View Full Version : SLE Flare Blood Tests

06-19-2007, 06:38 AM
I had a flare that lasted almost three weeks starting at the beginning of May. It was excruciating and my mother and husband had to alternate staying home with me to make sure I ate, etc. My rhematologist who could not see me during the flare did some blood tests last week to prove that it was more likely a fibromyalgia flare and not a lupus flare. (I was diagnosed 10 years ago and the pain was very different than the FMS flares I've had in the past) It was by far the worst I've ever had. I only tell you this to ask this question.

I know that some blood tests indicate a flare, however by the time she did them I was back to my normal level of everyday pain. Most of the tests have come back negative. How long would it take for your blood tests to go back to normal if you have an SLE flare? When the pain goes back to normal do your blood test results?

Thanks for any help!

06-19-2007, 08:41 AM
There is a blood test that is used to detect Anti-DNA (also Anti-dsDNA). These are antibodies to DNA. Between one-half and 75 percent of the patients with SLE have or will have this antibody. The presence of these antibodies can indicate activity of the disease. Although there is no "one test" that confirms lupus, the diagnosis is nearly certain if such antibodies are present. There are also other tests that doctors use to try to determine the degree of lupus activity. Those tests are:
* sedimentation rate (ESR) and CRP (C-reactive protein) binding, both of which are frequently elevated in inflammation from any cause
serum protein electrophoresis which may reveal increased gammaglobulin and decreased albumin
* routine blood counts which may reveal anemia and low platelet and white cell counts
* routine chemistry panels which may reveal
kidney involvement by increases in serum blood urea nitrogen and creatinine
* abnormalities of liver function tests
increased muscle enzymes (such as CPK) if muscle involvement is present.

It might be advisable for you to ask your doctor exactly what blood tests were run and what their results were. Once you have that information, you can share it with us and we will be better able to explain them to you.

I wish you the very best
Peace and Blessings

morning star
06-19-2007, 08:47 AM
I work with an immunologist and he told me that I may have a gene that causes all lab tests to come back normal. He also said sometimes it takes years before certain people start having abnormal lab. All my lab results has been neg except my ANA which he told me is substanstially high! It is very frustrating though. I'm thinking about have the genetic testing done. Thinking of you......

06-19-2007, 08:50 AM

This is great information. I will get a copy of the results when they send me the rest of my records next week (I'm changing rheumatologists)

I guess my question was are these test (the ones you mentioned) "normal" after a flare and if so, how long after you go into remission do they go back to normal? I know this will probably vary, but do some peoples' tests go back to normal in a few weeks? Like I said other than fatigue, I haven't had any major symptoms since the flare and the tests were done weeks after my flare "ended." Just curious. I do have enough of the 11 symptoms to have a diagnosis, but this doctor pretty flattly refused to give me copies of my test results and would not go any deeper than positive/negative/abnormal when reporting results.

I sound a little bitter because I am. She was not good for my condition.

06-19-2007, 09:16 AM
Thank you morning star!

I have a positive ANA, am positive for anti-platelet antibodies (this is how it all started) and more. I don't have my labs with me today or I could tell you more. I really appreciate your thoughts today. My memory is crap today and it is making me very frustrated and emotional. I feel great physically though (very few aches and pains and an increase in my energy levels), so I'm very thankful for that!

06-19-2007, 09:18 AM
Your question is very hard (almost impossible) to answer because everyone's normal for Lupus is as different as their symptomolgy! No two persons have the same symptoms, no two persons flare for the same reasons, no two persons blood tests indicates the exact same things, and no two persons length of a flare or remission are the same. Some people have tests that never go back to normal, but they do not have serious symptoms. Others, like you, have tests that strangely read normal and they suffer greatly with symptoms.
The most frustrating thing about Lupus is that there IS NO CONSISTENCY and because of this, it is very difficult for doctors to be able to give you difinitive answers. So, they prefer to just tell you if your tests are normal or not and are reluctant to try to explain the meaning of those test results.
I know that this is not what you want to hear as you are seeking answers. The best that we can do is to look at your test results and try to decipher what they might mean to you, because they could mean something completely different to another Lupus patient. It is important that you listen to and know your body and how it is reacting, learn as much as you can about Lupus and/or autoimmune disorders (always bearing in mind the fact that you have not yet been diagnosed and you could just as easily have another auto-immune disorder or connective tissue disease!), work closely with your doctors and do not let them dismiss you or your symptoms. Stand up for your health, for your right to be heard and your right to have treatment and become very pro-active in your care.
We are always here to help you in any way that we can and as much as we can for as long as you need us! In the meantime, know that you are not alone.

Peace and Blessings

06-19-2007, 09:32 AM
Saysusie -

This is actually the answer I suspected. :) So I'm not discouraged, just thought it was worth asking. I was actually diagnosed in January, but have had Fibromyalgia for almost 10 years. Mostly I'm just frustrated with this last doctor, but I should just move on. She just really irritated me yesterday when she wouldn't tell me anything other than, "your tests were mostly negative" I'm still learning what it means to have lupus, so your advice on research and learning my bodies reactions was right on the mark.

I don't know why I'm so negative today. I'm usually a very positive person. I think I have a case of the blahs.

06-20-2007, 03:55 AM
oh my gosh. I don't blame you for wanting to switch rheumies after this!!! What does "mostly negative" mean. Shouldn't she be encourageing you to find out more about your condition? I love my GP- he gets copies of all my results and I just ask and he prints them and mails them out to me.. :) He knows how insane I am looking things up :oops: . Does she at least tell you what they indicate? Like explaining specific markers and telling you that it is good/bad/indiffernent. Did she do and explain your antiphospholipid/lupus
abs? If you are wanting to get pregnant this would be one you want to know about!

I hope your next dr is more understanding and listens to you..

06-20-2007, 06:22 AM
She has done nothing but write prescriptions. I'm disgusted with her. She will however send all of my information to the new doc and hopefully I will get some answers. This has been very frustrating, but I believe everything happens for a reason, so maybe this experience has prepared me for something I don't even have an inkling about. You just never know. There are always difficult people to deal with.

I'm doing much better today. Brighter and feeling healthier. I spent the evening with my mom last night and she and I got so into our conversation that the time flew and I didn't even notice how tired I was getting. It was really wonderful. I love when that happens. You know when you forget for good reasons as opposed to forgetting because you just can't remember. (I've been meaning to talk to my doctor about my increasing memory issues, but ironically I keep forgetting...seriously. I usually keep a list of symptoms to go over and this one keeps slipping my mind. If it weren't so ridiculously funny, I might be really upset about it.) :lol: