No specific foods affect ESR levels. Typically performed as a part of an overall blood panel, patients may be asked to fast prior to taking the ESR test. Several different medications can affect ESR levels, states Healthline.
Physicians request the erythrocyte sedimentation rate test to determine whether or not a person is experiencing inflammation in the body. This makes ESR levels an important indicator in the diagnosis and management of several different types of diseases, including kidney disease, lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, states Healthline. Various infections can cause high ESR levels, including those of the bone, heart and skin. A higher-than-normal ESR level may also be present with other conditions, such as inflammatory conditions of the bowel, old age and pregnancy.
Several conditions may cause an individual to have low ESR levels, states Healthline. These include issues such as polycythemia, or high red blood cell count, as well as sickle cell anemia, leukocytosis and congestive heart failure.
Prior to having ESR levels measured, it is important for patients to disclose with their doctors any medications that they are taking. Hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, large doses of aspirin, and salicylate can all affect ESR level readings, notes Healthline.