $5 and $10. Some insurance plans may cover the cost of the test, but others may not. If your insurance does not cover the cost, you may be able to negotiate a lower price with your provider.
What do High ESR Test Results Mean?
When your erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is high, it may mean you have inflammation somewhere in your body. The test measures how quickly red blood cells settle in a test tube. A high ESR usually means there is inflammation present.
There are many different things that can cause a high ESR, including infections, autoimmune disorders, and some cancers. In most cases, a high ESR is not caused by a serious condition. However, it’s important to follow up with your doctor to find out the cause of your high ESR.
What do Low ESR Test Results Mean?
ESR is a measure of how quickly erythrocytes, or red blood cells, settle in a test tube. The sedimentation rate is the speed at which red blood cells fall to the bottom of a test tube. A high ESR means that there are more inflammation-promoting proteins in the blood, while a low ESR indicates a lower level of these proteins.
There are many different factors that can affect ESR results, including age, sex, altitude, smoking status, and certain medications. In general, women tend to have higher ESR values than men, and older adults typically have higher values than younger adults. People who live at high altitudes or smoke cigarettes may also have elevated ESR levels.
Certain medications can influence ESR test results. For example, corticosteroids can decrease the sedimentation rate, while estrogen replacement therapy and birth control pills can increase it. If you are taking any medication that might affect your ESR results, be sure to tell your doctor before having the test done.
A high sedimentation rate does not necessarily mean that you have an inflammatory disease. Many conditions can cause a temporary increase in ESR, such as infection or pregnancy. However, a persistently high ESR may be indicative of an underlying chronic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
If your doctor suspects that you have an inflammatory disease based on your ESR results, they may order additional tests to
When to See a Doctor for Abnormal ESR Test Results
If you have any concerns about your ESR test results, it is important to follow up with your doctor. Abnormal results may be due to a number of factors, including infection, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. If your doctor suspects that you may have an underlying condition, they may order additional tests or refer you to a specialist.
ESR test results can be either high or low, depending on what is causing the inflammation. If you have a high ESR, it could be due to an infection or another condition that is causing inflammation in your body. If you have a low ESR, it could be due to dehydration or anemia. No matter what your ESR test results are, it is important to follow up with your doctor to find out the cause of the inflammation and get proper treatment.