Sed rate vs. pain level

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 6/25/2008 3:53 PM (GMT -6)   
This is something I don't understand...

If the sed rate is what measures inflammation, and inflammation is what causes the pain in lupus...then why am I in so much pain if my sed rate is normal or barely above normal (it's 21, and the lab sheet says 0-20 is normal for a female < 50 yrs old).
~ Bee

God is the strength of my heart! - Psalm 73:26

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 6/25/2008 4:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bee!
The sed rate test is the most inaccurate test we have done.  I don't even know why they still use it.  My rheumy wonders that too.....  I'm the same way as you are.  I can be in a massive flare up, and my sed rate will be in normal ranges 0-20.  Then, I can feel just fine, live normally and my sed rate will pop up over 20.  It makes no sense whatsoever. 
So as per my rheumy's instructions.  I'm to treat the symptoms not the test results.  Lupus is wacko-bizzaro. 
The test is more accurate when the numbers are much higher.  It is somewhat helpful in diagnosing systemic inflammation when the numbers are really high (60+).  When they get down to that normal, normalish range it's completely useless. 
Hope this helps!! 
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 Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 6/25/2008 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
SED rates can also lag inflamation by two weeks or more. CRP is quicker to respond and my doc looks at some sort of relationship between the two to see if I am trending up or down. I also feel little connection between SED and pain-remember SEDs can also be high from infection not just inflamation.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 6/25/2008 9:56 PM (GMT -6)   

SED rate is useful for doctors trying to diagnose unknown diseases or monitor known ones.  It is not a lupus specific test and only indicates that some type of inflammatory process is occuring in your body.  It has value but only if taken in the context of other tests and clinical symptoms.  Trying to correlate symptoms with your sed rate is not possible.

I have polymyositis which is an inflammatory muscle disease and its' activity is commonly measured by a CPK test which is more specific to myositis diseases.  Even that test does not correlate well to symptoms and how a patient feels.

As Ginny said diseases like lupus and other auto immune diseases can be just plain whacko to diagnose and treat.


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 Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1950
   Posted 6/29/2008 12:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm in horrible pain right now with a kidney and pid and canal stenosis. I cannot sit, stand, bend over or lay any way but flat on my back. My osteo is bad right now, my face is beet red and they can't give me steroids because of the infections. My sed rate and CRP are normal per the ER! My white count isn't even high (though it never is, my red count usually goes higher) but my cultures are positive and I'm sick sick sick.

I don't think they are related very well sometimes. I do have a bad liver so that may have some effect, but even with a common infection the inflammatory markers usually go up. Perhaps its like other things, once they've been elevated for a long time, your body loses its ability to produce the chemicals (or to keep up with demand) to make the tests positive. I don't know. I agree with Bill that they are pretty useless. Early on in my disease they seemed to map more accurately to my inflammation, but as time goes on, they just don't seem to matter as much. Same happens with lfts--once you get cirrhosis, your liver function tests often go normal or really low because the liver isn't capable of producing the enzymes anymore, and doctors think you are better, unless you have a good hepatologist. I don't have high blood pressure so people think my liver is okay and I don't have bleeds because my ACE is zero which is technically normal, but probably a sign of a problem that will get better when I'm treated better. In my case, its a real blessing.
Love, Marji
--Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us. Bill Watterson (1958-) cartoonist "Calvin and Hobbes"
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy, GI nightmare
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Detrol, Klonopin, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol, steroid injections and pred prn

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 6/29/2008 9:06 PM (GMT -6)   
((((((((((( Marji ))))))))))))))

Hugs, prayers . . . and


In His Grip

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

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

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

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Tuesday, September 25, 2018 1:38 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 3,006,503 posts in 329,346 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 161835 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, scattycatty.
299 Guest(s), 11 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
notsosicklygirl, mysweetpanda, suzy-q, Anitas, Bob in Elkridge, cilly, Serfr, ASAdvocate, ks1905, Estarnes, k07