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5 Blood Tests Used to Detect Inflammation

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5 Blood Tests Used to Detect Inflammation

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Inflammation plays a role in multiple body functions. It is beneficial for helping the immune system fight against foreign invaders, for example. However, if inflammation gets out of control, it can have harmful effects on the body. When inflammation starts to cause issues, there are certain blood tests that doctors can use to evaluate it.

Fasting Insulin

More insulin is released by the pancreas when the body detects that blood sugar levels are rising. When the fasting insulin levels are elevated, this can indicate a few health issues, including chronic low-grade inflammation. As more insulin is produced, the inflammatory process can also increase throughout the body. This is an effect that occurs with insulin resistance.

Hemoglobin A1C

This is a blood test that is used to measure average glucose in the body over three months. While this test is frequently used to determine a person’s blood sugar control, it also works to determine if there is inflammation in the body. When blood sugar is chronically high, it reacts with protein molecules and enzymes to cause advanced glycolytic end products. These can damage tissues throughout the body due to being highly inflammatory.

C Reactive Protein

This is one of the most commonly used blood tests to determine if there is inflammation in the body. C reactive protein is a protein that the liver produces. The levels decrease or increase in concentration due to trauma or inflammation. Patients who have inflammatory conditions, such as an autoimmune disease or arthritis, may have this test performed to determine the level of inflammation in the body. This information is then used to either monitor or diagnose inflammatory conditions.

Serum Ferritin

This blood test is performed to look at ferritin levels in the body. Ferritin is a type of blood cell protein that is responsible for storing iron. Low levels can indicate that someone has an iron deficiency. When levels of ferritin are high, this can tell doctors that the patient has an inflammatory condition, such as an autoimmune disease or a chronic infection.

Red Blood Cell Width

This blood test can be used to look for oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. It looks at the variation of red blood cell sizes within the total red blood cell population in the body. Red blood cells tend to start their lives relatively big, but their width reduces as they mature in the bone marrow. If this test shows that the number of wide red blood cells is elevated, this can indicate inflammation.