I'm curious to hear from anyone who was originally diagnosed with seronegative RA (negative Rheumatoid factor), how long you've had RA, what your disease progression has been like and whether or not (and when) you "seroconverted" to become RF positive.
I was diagnosed in June 2008 (4.5 months ago) after six months of pain and steadily increasing inflammation. The first blood test I had was seronegative for the RF factor. The content I pasted below was from a site I found online but I'm curious to hear from "real" people. If you are seronegative has your disease progression been more gradual and/or less severe? I'm the type of person that likes to know as much as possible and am wondering what to realistically expect from this disease. My outlook has been mostly positive but the more I read I'm wondering if it will stay that way after reading about people who've had RA for years with steadily worsening symptoms.
"Seronegative RA is a distinct, though usually less aggressive" (but not always) "form of the disease". Many specialists believe that patients with the manifestations of RA, but are RF negative are "in an early phase of the disease spectrum...some eventually do seroconvert", ie become RF positive. These patients who do convert from negative to positive as their disease progresses "have courses parallel to those of initially seropositive patients".