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    Old 01-01-2006, 03:40 PM   #1
    Bardda1
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    Rheumatoid Factor test

    Hi
    I hope someone can advise me here. I am 53 years old and have been suffering from chronic pain for many many years. About 10 years ago my doctor ordered a rheumatoid factor test and it came back elevated. I don't remember the exact number but I think I remember it was somewhere in the low 50's? My doctor said that it wasn't "high enough" to be considered RA. At the time my doctor had decided that I had fibromyalgia although I sleep very well and have never quite accepted that this pain is fibromyalgia. About 6 months after the first blood test my OB/GYN sent me for blood tests and I asked her to include the RF test again. It came back a little higher, in the upper 50's. Each time my SED rate was checked and was always elevated although I don't recall how much. My CRP was recently tested and the first time is was 5.4, then a few months later it is 6.9.
    My biggest problem is my hips and lower back. I wake up every morning almost unable to walk due to pain and stiffness. My husband says I scream in my sleep when I turn over. I have to hold on to furniture to get to the bathroom. I work full time and I have to get up at least an hour before I need to start getting ready or I would not be able to do it.
    Also, I have very limited range of motion in my neck and I am scheduled for an epidural injection. However, I have very little stiffness or pain in my hands which I think it is the most common site for RA to strike. Both of my knees hurt when I stand up, but not too terrible when I walk.
    At this time I am SO TIRED. I have absolutely no energy. The thought of having to work another 9 years before I am old enough to retire is overwhelming. On the weekends when I don't have to go to work, sometimes I don't even get dressed anymore, I just don't have the energy if I don't have to.
    Also, I have been having sporadic episodes of hives for no known reason. Mostly on my palms and fingers, but also on my scalp and lower stomach. This morning it was just on my right forearm. The hives on my hands is the worst. Even when the itching stops, but burning is intense for days.
    I know I sound depressed, but I'm not. Does all of this sound like it could be RA or is it consistent with fibromyalgia? I just want to know if I should demand further testing and if so, what tests should I ask for? We have been seeing the same doctor for over 20 years and he tends to treat us like we are still in our 30's.
    Thanks anyone for a response.

     
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    Old 01-01-2006, 10:27 PM   #2
    deni1234
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    Hey,
    I think you should definitely see a rheumatoid doctor. Don't just see your regular Doctor. I am 29 and have RA. I have had it for 5 years. My symptoms were different, but that does not mean anything. There are different typs of RA. Make an appointment with a RA doctor. Hopefully you are near a bigger city' just because there are more to choose from, and I feel they are better.

     
    Old 01-01-2006, 11:15 PM   #3
    WannaBeFreeToRoam
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    Hi Bardda1,

    I agree with deni, but to a much great explanation. I like to write long posts!!! :>

    I have arthritis. I was first diagnosed with osteo arthritis. Just the last three months, I have diagnosed with Rheumatoid arithritis. My sed rate was elevated. Not by much, buy my doctor jumped on it!!! There is no such thing as a sed rate not being high enuf. Tests do not always show that you have arthritis. She does blood tests about every 6 mo. or when I tell her that I am still in pain on the meds she is giving me are not enuf. Blood tests are usually to rule out other things.

    You need to see a rheumatologist doctor. Their specialty is arthritis (one of many). If you are not already seeing one, go. It sounds like yall need to change doctors too. Sort of like he/she is ignoring some of the things that you say?!

    It takes (around here) several months to get in to see a rheumy, so you need to go ahead and make an appt. You sound sort of like me before my family doctor referred me to a rheumatologist. The new doctor (specialist) is great and seems to know what I need. She is still trying to keep me off of the strong meds and painkillers. But, I am taking more meds than I was a year or so ago. I still have pain and use heating pads and rice socks and sometimes frozen peas. But, I am a lot better.

    I know what you mean about getting up earlier. I have to get up earlier to get my body to "get going"! I hobble in the am and part of the day too. Whenever my meds are not in full force. I do not have every hour of the day covered, but am doing much better.

    I hope you make an appointment on Tuesday (if you are in the U.S.). You will be glad that you did. In the meantime, use your heat and your ice. And sometimes a little massage (by my own self) does me a little good. I also do stretching exercises that my doctor gave me. Mostly hands, arms, legs, knees, elbows and neck.

    Take care and I hope that you will feel much better this time next year.

    Wannabe

     
    Old 01-04-2006, 08:45 PM   #4
    fused1
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    Hey Bardda1

    I am 33 year old woman and I had very similar things happening to me. Same deal with the doctor I had the same doctor for 27 years. He told me I had viral osteoarthritis...ross river, warren river and put me on celebrex had all the test done, nothing. Then he told me sometimes they just don't find the cause. I kept going back and back and in the end he got bit agro and said that I just have to put up with it. He put me on anti depressants.The pain and tiredness just got worse and worse. Then I had enough I kept a diary and out of 19 days I had one good day. I took this and this list of all my other symptoms to a different doctor and he thought I had fibromyalgia, but referred me to a Rhuematoligist. The Rhuemy told me to throw away all medication a put me on Prednisolone, that night I was doing housework...for the first time in months. Keep trying, keep changing doctors. Don't let them tell you it's in yor head.Ask to try cortisone. Ask to se a rhuemy!! Here is the list of things my doctor told me was in my head.

    ________________________________________ __________
    Sore jaw from time to time...jaw locks up and makes a clicking noise and is painful when eating..lasts for about 3 days.

    Stiff sore neck, lasts for about 3/4 days.

    Sore shoulders quite often..did right rotor calf muscle Mothers Day, did rotor calf muscle few months later.

    Tender elbows, not to painful.

    Extremely sore tender, weak wrists, most of the time.

    Extremely sore tender, swollen hands, most of the time.

    Sore hips, rarity.

    Sore knees, not too often but becoming more frequent.

    Sore, swollen painful feet most of the time.

    Most of these occur mainly in the morning and after about 5.30pm.

    Allergies to ibuprophen and Panadol. Seemed to have developed recently. Rashes

    Need pain management plan. Ways of dealing with pain.

    Sensitivity to cold.

    Fatigued.

    Sore throat feels like its near the glands. Hurts to swallow, gets bad in the evenings and early morning.

    Sadness, because I am unable to do things with and for my family and friends. Doesn’t feel like depression.

    Hope I don't sound like a drill sargeant... I just can't belive that you have been in that much pain for so long and your doctor won't help you...give him the flick. Good luck.

     
    Old 01-05-2006, 08:51 AM   #5
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    Ask your doctor to run an Anti-CCP test. It's fairly new and is "highly" specific for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

     
    Old 01-07-2006, 07:22 PM   #6
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    I'm sorry to interrupt - but I'm wondering if anyone knows how close Palindromic Rheumatism is to RA? I have had this "arthritis" now for close to 13 years and I only received the diagnosis of PR about a year or so ago. He says to watch my finger joints - becuase it could turn into RA. I have noticed that they swell and are "attacked" just as often - but nothing out of the ordinary. Can someone help me answer this? I have MULTIPLE SYMPTOMS and cannot find anyone to listen to the whole story either - but I hate to write that all out in here and bore you! Thank you!!

     
    Old 01-07-2006, 11:26 PM   #7
    WannaBeFreeToRoam
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    Hi Flustered,

    You are welcome to tell your whole story here. That is what this board is for! You may teach us something and by hearing your story, you might get a little more help, than not telling! It is certainly worth a try.

    I have not heard of that type of arthritis, before. Did the doctor give you any explanation, when you were diagnosed? Do you take any medicines for it?

    My hands and fingers, used to swell a lot! About a month ago, my rheumatologist gave me prednisone and relafen. This has helped with my swelling and hurting hands, quite a lot! I was and still am taking skelaxin and ultram also. I have only been diagnosed for a little over 2 years. So, the dr. and I are still working on the best posible combinations of medicine. Have not quite gotten my dosage right yet.

    Hope you get some more help and answers.

    Wannabe

     
    Old 01-09-2006, 06:49 PM   #8
    Flustered
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    Wannabe,
    That makes me feel a whole lot better - and I guess I'll share a little more about how this came about. The first time I got the "arthritis", I was living alone and I had some pain in my hips at night. I danced for 16 years - so that was not new to me - so I did some stretching. By the time I went to bed it was really getting aggravating. By the time I woke up - I was sweating and screaming it hurt so bad. The pain was so extensive, I had to roll myself out of bed onto the floor - as if that didn't hurt bad enough - and then DRAG myself to the front of the trailer home by my fingernails (short shag carpeting) so that I could bang myself into a table to knock the phone off to call someone to help me! I thought I was going to die. I made it to the doctor and I was dx'd with bursitis. Swelling of the bursa sac in the hip area. Wow - thought that was the end of it though.

    NOT! Over the past 12-13 years (I'm starting to wonder how long exactly) I went through my feet swelling to the point I couldn't walk - my hands swelling and aching and then swelling and aching of joints all over my body - and most times it is very debilitating. I was dx'd with this "palindromic rheumatism" which pretty much means "traveling arthritis" and was put on vioxx. Guess that wasn't meant to be since they pulled that from the market - now I'm back to taking whatever I can to help myself. Sometimes I take Orudis KT - and over the counter med from Walmart - and that's ketoprophen - which helps. Now they discontinued that too. So I'm taking Aleve - which doesn't work at ALL unless I take 3-4 of them at a time - and still doesn't take any of the swelling down - but I can walk anyway. Pretty shoddy outlook.

    Well - that's about it for now - I try to stay active, exercise, and eat right - but this type of arthritis just comes and goes as it pleases - no rhyme or reason. Very frustrating. So let me know if you have anything else to share with me about this after reading the shortest history I could think of.

     
    Old 01-10-2006, 12:03 AM   #9
    WannaBeFreeToRoam
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    Hi Flustered,

    You sound like you might could use some prescription meds, from a rheumatologist? Can you not take them? A dr. could give you something to make the swelling go down and take some of the pain away! It sounds like a very painful disease. I just have regular RA. Do you use, heating pads, rice socks, therma care, and ice? These help sometimes!

    You feet sound like they swell an awful lot. My feet rarely swell. My ankles swell every now and then, and my hands and wrists. Just not my feet! I can imagine how much that hurts, unless you just do not walk. Try to get some meds/more meds to help control your swelling and pain.

    There are times, when any kind of arthritis is worse. I guess that they are called flares?! I do that too.

    Take care and rest. I do feel a lot better when I get more rest (that is when I can go to sleep.).

    Talk more later.

    Wannabe

     
    Old 01-10-2006, 06:42 PM   #10
    Flustered
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    Hi again!
    Well, I was on vioxx for the pain and inflammation, but that was taken off of the market. I haven't seen a rheumatologist in years. It's been a while since I've subjected myself to further testing either.

    I do what I can for myself - but I cannot use ice or heat. The ice does nothing but make me cold - and heat really ticks my arthritis off! It's weird - a hot tub feels AWESOME - but as soon as I get out it is not even worth the short reward of being in it. Very frustrating becuase I thought that was going to be a good thing for me!

    My feet used to swell ALL the time - and it left a lot of my other joints alone - and that was the worst I thought. Now it attacks my hips and other joints - I think I've got it in my neck and back now too. It's all very painful - but I've been able to control it (yeah right - to a point) with diet and exercise. But no matter how good I take care of myself - it's always there.

    I agree on the sleep!! I need my sleep - sometimes I think I just get tired because there's something going on I don't know about and my body is telling me to rest or I'm going to get it. Another huge part of this is the mind games. I can pretend there is nothing wrong with me when I don't have it - but it really makes me feel helpless when I do get it.

    I'm dealing with some more eye problems right now (pars planitis) and that is on the forefront for right now - but I wondered if anyone had any ideas about the arthritis. Do you think I should wait for another attack and see a rheumatologist? Do you think that is the best place for me since I think I might have MS? Wow - that I didn't even explain, but I'm pooped - more later!
    Thanks!!
    Flustered

     
    Old 01-10-2006, 11:03 PM   #11
    WannaBeFreeToRoam
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    Hi Flustered,

    Just a short note, I will talk more in the am. I do think that you should see a rheumatologist now. And write down everything that hurts, is wrong with you and that you have been treated for and the different meds you have been on! I think that kind of dr. could really help.

    Get a rest, if you can. I am trying to go to bed earlier, but am not sleepy yet, just tired!

    Take care.

    Wannabe

     
    Old 01-18-2006, 06:18 PM   #12
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    Hi Flustered, My SED rate was 95, RF 357 and a few other high scores after bloodwork in 2003. I saw a rheumatologist who ruled out RA. He said that the high scores were probably from hepatitis C. He said that I have mild osteoA and possibly have developed fibromyalgia.

    Have you been tested for hepatitis C?

     
    Old 01-24-2006, 06:30 AM   #13
    Kathie T.
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    I would see a rheum. Antibodies fluctuate in your blood. (abnormally high is still that). You can have RA without the antibodies as well. I get the hives on the palms of my hands too. The worst ever. Of course I'm not definate in any disease-my immune system is showing antibodies for a few different autoimmunes which my doc calls general autoimmune disease. A general overactive immune system that is affecting things, but nothing specifically for one disease. Still it is treated like all the others-prednisone and anti malarials. Let me know how it goes!

     
    Old 02-16-2006, 06:50 PM   #14
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    Re: Rheumatoid Factor test

    To Bardda1
    I read your post and thought how wonderful I had such a great dr. who was both rheumatologist for me and also took care of everything. I first saw him when in hosp. for blood clots. I told him how I ached and was so sore and tired. Right away after listening he suggested gold shots. All of this was over 30 yrs ago and I was 40. He said I could have fibromylitis or whatever it was back then and now is known to be fibromyalgia and also had RA. I took gold shots until had bad reaction. They helped. Never no matter what I said about how I felt did he act like I was crazy. I would say I was crazy and he would disagree. He was the greatest. I had various symptoms...indentations in my body, sores in my mouth, headaches, insomnia, tired beyond words, too tired I told my son to open my eyes. Only recently did my sed rate go up but the doctor I first saw who retired and the one I now see both said sed rate isn't all the story. It is what they see and what I tell them. I have taken Methotrexate, Remicaide, and last Enbrel. Metho. I was allergic to and Remicaide helped but not like Enbrel. Not a whole lot but did help. I now have a lung infection called MAC and can't take any of those meds. I am on mainly pain pills. Fortunately both my rheumatologists I have had do not think they are bad. I have taken pain pills for 30 years and believe me I am not a dope addict. I function on them and don't take if not need even though I take what you should take each and every day. The things you describe are similar to my symptoms and may to some sound weird but believe me I have heard from others and know that you get many weird symptoms. The pain is unbelievable with both RA and Fibro. Also being so sore and tired. First thing I advise anyone is to see a Rheumatologist and wait to see one that people have recommended highly. I know with telling others this that is true. Some wait for the one I recommend and are really satisfied. Others take what ever they can get first and are usually disappointed. Hoping you the best. Bootsy

     
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