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Tested for lupus. Due to re-occurring swollen lymph nodes under jaws and sore nostril. Be concerned?

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I requested an ENT specialist test me for Lupus due to a reoccurring swollen left lymph node under my jaw line, and reoccurring sore in my left nostril. (happens at least 3 times a year) My ERYTHROCYTE SEDIMENTATION RATE result is 32. The standard range is between 0-20. My C-REACTIVE PROTEIN result is 5.56. The standard is <5.0. The blood work was collected on 12/21/11. I began developing severe cold/flu-like symptoms yesterday, and today, I have a hard lump under my ear, on my neck. Not sure if this is a strained muscle, or a swollen lymph node. I am very concerned that these test results are not normal, and I'm scared. The doctor has not gotten back to me yet. Just want a second opinion. Should I be concerned? He also took a culture of the sore and it was negative for any sort of infection.
Posted Thu, 26 Apr 2012 in Lupus
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha 8 hours later

Thanks for the query.

I would like to clarify early in this answer that C - Reactive protein (CRP) and Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) are non specific laboratory values. It only tells us that there is an inflammatory process happening in your body.

There are variety of diseases that increase this, starting from cancer, lupus, malaria, tuberculosis, common colds and flu.
The condition most applicable to you is the infection you are suffering from right now.

In case of autoimmune diseases like lupus you would expect these values of ESR and CRP to be in 100s and not as low as 32 and 5.5.

Now coming to the hard lump behind your ear, this could be a post auricular lymph node which you are feeling. Please get it examined by a general surgeon and also to know exactly what’s causing this lymph node to get swollen. A Fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAC) should be done which is actually a small and simple procedure. I would like to add at this point that colds and flu also cause lymph nodes to swell and it goes back to normal once you have recovered.

To help fight flu use the following advice
1. Steam inhalations 2 to 3 times a day. It will help you drain the sinuses.
2. Avoid cold items like aerated drinks, cold juices.
3. Avoid spicy food.
4. Ample bed rest.
5. Avoid milk and milk products like cheese, butter, etc.

I hope I was of help, if you have no further queries please accept my answer.

Have a speedy recovery.

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