C1 Esterase Inhibitor: Purpose, Process, Risks

The C1 esterase inhibitor test can help doctors determine the levels of protein present in your body.

c1 esterase inhibitor

What is the C1 esterase inhibitor?

Our immune system is the main fighter of foreign organisms and infection in our body. It is the main reason why our body gets past infections and inflammations. Your body also forms antibodies and proteins, all with the intention of also protecting your body from foreign invasions and cells.

Your immune system is an elaborate system of functions, enzymes, organs, agents, tissue, chemical processes that all aim to protect the body from infection. Even before the antibodies respond to the threat, your immune system is already serving as a barrier from infection. It prevents the total invasion of the foreign cell and organism. It even adapts a fighting mechanism to certain types of invaders that come across your lifetime. Some functions and organs of the immune system include the skin, the white blood cells that are present in the blood, bacteria-fighting proteins.


Bacteria Fighting Proteins

These bacteria-fighting proteins are part of your immune system. These proteins are called C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, C8,  and C9. These proteins are usually referred to as “complement cells”. These proteins are the main determinants of foreign organisms or cells that are present in our body. Doctors easily detect these foreign cells and organism by noting that the C1 to C9 proteins have adverse appearance and functions in them. That is the primary reason why C1 to C9 proteins are the main indicator of a foreign invasion occurrence within the body.


The Test Procedure

Conducting blood tests are the way for experts to know the level of these complement proteins. Experts usually check the level of C1 esterase inhibitor in your blood (a form of a complement protein). This kind of test is called the C1 esterase inhibitor test (C1-INH test).


The Diagnosis

Now, why do doctors and experts do C1-INH tests and when do they need to do it?

There are many reasons and observed symptoms of why doctors require a patient to undergo the C1-INH test. The usual reason why doctors do this is for them to know more about your condition when there is a sudden swelling or inflammation in your skin or internal organs. Also, when a normal person who all of a sudden, developed swelling in some crucial parts of your body like your respiratory tract, sudden pain in the abdomen, and the unexplained feeling of sickness. Doctors also do these tests to know how your body is reacting to certain medications that have something to do with your immune system or diseases which involves foreign organism or cell invasion.


The Other Procedure

We now knew why the C1-INH test is required in certain health predicaments and conditions. But what are the procedures?

The C1-INH test sounds intricate but all you need to do is outstretch your arm and let the nurse extract blood from you. The laboratory medical personnel are the real heroes in the story. They are the ones who analyze the levels of each blood components. In the end, your doctor is the one who is going to deduce the findings and make sense something out of it. After the initial impression, when doctors are convinced with their conclusion, they will readily give you the details and diagnosis. However, if the doctor is not convinced with their initial judgment, they will conduct another series of test from you.

Do not be afraid when nurses try to extract blood from you. The inserted needed will not hurt, it will just momentarily render a pinprick number in the area but nothing more drastic. The pain is all in your mind. The most appropriate thing to do when nurses get blood from you, relax and distract yourself.


Risks of the Procedure

In some rare cases, when nurses experienced an obstacle when extracting blood, it will result in doing another extraction procedure. In another rare case, you might develop hematoma when the procedure is not done right. The area of extraction might also get infected when the needle and the things used in the procedure is not properly sterilized. However, this is really rare. Nurses, doctors, and medical personnel alike respect their profession and values an individual’s life more than ever. It is a job which pertains to the health and life of the person. Screwing their job up is a big slap in their face and a disgrace in their sworn oath.


Possible Diagnosis of the Doctor to Your Condition

Upon diagnosis, your doctor will be looking upon the level of your C1-INH. There is a certain limit of threshold in the number of C1-INH. If your level is below or shoots above the threshold, there must be something wrong with your body. The possible adverse phenomenon in your body will include:

  • A genetic illness
  • Kidney infections and diseases
  • Blood infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Malnutrition and sudden thinning

These are the initial assumptions, gathered by other medical pieces of evidence. Normally, your doctor will give you medical antibiotics and other infection-fighting medicine upon diagnosis of your C1-INH. However, if the doctor is not convinced, he or she will run through another series of tests until he or she concludes the final diagnosis of the patient.


What To Do When You Have Suspicion of a C1-INH Deficiency?

If any of the suspicious symptoms mentioned above happens to you, do not self medicate. Go to the nearest hospital and talk to a doctor about your case. He or she is the best person to talk to in terms of these matters. Prevention is also key. Try to stay healthy, do exercises, and try to stay away from shady environments that might get your body to pick up some foreign organisms. Keeping your diet in shape is also a way of preventing these foreign organisms from being successful in colonizing a part of your body. The C1-INH test is nothing to be afraid of. And so is the blood extraction process. Keep your faith in your nurses and doctors and they will do the same to you.

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