To detect the changes or problems in your system that can develop with lupus, a variety of laboratory tests are employed. Each test result contributes to the picture of your condition that your doctor is putting together. Lupus blood tests and urine tests are by far the most common sorts of lab tests you may be requested to take. It’s critical to comprehend these lab tests so you can work alongside your doctor to have a better understanding of your health.
Typically, lupus cannot be diagnosed only on the basis of laboratory tests. The lupus symptoms and signs are crucial as well. It’s generally a strong indicator to consider lupus when a positive antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is followed by numerous additional clues that doctors look for when diagnosing lupus. Positive lab tests are very common, and they appear and disappear over time.
Let’s take a look at some of the lab tests for diagnosing lupus.
Routine Blood Tests
A complete blood count is usually requested initially by your doctor (CBC). RBCs, WBCs, platelets, and serum make up your blood. Each of these is measured by a full blood count. These blood tests may show low values in people with lupus.
Antibody Blood Tests
Antibodies are proteins that help the body fight and neutralize invading entities such as germs and viruses. Lupus is caused by antibodies produced by your body against its own healthy cells and tissues. A panel—a collection of tests ordered at the same time—contains many of these antibodies. Antinuclear antibody testing is the most common test (the ANA test) for lupus.
The ANA can be positive in persons who are sick or in people who aren’t sick. As a result, a positive ANA test may not always indicate the presence of lupus. Even in the same individual, test results can vary.
Because lupus can strike the kidneys without notice, urine testing is essential. Your kidneys filter waste from your body. A urine sample can be tested to see if your kidneys are working properly. Cell casts are detected by the most frequent urine tests. These tests will also look for protein leaked into your body as a result of your kidneys’ inability to filter waste adequately. A 24-hour urine sample can also provide useful information that can help conclude.