23 Jul How to Test for Pancreatitis at Home?
This article will discuss a pancreatitis test, how at-home tests work, and compare in-home testing to a clinic.
What is a pancreatitis test?
Several tests can be used to check for pancreatitis, and they look for several possible indicators, depending on the test.
Blood tests are used to see if you have higher-than-normal levels of pancreatic enzymes. They also check your kidney function, liver enzymes, and white blood cells.
Abdominal ultrasounds are used to check for gallstones and inflammation of your pancreas.
Endoscopic ultrasounds look for blockages and inflammation in your bile or pancreatic duct.
Computerized tomography (CT) scan also checks for gallstones and further examines the extent of pancreas inflammation.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) checks for abnormalities in your ducts, gallbladder, and pancreas.
Stool tests can be used if you have chronic pancreatitis, and they will measure fat levels that could indicate that your digestive system is not absorbing nutrients properly.
Concierge MD offers blood tests, abdominal ultrasounds, and endoscopic ultrasounds.
How do at-home tests work?
You can have several types of pancreatitis tests done in the privacy and comfort of your home. If you choose at-home testing, we will send a medical team member to administer the test(s) you choose. We offer blood tests and abdominal and endoscopic ultrasounds for pancreatitis testing.
The nurse will use a small needle to draw a blood sample from a vein in your arm for a blood test. The blood sample will then be sent to our laboratory to be examined. Once the results are available, we will contact you to go over their results and recommend the next steps for treatment if applicable.
If you have an abdominal ultrasound done, the test will likely take about 30 minutes or less to complete. You will need to lay on your back with your shirt lifted or with no shirt on. The professional doing the ultrasound will apply a cool or cold-water-soluble gel to your abdominal area. This gel helps the handheld probe move across your skin more easily and helps improve the quality of the ultrasound images. The ultrasound technician will then move a handheld ultrasound wand back and forth on your skin until they get a clear view of your gallbladder and pancreas. To further improve the quality of the ultrasound, the technician may ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds or turn to one side. After the ultrasound, the technician will wipe your abdomen clean of any gel, and you can then pull your shirt down or put your shirt back on.
If you have an upper endoscopic ultrasound (also known as an upper EUS test) done, the test will likely take about 60 minutes to complete. You will need to lay on your left side during the test. A gastroenterologist will set up an intravenous (IV) line to deliver a sedative directly into your bloodstream to prepare you for the test. They will also spray numbing medicine in your throat and put in a plastic mouthguard that will protect your teeth and ensure that you will not bite down on the endoscope. Once the IV sedative and local anesthesia have taken effect, the gastroenterologist will put the ultrasound endoscope through your mouth, esophagus, and stomach until it reaches the top part of your small intestine. You will be able to breathe normally and should not feel any pain. They will then use a monitor to look at the ultrasound images that the endoscope is capturing. When they have sufficient clear images, they will carefully remove the endoscope and stop the IV anesthesia. Then you will slowly wake up after the procedure is over. You will need someone to keep you company for the rest of the day to make sure there are no complications from the sedative.
In-home testing vs. visiting a clinic
In-home testing is a much more private and comfortable option than going to a clinic for testing. It is also more convenient, especially for an upper endoscopic ultrasound, since you will be under anesthesia for this test, and you will need to have someone drive you to and from a clinic if you do not choose at-home testing.
Blood draws are a fast enough procedure that it may not even be worth the trip to a clinic if you can have this lab test done at home.
You can schedule online to get a Concierge MD at-home blood test, abdominal ultrasound, or upper endoscopic ultrasound to check for pancreatitis. We will also follow up with you to discuss the test results and discuss any recommended further treatment that may be necessary, depending on your test results.
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