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Inflammation ... what's your's like?

My ESR has been going down for months & eventually reached 23 about 6 weeks ago. Since then it's been on the rise, jumping up to 44 a week after a steroid injection! Previously steroids in any form have been magic inflammation banishers for me so I don't get it at all. I'm interested to know whether anyone else's ESR resists even Kenalog injections and /or just plain won't come down. (Incidentally mine was under 10 for a while which means that my rheumy won't have any truck with the '20+ is okay as you get older' thing & I do agree with him that for me anything over 20 is too high.)

Inflammation is something that concerns me but maybe other people have high levels for years on end without their rheumy blowing a gasket or any other obvious ill effects?

2 Replies

I think it is of concern if you have had your temperature down under 10 at some stage recently to then see it rise again Luce. Mine has never yet been below 26 as I've said on numerous occasions but I really hated it when it was up in the 40s, 50s and 60s while I felt perfectly fine. I did realise afterwards that I wasn't as fine as all that though because my ankle and knees all hurt badly and swelled so it was almost like a barometer telling me what was forecast and then proving it'self to be spot on!

What I decided last night was that I did have good reason to feel concerned about my high ESR because RA is a systemic disease and this means that it's not just the arthriits but our blood and organs which are threatened. So I don't know why some people tell me that it's only symptoms that matter not blood markers. My GP told me this until I said I felt like a fraud and he then backtracked and said "well perhaps I down play your raised ESR too much then - it's not meaningless at all and is an indicator that things might not be properly controlled yet".

It's variability may be the case for those who denounce the ESR as meaningless but I don't think it is for us who's blood can and do tell a story - even if the story is very patchy and unclear at times. All I know is that mine only came down when I switched from pills to Metoject (sub cut MTX) and personally I think that 26 will probably prove to be my normal but I keep an open mind. I wouldn't be happy if mine started to rise again, especially not following a steroid injection, and I would start on the Sulphasalazine as soon as possible because this, alongside MTX, may get it back down again. Good luck! Tilda x


Oh thanks Tilda, I'm open to any take on this but your view does mirror mine. I'm happily indoors getting on with work kind of seamlessly at the moment as husband is away on business so not going to do anything annoyingly distracting for a couple of days. But I'll get hold of my latest blood results tomorrow & if I don't like what I see I'll be phoning Rheumy nurse later this week to see if I can get that Sulphasalazine pronto. As you say it does seem worrying that ESR rose so steeply AFTER steroid injection, so if anyone else has had this happen I'd be interested to hear. Thanks again, happy party planning! Luce x


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