Laboratory

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CAA has an on-site laboratory capable of processing routine studies for general medical care. We also offer specialized autoantibody testing needed to follow patients with rheumatologic diseases.

If only a portion of the lab results are performed in our office, we will draw the blood tests in our office and send them to the appropriate commercial laboratory.

When paired with physical examinations, blood tests are an effective way to confirm and diagnose potential disease activity. Our on-site laboratory helps determine results, which are classified as positive or negative. If a rheumatic disease is diagnosed due to positive test results, further laboratory testing can show our physicians the extent of the disease and guide their treatment process.

Antinuclear Antibody Testing

Antibodies are proteins that develop in the body’s immune system to combat infectious germs. Sometimes antibodies make the mistake of identifying normal proteins in the body as “foreign,” which causes the body to attack itself. These antibodies are identified as autoantibodies, and they incorrectly work to target “normal” proteins within the nucleus of a cell. They’re also known as antinuclear antibodies, and most people have them in small amounts within the body. When there’s a large presence found, it can indicate existing autoimmune diseases, including Sjogren’s Syndrome, lupus, scleroderma, connective tissue diseases, and cases of juvenile arthritis.

Sometimes patients get a “false positive” ANA test result, which means an autoimmune disease does not actually exist in the body. Certain medications trigger false positive results, so it’s important to let your doctor know about any prescriptions you’re currently taking.

Testing Positive for an Autoimmune Disease

If you find out you’ve tested positive for an autoimmune disease, our doctors will work with you to determine the next steps. There are many available treatments to consider, so please talk to our physicians about any and all of your concerns.

Jul 12, 2018

Reclaim: Five Tips for Battling Arthritis Burnout

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Phone calls, doctors’ appointments, prescription refills, bills, insurance paperwork – it can be overwhelming and exhausting for arthritis patients. Fighting this disease can feel like an uphill and never-ending battle, and it will take its toll on those who suffer from it. Chronically ill patients can quickly become burned out trying to manage their illness, […]

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Jul 9, 2018

Regain: Eight Energy-Boosting Tips

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Fighting fatigue is a daily struggle for people who have arthritis. Instead of suffering through or missing fun activities because arthritis has you exhausted, follow these eight energy-boosting tips. Eat superfoods. What we put into our body has a huge impact on how it operates. Unhealthy, high caffeine, or sugary foods may provide a brief […]

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Jun 14, 2018

5 Tips for Enjoying the Beach this Summer with Arthritis

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In North Carolina, there is no shortage of things to do outdoors. With many beautiful beach choices here on the east coast, there is a spot for anyone looking to find some surf. However, for those who suffer from arthritis, a beach day just isn’t that easy. Fatigue, joint pain, stiffness and depression make it […]

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