Information & encouragement to fight RA
Thanks for explaining what this CRP blood test is for. Sounds like it could give a false hope regarding inflammation. My levels have been under control but I think I have more bone erosion and loss than active inflamation.
I think what often happens is patients are treated less aggressively or dismissed as just processing pain incorrectly. So instead of prescribing dmards or stepping up dmards, many docs prescribe lyrica or tramadol to treat symptoms. http://rawarrior.com/rheumatoid-arthritis-pain-persists/
Hmmm. During a recent flare that I considered bad my crp was 6 and my esr was 45. I am also seronegative. It’s frustrating to me! I feel horrid but my dr has no indicators. Makes me wonder!
Jane, I think how you feel *is* an indicator.
In your case, you had an elevated ESR to back you up. But either way I hope the doc recognized it as a flare.
My crp was only elevated at first. Now it’s normal but my ESR still gets to 80 or more.
thanks Telyn. Did you think either one tracked correctly with your symptoms?
While I have very active RA, my CRP and sed rate have never been elevated. I am seropositive. Fortunately, my rheumy has been very aggressive with my treatment despite my normal CRP and sed rates. Still looking for an effective treatment…
My ESR tracks correctly but my new insurance requires I get labs at a lab mill, and it will always be normal due to the delay in them running the tests. So my rheumatologist rarely checks them anymore. I’ll only get an accurate reading in the ER or urgent care.
Actually in my case, I was on biologics but had to go off when we were trying to get pregnant with our second baby. During those 2.5 years I went off the biologic and I think that’s when the damage was done. We gave up on baby #2 cause pain was getting too bad, so I went back on Remicade and got pregnant after the first Infusion (then my RA doc tells me it can help with fertility). So the Remicade is controlling the pain now but those years that I had joint damage, I can’t quite get back. But I now have 3 beautiful baby boys.
I had no elevated CRP levels when diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis 1987 but it was obvious with raw flesh and Rumatoid pain though it took 6 months to find someone who could diagnose it. Many years and different treatments later I was at a point where to continue getting the bioglogic mess I needed to have a certain number to qualify. I had just finished a flare but somehow the numbers came up. Many more years later it is of little interest to specialists what works or hurts or even show much interest in looking at you as it all just the numbers. I have definitely declined in the last 12 months in all areas of health but ‘whinging’ is looked down on and as long as you are reasonable, I am an optimist by nature, there is no interest in examination physically or by questioning.
Thank you for explaining your experience Bob. That is fascinating. I think I have figured out some of these things but I didn’t live through them as you did.
I’m seropositive for RD but have never had an elevated CRP or ESR as well as little swelling in my joints. I did well on Remicade but had to stop because of developing autoimmune hepatitis. For the last 8 months my dr has been confused as to why I have pain. She finally sent me to get an ultrasound and her office called to let me know that my RD was fairly active and I’m beginning to get bone errosions so she would like to add another medication. I’m glad the ultrasound could show what I’m feeling.
I always (almost) have negative labs CRP and ESR. But, the new Vectra DA shows severe RA. I have bad joint damaged hands, feet and back so after 28 years there is no question whether or not I have RA. It’s obvious. But, I remember years of docs not believing. It’s too bad for the patient!
Is there a range docs tend to go by for CRP? I only ask because I am still pending a diagnosis and my most recent blood work came back with CRP 90.1. September it was 10.5, October it was 14.1 and this past one there was a huge jump.
The reference ranges are different for each lab for good reason (different ways to estimate) so you must look at the range listed in your results. If it wasn’t given to you, ask for that.
Regardless of any standard I’ve seen, 90 is very high.
CRP is not definitive for RD but something is obviously going on with those changes as you said. Good luck.
Thank you, The reference range was 0.0-4.9. My Sed Rate was slightly high at 38(this is the first time ESR has been high). The only thing is I was being treated for Pneumonia at the time of my most recent labs. I have no idea if that would impact it or not. Hoping for answers soon for sure. I have been on plaqunil and Relafin and those are my levels on those. Nothing seems to work :/
I have normal CRP just diagnosed 2/2017 w/RA –
Every thing normal except SED & 2 messed up joints L hand w/excruciating pain in R hand & wrist
After labs & exam RA doc said i will treat as RA
I had sonogram it confirmed erosions
I was like WOW already
I am seronegative RA. It all started with L hand-trigger finger.
Thanks for sharing Julie. There’s proof even “seronegative” can be aggressive. For anyone reading who had doubts.
I’m glad you found a good doc who knows the value of ultrasound.