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There currently is no way to diagnose osteoarthritis from a blood test. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get blood drawn if you tell your doc you are worried you might have osteoarthritis. Blood workups are common when doctors are trying to diagnose osteoarthritis. They are used in conjunction with a thorough medical history, physical exam, and x-rays to make sure that your joint pain is really from osteoarthritis and not something else, like gout or Lyme disease.
Blood tests alone cannot diagnose osteoarthritis. If you have osteoarthritis symptoms, blood tests are used to rule out other possible causes of your joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or Lyme disease. A blood test called the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is sometimes used to examine the level of inflammation in your body. It measures how fast your red blood cells settle in a test tube during one hour – a rate that will usually be abnormally high if you have rheumatoid arthritis, but not if you have osteoarthritis.
To diagnose osteoarthritis (OA), your doctor may do some blood tests. There's no blood test that definitively says you have OA. Instead, the blood tests are used to rule out other possible causes of your joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or an infection.
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