Calcium is necessary for the proper formation of bones and teeth, for the clotting function of blood as well as for muscle contraction. A diet poor in calcium may result in low levels of calcium in the blood. Elevated levels of calcium are associated with bone diseases as well as vitamin D intoxication.
Phosphate is also an important mineral for the proper formation of bones. A high level of phosphate is associated with bone disease. Poor diet and alcoholism can result in low phosphate level in the blood.
Uric acid is the end product of protein metabolism and is excreted by the kidney. Gout is a metabolic disease characterised by increased levels of uric acid. Crystals of uric acid are deposited in joints, resulting in pain. Elevated levels of uric acid can also lead to formation of urinary stones.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Factor (RA Factor)
The RA factor test helps in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, which is also characterised by signs and symptoms of pain in the joints of the feet and hands. 75% of adults with rheumatoid arthritis have high levels of the RA factor and will show a positive test. However, the RA factor is also present in many adults without rheumatoid arthritis.