Normal blood tests

Last week I had a significant flare up. I could barely walk, my hands were swollen, I could not bend by fingers, my right knee was swollen and multiple other ailments. My doctor ordered multiple blood tests. I was convinced that something would come up abnormal as I was feeling so bad. However, all tests came back withing normal ranges. I have seronegative RD. Is it common for bloods to come back normal with seronegative RD even during a flare? I feel as though others think my ailments are in my head if there is no proof in the tests. Frustrated.

22 Replies

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  • The short answer is YES! Many people with RA had normal inflammatory markers but active disease. Did you get your joint examined? Usually rheumatologists are able to identify the swelling.

    I'm sorry you're going through such a bad flare up right now. :( Were you offered anything to help you get over this hump?

  • Hi Crashdoll. Thank you for your kind response. The rheumatologist took my word over the phone and gave me prednisone x20mg and to taper down by 5mg each week. Then I will stay on 5mg until I see him in September. It has been a tremendous help and I feel so much better after just a few days. I had the blood tests at the height of the flare and thought surely something would show as abnormal.

  • Hi I too am going through the worst flare ever. I have sero neg RA! I have been on lefluemide for two years but had to stop taken it due to high liver function tests. I am so down as I cant go out . I try to keep moving but the pain in both my Knees is terrible. It feels like I have broke my legs an got no treatment for them . I too had normal bloods . Going to see rh consultant I two weeks . What medication are you on ?

  • Hello AbbieJ55. I am sorry you are going through such a bad time also. Yours sounds worse than mine. Perhaps I am just a pansy! I am currently taking leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine, and have had 3 jabs of Humira. I don't feel like any of those have made much of a difference so far. The doctor gave me prednisone for this current flare and I feel so much better than I did a few days ago. I hope the next 2 weeks go quickly for you and your pain doesn't get any worse.

  • I have been exactly the same for some weeks now, 2 lots of blood done a month appart and both classed as satisfactory. still feeel rotten.You are made to feel a fraud. No one understaands how bad you can feel.The Fatigue and "brain fog " is horrendous. Hope you are feeeling better now. Cinders

  • Yes, Cinders! It is so frustrating! However, it helps to know that others have the same issues with blood tests. I have resorted to writing down how I feel--physically and mentally--on a regular basis so at least I can get it out of my system and others don't have to hear me rant all the time. All the best to you!

  • i know exactly just how you feel the exact same thing happened to me three weeks ago. a massive flare, just could not move. had a full blood work done and everthing came back normal. ERS of 2!!!!!! i am also seronegative. very frustrating.

  • I picked up my test results today and every single result was within normal range. My ESR was 10. I suppose I should be thankful that nothing is way out of wack. Otherwise, I would have to stop and/or start another crazy med! I DO need to focus on my blessings, though. I don't feel as good as I want, but also not as bad as I could. =)

  • We are all in the same boat, but think mine is sinking. That's just how I feel, I'm crying whist typing with painful fingers! I hate this fibro, I've said to friends-it would be so much easier if I had cancer, at least people would "get it" and I'd eventually get some remission. Pain free for short time is all I think about. Sorry for blubbing. Much love to all x

  • you just blubber as much as you need to.....we've all done it, all needed to do it. X

  • So sorry you feel so badly. I know what you mean about the fact that people don't "get it". I don't even try to explain too much unless asked, because people associate RA with OA and then talk about their OA pains. I am not trying to be unsympathetic, but I am so thankful for this site where I have found an outlet. I hope you feel better soon.

  • I don't wish to belittle anyone's pain especially considering my Rheumy has recently confirmed my RD is controlled but would like to say that I have been suffering pain very similar to uncontrolled RD & been told that it is my OA progressing therefore "playing up". I was somewhat shocked to say the least as I genuinely thought, though my bloods are level & have only a little swelling, that it was RD to blame so I can confirm that OA pain is pretty bad, crying with pain bad & if RD's given me anything it's a pretty high pain threshold! I too understood it was a lesser pain until it grabbed me. Fortunately, though nothing can be done to halt it's progression, upping my etoricoxib & continuing on steroids long term is helping a (very) little so far. It's degenerative I know & not autoimmune but that doesn't take away from the fact it really hurts without pain meds.

    Sorry to be a grump & vent but that's the way I've been of late with lack of sleep even though I'm tired, brain fog, cervical spondylosis & the menopause....... and it's MTX day - it doesn't take much to start me off!!! sob sob :(

  • Hello NMH, you sound like you need a big old cyber hug (((x))) you've give so much support on here including to me... sorry to read that you're feeling down, knowing you though I'm sure you will be back on in the morning offering your support to us all. Hope you feel better soon x

  • Auww thanks Kiki, received with thanks! It's just a blip & the shock of it not being related to RD as it's quite strong still at the mo. I eventually slept well (maybe my typing it down helped) & have an MTX hangover this morning, my neck feels like a rod & refuses to be coaxed to release. It'll pass!!

    Hope you're ok?

  • I am so so sorry if I belittled you or discounted any pain that is suffered by anyone for any condition. Please accept my sincere apology, nomoreheels. I respect and appreciate all of your posts. Pain is dreadful no matter what the cause. All the best to you.

  • No need to apologise it wasn't aimed at you sas - I was venting at the OA more than anything & it landed on your reply as yours was the first that mentioned the disease since my Rheumy blamed all my problems on it, so sorry back to you. Though it's not complex like RD I thought OA was aches & pains of old age but now know it's more than that & it was just me being a grump. I'm sure it'll ease, just I'm being impatient. What I just don't get is that all that is recommended is doing exercise (yeh like that's going to happpen today) & losing weight to ease pressure on the joints (I'm 5"4' & weigh 60kg & a size 10/12 depending on make), so pain meds & not sitting for too long it is for the mo!!

    Back to your original question, I hope your flare eases soon & you get back on track, I'll be sharing a smile with you soon hopefully.

  • awh heels, your in a bad way at the minute aren't you? my RD has been more or less under control now since i have been on Abatacept injections. i think that when you have been well for a while its all the more devistating when you do have a 'relapse'. just try your best to get each day in with as little pain as possible until you are feeling better. as for the 'change' in the middle of all that RD brings......i do know how you are feeling. i had two years of both active together. the menopause has passed me now and it does make adifference......except the sweats are still there but they are RD related. having said that thay are not a severe as the menopause sweats.......take it easy pet. XX

  • Thank you for your kind workds Jeanabelle. Think I was just having a feeling sorry for myself day & the more tired I got I just fired off & feel a tad shameful it happened on someone's post. It does help to blow but not the best way of doing it & was in no way aimed at anyone in particular more at the OA. It was that fact it's not the RD I could blame & something else I didn't appreciated could hurt so much. Thankfully I'm controlled by MTX, NSAIDs & steroids & not needed to go the abatacept route & it's only my second DMARD so got off lightly there but the OA is as painful as without it just with different swelling. I don't think the change in weather is helping either from being lovely & warm to back in long sleeves & trousers!! Sitting with my feet in my electric foot muff as I type as they're so cold & stiff. Now my left shoulder has decided to join my elbow & is nagging which doesn't

    After talking it through with my GP I decided I could cope without HRT & still do but at times like this it all gets a bit much. I'm sure I'll be different tomorrow if this headache lifts a little as that's not helping.

    There's an item on This Morning as I type & a poor chap who has a brain tumour & who can hardly put a sentence together is struggling to pay for treatment. I seems to be working but isn't licenced for use for his particular type of cancer yet is working.....puts my problems into perspective & sitting here welling up so at least my empathy for others hadsn't dimished.

    Sorry to ramble on, it has helped, & thank you for calling me pet, it made me smile for the first time today!! x :)

  • well, we got a smile out of you then.....job well doneX

  • Indeed & thanks for that. :) My youngest dog (pointer/lab cross so not small) has just weedled herself up beside me on my recliner, head on my lap looking at me with doleful eyes, bless. Next thing she'll be dreaming of running & kicking out!!

  • now that really is lovely...... as a fellow animal lover i know what the actions of a companion can do for you in the bad times.

    a few weeks ago had a flare up of a very unusual kind. i have exrensive damage to my left jaw due to RD. the flare was on the left side of my face and head only, no where else on my body, very strange. at one point in the middle of the night i woke in so much pain that i thought i was having a stroke. i live alone, except for my two babies, so you can imagine just how frightened i was.

    my rheumy team were great and sorted me out with steroid injections. my jaw still gives me a lot of pain though and its looking like i may have to have a jaw replacement in the near future, anyhow, one day after the flare started i was laying on the sofa crying. one of my two rescued dogs, Kells, got up beside me and leand over and started to lick my painful jaw, true, she knew where the pain was and was doing what she could to ease it for me......i don't know where i'd be without them.

    Kells is a small Springer cross who is very gentle. Barney is a Lhasa Apso, the old man of the house but a darlin. he is also rescued. i sometimes think that because i have given them a safe, loving home that they want to give that love back to me when i'm at my lowest. i just love them.......more than some human i know! XXX

  • I agree. Pets give love when we need it most and can usually bring out a smile or laugh. Good therapy for anyone that is down and out.

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