View Full Version : Can you help explain Blood Tests and Medications?

07-14-2013, 05:44 PM
First let me say thank you to the group. I don't always get online to see updates daily but I try. The members of this site are all very supportive of each other and it's wonderful read the posts and know that everyone genuinely cares about each other. I wish you all a good night's rest tonight. Now to my question..I have been taking Plaquenil since February, along with Mobic (maximum allowed) which I have been on for several years. I am being treated for Sjogren's, Lupus, and recently UCTD. Within the past month I have noticed the Sjogren's symptoms of dry mouth, eyes and overall body have improved dramatically, which I think is from taking the Plaquenil. The joint pain and swelling in my hands have not improved yet. In fact I now have pain in my feet, elbows and occasionally knees. I take Xtra Strength Tylenol during the day when the symptoms interfere with my abilities to work and I take Flexeril and sometimes Norco at night when the pain wakes me up. I saw my rheumatologist 2 weeks ago and the nurse called me this week to give me results of my blood tests. The Lupus is stable and the test for inflammation shows normal. I have low vitamin D and a low Complement C3C. I protein in my urine, I always seem to have that. Since I still have pain my my joints and my hands swell at night and are stiff in the AM and PM, I expected the blood test to indicate inflammation. Is it possible that the medications (Plaquenil, Mobic etc) can be lowering the levels AND I can still have pain, swelling and stiffness? I am hoping that some of you can help me to understand how I can have pain but yet blood work doesn't indicate it. Thank you for your help and many blessings to you all!

07-14-2013, 06:51 PM
a very common auto immune disorder is fibromyalgia. many of us with lupus also have fibro. for me fibro has a bigger impact on my day to day quality of life than my lupus. fibro can cause your symptoms and your blood tests WILL show low levels of inflammation. use the search engine on here to find more information.

07-14-2013, 08:25 PM
Hi, im new on the site but have had lupus for 13 years and many other ailments. I just started taking plaquenil again. Hadnt for years. Im not seeing any benefit yet but I will be patient. I just had bloodwork also as I am in the ,middle of a bad flare. I was smazed as my sed rate was 14. Normal. Couldnt believe it. I know I have inflamation. I know when we feel so bad that the bloodwork should show something but sometimes it just doesnt. It doesnt make your pain any less real. I wish you well and hope you see improvement soon.

07-15-2013, 04:47 AM
Hi !
Complement refers to a group of plasma proteins whose interactions clear away immune complexes and kill bacteria...During inflammation, serum levels decrease, so a low complement C3 is acute inflammation.
Even, if the bloodwork doesn't look a clear inflammation, when you don't feel ok, it seems that something is wrong in your body...

07-15-2013, 12:09 PM
My rheumy did say that I may have fribromyalgia. She put me on Neurontin but I had a bad reaction to it so I only took it once. Thank for sharing with me Steve. I hope you are feeling well today.

07-15-2013, 12:13 PM
I wish you wellness also Shelly. Thank you for sharing with me. In reading many of the threads and posts over the past 6 months I did learn that sometimes the labs don't reflect Lupus even when you have it - but, I didn't think that would apply to the blood tests for inflammation. Do you also get pain in your hands? If so, when you are having a "bad flare" do you have more episodes of reynaud's?

07-15-2013, 12:37 PM
Thank you for that information Simona. I didn't know that information about C3. The nurse told me the recent test included ESR and it was "5" which was normal. I did read many posts about blood work but I don't recall seeing specifics on individual tests and numbers. It appears that I need to do more research on the individual tests, the ranges for results and even the combinations of tests' results. Please don't misunderstand my meaning, I feel fortunate to have a doctor that listens to me and cares about helping me and I trust her - but, I think I need to be more prepared when I see her so that I can ask the right questions. I do keep a medical diary, making notes of changes and environmental changes too. I take pictures of my hands so that she can see them when they swell. But, I need to go a step or two further so that I can ask her about specific tests and how they relate to my symptoms. I really like my doctor and I very much appreciate her willingness to work with me and she doesn't make me feel like there's nothing wrong. All in all, I am very fortunate to have a good doctor and my symptoms are not nearly as severe as many of the people who suffer with Lupus and other AI diseases. Thank you again for sharing your experiences and knowledge with me! All of the WHL members are in my prayers, blessings to you daily!

07-16-2013, 07:42 AM
Good luck in the future !!!!