Does it seem odd that as the doctor is calling out all your blood results - CRP normal, RF normal, ANA negative, Anti DNA negative etc. - that when he suddenly calls out one that's abnormal I was actually quite relieved?!!! ESR raised to 60 (should be 18). So at least my body is giving them some evidence of inflamation! Although in fairness to the doc he did say that you only had to look at me to know that! But at least there is something for the Rheumy to start with next week.
I should say it's a start mate as there's some underlining cause, i'll add info below to help you. xxx
CAUSES OF RAISED ESR
Causes of Raised ESR:
The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Raised ESR. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.
•Acute and chronic infections
1. Connective tissue disorders
Symptoms if connective tissue disorder
Connective tissues are groups of fibers and cells that “connect” the framework of the body and literally hold it together. Their functions include cushioning, protecting, supporting, insulating and strengthening the body’s tissues and organs. Examples of connective tissue are tendons, ligaments, cartilage, blood, bone, and the dermis of the skin. Because connective tissues exist in so many structures of the body, disorders of these tissues may involve a variety of symptoms, including pain and dysfunction in different areas of the body.
Connective tissue disorders are common, affecting approximately 500,000 in the United States alone. There are no significant differences in incidence among ethnic or age groups or between males and females. More than 200 types of heritable (passed from parents to their children) connective tissue disorders exist. Examples of heritable connective tissue disorders are Marfan’s syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info.../default.asp#c
Some connective tissue disorders are the result of a dysfunction in the immune system, in which the immune system mistakenly targets connective tissue cells, resulting in inflammation. This type of connective tissue disorder is also an autoimmune disorder and includes such diseases as dermatomyositis (a condition characterized by muscle inflammation and skin rash), polymyositis (uncommon condition characterized by widespread muscle inflammation and weakness), rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation of the blood vessels, which can lead to atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack, and other cardiac conditions), scleroderma, and systemic lupus erythematosus (disorder in which the body attacks its own healthy cells and tissues).
Osteoarthritis is an ongoing, progressive disease that affects the joints of the body as the cartilage of joints breaks down over time. Osteoarthritis is also called degenerative joint disease.
The joints of the body are the areas where two of more bones meet. In these places, the ends of the bones are protected by a tissue called cartilage, which helps bones to move easily without wearing away the bone tissue. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes torn or thin. This results in the symptoms of osteoarthritis, such as joint pain and swelling.
The way that the disease affects people varies greatly from person to person, but most often affects fingers, hips, back, knees, toes, and neck. Symptoms of osteoarthritis can be mild, moderate, or severe.
Osteoarthritis can also cause inflammation of the synovial membranes. Healthy synovial membranes line and protect the joints and allow smooth and free movement. When synovial membranes are inflamed, they become swollen, tender and warm, and are unable to move freely. Osteoarthritis can also result in other complications. For more details on complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Risk factors for developing osteoarthritis include being over 45 years old, overweight, joint injury, a sedentary lifestyle, and having family members with osteoarthritis.
Making a diagnosis of osteoarthritis begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. X-rays or MRI may be done to determine if there is joint or nerve damage.
Medical testing may include a variety of tests, including blood tests that are performed to rule out other causes of joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis. These include a rheumatoid factor test, complete blood test (CBC), C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, joint X-rays, and an analysis of the "lubricating" fluid in the joints (synovial fluid).
It is possible that a diagnosis of osteoarthritis can be missed or delayed because some people have no symptoms and because the disease progresses gradually and early symptoms can be mild or assumed to be associated with other conditions, such as aging. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of osteoarthritis.
Treatment for osteoarthritis varies depending on the severity of symptoms, the presence of complications, a person's age and medical history, and other factors. Osteoarthritis cannot be cured, but treatment can help to reduce symptoms and minimize destruction of joints and other complications. Treatment can include a combination of medication, physical therapy, and surgery. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of osteoarthritis. ...more »
Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis typically caused by age-related wear-and-tear. In diagnosis, it must be distinguished from other types of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis (second-most common type, affecting younger adults and juveniles), and various types of secondary arthritis that are caused by an underlying condition: reactive arthritis caused by an infection, psoriatic arthritis from psoriasis, gonococcal arthritis from gonorrhea, and others. Other possible conditions with arthritis-like symptoms include ankylosing spondylitis (affecting the spine) and gout. ...more »
Vasculitis is an inflammation of any of the blood vessels of the body. This includes the arteries, arterioles, capillaries, veins and venules. Vasculitis can result in many manifestations in any organ or body system and can lead to potentially serious complications, such as heart attack, stroke, aneurysm of the lungs, and arteritis. In some cases vasculitis can be fatal.
Vasculitis can be caused by a number of autoimmune disorders. In an autoimmune disorder the body's immune system sees normal cells and tissues of the body as potentially dangerous invaders and attacks them. Vasculitis can also occur for unknown reasons.
Vasculitis can affect all sizes and types of arteries and veins in the body. This results in a wide variety of symptoms and complications that can affect almost any part of the body. For more information on symptoms, refer to symptoms of vasculitis.
Underlying disorders that can cause vasculitis include Behcet's syndrome, which causes inflammation of blood vessels of nearly all sizes and types. Wegener's granulomatosis affects the sinuses, nose, ears, kidneys, lungs, and trachea. Temporal arteritis affects the temporal artery that is located in the temple area of the head. Polyarteritis nodosa affects the small and medium arteries of the body. Takayasu's arteritis affects large blood vessels, especially the aorta, the largest artery of the body.
Making a diagnosis of vasculitis begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. There is no single test to diagnose vasculitis or its underlying cause. Diagnosis is based on compiling and evaluating symptoms in conjunction with medical history and a variety of tests. Many tests are performed to evaluate general health and help to determine damage to tissues and organs and complications that may be caused by suspected vasculitis.
An angiogram may be done to reveal any narrowing of arteries. Tests may also include a complete blood count (CBC), which can detect infection, anemia, and bleeding. An erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a blood test that can detect if an inflammatory process is occurring in the body. An urinalysis may detect damage to the kidneys. Imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT scan, MRI, and ultrasound can detect damage that has occurred in many organs. An ECG and echocardiogram can detect damage to the heart. A pulmonary function test can evaluate how well the lungs are functioning.
It is possible that a diagnosis of vasculitis can be missed or delayed because there is no specific diagnostic test for it, and because some symptoms can resemble symptoms of other diseases, disorders, and conditions. For more information on misdiagnosis and disease and conditions that can mimic vasculitis, refer to misdiagnosis of vasculitis.
Thanks Terri. I'll have a good read in a bit. Sometimes though I think the internet is a bad thing cos all I've been reading when I googled the ESR/CRP differences is that raised ESR and low CRP is very common in patients in a Lupus flare. And if I'm not in a flare right now I'll eat my hat LOL. Got to go on school run now xxx
I understand your relief - congratulations! Hopefully this is the first step to a definitive diagnosis and ultimately some relief for you!
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Thanks everyone! Glad to know I'm not odd being happy to see a blood test with a result that's not good LOL!! Certainly feels like we're getting there. The thing that's most worrying me now is my negative ANA. I don't want my rheumy to brush the possibilities under the carpet. I guess I'll find out next week what he's like! I hope he's like today's GP who said it was very obvious given my history and list of symptoms along with the high ESR that there is very obviously something wrong. It's a start I suppose! Hope you are all having a good day xxx
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