ESR levels and flare

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 377
   Posted 12/17/2009 9:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I know everyone is different, but I was wondering if you knew when your ESR level got to a certain point that you were ready to flare. I am about a week away from getting my next Remicade infusion, and I have started to notice some slight symptoms come back. I get blood work done every other month since I'm also on Methotrexate. When the nurse called me today, she said my liver and kidney numbers were OK. I had to ask her about the inflammation level. She said my ESR a couple months ago was 20, now it's 34. She said "It hasn't changed that much". However, when I looked up info. on a normal ESR, I'm out of the range by about 14 points.

For those of you who get blood work done, do you know you're going to flare when your ESR reaches a certain level? I hope the Remicade brings things back down again...I always get worried before each infusion that I may react badly to it and not be able to take it anymore. I'm worried about going back into a full fledged flare.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/17/2009 10:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I really don't think that number is that high. I kinda agree with the nurse on this one. JMHO
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1885
   Posted 12/17/2009 3:10 PM (GMT -7)   
34 is above normal and might not mean you will flare, but does mean that inflammation is probably still active, and has not been brought to a standstill by meds.
Of course, ESR can go up temporarily because of other things, like a cold.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 377
   Posted 12/17/2009 3:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Ladies. I'm saddened that I'm on the hardcore drugs and I still have inflammation. Knock on wood, I don't have a cold, so it must just be Crohn's. Well, hopefully it doesn't get any worse before my next infusion.

Just curious if anyone knows, what would be considered a high number that would indicate serious inflammation?

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 12/17/2009 6:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I suspect that can vary w/the individual, where the inflammation is located and what damage has already been done in that area.
I've had as high as 140 w/a normal range of 0-30 and no symptoms to speak of other than an on again off again low grade fever, i.e. 99 - 99+, never breaking 100.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 12/17/2009 10:43 PM (GMT -7)   
When I flared 1 1/2 years ago my numbers were quite high, I think something like 80, with the range being 0-30. I had the symptoms already to go with the numbers too.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Celexa.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1885
   Posted 12/18/2009 6:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I think my daughter's ESR was 58 at the time her Crohn's was active, but not in flare.
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