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Date: 04.10.2011
From: Robert

Subject: Rheumatoid Factor levels

Hi, I'm in the process of being diagnosed or not (fingers crossed) and am a bit confused about my rheumatoid factor test. It was 16, which the doctor said was a little above the 14 or less normal. He suggested this not terribly high result may not mean anything.

However the internet tells me 14 - 40 is normal, though elsewhere it tells me 23 or less is normal. Also that it varies a little between labs. (All these in units rather than titres). In fact as far as I can tell 16, by any measure, is a low result.

Maybe I miss heard 60 as 16 and 40 as 14, though I'm sure I didn't. Maybe my doctor is tired and read 14-40 as the non normal level.

I just don't know what to make of it.
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Date: 04.10.2011
From: Caroline Jephcott

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Factor levels

Ok first of all this factor thing is not very interesting for you. I have had arthritis since 15mths old and every joint is affected, replaced etc I have never had RA factor. Neither has my husband with severe Psoriatic Arthritis, neither have any of my mates with severe arthritis be it Juvenile, RA or psoriatic arthritis, I am quite sure there is research to be done there. It is something that some show and some just don't. So as I say just blank the chat about that because it is sort of irrelevant.

What is important is what is hurting? How are you feeling? What joints feel sore, are any hot? How do you feel in the mornings?

Tests like CRP and ESA are often used in the diagnoses of arthritis, they are the interesting ones.

Above all do not worry, arthritis is ok honestly it really is. It is not the end of the world, you do not die of it and technology these days in plastic joint replacements mean even those joints that are broken down by it are often replaced so brilliantly. Medications have vastly come on and do really help. If you do get diagnosed with it do not feel your life will never be the same again, it really doesn't have to be like that so try not to get too interested in every aspect at this stage of your Dr visits because you can get into an awful tangle and over worry yourself. Most of me is plastic, my muscles are weak and my movement in limbs restricted but I am a Psychologist, lived it up at Uni, married happily, a new mum to a nine month old boy, go to the theatre, go to festivals etc. Sure I am sore, I take many meds but this illness is not terminal and your brain is still intact, arthritis can't touch that!

Carrie

My Blog- http://disabledpositiveparent.blogspot.com/
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Date: 04.10.2011
From: Robert

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Factor levels

Thanks for your reply.

My inflammation tests (that's CRP and ESA right?) were normal. I have joint pain in neck, hip, ankle and big toe. All on right side. It progressed from just neck to adding another joint every few months. I am not worse in morning, and have no swelling and only neck stiffness and not much. Lots of cracking and scraping of joints. I'm 44 by the way.

I am worrying! The anxiety is much more disabling than the actual joint pain. Going through the diagnostic procedure is a terrible business.

Thanks again.
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Date: 04.10.2011
From: Shiffy

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Factor levels

Reading your comment Caroline is really a positive inspiration! Well done for coping!
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Date: 04.10.2011
From: willis

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Factor levels

Carrie - thank you, what an inspiration you are :) x
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Date: 05.10.2011
From: Caroline Jephcott

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Factor levels

Am sure it is worrying Robert.

As I say try not to get too bogged down by it all. Instead of worrying, do things to occupy your mind. It shouldn't take the meds that long to work out what it is nowadays. It sounds good that your ESR and CRP are normal, that has to be an excellent sign I would have thought.

Ok don't shoot the messenger but it could just be wear and tear on joints, not getting any younger hehehe. Kidding kidding, try not to worry too much. My husband has arthritis to,he is 42 and he is still dragging me to see blooming goth bands like "The Mission" next week, OH JOY ergggghhh haha!

Keep going.

Caroline Jephcott
My Blog- http://disabledpositiveparent.blogspot.com/
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Date: 05.10.2011
From: Caroline Jephcott

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Factor levels

Thanks Shiffy and Willis, we are all dealing with it and smiling best we can aren't we :)
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