I'm still new to all of this even though my daughter was diagnosed 11 years ago.
I believe I to am showing signs and have been for a few years at least and have been trying to work with my doctor now to figure it all out. It has been a frustrating process so far, my blood tests were negative and am now waiting for a referral to a rheumatologist.
Scott, I see ur in Bakersfield. Any current lab in that major metro area will complete, at a minimum, these tests ur doc orders:
Sed Rate (Westergren)
Most of these are to rule out other autoimmune diseases other than RA.
Only Anti-CCP is pretty definitive for a RA at 95% sensitivity.
Lab testing relates to sensitivity and specificity of a test, the two key factors that need to be understood, as they vary for individual tests.
Accuracy or precision is not a relevant term in the realm of lab testing.
However, even with best testing technique and protocols ones RA may be early enough that ur body has literally not made enough of the antiinflamatory markers that the test is testing for. So that’s not the failure of the test. A level has just not yet been reached in ur blood to indicate a positive dx and therefore will not be found by any testing means.
I know that’s more than u ever wanted to know , and really that’s just scratching the surface.
Be assured a rheumatologist will know exactly what to test and meld that with your current symptoms to come up with a probable dx, or he may decide it’s too early for a definitive dx just yet.
Trust ur rheumatologist and you’ll be well taken care of.
Btw, blood test can be negative, especially very early on with RA.
Bilateral pain, stiffness swelling in hand, fingers, wrist, toes, feet, ankles that are worse upon awaking and last for at least one hr after getting up and moving around. More fatigue than usual... it can be subtle at first. Seeing a rheumatologist at this point is a good plan. Good luck to you Scott