A RAST test is a type of blood test used to test for allergies. These tests, which use radioactivity, have largely been abandoned by doctors in favor of newer, more accurate forms of allergy testing, but some doctors still use them in certain cases. RAST stands for "radioallergosorbent." RAST tests have been a very safe way to test for food allergies, but they are also expensive and are not considered as accurate as food challenges. When Are RAST Tests Used? In the past, RAST tests were often used in combination with skin tests, or in situations when other tests are considered [...]
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What is being tested? The full blood count (FBC) is one of the most commonly requested tests and provides important information about the kinds and numbers of cells in the blood: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Abnormalities in any of these types of cells can indicate the presence of important medical disorders. Blood is composed of a variety of living cells that circulate through the heart, arteries and veins carrying nourishment, hormones, vitamins, antibodies, heat and oxygen to the body's tissues. Blood contains three main components — red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets — suspended in [...]
CD4 cells are white blood cells called T lymphocytes or T cells that fight infection and play an important role in immune system function. They are made in the thymus gland and they circulate throughout the body in the blood and lymphatic system. CD4 tests measure the number of these cells in the blood and, in conjunction with an HIV viral load test, help assess the status of the immune system in a person who has been diagnosed... Why Get Tested? Most often, this test is done to measure the strength of your immune system if you have been diagnosed with [...]
Lipids are a group of fats and fat-like substances that are important constituents of cells and sources of energy. A lipid panel measures the level of specific lipids in the blood. Two important lipids, cholesterol and triglycerides, are transported in the blood by lipoprotein particles. Each particle contains a combination of protein, cholesterol, triglyceride, and phospholipid molecules. The particles measured with a lipid profile are classified by their density into high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). Monitoring and maintaining healthy levels of these lipids is important in staying healthy. While the body produces the cholesterol needed [...]
Viral load is the term used to describe the amount of HIV in your blood. The more HIV there is in your blood (and therefore the higher your viral load), then the faster your CD4 cell count will fall, and the greater your risk of becoming ill because of HIV. Viral load tests measure the amount of HIV’s genetic material in a blood sample. The results of a viral load test are described as the number of copies of HIV RNA in a millilitre of blood. But your doctor will normally just talk about your viral load as a number. How [...]
The kidneys remove wastes and extra water from the blood to form urine. Urine flows from the kidneys to the bladderthrough the ureters. The wastes in your blood come from the normal breakdown of active muscle and from the food you eat. Your body uses the food for energy and self-repair. They also help filter blood before sending it back to the heart. The kidneys perform many crucial functions, including: maintaining overall fluid balance. regulating and filtering minerals from blood. Here are 5 ways to keep your kidneys healthy Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluid will help your kidneys function Eat healthily. Abalanced diet ensures you get all [...]
What Causes Thyroid Problems? Through the hormones it produces, the thyroid gland influences almost all of the metabolic processes in your body. Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter (enlarged gland) that needs no treatment to life-threatening cancer. The most common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Too much thyroid hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Insufficient hormone production leads to hypothyroidism. Although the effects can be unpleasant or uncomfortable, most thyroid problems can be managed well if properly diagnosed and treated. The usual treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Treatment is usually [...]
The Role of Cardiac Enzymes Cardiac enzymes are like other enzymes in that they regulate the various processes that keep the organ working properly and the blood flowing to the rest of your body. This can include speeding up or slowing down what the body does inherently in order to actually get the desired effect. Most of the discussion about cardiac enzymes is not about what they do but about when they’re not doing what they should, which refers to cardiac enzymes and their presence in the blood. Elevated blood levels of cardiac enzymes are similar to elevated liver enzymes in [...]
What is blood glucose? Blood glucose literally refers to the amount of glucose in your blood. This glucose comes from whatever you eat and drink plus the stores of glucose that sit within your liver and muscles Monitoring blood glucose levels is an integral part of diabetes management. This can be done manually using a glucometer or by wearing a continuous blood glucose monitoring device that measures blood sugar levels 10 Easy Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally: Exercise Regularly Control Your Carb Intake Increase Your Fiber Intake Drink Water and Stay Hydrated Implement Portion Control Choose Foods With a [...]
Arthritis symptoms can be vague and confusing, but they are important to recognize. It is incredibly common for people who have joint pain and other early symptoms to think that they have injured themselves. Often, they spend some time trying to self-treat the symptoms with over-the-counter treatment options. Hopefully they don't this for long. It's important to recognize early symptoms of arthritis and consult your doctor for an examination and assessment. Signs and Symptoms Common to Most Types of Arthritis : The signs and symptoms commonly associated with various types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases and those that usually occur with [...]