Lupus Insight: Understanding and Empowering with Lab Testing
Lupus (also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, and blood cells. In lupus, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues, leading to inflammation and damage.
The exact cause of lupus is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors. It primarily affects women of childbearing age, although it can occur in men and people of all ages.
May is Lupus Awareness Month
Wellacy (AKA FastLabs) supports Lupus awareness and is an advocate for patients impacted physically, emotionally, and socially by this complex condition. Lupus can be challenging to diagnose because its symptoms can mimic those of other conditions. Increased awareness leads to earlier detection, enabling individuals to seek medical help and receive a proper diagnosis.
Importance of Blood Testing for Lupus
Blood testing is an important tool in the diagnosis and management of lupus. While there is no single definitive test for lupus, blood tests can help healthcare providers assess various aspects of the disease.
Here are some commonly used blood tests for lupus:
- Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) Test: This is the primary screening test for lupus. ANA antibodies are found in the majority of individuals with lupus, but they can also be present in other autoimmune and non-autoimmune conditions.
- Anti-dsDNA Antibody Test: This test specifically detects antibodies against double-stranded DNA. Anti-dsDNA antibodies are highly specific to lupus and are found in approximately 70% of people with the disease. Their presence often indicates more active lupus and can be associated with kidney involvement.
- Anti-Sm Antibody Test: This test identifies antibodies against a specific protein called Smith (Sm). Anti-Sm antibodies are highly specific to lupus and are found in about 30% of individuals with the disease. Their presence can help confirm a lupus diagnosis, but they are not present in all lupus cases.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC): A CBC measures the levels of different blood cells, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. People with lupus often have low red blood cell counts (anemia), low white blood cell counts (leukopenia), or low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia).
- Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) and C-Reactive Protein (CRP): These tests measure markers of inflammation in the body. While they are not specific to lupus, elevated levels can suggest the presence of active inflammation, which is common in lupus.
- Complement Levels: Complement is a group of proteins that help the immune system fight infections and clear damaged cells. In lupus, complement levels can be low, particularly C3 and C4. Low complement levels may indicate ongoing inflammation and disease activity.
Lupus and Gut Health
Growing evidence suggests that gut health plays a crucial role in the development and progression of autoimmune diseases. The gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. These microorganisms play a critical role in regulating the immune system, and imbalances in the gut microbiome have been linked to autoimmune diseases.
Uncover the source of your chronic symptoms and discover the true state of your autoimmune health with FastLabs’ simple blood test – Comprehensive Autoimmunity & GI Panel.
This panel measures over 30 antibody markers that indicate autoimmune disease, 96 food sensitivities, and the presence of Leaky Gut Syndrome. These conditions are all closely linked and often trigger one another, making it very important to test for each one to truly understand the scope of your autoimmune health.
Appointments at Wellacy Are Available NOW
Visit Wellacy’s (AKA FastLabs’) new South Miami location at 6193 Sunset Dr, South Miami FL 33143 – across the street from South Miami Hospital and close to Larkin Hospital. This new state-of-the-art laboratory offers a FULL menu of laboratory testing and diagnostic options for patients, including the Comprehensive Autoimmunity & GI Panel. Appointments can be made directly on the Wellacy (AKA FastLabs) website, www.wellacy.com. Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments are recommended. Call (305) 741-2655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!