CRP levels

I've been on a decreasing dose of pred for GCA and PMR since September last year, now down to 4mg from 60. My rheumy doesn't believe in frequent blood tests. A couple of months ago I went to the GP because I was getting back and joint pain, and he sent me for a blood test. Results I was told showed borderline CRP level but he said there was nothing to worry about. This Monday I had a catheter ablation for SVT. On admission I had a blood test, and when I looked at the result it included CRP, which was flagged at 13. I'm having a lot of back and knee pain I the morning, having to take paracetamol every day. I've also this week had some head pain, but on the left side rather than the right as originally. Not sure whether I should be worried!

8 Replies

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  • That suggests the inflammation is creeping up very slowly and just beginning to cause discomfort - and you would expect that that would continue if you are on just slightly too low a dose to manage all the inflammation. Another CRP done next week or the week after would show if it is still creeping up. It doesn't really matter if your rheumy "doesn't believe in blood tests", you don't have to have faith in things you can see. and it is something your GP can do every few months. Aside from anything else, it gives you a long term baseline to compare any abnormal results to.

    I'm not sure whether catheter ablation would raise the CRP but otherwise, if you are having symptoms AND the CRP is raised and rising then you have to consider that at least the PMR part of the GCA is returning. On the other hand, many people find paracetamol does nothing for PMR pain - did it for you originally?

  • Hi,

    Salient point is, as PMRpro asks - does the paracetamol help. If it does, then the aches and pains in morning could just be normal after a nights rest, and little movement. My physio, who is 40, says everybody gets some aches first thing! Try doing some gentle exercises before you get out of bed whilst your muscles are warm.

    If you've been on a dose that takes away ALL pain, then when you reduce the "normal" aches of life come back, so sometimes its difficult to know what pain is what.

    Do you think the pains are the same as original before you were diagnosed?

    Suggest you keep a diary of everything, and if things get worse over the next couple of weeks, then either up your dose, and see if the pains go (that may answer if it's a flare or if you've reached your optimum level of Pred) or go to GP.

  • A colleague of my husband's always said that once you reached 40, if you woke up in the morning and nothing hurt you were dead...

  • Good! I'm very much alive then!

  • It is quite a relief really to have such a clear sign isn't it ;-)

  • Yes, Much like an older friend I see regularly for coffee who says - "if I look in the local paper's notices, and I'm not in the deaths section, then I know I'm ok"!

  • My last blood tests showed CRP at 13 too, which he said was in normal range for me.

  • It seems to me that the reduction from 60 toi 4 in a period of 15 months is very fast. Trying not to be negative here but this very well could be a relapse and me personally I would go back up there in the prednisone. The head pain could be GCA. This is scary when you consider the consequences. I would take an ESR and follow it a little more closely. If blood work was never very high then you are one of these people like our PRO. However, if your blood Numbers were high then it does make a difference and should be watched especially with headache even if it is on the other side. When I had PMR it took me three years to get from 20 down to zero. I was free for one year and then GCA took over. I figure this come down from 40 could being five years. I have already had one relapse at 20 so I will be smarter and go very slowly as my website friends have suggested . Good luck to you. And happy holiday.

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