A blood test for ESR – erythrocyte sedimentation rate, is mandatory in the process of conducting the initial diagnosis.
This study only helps to determine the further course of medical action. After all, whatever the results of the analysis, they are not a reliable sign of pathologies. Deviation of ESR from the norm only indirectly indicates that the body may have an inflammatory process or an infection.
The value of research on ESR
The results of the analysis are very individual. Their upward deviation is due to many reasons. There is no specific disease in which the ESR increases.
This indicator is considered to be general, non-specific, since the answer to the question whether a person is healthy or sick does not contain.
But the study of the results of the study:
- contributes to the accelerated and timely conduct of additional tests;
Standard values of ESR depend on the age of the person and his gender.
The average for men is in the range from 8 to 12 units (millimeters per hour), for women – from 3 to 20.
With age, the ESR increases and reaches 50 units in advanced years.
Increased ESR: growth rates
For a correct diagnosis, it matters how the ESR indicator is above the norm. Depending on this, there are four degrees of deviation:
- First, which is characterized by a slight increase in ESR. The remaining blood counts remain normal.
- The second – The results of the analysis recorded an excess of ESR by 15–29 units. This signals that there is an infectious process in the body, which so far has little effect on its general condition. This situation is typical for colds. If they are treated, the ESR will return to normal in a couple of weeks.
- Third – ESR increase is more than 30 units. This growth rate is considered significant and serious. As a rule, the size of the ESR indicates the development of dangerous inflammatory or necrotic processes. The treatment of the disease may take several months.
- Fourth – ESR rises 60 units or more. This situation reflects an extremely difficult and life-threatening condition of the body. Immediate and thorough treatment is required.
Causes of increased ESR
Increased ESR may be the result of the development of one or even several diseases simultaneously. They can be classified as:
- Viral, bacterial and fungal infections. They can be relatively light, such as ARVI or ORZ. But often a serious illness develops, in which the ESR exceeds the norm several times and reaches 100 mm / hour. For example:
- viral hepatitis;
The increase in the rate is more characteristic in the presence of single peripheral formations. Rarely, it occurs when lymphoid and hematopoietic tissue tumors are present.
In almost 20% of cases, the cause of excess growth of ESR is poisoning of the body and rheumatological diseases. These pathologies lead to the fact that the blood becomes more dense and viscous, and the red cells begin to settle with greater speed.
The largest increase in ESR occurs when infectious processes are present and develop in the body. The value of the indicator does not increase immediately, but only a day or two after the onset of the disease. When the body recovers, the ESR decreases slowly. It will take a month and a half before the indicator returns to the normal range.
Increased ESR also occurs after surgery. It can accompany post-shock states.
False ESR elevation
Excess ESR norm is possible without the presence of ailments in the body. There are a number of natural causes:
- medication containing hormones;
- allergic reactions;
- excessive use of vitamin complexes, especially vitamin A;
- errors in the diet;
- individual features of the body. Statistics data show that almost 5% of the world’s population has an accelerated response to the sedimentation of red blood cells;
- carrying a child. In pregnant women, ESR can increase by a factor of three or more, which is not considered a pathology;
- insufficient absorption by the body of iron, its deficiency;
- age from 4 to 12 years. During this period, especially in boys, an increase in the ESR is possible, associated with the development and formation of the organism. There are no infections or inflammations.
The growth of ESR over the norm in some cases accompanied by certain chronic conditions. These include:
- elevated blood cholesterol levels;
- recent hepatitis vaccination;
A high degree of obesity also causes the red blood cells to settle faster than necessary.
Features of increased ESR in men and women
A slight increase in ESR was observed in approximately eight percent of men. And it is not considered a deviation from the norm. The explanation lies in the individual characteristics of the organism of a particular person. The value of the indicator is influenced by the lifestyle and the presence of bad habits, like smoking and alcohol addiction.
In the female body, increased ESR may be due to relatively safe reasons:
- the onset of critical days;
- hormonal medications, in particular contraceptives;
- eating habits: keeping to a low calorie diet, or overeating, consuming fatty foods shortly before a blood test;
ESR increase during pregnancy
During pregnancy, the processes in the female body occur in a special way. The protein composition of the blood is slightly modified, which affects the ESR.
The indicator can jump up to 45 units, and this will not indicate the manifestation of diseases.
ESR begins to grow gradually in the tenth week of pregnancy. The highest value is usually fixed in the third trimester.
For almost a month after birth, ESR is also overestimated. The cause is anemia, which developed during the gestation period. It provokes a significant dilution of blood and increases the speed of sedimentation of red cells.
The size of the ESR is affected by the build of the woman. For more slim expectant mothers, the indicator rises to a greater extent than that of fat women.
A month and a half after the birth of the baby, the ESR quickly returns to normal.
But even such objective processes should not be ignored. Only a doctor can determine how well the pregnancy is going and whether everything is fine with the expectant mother.
Features of increasing ESR in children
The causes of elevated ESR in children are not much different from those that are typical for adults. Most often, this symptom appears as a result of:
- infectious diseases, including chronic illnesses;
- allergic reactions;
- metabolic disorders;
- injury to limbs and other parts of the body.
Infectious-inflammatory processes in children manifest themselves not only by the increase in ESR. Other indicators also change, which are determined using a general blood test. The general condition of the baby is deteriorating.
A slight increase in ESR can be attributed to such non-hazardous factors as:
- violation of the nursing mom diet: in the diet there is an excess of food with a high content of fat;
- taking oral medications;
- the baby is teething;
- There is a lack of vitamins in the body.
Parents whose children have an indicator above the established norm, are contraindicated to panic. It is necessary to carefully examine the child and establish the causes. Successful treatment of the main disease will help to normalize ESR for a month and a half.
Treatment of elevated ESR
Elevated levels of ESR in itself is not a pathology, but only suggests the development of the disease in the body. Therefore, bringing the indicator back to normal is possible only after treatment of the underlying disease.
In some cases, there is no need to lower it. For example, the ESR will not return to normal until:
- the fractured bone will heal or not heal;
- the course of taking a particular drug will come to an end;
- a child is born in the womb.
If the ESR is elevated during pregnancy, you need to think about how to prevent anemia or reduce its effects.
Women in the “interesting” position need to be responsive to the diet and follow all the recommendations prescribed by the gynecologist. The doctor may prescribe the use of safe preparations containing iron, special food additives.
In many cases, it is possible to lower the ESR to the limits of the norm only by eliminating the inflammatory process. In order to determine its cause, there is little general analysis of blood, and a deeper study of the condition of the patient’s body is necessary. It can appoint a doctor-therapist. It is he who knows all the examination protocols and treatment tactics.
Medications must be taken only on the recommendation of a doctor. Self-selected drugs are not likely to bring the desired result, but will only have a negative impact on the internal organs and lead to unnecessary cash expenditures.
When elevated ESR is accompanied by a slight temperature, you can try to help the body with herbs and natural products.
In the piggy bank traditional medicine There are many useful recipes. In one of them it is recommended to boil the most ordinary beets. Properly cooked, it can lower the ESR after ten days.
It is necessary to choose three small beets, wash them thoroughly and not remove the tails. Then the vegetables are cooked for about three hours. The resulting broth is filtered and stored in a cold place. Enough to drink 50 grams of beet liquid a day. A decoction is taken in the morning, on an empty stomach.
Juice squeezed from beets is also a good remedy for blood purification. It is necessary to drink it before bedtime for half a glass. Ten days of this reception will help improve blood circulation.
Effective is a tool that contains lemon juice and garlic. One hundred grams of the latter must be crushed. Then mix the resulting gruel with the juice of six or seven lemons. Drink in the refrigerator and take a teaspoon in the evening, diluted with a glass of boiled water.
Freshly squeezed citrus juices are also helpful. It is desirable to add a teaspoon of honey to them.
In addition, the doctor may recommend certain vitamin complexes.
It happens that the survey did not reveal serious pathologies, and the ESR does not decrease. In this case, you should periodically conduct preventive examinations. With the appearance of negative symptoms can not let everything take its course, and seek advice. Preventive measures always give positive results and help to maintain health for many years.