Optimal - The Blog

August 30, 2022

The ESR and Inflammation

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) or "sed rate" is a measure of how quickly red blood cells will clump together and settle out in a sample of blood. The rate will increase with inflammation, tissue damage, and increased acute-phase proteins such as fibrinogen. 

That is why the rate increases with pathological conditions such as cancer, tissue necrosis, infections, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. 

The ESR is also elevated in nutrition deficiency anemias, renal failure, muscle wasting, obesity, smoking, and excess alcohol intake. Some medications can increase ESR, including oral contraceptives, penicillamine, and theophylline.

Lower ESR may be seen with sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, polycythemia vera, and low fibrinogen in the blood. Medications that can decrease ESR include aspirin, cortisone, and quinine.

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CLICK HERE to learn more about the ESR, health consequences, optimal ranges, etc.

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Tag(s): Biomarkers

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