I can understand a little of it but there are so many test types I don't understand. ESR, WBC, RBC, HB, MCV, RDW, PLT, Abs Neut, CCP antibody, Globulin. To make matters worse we measure them differently here to the states. Anyone else understand them ?
Well you made me laugh anyhow. You see once we know what they mean, we'll always know.
A lot of times you may not know for sure! I investigate claims for an insurance company and, every now and then, someone gets a test, xrays or whatever, that find something they didn't know they had. I've seen all sorts of interesting things but probably look at BG more than is useful, it's sort of automatic.
I work at a lab in the US, but I can explain what the test is even though the measurements are different.
ESR is a pretty generic test that shows if some inflammatory process is going on in the body. This can definitely be positive just because someone is diabetic, but it isn't always... its kind of a screening test but it isn't really that helpful. Things like birth control (and a million other drugs) can cause false positives.
WBC is your white blood cell count. This is raised in situations like infections and is sky-high in leukemia. Low counts can happen in depressed immune systems, but not always.
RBC is red blood cell count. Low in things like anemia, higher RBC's can mean polycythemia vera (rare), but usually things like dehydration.
HB is hemoglobin. Tells if you are anemic or not. If its low, eat more iron-rich foods. Diabetes can cause 'anemia of chronic disease', which is usually a mild anemia. People on dialysis tend to have low hemoglobin through red cell loss in the kidneys and during dialysis (so some get blood infusions during dialysis).
MCV and RDW are calculated to give an idea of (MCV) the size of the red blood cell, and (RDW) the variance in size of all your red blood cells. In anemias due to low iron, MCV is low. Due to blood loss, normal/low. Due to B12/folate deficiencies, normal/high. Many things can affect this, so its not an absolute. For example, high blood sugars at the time of blood draw and falsely elevate MCV.
PLT is your platelet count. These tiny cells are also in your blood, and they help your body patch up any damage to blood vessels.
The Abs Neut (absolute neutrophil) has to do with your white blood cell count. There are several different kinds of white blood cells. These cells can be counted and percentages can be given. The Absolute Neutrophil is a calculation of this. This cell is increased in infections, and some people on chemo for some types of leukemias have decreased counts.
Globulin is a measurement of overall protein in your blood. Can be affect by hydration levels. People with kidney problems have low proteins due to loss through urination/dialysis.
The CCP antibody is something a body makes against itself. Hello auto-immune diseases. This one specifically is related to rheumatoid arthritis, but it is not fool-proof. Like antibodies used to diagnose Type 1 diabetes.. CCP's presence or absence is not black and white. They might be there or not..
I hope this helped a little :)
I like to use the site called LabTestOnline run by the American Association of Clinical Chemistry. It provides peer reviewed information on these tests and amazingly has corresponding sites for a number of countries, including the UK. Those sister sites all contain the proper units for the country and many of these descriptions include routine reference ranges as well.
ESR:used to see if an inflammatory procces happening in the body(but not specific to any disease).
WBC:White blood cell count.looking to see if your white blood cells are high or low,high meaning theres an immune response of some sort(like an infection most of the time but not always).
RBC:Red blood cell count,done to see if it hits low which you can do alot with,example if it decreases theres a problem going on with RBC production or theres a bleeding going.
Hb:to see if its low which might indicate anemia for example.
MCV:Mean corpuscale volume,tells you the size of the red blood cell,terms that are used is normocytic(normal size),microcytic(small size),macrocytic(big size).by the way anemia can be diagnosed even if size is normal.
RDW:Red cell distribution width.compairs red blood cells with each other to see diffrence in size.(these is significant clinical in given clues of early nutritional defeciancy,also has other uses).
PLT:platlets counts.these little guy is unique,plays a role hemostasis(i know i had no other word for it so sorry :( )if its high theres a chance for a thrombus or emboli(clot in the vessels),if its low theres a chance for bleeding,if its in normal range your good to go my freind :).
Abs:antibodies.i have no idea how to start but there are alot of subtests for these.so to put it simple its looking for circulating antibodies in the system,but you have to know what your looking for though ;).
neutrophils:they usually order it by WBC with diffrentials.It usually gives 5 readings1-Neutrophil.2-Basophil.3-esinophils.4-Monocytes.5-Lymphocytes.6-Band cells(Early neutrophils or as i like to call it baby neutrophils :D(this one is an extra test).
CCP antibody:Anti-citrullinated protein antibody.these guy maybe but not always used for early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthiritis(theres a criteria to diagnosis rheumatiod arthritis ;)),can also see if medications for rheumatiod are working which is indicated by a low CCP antibody.if its high means higher chance of an aggressive type of rheumatiod arthiritis.(But note it is not used exclusivly for rheumatiod).
Globuline:usually there are 3 subtypes Alpha,Gamma and beta.There looking if one or some is being produced in excess .there are many disease that causes it to be high.
i just wrote rough lines on it Josephine and tried not to use to much medical terms.Hope these helps :D.
I am so grateful to all of you for taking the time to answer this question. Thank you. Now all I need to do is get this hbA into range.