Your average ESR/SED rate? Any help...please.

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 3/8/2008 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   
My SED rate flies up, tens of points at a time whenever I go into flares. I have FMS and I am under testing for SLE. My PCP and myself truly believe I do. (For extra info, message me. I need help, so I don't mind)
It was 38 two weeks ago, and it is 52 now. I just want to know if this really is nothing in the world of Lupus and inflammation....rheumatologists refuse to consider Lupus,because:
1. They have done ONE ANA months ago that came back negative.
2. I am 18 years of age.
They have looked at everything else, and nothing else fits what is going on.
What is your average ESR? Normally? During a flare? Do you have ANY help for me....?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 3/8/2008 11:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi KAnne,
Welcome! I have lupus with multi organ involvement and have never had a positive ANA. My ESR is usually elevated. Many things can affect the ESR. I really don't understand why your age would be a factor and a neg ANA doesn't really mean that much. Lupus is usually based on the whole picture of labs, physical exam, and very importantly you symptoms! Someone will be along with information/criteria for diagnosis. Hang in there. There are alot of helpful, smart and supportive people in this forum. I hope your mystery get unraveled! God Bless You, Judy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 3/8/2008 11:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi KAnne,
FMS won't register an elevated ESR.  Fibromylagia isn't an inflammatory condition. I have it.  It's an enhanced pain condition.  So the fact that you have an elevated ESR is pretty indicative of an inflammatory process going on, like lupus or another connective tissue type disorder.  Your ESR is quite high.  Even when I'm in a flare up, I don't see it go past 30 very often.  When I have the disease under control, my ESR ranges from about 5-15.  Normal ranges for ESR levels are 0-20.  I would definitely get a rheumatologist to re-run that ANA test, along with a complete lupus blood panel.  Those test results can change quite quickly.  If lupus is suspected, it's most common to run these tests about 3 times a year, until a trend is noticed.  Keep a diary of all your symptoms, take pictures of any rashes, etc.  Make sure your rheumatologist has as much information as possible. I wish you didn't have this to deal with at such a young age.  Keep in touch with us okay.
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke),Sjogren's, Raynaud's, seizure disorder-(miraclulously disappeared!), Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck) . Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, didrocal, Cozaar, calcium, Cykolokapron, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 3/9/2008 8:12 AM (GMT -6)   
KAnne, I agree with the others. I just want to second what ginny said about fibro. People with fibro do not usually have abnormal labs and an elevated sed rate means you have inflammation somewhere. My sed rate usually ranges from 20-35.

I hope you get some answers soon. Please feel free to ask any question you have here - that's what we are here for. I'm glad you joined us.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Doxepin 25-50mg; Prevacid; Evoxac; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Artificial tears



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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 3/9/2008 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
My SED rate is usually 20-25, not bad. But my C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is usually 3 or 4 times what it should be. It seems to be a better indicator for me.
SLE diagnosis 10/05 now changed to RA 3/06, Endometriosis 5/05, PCOS 1990
Meds: Metformin ER 1500mg (PCOS); Loestrin BCPs (Endo); Methotrexate 15mg (RA); Metanx 5mg (RA); Orencia 750mgs (RA); Lunesta 2mg (as needed); Prevacid

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 3/9/2008 11:56 AM (GMT -6)   
SED rate (ESR) can be all over the place.  Mine was very high initially but has been in a normal range for the past two years as my AI diseases were brought under control.  The test only indicates that an inflammatory process is taking place in your body and is not a test for lupus or any other disease.  It is just an indication that some type of inflammatory process is active.
Lupus itself is so difficult to diagnose.  Tests can be negative or positive and vary from test to test and yet you can have lupus.  That is why so many do not get a positive diagnosis for years.  My doctors deduced I had it several months before my first flare and confirmation by tests that I had lupus.  My platelet count had been low and went even lower and I had mild anemia for years.  My internist sent me to a hemotologist and after months of tests he deduced that I might have lupus. 
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
Meds: prednisone 5mg, 50mg imuran, Lotrel 40/5mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 3/9/2008 4:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I always have a normal SED rate and C-reactive protein- even with highly visable inflammation. I also have a negative ANA. Take a look at my dx list though and you will see that blood work doesn't always match what is wrong. I had 4 of the 11 criteria when I was in my early teens. I didn't get dxed until 2005 a few months before my 29th birthday. I say find a second opinion and ALWAYS make sure the doctor is an actual lupus specialist. Take pictures of rashes, see as many different specialists as you have to but insist on answers.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sj√∂gren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, pregnant due May 2008
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Darvocet, Singulair, Flexeril, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Procardia, Prilosec

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 437
   Posted 3/9/2008 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
My sed rate is often really low (2 or 3) even in the presence of obvious disease activity. I've only had my C-reactive protein measured once, but it was 3 or 4 times the upper limit. My dh who is a scientist who researches lupus says that the ESR is an old test, that is subject to lab error and not a reliable indicator of inflammation. It certainly shouldn't (in my opinion) be used to diagnosis or r/o an entire condition.

**SLE since April 1987, age 10 with suspected TIA, neuropathy, joint pain, fatigue. Lupus Nephritis, October 1992, Remission 1993-2000 Major Postpartum flare, 2000-2002, haven't been the same since.**Current symptoms: clotting disorder, vasculitis, joint pain including avascular necrosis in my hip, fatigue, high blood pressure, edema, liver and lung infiltrates, mostly likely caused by the lupus. Meds: CellCept 1000 mg/2x day, Plaquenil 400 mg, Lisiniopril 10 mg, Encora (a prescription Vitamin supplement), Prevacid, 2 x 30 mg day, Xanax ER 1 mg, Xanax .5 mg, PRN, Cymbalta 90 mg, Singluair 10 mg, Zyrtec 10 mg, Potassium Citrate 2 x day. Asthmanex, Advair 250/50, abuterol PRN, Cinnamon 500 mg b. i. d., Flax seed oil 2 x day, lycopene q d. **Chronic anemia, migraines, GERD, Bile reflux, asthma (or lupus induced lung problems), Chronic Pelvic Pain, unexplained infertility x 10 years with one biological miracle son and one adopted miracle daughter!**

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 3/10/2008 3:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Kanne,

The others have given you some great advice. ESR is way different for each of us. Mine is running around 25 now but was 55 for a couple years while I was feeling really poorly. But it really doesn't indicate Lupus . . any inflammation can cause it to go up.

Check out the link at the end of my signature "4 of 11 Criteria" . It is a link containing the criteria for diagnosing Lupus. There is also some good information for new members in the link "Lupus Resources".

I hope this helps.


In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Hashimotos, Inflammatory Bowel, Inflammatory Arthritis

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 3/10/2008 11:23 PM (GMT -6)   
So funny reading this. My PCP just diagnosed me with Fibro because my lupus blood work and ana were both negative. My sed rate was 48, up from 31 a month ago and my WBC 15. He said fibro would cause that. lol! His reaction to abnormal labs is to keep testing me saying it's probably a flook. Over the past 5 months i've had blood drawn five times with each result more elevated than the last and still he says it's probably fibro. My platelet count is 555,000 so he set me up with a hematologist and I asked him to please send me to a rheumatologist. He agreed. He put me on 50 mg of elavil and said the rheumatologist will do the same for my firbo because that's what's wrong, he's sure of it. lol. He actually told me my sed rate would be 70 - 100 if I had lupus or R.A. Don't you just love docs?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 8198
   Posted 3/13/2008 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi KAnne,

   Mine is 57 right now and I feel pretty good other than my eyes. I'm just in a mild flare right now otherwise. When I'm flaring bad it can go really high. I hope you get better answers soon and start feeling better. Keep us updated and hang in there. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.


Dx: Lupus,RLS,RA,Asthma,Fibro,Sjogren's,Raynaud's,Divertic, Stroke,Atherosclerosis,Seizures,Neuropathy,CAD
JOB 5:18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.

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