ive never being given my esp or crp results , in a figure .. this is even after 10 years of blood tests , taken by GP and RHEUMY ,, im always just told its raised,, not high ,, but slightly raised ... i know this is a question ,, often asked .. but what is seen as raised ? high ? and very high ?

also does everybody else get this information without asking ,, do you know yours ??

24 Replies

  • Hi Andy ...I find out mine when I recieve a copy of a letter that has been sent to my GP , usually about 2 weeks after my consultant appt ...At first it was a blurb but bless her Michelle translates for me lol :)) I am more knowledgable , hopefully anyway as going to rhumi nurse tomorrow. I think a lot of people though just ask consultant or rhumi nurse for a print out and I think they are happy to do that ..Claire

  • Hi Andy, I was given a monitoring book at the Rheumy clinic, the results from the previous test are wrote in at each appointment. I don't take to much notice of the values because my ESR and CRP are always on the low side. if there's a problem with any of the values I get a phone call to arrange a retest.

    Beth x

  • hi beth .. i will ask about a monitoring book at the Rheumy clinic next time i see the rheumy nurse , i guess i dont take any notice of the values either , thats why ive never asked . i would hope if something was wrong , i would hear something from the clinic .. so no news is good news in my book .. :)

    hope your ok .. an keeping AS under control ..

    andy x

  • Hi Andy, I have a methotrexate monitoring book which was given to me by the rheumy clinic. It has a description of all the blood tests which are needed and tells you what the readings should be. I've not got it here right now to refer to as it gets left at the GP clinic for completion after each blood test. If my memory is correct though a good esr is below 20 but I can't remember what CRP should be.

    Paula x

  • hi paula

    with stopping then starting again on MTX , ive got two methotrexate monitoring books ,, both still in the draw .. :( i should do better ,, and start to fill it in .. i will be in trouble ( again ) with my rheumy nurse next time i see her .

    andy x

  • Hi Andy

    CRP should be less than10 and ESR less than 30 in menopausal women but I guess that you dont fall into that category lol. ESR in others should be less than 19. not sure what esp is but then maybe if you did you would know lol

    cris xx

  • menopausal ?? , no , ive not reached that stage yet .. lol xx

  • Hi Andy, If you're on MTX you should have a monitoring book....don't know why you don't? The pharmacist used to ask for it from time to time when I picked up prescriptions, and I get print outs of the blood tests from the hospital. But I have to ask for them.

    As far as the results go there is a "normal" range as cris says, but what's more important is your own range and whether the levels are stable, increasing or reducing. I'm one of the people who's ESR & CRP hardly ever budges, so for me things are going badly wrong if I'm in double figures. I guess I just must have very watery blood. For others you can be much much higher and still be normal for you. And they can go way into several hundreds when you have a really bad infection.


  • hi polly . you still struggling with the orange peel ??? that did make me laugh the other day ,,, think i should lend tilda my specs haha.. :)

  • I just ask the receptionist or GP after my monthly blood tests are taken Andy. But then I don't have a rheumy nurse so everything is done through my surgery. At first they didn't take ESR or CRP but I pushed for this to be done because I've never shown much by way of visible swelling but have had some really strange symptoms (or strange to me and my GPs) so it's been quite helpful to know that my ESR is high for my GPs and rheumy consultant.

    Polly is right that for some people - menopausal women especially - the ESR can average at 30 odd but I think anything much over is definitely raised whoever you are. I'm sure you can just ask. My GPs would never volunteer this kind of info so the only way is to ask really. It feels a bit keen and knowing sometimes and I wimped out of the thyroid HU site almost immediately because people asked me to give my thyroid test results (I'm Hypothyroid) but I couldn't face asking anything else in case the receptionist thought I was becoming a complete hypochondriac!!? Daft really! Good luck finding out - it really shouldn't be hard and it's really useful knowledge - especially if you are taking a cytotoxic drug like MTX - you want to know it's working on your systemic inflammation not just on your symptoms. Tilda x

  • this is one thing that used to worry me , about always at the doctors and asking to many questions , i just though , my GP will think im hypochondriac . now i dont given a dam .. i guess it helps when you finally get a diagnosis ,, then it gives you a reason to be there ..

    andy x

  • I agree about not giving a damn in theory Andy - but in reality a GP only has a short time to discuss things relating to my health - and revealing that I've become a bit of an RA geek feels a little embarassing although it is the truth of course! I did ask for my liver enzyme figures last time but because I don't have a rheumy nurse and only see the consultant for a short time every 8 months I try to listen hard and only ask essential questions.

    As it happens both my GP and consultant tend to be quite rambling in answer to any questions and at the same time they somehow imply that I don't really need to know all this detail such as ESR and CRP results - just accept what the experts are saying. I wont say typical men to you but...?!!!

    I have said before and will say again that I'd prefer to work in partnership with my doctor as lead detective with me as their (beautiful) clever assistant!

    I think you should just ask for print outs and then come here and decipher them with us. Tilda xxx

  • i think ive become or becoming a AS geek , i wouldnt worry ... geeks are now seen as trendy .. i understand about the limited time , with my consultant , by the time hes worked out who i am , and what im doing there , the time is about over , so asking to many question is just impossible .. last time was funny ,, his words !! why did you stop taking MTX ?? i said . because you told me to .. his reply !! why did i do that ?? i say ,, i dunno .. you just did .. it goes abit like that for the first 20 mins ..haha .. he s fantastic tho ..

    andy xx

  • I agree - geeks are cool - hey first time I've ever considered myself cool?!

  • Hello Andy!

    I recently posted a question "Blood Tests (CRP ESR) Levels: Whats Normal?" and the wonderful answers were very supportive and helpful... There may be a search function to find it?

    Anyway, after I looked at my MTX Blood Test Booklet, it turns out the Generic Ranges for ESR & CRP are <20 & <5 Respectively, (<, less than).

    I got many many wonderful replies but what it boils down to is; everyone is different, its more about how you as an individual feels on any given day.

    Also, these markers are possible signs of infection elsewhere in the body.

    With hind sight I now see there have been times when my markers were above the Genric Ranges but I felt fine.

    And conversely I have felt awful, back to the bad old days of not being able to get out of bed and then needing a long hot hot bath before being able to "get going", and then at my next Rheumy appointment finding my ESR/CRP figures where "fine"?!

    All the best,


  • hi TC .

    ive checked out , your blog .. im not sure how i missed this one .. feel daft now for asking this questions ,,if only id seen yours first , its all the answers .. "nevermind" .. thanks for pointing it out for me .. its once again is like so many times we hear with this illness ,, not everyone is the same ,, no wonder we get confused ..:)

  • Hi,every time I have a blood test I ask for a copy, which you have a right to, I believe. Some copies give you the 'range' for the 'normal' person,(so you are able to see if your high are low) or ask your rhuemy nurse or GP pratice nurse to explain to you. Hope this helps, take care Ann x

  • ive got a MTX Blood Test Booklet , never used it tho , its just stuck in the draw .. should use really i guess .. i will take it along with me , next time ...

    thanks guys ..

    andy x

  • Hi, I don't know how much these tests are used as I had RA for nearly 5 years and in that time my ESR has never been over 12 and my CRP once hit 7, I have been on humira for 2 years as my RA is very active

  • hi ozzy .

    this means " if im right " your ESR and CRP are fine ..

  • Yes I think so, the doctor never mentions them in fact the only time my bloods have been mentioned was when in an unrelated matter when for a pre op check and was told that my White cell count was very low and I needed iron tablets and to stop taking salfazine. The only reason that I have been given biologics is very visible swollen joints which means my das score is high enough

  • Hi Andy - thought of you today as went to see my rhumi nurse and used my little yellow book lol! Does help having it all written down and asked her to explain a lot of it as all numbers eh?! She was very helpful C x

  • did you claire ?? awww .. i thought of you too :) lol...

    yes , im going to start writing things down ,it makes sense to use the booklet .. also helps when your nurse explains things .. otherwise its just numbers .. :(

    andy x

  • If someone has a low ESR or CRP but still obviously has active disease then their results are a bit meaningless. If however you have swings and your ESR and CRP sometimes go high (well above the average lets say) then these do mean something inflammatory is going on - not everything but definitely something - so they are very important for these people - especially if there is a pattern of them being high and there is no other obvious cause such as infection. Tilda x

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