Blood test results

Is a CRP of 14 and an ESR of 21 considered high ? The print out states "no follow up needed "

I'm on 6mgs of Pred, [ slow taper ] feeling very lethargic, and achy. I had an adrenal test last July and the Dr. said they were "Lazy" so ordered another test which I had on the 23rd Dec. I go back to Addenbrook's end of January for the results,

Has anyone with adrenal insufficiency had high inflammatory markers ? I have read that adrenal insufficiency can cause aches and pains, but I'm reluctant to raise my Pred till I get the results, although I have also read treatment is with Pred, so I don't suppose it would do any harm to raise it ? or should I just wait till I see the hospital Dr.? any advice please.

10 Replies

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  • A CRP of 14 would usually be regarded as elevated, an ESR of 21 is just above the range - but it does depend on "your normal" . My normal is about 4 so 21 would be raised. If your normal is 20 it wouldn't be. It all depends on what your previous readings have been and whether there is a rising trend, individual readings are really fairly meaningless.

    Adrenal insufficiency shouldn't lead to raised markers, it doesn't lead to inflammation.

    if you have had the test it won't make any difference if you try a higher dose to see if you feel better on more. If you don't it makes no difference and you can go back, if it does you can tell the doctor when you see them.

  • Thank you PMRpro

    A joint reply to you and celtic below

  • bowler, I'm so sorry to hear of your increasing pain especially as I know how very long you have been on steroids.

    It isn't long until your appointment but it really depends on just how much discomfort you are in. Certainly a CRP of 14 is pointing to increasing inflammation. I think, if it was me, and the pain was building, I would rather get on top of it with a small dose increase than risk it really taking hold. Increasing back to around 7.5mg might just be enough to relieve the pain if it is an adrenal problem as that is around the equivalent dose of natural steroid (cortisol) that our bodies make when well. Good luck, and do let us know how you get on.

  • Thank you celtic and PMRpro

    I think I may have to up my dose. It seems that a couple of hours after I take my 6mgs, I feel better but as the day goes on the aches start to come back, so I have been taking a couple of paracetamols, which does help, I'm wondering if I also have rheumatism, and the steroids have been masking it all these years ? as I have never been on such a low dose for ages. I have been on 6 mgs for 12 weeks and was doing fine. The aches and pains are in the lower back, knees, and both my thumb joints hurt, I keep dropping things. My ESR is never much below 21 but the CRP is much higher than my norm, but it does fluctuate.

  • If I'm having a flare - it always goes for my thumbs!!!!

  • Oh, so It could be the PMR I didn't associate knees, and thumbs with PMR

    I usually have it in my shoulders, arms, lower back, the knees and thumbs are new to me.

  • It might not be - but it could be. And if the markers are rising a bit - it is a sign there is something going on. It might be a cold or something, they can encourage flares too, but it's a sign to be careful.

    But think about it - PMR causes rheumatic symptoms, that's why we are usually under rheumatologists. There isn't a disease called "rheumatism" except by the patients.

    "Rheumatism or rheumatic disorder is an umbrella term for conditions causing chronic, often intermittent pain affecting the joints and/or connective tissue. The study of, and therapeutic interventions in, such disorders is called rheumatology."

  • I have also started getting pain in the base of my left thumb. Makes washing-up a bit painful. It comes and goes.

  • I found that happened most when I wore rubber gloves. No gloves helped a lot - not my nails though :-( A dishwasher is a helpful solution...

  • My CRP level was at 18 back in March of 2016. I have Raynauds, so my rheumy checked. In Dec of the same year, my CRP jumped to 82! I was diagnosed with PMR then and started on 20 mgs of prednisone and felt soooo much better. I am doing the slow taper until the end of Oct 2017.

    I was feeling very fatigued during March and Dec of last year (2016) and I knew something was going on. Yes, I had joint pain in my knees, lower back and shoulders, but I also have osteo-arthritis and I am used to being in pain. I kept brushing it off. (I had a total knee-replacement and back surgery a few years ago.). It was the fatigue that got me the most.

    I feel so much better now with the correct dosage of prednisone he started me on.

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