Wednesday, January 20, 2010 confused, Community Member, asks

Q: my sed rate is 38 what do i have my ana is neg and my wrist fingers and ankels are swollen

i had blood work done and have recieved only some results today my ana results are neg but my sed rate is 38 i have swellin in hands and fingers and wrist and ankels its hard to walk and hold on to things.i have ibs and its under control right now.what do you think i have i cant get a hold of doctor and have an appointment in 3 weeks.she doesnt call me back it took 3 weeks to get just these two results.if anyone can help me i will be so thankful.

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Answers (2)
Lene Andersen, Health Guide
1/22/10 1:04pm

BerserkerRA he gave you somevery good information, so I'm just going to pop in a quick link to a post about blood tests that may give you more detail.

BerserkeRA, Community Member
1/21/10 12:41pm

ounds like it might be time to find a new doctor as hard as that is to hear.  I recently changed Rheumotologists and couldn't be happier that I did.  I feel so much more in control than I did before, and also find I'm feeling much better (not really a coincidence -- there's a lot of evidence that supports the link between feeling in control, feeling positive about these diseases [autoimmune] and reduction of symptoms).


As to your labs, they aren't really diagnostic.  No labs are.  For instance, I'm diagnosed with RA, have a negative ANA, high-normal (but normal) RF, high-normal SED, and the rest of my labs are normal.  I've probably had RA for about 15 years, but it had a non-standard presentation until last year.


Having said that, sedimentation rate is a measure of inflammation (systemic).  Since IBS is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the bowel, it might be the cause of the elevated sed (normal is <20), but having the joints you describe swollen and painful might indicate a furhter complication like RA, or another form of inflamatory arthritis.

If you are not seeing a rheumotologist, I suggest you do. These diseases are diagnosed by rheumotologist examinations, and your history. Labs and x-rays are viewed more as tools and historical data points than deciding factors.


I hope this helps!

BerserkeRA, Community Member
1/21/10 12:46pm

Actually I just looked up sed rate again.


For males < 50, normal is <15

For males 50+, it's < 20

For females < 50, it's < 25

For females 50+, it's < 30


Elevated sed can come from infections, cancer, kidney failures, toxemia, inflamatory arthritis.


The test can be interfered with by pregnancy, anemia, menstration, age, medications (corticosteroids, NSAIDs), heparin, birth control pills...  and bunch of other drugs :)


Good co-test seems to be a CRP (C-reactive protein).


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By confused, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/22/10, First Published: 01/20/10