Diagnostic tests help in detection and confirmation of the presence or absence of any disease, injury or any other health condition that requires medical attention.
There are thousands of diagnostic tests for various diseases that are being carried out in different diagnostic centers and hospitals every day.
Some of these tests require simple tools and can be performed at a doctor’s clinic. As for example, Common cold diagnostic test is carried out at a doctor’s clinic; where the doctor evaluate a patient’s condition on the basis of chief symptoms reported and relevant health history. Later, the doctor may prescribe other diagnostic procedures if needed.
Again there are many that require advanced tools for detection of physical ailments. Diagnostic Imaging tests, including MRIs, PET scans, CT scans etc. are carried out using different sophisticated apparatus.
Besides, there are various other tests that involve collection of body fluids and tissue samples that get tested in a laboratory for detection of any detrimental health condition.
Now, out of the many different diagnostic tests available, the most commonly ordered or used are listed below:
- ANA (Antinuclear Antibody)
- Amylase Test
- Blood Sugar test
- CT Scans
- CBC (Complete Blood Count)
- CRP (C – Reactive protein)
- Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c)
- MRI Scans
- PET Scans
- Thyroid Function test – TSH, T3 and T4
ANA (Antinuclear Antibody) Test:
ANA test is done to detect the presence of antinuclear antibodies within body. Antibodies are generally generated by the body’s immune system to fight back unwanted foreign entities entering the body. However, antinuclear, as the name suggests are antibodies that attack body’s own tissues and nucleus of cells.
ANA test is ordered when the doctor suspects cases of rheumatoid arthritis, Scleroderma or lupus. Once a test comes up with positive results, further tests are carried out to determine the type of antinuclear antibody and specific diseases they relate to.
Amylase test is done to diagnose acute pancreatitis, problems related to digestive tract, kidney disorders etc.
Amylase is an enzyme produced by pancreas and salivary glands. Any abnormalities within pancreas causes it to produce too much enzyme in some cases, or too little in other cases. Both these conditions may cause serious health issues and therefore early diagnosis and treatments become important.
The test is conducted by collecting blood samples from patients. However, sometimes urine samples can also be used.
Blood Sugar test:
Blood sugar test is one of the most common diagnostic tests for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is the rarer between the two and is also known as insulin dependent diabetes. Here, the body’s own immunity system destroys cells producing insulin. Thus, lack of insulin results in increases sugar or glucose levels in blood.
Type 2 diabetes is more common and is known as non insulin dependent diabetes. Here, the body produces insulin initially; however, fails to make optimum use of the insulin produced.
Computerized Tomography Scans or CT scans are advanced and more detailed versions of X rays. These produce cross sectional images of bones, soft tissues, blood vessels and other internal structures within the body.
CT scans are very important to detect any internal injury or fracture. These also help in diagnosis of diseases or tumor growth that have not shown evident symptoms.
There are different types of CT scans available with various diagnostic centers and hospitals. Some of them are:
- Chest CT scan
- Cranial or Head CT scan
- Spinal CT scan
- Orbit CT scan
- Abdominal or Pelvic CT scan
[*Useful: CT Scan Cost in India]
MRI scans are considered to be the most informative source in diagnosis. Sometimes these serve as the last resort of identifying related abnormalities within the body; when CT scans or X rays don’t serve the purpose. Some of the body parts where MRI scans are used as an effective method of diagnosis are:
- Abdomen MRI Scans
- Cardiac MRI Scans
- Pelvic MRI Scans
- Brain MRI Scans
- Bone and Joint MRI scans
- Spine MRI
[*Useful: MRI Scan Cost in India]
PET – Positron emission tomography is a type of imaging test that helps to diagnose organ and tissue functionality within human body. These are different from MRI and CT scans. While these reveal structural information; PET scans are imaging tests that help in determining metabolic activities and functionality of internal organs and tissues. They are useful in determining blood flow, oxygen used, glucose metabolism etc.
PET scans are useful in diagnosis of various diseases and ailments where CT scans or MRIs do not show much results. Some of these diseases are:
- Brain Tumors
- Memory Disorders
- Heart Problems
CBC – Complete Blood Count:
General Health Evaluation:
Doctors prescribe CBC tests to determine overall health condition of patients. The test aims at analysis of different components of blood such as; Red Blood Cells, White Blood Cells, Platelets etc. These can help in reviewing body immunity, anemic conditions, clotting issues and signs of blood cancer.
Knowing reasons behind certain symptoms:
CBC is also prescribed when patients suffer from continuous fatigue, uncontrolled bleeding, bruises and infections. These are symptoms suggesting deeper health issues that can be decoded with a CBC test.
Body response to medical treatments:
Physicians suggest periodic CBC test to monitor patients who are undergoing any type of treatment for blood related health issues. Based on CBC results, further procedures are carried out.
Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c):
One of the effective blood test procedures to determine glucose status within human body. Patients suffering from abnormal blood sugar levels need to undergo this test at frequent intervals. An uncontrolled glucose level within body can lead to “N” number of diseases and physical ailments.
In addition, this test is also important in determining heart related issues and disorders. Therefore, patients who are not suffering from diabetes, but have heart troubles, also need to undergo this blood test.
C Reactive Protein(CRP):
A blood test performed to know the amount of CRP component within the body. A CRP test is prescribed to detect infection, arthritis problems, kidney troubles and pancreatic issues.
High CRP levels make patients prone to artery problems that may lead to sudden heart attacks. Therefore, opting for CRP tests as soon as they are prescribed is essential to eliminate chances of fatal cases. For this purpose, CRP tests are very commonly available with all diagnostic centers across various cities.
Thyroid Function test:
A group of blood tests that help in determining healthy functioning of Thyroid gland. This test is ordered to confirm cases of hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid-suppression, anxiety disorders, atrial fibrillation etc.
Hypothalamus produces TRH( Thyrotropin releasing hormone), which in turn triggers pituitary gland to generate TSH. This TSH also stimulates thyroid gland to produce T3 and T4 hormones required for vital metabolic functions in body.
Proper diagnosis of health issues govern 70 percent of entire treatment processes. Once proper diagnosis has been done, doctors can opt for most effective treatment procedures and thus accelerate healing process.
The aforementioned list of diagnostic tests for diseases such as diabetes, thyroid, tumors etc. infers that the Indian population is at a high risk of multiplying patients suffering from these deadly diseases. Therefore, early detection and then treatment is the need of the hour.
Medical experts say that early diagnosis can even eliminate several disorders even after their inception. Thus, if you are having certain minor health complications, visit your nearest diagnostic center to get tested. Remember early detection is early cure!