C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

 

What is a c-reactive protein (CRP) test?

A c-reactive protein test measures the level of c-reactive protein (CRP) in your blood. CRP is a protein made by your liver. It’s sent into your bloodstream in response to inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting your tissues if you’ve been injured or have an infection. It can cause pain, redness, and swelling in the injured or affected area. Some autoimmune disorders and chronic diseases can also cause inflammation.

Normally, you have low levels of c-reactive protein in your blood. High levels may be sign of a serious infection or other disorder.

Other names: c-reactive protein, serum

What is it used for?

A CRP test may be used to find or monitor conditions that cause inflammation. These include:

Why do I need a CRP test?

You may need this test if you have symptoms of a serious bacterial infection. Symptoms include:

If you’ve already been diagnosed with an infection or have a chronic disease, this test may be used to monitor your treatment. CRP levels rise and fall depending on how much inflammation you have. If your CRP levels go down, it’s a sign that your treatment for inflammation is working.

What happens during a CRP test?

A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This process usually takes less than five minutes.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t need any special preparations for a CRP test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

What do the results mean?

If your results show a high level of CRP, it probably means you have some type of inflammation in your body. A CRP test doesn’t explain the cause or location of the inflammation. So if your results are not normal, your health care provider may order more tests to figure out why you have inflammation.

A higher than normal CRP level does not necessarily mean you have a medical condition needing treatment. There are other factors that can raise your CRP levels. These include cigarette smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise.

If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

Is there anything else I need to know about a CRP test?

A CRP test is sometimes confused with a high-sensitivity-(hs) CRP test. Although they both measure CRP, they are used to diagnose different conditions. An hs-CRP test measures much lower levels of CRP. It is used to check for risk of heart disease.

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Measles Virus as a Cancer Fighter

A medical first — a woman with an incurable form of cancer has had all signs of living cancer cells eradicated from her body for at least 6 months. What’s more, it was accomplished in a single treatment. And the magic potion — was the measles virus. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org.

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How to Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Home

Between their itchy bites and their ability to carry diseases, mosquitoes are houseguests nobody wants. To really yank the welcome mat out from under them, get rid of any standing water around your home. You’ll be taking away the soggy spots where they are likely to lay their eggs. Here are their favorite watering holes and how to keep the area around your home dry.

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Breast Biopsy: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

 

What is a breast biopsy?

A breast biopsy is a procedure that removes a small sample of breast tissue for testing. The tissue is looked at under a microscope to check for breast cancer. There are different ways to do a breast biopsy procedure. One method uses a special needle to remove tissue. Another method removes tissue in a minor, outpatient surgery.

A breast biopsy can determine whether you have breast cancer. But most women who have a breast biopsy do not have cancer.

Other names: core needle biopsy; core biopsy, breast; fine-needle aspiration; open surgery biopsy

What is it used for?

A breast biopsy is used to confirm or rule out breast cancer. It is done after other breast tests, such as a mammogram, or a physical breast exam, show there might be a chance of breast cancer.

Why do I need a breast biopsy?

You may need a breast biopsy if:

  • You or your health care provider felt a lump in your breast
  • Your mammogram, MRI, or ultrasound tests show a lump, shadow, or other area of concern
  • You have changes in your nipple, such as bloody discharge

If your health care provider has ordered a breast biopsy, it does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer. The majority of breast lumps that are tested are benign, which means noncancerous.

What happens during a breast biopsy?

There are three main types of breast biopsy procedures:

  • Fine needle aspiration biopsy, which uses a very thin needle to remove a sample of breast cells or fluid
  • Core needle biopsy, which uses a larger needle to remove a sample
  • Surgical biopsy, which removes a sample in a minor, outpatient procedure

Fine needle aspiration and core needle biopsies usually include the following steps.

  • You will lay on your side or sit on an exam table.
  • A health care provider will clean the biopsy site and inject it with an anesthetic, so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure.
  • Once the area is numb, the provider will insert either a fine aspiration needle or core biopsy needle into the biopsy site and remove a sample of tissue or fluid.
  • You may feel a little pressure when the sample is withdrawn.
  • Pressure will be applied to the biopsy site until the bleeding stops.
  • Your provider will apply a sterile bandage at the biopsy site.

In a surgical biopsy, a surgeon will make a small cut in your skin to remove all or part of a breast lump. A surgical biopsy is sometimes done if the lump can’t be reached with a needle biopsy. Surgical biopsies usually include the following steps.

  • You will lie on an operating table. An IV (intravenous line) may be placed in your arm or hand.
  • You may be given medicine, called a sedative, to help you relax.
  • You will be given local or general anesthesia, so you won’t feel pain during the procedure.
    • For local anesthesia, a health care provider will inject the biopsy site with medicine to numb the area.
    • For general anesthesia, a specialist called an anesthesiologist will give you medicine, so you will be unconscious during the procedure.
  • the biopsy area is numb or you are unconscious, the surgeon will make a small cut into the breast and remove part or all of a lump. Some tissue around the lump may also be removed.
  • The cut in your skin will be closed with stitches or adhesive strips.

The type of biopsy you have will depend on different factors, including the size of the lump and what the lump or area of concern looks like on a breast test.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You won’t need any special preparations if you are getting local anesthesia (numbing of the biopsy site). If you are getting general anesthesia, you will probably need to fast (not eat or drink) for several hours before surgery. Your surgeon will give you more specific instructions. Also, if you are getting a sedative or general anesthesia, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home. You may be groggy and confused after you wake up from the procedure.

Are there any risks to the test?

You may have a little bruising or bleeding at the biopsy site. Sometimes the site gets infected. If that happens, you will be treated with antibiotics. A surgical biopsy may cause some additional pain and discomfort. Your health care provider may recommend or prescribe medicine to help you feel better.

What do the results mean?

It may take several days to a week to get your results. Typical results may show:

  • Normal. No cancer or abnormal cells were found.
  • Abnormal, but benign. These show breast changes that are not cancer. These include calcium deposits and cysts. Sometimes more testing and/or follow-up treatment may be needed.
  • Cancer cells found. Your results will include information about the cancer to help you and your health care provider develop a treatment plan that best meets your needs. You will probably be referred to a provider who specializes in breast cancer treatment.

Is there anything else I need to know about a breast biopsy?

In the United States, tens of thousands of women and hundreds of men die of breast cancer every year. A breast biopsy, when appropriate, can help find breast cancer at an early stage, when it’s most treatable. If breast cancer is found early, when it is confined to the breast only, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent. This means, on average, that 99 out of 100 people with breast cancer that was detected early are still alive 5 years after being diagnosed. If you have questions about breast cancer screening, such as mammograms or a breast biopsy, talk to your health care provider.

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How to Safely Instill Eye Drops – Mayo Clinic

Brigitte Keener, O.D., optometrist at #MayoClinicFL, demonstrates how to safely and effectively instill eye drops for patients who have prescribed drops for treatment of ocular conditions.

For more information visit http://mayocl.in/ophthalmology or call 904-953-2232

Spanish version: http://youtu.be/JKK6I-XgbgI

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Holiday Pet Dangers – The Basics

‘Tis the season to be merry, so keep an eye on these festive plants, decorations, and food when your furry friend is around. Learn more: http://wb.md/2hdrf76

Subscribe to WebMD here: https://www.youtube.com/user/WebMD

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Blood Alcohol Level: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

 

What is a blood alcohol test?

A blood alcohol test measures the level of Alcohol in your blood. Most people are more familiar with the breathalyzer, a test often used by police officers on people suspected of drunk driving. While a breathalyzer gives fast results, it is not as accurate as measuring alcohol in the blood.

Alcohol, also known as ethanol, is the main ingredient of alcoholic drinks such as beer, wine, and liquor. When you have an alcoholic drink, it is absorbed into your bloodstream and processed by the liver. Your liver can process about one drink an hour. One drink is usually defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of whiskey.

If you are drinking faster than your liver can process the alcohol, you may feel the effects of drunkenness, also called intoxication. These include behavioral changes and impaired judgment. The effects of alcohol can vary from person to person, depending on a variety of factors such as age, weight, gender, and how much food you ate before drinking.

Other names: blood alcohol level test, ethanol test, ethyl alcohol, blood alcohol content

What is it used for?

A blood alcohol test may be used to find out if you:

  • Have been drinking and driving. In the United States, .08 percent blood alcohol level is the legal alcohol limit for drivers who are aged 21 and over. Drivers younger than 21 are not allowed to have any alcohol in their system when driving.
  • Are legally drunk. The legal alcohol limit for drinking in public varies from state to state.
  • Have been drinking while in a treatment program that prohibits drinking.
  • Have alcohol poisoning, a life-threatening condition that happens when your blood alcohol level gets very high. Alcohol poisoning can seriously affect basic body functions, including breathing, heart rate, and temperature.

Teens and young adults are at higher risk for binge drinking, which can cause alcohol poisoning. Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that raises the blood alcohol level within a short period of time. Though it varies from person to person, binge drinking is usually defined as four drinks for women and five drinks for men in a two-hour period.

Young children may get alcohol poisoning from drinking household products that contain alcohol, such as mouthwash, hand sanitizer, and certain cold medicines.

Why do I need a blood alcohol test?

You may need a blood alcohol test if you are suspected of drunk driving and/or have symptoms of intoxication. These include:

  • Difficulty with balance and coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mood changes
  • Poor judgment

You or your child may also need this test if there are symptoms of alcohol poisoning. In addition to the above symptoms, alcohol poisoning can cause:

  • Confusion
  • Irregular breathing
  • Seizures
  • Low body temperature

What happens during a blood alcohol test?

A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This process usually takes less than five minutes.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t need any special preparations for a blood alcohol test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

What do the results mean?

Blood alcohol level results may be given in different ways, including percentage of blood alcohol content (BAC). Typical results are below.

  • Sober: 0.0 percent BAC
  • Legally intoxicated: .08 percent BAC
  • Very impaired: .08–0.40 percent BAC. At this blood alcohol level, you may have difficulty walking and speaking. Other symptoms may include confusion, nausea, and drowsiness.
  • At risk for serious complications: Above .40 percent BAC. At this blood alcohol level, you may be at risk for coma or death.

The timing of this test can affect the accuracy of the results. A blood alcohol test is only accurate within 6–12 hours after your last drink. If you have questions or concerns about your results, you may want to talk to a health care provider and/or a lawyer.

Is there anything else I need to know about a blood alcohol test?

A police officer may ask you to take a breathalyzer test if you are suspected of drunk driving. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer, or think the test wasn’t accurate, you may ask for or be asked to take a blood alcohol test.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Alcohol and Public Health: Frequently Asked Questions [updated 2017 Jun 8; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm
  2. ClinLab Navigator [Internet]. ClinLab Navigator; c2018. Alcohol (Ethanol, Ethyl Alcohol) [cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: http://www.clinlabnavigator.com/alcohol-ethanol-ethyl-alcohol.html
  3. Drugs.com [Internet]. Drugs.com; c2000–2018. Alcohol Intoxication [updated 2018 Mar 1; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.drugs.com/cg/alcohol-intoxication.html
  4. Hinkle J, Cheever K. Brunner & Suddarth’s Handbook of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests. 2nd Ed, Kindle. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; c2014. Ethyl Alcohol Levels (Blood, Urine, Breath, Saliva) (Alcohol, EtOH); 278 p.
  5. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. Washington D.C.: American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2018. Ethanol [updated 2018 Mar 8; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://labtestsonline.org/tests/ethanol
  6. Mayo Clinic: Mayo Medical Laboratories [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; c1995–2018. Test ID: ALC: Ethanol, Blood: Clinical and Interpretive [cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 4 screens]. Available from: https://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/8264
  7. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Alcohol Overdose: The Dangers of Drinking Too Much; 2015 October [cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AlcoholOverdoseFactsheet/Overdosefact.htm
  8. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Drinking Levels Defined [cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking
  9. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Blood Tests [cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/blood-tests
  10. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; c2017. Health Encyclopedia: Ethanol (Blood) [cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=167&contentid=ethanol_blood
  11. UW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Blood Alcohol: Results [updated 2017 Oct 9; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 8 screens]. Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/medicaltest/blood-alcohol-test/hw3564.html#hw3588
  12. UW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Blood Alcohol: Test Overview [updated 2017 Oct 9; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/medicaltest/blood-alcohol-test/hw3564.html
  13. TEUW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Blood Alcohol: What To Think About [updated 2017 Oct 9; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 10 screens].XT Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/medicaltest/blood-alcohol-test/hw3564.html#hw3598
  14. UW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Blood Alcohol: Why It is Done [updated 2017 Oct 9; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/medicaltest/blood-alcohol-test/hw3564.html#hw3573

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Why Do I Leak Pee?

Don’t let a little pee hold you back. Here are a few solutions to help control your bladder.

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Aortic Surgery: What Patients Need to Know – Mayo Clinic

In this video, Mayo Clinic heart surgeon Alberto Pochettino, M.D., aortic surgery expert, provides an overview of aortic surgeries to repair aortic disease, and aortic and endovascular aneurysms.

Visit our Aortic Root Surgery page for more information: http://www.mayoclinic.org/aortic-root-surgery/

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C-Peptide Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

 

What is a C-peptide test?

This test measures the level of C-peptide in your blood or urine. C-peptide is a substance made in the pancreas, along with insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls the body’s glucose (blood sugar) levels. Glucose is your body’s main source of energy. If your body doesn’t make the right amount of insulin, it may be a sign of diabetes.

C-peptide and insulin are released from the pancreas at the same time and in about equal amounts. So a C-peptide test can show how much insulin your body is making. This test can be a good way to measure insulin levels because C-peptide tends to stay in the body longer than insulin.

Other names: insulin C-peptide, connecting peptide insulin, proinsulin C-peptide

What is it used for?

A C-peptide test is often used to help tell the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas makes little to no insulin, and little or no C-peptide. With type 2 diabetes, the body makes insulin, but doesn’t use it well. This can cause C-peptide levels to be higher than normal.

The test may also be used to:

Why do I need a C-peptide test?

You may need a C-peptide test if your health care provider thinks you have diabetes, but is unsure whether it is type 1 or type 2. You may also need a C-peptide test if you have symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms include:

What happens during a C-peptide test?

A C-peptide test is usually given as a blood test. During a blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

C-peptide can also be measured in urine. Your health care provider may ask you to collect all urine passed in a 24-hour period. This is called a 24-hour urine sample test. For this test, your health care provider or a laboratory professional will give a container in which to collect your urine and instructions on how to collect and store your samples. A 24-hour urine sample test generally includes the following steps:

  • Empty your bladder in the morning and flush that urine away. Record the time.
  • For the next 24 hours, save all your urine passed in the container provided.
  • Store your urine container in the refrigerator or a cooler with ice.
  • Return the sample container to your health provider’s office or the laboratory as instructed.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You may need to fast (not eat or drink) for 8–12 hours before a C-peptide blood test. If your health care provider has ordered a C-peptide urine test, be sure to ask if there are any specific instructions you need to follow.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

There are no known risks to a urine test.

What do the results mean?

A low level of C-peptide can mean your body isn’t making enough insulin. It may be a sign of one of the following conditions:

It may also be a sign that your diabetes treatment is not working well.

A high level of C-peptide can mean your body is making too much insulin. It may be a sign of one of the following conditions:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Insulin resistance, a condition in which the body doesn’t respond the right way to insulin. It causes the body to make too much insulin, raising your blood sugar to very high levels.
  • Cushing’s syndrome, a disorder in which your body makes too much of a hormone called cortisol.
  • A tumor of the pancreas

If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

Is there anything else I need to know about a C-peptide test?

A C-peptide test can provide important information about the type of diabetes you have and whether or not your diabetes treatment is working well. But it is not used to diagnose diabetes. Other tests, such as blood glucose and urine glucose, are used to screen and diagnose diabetes.

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Olympic Sprinter Shares Training Secrets

From the WebMD Archives:

Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix talks about her training regimen, mental preparation, and favorite foods.
Discover how Olympic athletes stay fit. Plus, get food and fitness tips for the everyday Olympian.
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/summer-olympics-12/default.htm

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Reviewed By: Michael W. Smith, June 2012
SOURCES: Team USA Olympic Athletes, Uinterview, http://www.uinterview.com
© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Hemifacial Spasm – Mayo Clinic

Dr. Michael Link, a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon, describes symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options for hemifacial spasm. Visit http://mayocl.in/2zQJ9pE for more information on care at Mayo Clinic or to request an appointment.

Hemifacial spasm is a rare disorder which typically starts as a faint twitching around one eye, and over time it spreads to involve the entire face. This is typically in the form of a characteristic, rhythmic twitching. Hemifacial spasm is typically not painful, but can interfere with daily life, such as social situations.

Dr. Link discusses specific tests that are sometimes used to diagnose hemifacial spasm. He also outlines various treatment options, including medications, injections and surgery.

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