Subject: Re: CCP? Positive test?
Anti-CCP can be positive many many years before full RA symptoms develop.
They are a marker of the immune system that is having trouble dealing with an antigen - CCP are proteins that have been incorrectly modified by the immune system whilst trying to produce antibodies against something else (bacterial, viral or dietary).
This is technical but CCP's are evidence of what the Immunologists call epitope spreading. It's a bit like Chinese whispers - initial invader is attacked by antibodies but the immune system often makes too many antibodies (which is why we feel bad when we have a cold) - the immune system is then supposed to remove the antibodies that are not specific for the invader but it doesn't so the next "whisper" is made and spreads to create antibodies that attack different joints.
A rheumatologist will want to stop these reactions with medication.
In my view with Iron deficiency and low vitamin D they should also test for Celiac and anti-gliadin antibodies. With a damaged gut micro-vili due to gluten or another food intolerence iron and vit d are low!