High Sedimentation (Sed) Rate? Help...

itsmesuzqSeptember 6, 2008

I have had a high Sed rate for many years (doc mentioned it back in 95) and now that I'm getting older (62) my current doctor is trying to find out why. It indicates some sort of inflammation in the body and she has ruled out Lupus and other immune disorders. Because there is a correlation between inflammation and heart desease (number 1 killer of women now) we are trying to find out exactly what is happening in my body. I am on a low dose of Statins (down from 20mgs to 10mgs because I hated the side effects) and I'm taking Cymbalta for my fibromaylgia.

Anyway I thought I'd ask this very wise group of folks. Have any of you ever had a doctor tell you that your Sed rate is high and did you ever solve the question as to why??

I really appreciate any thoughts you may have.


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Yes, I have had a high SED rate for at least 30 yr, since my late 20s/early 30s. It was one of the main reasons that a well-respected arthritis specialist diagnosed me with RA back then, that and the fact that my mother had a particularly severe case. Since then I have had several specialists question the diagnosis since I do not have a lot of joint damage. My GPs have over the years treated my problems--joint pain, morning stiffness, extreme fatigue,etc.--as a sort of weird hybrid case of RA. I have never taken any DMARDs, only NSAIDs to control the inflammation (shown by the high SED rate). I function at a pretty high rate as long as I don't overdo things. I am able to share care of two grandsons, 5 & 9mo, with my husband. I cook for 6 adults and the toddler. I like to travel, but again I try not to overdo it. My age is 59.

I too am troubled by the connection between heart disease and inflammation. Both parents died of some variation on heart disease. I had hoped, actually, for a statin, but the side effects were bad and there was a time when I had bad kidney numbers on tests--coincidental to taking the statin, so we dropped all meds and started adding back. I had taken Indocin for years, they took me off that permanently, replaced with another oldie, sulindac. We'll never know exactly what caused those bad kidney numbers, but I have been careful what I add back to the mix.

I imagine we have a lot in common with your fibromyalgia and my weird version of RA. I think if I started out now they would try something other than an NSAID, but at this point, I am not very avid to try any of the new things (DMARDS) which could send those kidney numbers back out of range. The nephrologist I see meets patients in a dialysis center after those patients are gone, but I never want to be one.

Gotta run.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 4:31PM
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Could arthritis cause a high SED rate?

I had a slightly elevated rate once, but the next time it was back down.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 7:17PM
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My sincere thanks to both of you for posting. Yes, a high sed rate could indicate arthritis and I did have a MRI on my lower spine with the results being severe cronic arthritis in the lower spine. The pain from that is manageable...with Motrin. My doc knows about that but now that you mentioned it I'm going to shoot her an email and mention that. I am scheduled to see a very good doctor who specializes in RA in October to show her all my blood work and ask her if she has any ideas or thinks I should take some more tests.

It's just a worry that may never be solved, but it sure would be nice to have some sort of idea what's going on. Like my doc says, "Something is driving the train and we need to find out what it is".

Bless you for your response...it really made me feel a bit better.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 7:25PM
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Socks, high SED rate is more likely in rheumatoid arthritis than osteoarthritis. Always indicates inflammation, infection or other type of inflammation. Osteoarthritis is caused by an accident or long wear and tear on joints; rheumatoid is an immunological disorder where the tissue gets inflamed from the body's immune system attacking. Two different situations altogether, so when you say arthritis, it depends on type.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 2:19PM
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