In-Office Testing for Strep, Mono, Flu, PT/INR, Hemoglobin, Urinalysis, and Micro-AlbuminWhen you aren’t feeling your best, High Tide Internal Medicine can provide in-office testing for a range of different illnesses. Let our caring medical team provide you with testing, diagnosis, and treatment for a variety of different ailments, including:
- Group A Strep: Strep throat is the disease most commonly associated with group A strep, but it can also cause several other illnesses including scarlet fever, impetigo, necrotizing fasciitis, cellulitis, streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, rheumatic fever, and post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis. A rapid test for group A strep can be performed by swabbing the throat and testing the swab. If the test is positive, antibiotics can be prescribed to treat it. Sometimes the test can be negative but group A strep is still suspected, in which case a throat culture swab can be collected. This test takes longer to conduct, but is important because it sometimes detects infections that the rapid test missed, and is especially important for identifying group A strep in children and teens because they are at risk of developing rheumatic fever from an untreated strep infection.
- Mononucleosis: Mononucleosis, commonly referred to as “mono,” can cause symptoms including fatigue, sore throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes, swollen tonsils, headache, skin rash, and a soft, swollen spleen. If left untreated, the spleen can become enlarged or complications with the liver can occur, which is why it is important to diagnose and then treat mono. Mono can be diagnosed using a monospot test that tests the blood for antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mono. However, this test may not detect the virus during the first week of the illness, so another test, which takes longer for results, may be needed. Your healthcare provider can also conduct other blood tests that look at white blood cell counts to check for an elevated number of white blood cells or abnormal-looking blood cells, but this does not definitively diagnose mono. Because mono is viral, there is no medication that can be prescribed to cure it, however it should be treated with rest, healthy diet, and fluids, and over-the-counter pain relievers can be taken to relieve pain and fever.
- Influenza: The flu presents symptoms that are similar to other respiratory viral infections, including COVID-19, so it is important to get tested to diagnose the flu. The most common test used for diagnosis is a rapid influenza diagnostic test, which is used to detect viral antigens. This test can provide results within 10 to 15 minutes, but is not as accurate as other flu tests. A more accurate test for the flu is a rapid molecular assay which detects genetic material of the virus. This test can provide results within 15 to 20 minutes. Both of these tests are conducted using a nasal swab.
- Prothrombin Time Test with International Normalized Ratio: A prothrombin time (PT) test is used to measure how long it takes for a clot to form in a blood sample. An international normalized ratio (INR) is a calculation that is based on the PT test results. A PT/INR test is used to see how well warfarin is working, determine the cause of abnormal blood clots or unusual bleeding, check clotting function before surgery, or check for liver problems. The test is conducted by obtaining a blood sample from a vein or fingertip and then testing the blood sample to obtain the PT/INR.
- Hemoglobin Test: A hemoglobin test is used to measure the levels of hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, and abnormal levels could be indicative of a blood disorder. This test is often used to diagnose anemia, a condition where the body has fewer red blood cells than normal, but may also be used to test for thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, or other inherited blood disorders, a diet low in iron and minerals, a long-term infection, or excessive blood loss from an injury or surgical procedure. This test is conducted by obtaining a blood sample from a vein.
- Urinalysis and Microalbumin Urine Test: Urinalysis is conducted to detect and manage a range of different conditions, including urinary tract infections, kidney disease, and diabetes. A common urine test that we conduct is a microalbumin urine test, which is used to check for small amounts of albumin in the urine. Traces of albumin could indicate kidney disease, and this test can detect this protein at much smaller levels than a regular urine test is able to. By detecting albumin at such a low level, kidney disease can be detected and treated in its very early stages.