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    Old 11-10-2004, 04:28 PM   #1
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    RA Factor? What does this mean?

    Hi All,

    I've gone through a battery of tests to get to the bottom of some weird symptoms I've had, including weight loss, restless sleep, jitters, brittle hair and hair loss, big toe swelling, and general malaise.

    Anyway, one thing that was tested was my RA Factor. This came up as 14.6 H IU/ML... and the Reference Interval for the lab was 0.0 - 13.9 SO.

    I was told it was slightly elevated, and not further pursued at this point. But what does this mean? How much elevation is cause for concern?

    What might I expect if I had some Rhematoid arthritis brewing?



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    Old 12-26-2004, 11:57 AM   #2
    Kathie T.
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    Re: RA Factor? What does this mean?

    I could have written that message. I have had weight loss and hairloss, and got blood tests. My Rf is elevated 90 (normal 0-40). But noone is telling me anything. If you find out let me know. Kathie

    Old 12-27-2004, 07:36 PM   #3
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    Re: RA Factor? What does this mean?

    Hello Cori
    My Rheumatologist is also suspecting that I may have RA although mine would me diagnosed as SeroNegative Rheumatoid Arthritis because I have a negative RA Factor. My mother and both of my sister's also have RA. My mother did have a positive Factor but both my sister's had a negative factor. My understanding is that the doctor's do not only go by one specific test result and not only do they go by the lab results as they also note the patient's history and symptoms. This is why sometimes is can be a long process before a diagnosis is given. I also have read that at least 5 joints need to be affected or inflamed before the diagnosis of RA is given along with certain positive lab tests. Both of my sister's are so ill and have many nodules (sp) that their doctors have put them on Enbrel and other med's.

    In the last several months I have developed Bursitis in both my hips, Frozen Shoulder Bilaterally, Arthritis was seen on left shoulder x-ray, Tendonitis in both rotator cuffs, and now my right knee and ankle are also hurting. My hands do hurt when writing but do not when I use the keyboard. I also experience body stiffness through the entire day not just in the mornings. But I do have spinal condition's as well as you can see in my signature.

    I am sorry that I can't answer your question on how much elevation is cause for concern as I am not aware of the guidelines of the RA Factor's. Hopefully someone with more knowledge on this issue will come along and provide you with that information. I myself, have only been learning through my own experience and through information on the internet, and of course my family's history with RA. I do wish you the very best and pray that although you do have a positive factor that you do not experience much pain.

    Hello Kathie
    I noticed that you have posted on a couple of threads including one that you have started yourself. I hope that you don't mind that I am answering you here. All these lab tests can be very confusing, especially when doctor's don't take the time to explain them correctly to the patient. The sed rate test that you have been speaking of measures the inflammation in your body only. Your test result is high at 90, as mine is 57 and I thought that was high. This is not a RA or RF test. If you read Cori's post above then you will notice what the Reference Interval is for the RA Factor. Your sedimentation levels do mean that their is something going on in your body to cause so much inflammation. Usually with a result such as yours, your doctor may order more testing or start with NSAID's. (Non-Steriod Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) My first sed rate was 37 and my Rheumatologist prescribed me Bextra. I had another sed rate 2 months ago and it elevated to 57, so he thinks the Bextra is not helping me. I also tried to rounds of steroids but that didn't help either. I then tried Mobic. But insurance won't cover that so I am back on Bextra and worrying about the side effects.

    The reason why your doctor's probably haven't said anything to you yet, it because I think they do something like a process of elimination. This is what I was trying to explain to Cori. I have been going to my Rheumatologist since February and I still haven't gotten a full diagnosis. He did diagnosis me with Fibromyalgia at my second visit but that was not all that was wrong with me and I am not so sure that I have this, and I am in the process of trying to get that removed from my records. I have also found that the best thing to do is research and be very informed. This way you are prepared for your appointments and know what question's to ask at your next appointment. Oh, and don't forget to get copy's of all your lab's. I wish you the very best.

    Posterolateral Fusion & Infuse with Laminectomy & Discectomy on L4,L5,S1 June 2003
    Instrumentation = 2 Rods, 6 Screws, 2 Disc Spacers
    Lumbar CT Scan 9/24/03
    The thecal sac appears to be deviated slightly to the left around L5.
    Mild posteior subcutaneous edema.
    L3-L4 mild circumferential disc bulge.
    L4-5, L5-S1, mild disc bulges are noted.
    Follow up MRI recommended. (Neuro surgeon said report was incorrect)
    Lumbar MRI 1/20/04
    Small amount of post operative fluid collection at level L4 which does not appear to communicate with the thecal sac.
    Encasement of the thecal sac at L4-5 level by enchancing soft tissue, consistent with epidural fibrosis.
    Displacement of the left S1 nerve root, consistent with epidural fibrosis.
    Lumbar Myelogram 2/26/04
    Mild indentation on the subarachnoid space is noted at the level of L4-5 & L5-S1 where there is non-specific soft tissue slightly displacing the subarachnoid space.
    Lumbar Post Myelogram 2/26/04
    L4-5 non-specific soft tissue is noted in the dorsal & ventral epidural space..
    L5-S1, there is non-specific soft tissue noted in the ventral epidural space slightly displacing the dural sac posteriorly.
    EMG 9/13/04
    Distal Peroneal Neuropathy Bilaterally
    Bilateral Chronic L4 versus L5 Radiculopathy
    Straightening of the Normal Cervical Lordosis.
    Mild Congenital Narrowing of the Spinal Canal.
    C4-5, C5-6, C6-7 Herniated Discs
    C4-5 & C5-6 , Cord Flattening at these levels.

    Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Pre-Diabetic,
    Anemia, Asthma, Acid Reflux, Migraine's, Sleep Apnea

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