Sed Rate

When do I worry about my Sed Rate being high? Looking at my past 3 Sed Rates, all of them have been high, over 1 1/2 years. Is it part of the inflammation from Sjogren's, or could it be something else?

Also, does anyone else have blood results that border on high or low (right at the line of being high and low), and the doctor just ignore it?

Have a great day, and gentle hugs,


Hi Stacie,

I am not well versed with lab results, but here is a link that may be of help. Surely others will give you some more specific answers. I don't know about all Doctors, but if mine are not remarkable, they are not mentioned, if they are, then the Dr either changes or adjusts dosage of meds, if that can be done. When I was on Enbrel, there was a set dose and it was not to be changed. It was one dose if you had Psoriasis with the Psoriatic Arthritis, and another if you just had the arthritis and not the psoriasis. Hope this helps!

Wishing you well,


Thank you SK, I'm just wondering if the high Sed Rate is because of SS? My Rheumy thinks I might have Lupus.

Hi Stacie

I have lupus and the doctor watched my sed rate for awhile but went ahead and put me on plaquenil. Unless my labs are way off or I am having symptoms she usually just watches them. I see her ever 3 months.

Thanks Butterfly


My first diagnosis in the autoimmune world was "overlap syndrome', where you have symptoms of several different autoimmune diseases, but don't have a full dx of any. At this time my GP told me that I could develop any or all of them, or others. SLE was the very first, and I still have symptoms, I have had 3 brain MRIs all have been clear. They still wonder about MS as I have had severe muscle attacks that are very similar looking to seizures, but are not brain involved.

Sjogren's was the first confirmed, and the bloods were done many times before it came up anything but negative, then finally it came up false positive and by the time it showed up positive it was literally off the charts high. I've had SS symptoms ever since I could remember.

Lupus is one of the autoimmune diseases that is known as 'the great imitator' and is very hard to get a complete dx on. I hope this is one we both can elude!

Wishing you well, and sending a hug,


Yes, I don’t want Lupus! Many tests are coming up positive for it, except for the specific Lupus tests. It is so confusing at times. Weird thing is, most of my CBC comes back normal, but on the very high side of normal. I think the docs should pay attention to that, but they never do.

I guess I’ll just stay confused, until the docs figure something out.

Thanks for the reply, SK.


SED rates are not definitive in and of themselves. They may only help tell a story when taken into consideration with other symptoms. If you always had normal SED rates, told your doctor you felt like you have the flu all the time, and he tests you to find out things have changed, then he'll want to test other things. If you already are diagnosed with an illness it, and it keeps going up, and you feel bad, then it may indicate a flare, but most of us have SED rates that fluctuate...or don't....and still have active disease. However, if you are feeling bad, or your bloodwork in general has changed (other signs), ask your doctor about it.The SED rate by itself, from what I was told and have read, is not as conclusive as one would hope, though.

Thank you for the good information, Bookgeek. BTW, I love your name. I read a lot of books. I have an iPad and I loaded Kindle and Nook apps on it, and I get free or inexpensive books from Bookbub. I’m never without something to read. There is another page that gives you lists of free or inexpensive books, I think the name is Ebookys. I could be wrong though.

I love Bookbub. I will have to check out Ebookys, sorry addict that I am.

My SED rate is always high due to the autoimmune diseases. However, it goes even higher if I have an infection, usually my lungs.

The rheumy I have doesn't fret over borderline normal limits. But one unit too high or low she gets interested and we discuss what needs or doesn't need to be done. Sometimes she retests in a month or before the next visit.

It's pretty tricky to interpret all the tests. The results are not the only parameter. Symptoms count too. As well as any current medical problems. Some of these tests may show liver or heart disease or some other medical involvement. That's why there are (good) doctors.

There's tons of info on the web about the blood tests as SK has provided some.

The questions you are asking here might be good ones to ask your doctor about. When I was finally diagnosed, I wish I had asked more questions.

You got to hold on.

My 3 cents.

What is Sed rate?

"Sedimentation rate: A blood test that detects and monitors inflammation in the body. Abbreviated sed rate. Thesed rate measures the rate at which red blood cells in a test tube separate from blood serum over time, becoming sediment at the bottom of the test tube."

Think of solids falling to the bottom like dirt settling on the bottom of a river bottom.

Sed Rate or Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate aka ESR is one of the tests I perform in my lab (and on myself to monitor sssshhh). My ESR has been elevated for 3 years now and has never gone back to normal even on prednisolone. I use the ESR in conjunction with another test called CRP which is an immunoassay looking at a thing called C-reactive Protein. Both these tests are indicators of inflammation in the body. They don't tell where specifically, nor what the cause is. Interestingly there are some conditions where a person can have a normal or normal'sh CRP (currently considered the most accurate measure of inflammation) but an abnormal ESR/Sed rate. The ESR is still considered the gold standard for testing inflammation in GCA (Giant Cell Arteritis) also known as Temporal Arteritis the way it is Arter-itis not a misspelling of Arthritis. GCA is a very serious condition of the arteries in the temple - if left untreated it leads to permanent irreversible blindness, please excuse the sidetrack. Anyhow, back to ESR/Sed Rates and CRP - these two tests are invaluable in monitoring the progress of medications, indicating the severity of flare ups and in the case of having an infection, it can be very useful in assessing the effectiveness of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory treatments.

Some other important things to mention too - CRP levels in patients with Lupus are usually not elevated despite them having widespread inflammation, nobody knows why (it's a mystery to be discovered by some bright researcher). CRP levels can be 'normally' elevated mildly in older age or if overweight, and most doctors will take this into consideration when monitoring individual patients. Having a baseline to work from is helpful in trending patients progress, what that means is it's more valuable to look at the levels over time rather than worrying about one off results being abnormal unless they are seriously high. I hope this makes sense.

Some info on CRP

Wow!!! Thank you! I'll have to come back and read it again, when I'm not so exhausted. Haven't been sleeping well for almost 3 weeks now. Very frustrating!

Hi Bookgeek, thanks to brain fog, I forgot the real name to the other link I mentioned. Here is the correct website: If you do a search it comes right up. Most of the books given from this website is romance. I really don't like romance.

If you find any other free/inexpensive websites, can you please share?

Thank you,


Thanks, Stacie. I like romances, sometimes, but I tend to read more mysteries and nonfiction....if I get to read at all. Yes, I most certainly will share other book sites. I know there is Bookbub, as we talked about. Is Book Gorilla the same or previously mentioned. Okay, naptime for this girl if homework is to be done. Thank you again. I did not have this one.

Thanks a thousand, Tog, it is for this VERY reason that I refer these questions to the enlightened ones!