Now my rhumetoid factor is 11 which is within normal limits. does that mean I don't have it anymore? So confused
The RF factor is an antibody found in about 80% of people with RA but can also be found in people who do not have the disease. The RF factor is not used to exclusively diagnose RA as is it also found in Sjogren's Syndrome, Lupus, or other infections. High levels of rheumatoid factor are associated with a tendency toward more severe rheumatoid disease. This factor is also associated with a higher tendency to develop non-joint manifestations of rheumatoid disease, such as rheumatoid nodules and rheumatoid lung disease. A low number (normal result) usually means you do not have rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren syndrome. However, some people who do have these conditions still have a "normal" or low rheumatoid factor (RF). Your doctor will use this number to help diagnose your disease but will take into consideration what your symptoms are, joints inflamed, pain, fatigue etc. A high CCP is a used to diagnose RA also. Trying to diagnose an autoimmune disease is not easy. If you go to the doctor with pneumonia, it is a very clear diagnosis and protocol they will use. No so with the autoimmune diseases. The are like a jigsaw puzzle. I hope this makes a little more sense to you, :)
I have always been seronegative, meaning my RA doesn't show up in standard blood work. My father, who also had RA, was seronegative. I was diagnosed clinically, also confirmed by my positive response to a course of prednisone. Later, MRIs of my ankle and hip showed joint damage which also indicated the course of my disease. A year ago, my rheumatologist ordered a test called VECTRA-DA which measured my RA disease activity at moderate.
@A myRAteam Member I feel that is exactly what a good rheumy should do.
What may be normal now may no longer be normal in 6 months. Even though symptomatic my first tests were normal and then Wham! No longer normal. But even at the beginning the rheumy called it RA because of pain in my hands.
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