Worst Case Scenario - Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Updated on April 10, 2013
L.L. asks from Austin, MN
8 answers

A few days ago I wrote about being diagnosed last week with fibromyalgia...pending lab tests for RA.

So, today I got a call from the nurse. My RA factor is elevated.

It is my understanding that normal people don't even have the RA factor in their blood. So, apparently, I have it, and it's elevated.

My doctor is on vacation this week, so the on call doctor passed these results along to me through a nurse...so I couldn't really ask any questions. His recommendation was to continue PT, continue meds, and of course when my doctor is back next week "We'll see what he wants to do, if he wants to refer you to rheumatology, etc" were the nurse's exact words.

So, I'm freaking out a bit...mostly because I can't do anything right now except worry...my anxiety is bad enough to begin with.

For any of you who have knowledge, what does this mean? Thanks.

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So What Happened?

Stephanie...my youngest has CD and we've all been tested. I have a sensitivity, but I've been gf for years. ;) I do appreciate the advice, though, because you are absolutely right.

Featured Answers


answers from Houston on

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis 15 months ago after having been diagnosed with RA for almost 3 yrs. Having said that my test never showed any elevated RA factor. The diagnosis was solely based on symptoms, much like fibro is.
Don't freak out, I know that's easier said than done. But there are tons of absolutely wonderful drugs out there to help you live a more comfortable life. Trust me, I self-inject every Monday and it makes my life bearable.
If you have never seen a Rheumatologist I would suggest it, it's very insightful.
Hang in there.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Don't panic. My dad has RA and has had it for many years. He takes a once a week med, and he still golfs all summer long.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

think about it this way. you are the same person you were yesterday and will be tomorrow now you J. have an answer to why youre in pain and therefore the tools to deal with it=)

RA runs in my family as does a lot of other serious things. ive been dodging the oficial diagnosis for no reason otjher then laziness. i test positive for ankolosing spondalitis but show no signs on the mri even though i have all of the symptoms. I remind myself occassionally that i am the same person i was before finding that out i MAY have what other members of my family have and that i do have arthritis

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answers from San Antonio on

How terrible for them to call you and tell you that when your dr is on vacation! Just think even if it is RA, there are lots of good treatments now. My mom has RA and ankolosing spondalitis and was diagnosed 35 yrs ago. Today she still hikes for an hour every day with her dogs and has more energy then I do!! I have pain but I don't want to get tested because I feel better not knowing to be honest. She has also tested neg for RA factor even though she has RA. (her MD does not know why)

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answers from Minneapolis on

It means there is some sort of inflammation and there could be a variety of reasons/causes. Sometimes a virus can even cause it. I would recommend you find a good rheumatologist and go from there. Don't do a lot of internet searches. They can be misleading and scary. People with Rheumatoid Arthritis, if that is what it turns out to be, can have additional challenges, but they also live very normal lives with proper treatment and medical care. I am not very familiar with fibromyalgia, but from what I do know I wouldn't think it would be worse diagnosis, just different.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

Please please look into gluten sensitivity. I gave up gluten and all of my body/muscle aches went away. I am NOT saying this is a cure for everyone, but food intolerances/sensitivities can cause anxiety, fibro symptoms and causes imflamation. I just want to give you something to look into and it may or may not help...but it cannot hurt!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

The timing stinks with your doctor out, but try not to worry and keep doing what you're doing. I was diagnosed with RA last summer and it is a very scary diagnosis, but there are a lot of options out there for treatment and pain management. From what I understand, an elevated RA level doesn't have to mean rheumatoid arthritis, it could be something else, but it's one part of the diagnosis along with symptoms.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Well... TRY to keep calm.
There are medications your doc ( or a new doc ) may want you to try.
But that doesn't happen in a day. Or a week.
There is no magic cure being withheld because your doc is off for a week.
So relax, stay clam, and do what the suggested: PT and take your meds.
He may refer you to a specialist at this point and it may take a while to get an appointment.
Good luck!

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