Friday, December 19, 2008 cheryl, Community Member, asks

Q: why does my blood work not show that i have ra?

i have deforming hands and feet  slight swelling i have a lot of pain somedays my hands are so stiff i cannot close them somedays first thing in the morning it takes a real effort to get out of bed but he still says blood work shows no ra but today he put me on hydroxychlor

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Answers (2)
Sara Nash, Health Guide
12/20/08 9:07pm

Hi Cheryl,


From the symptoms you describe, it does sound like it is a real possibility that what you have is RA.  Many people with RA do not test positive for Rheumatoid Factor (this is somtimes referred to as seronegative RA).  There is a good article from this site here if you want to read a little more about rheumatoid factor. For others, what shows up in tests, for whatever reason, doesn't conclusively point to RA even though they are exhibiting many of the hallmark symptoms: swollen, painful joints-often if one joint on one side of the body is affected, the same joint on the other side will also be affected; fatigue, morning stiffness, feeling feverish or like you are coming down with a cold.


If you are experiencing any of these other symptoms, make surse you talk to your doctor about them. I would recommend seeing a rheumatologist if you can as they are more experienced at spotting and diagnosing RA even when when RA factor and other tests don't show it conclusively.


Good luck and take care,




JustCrafty, Community Member
7/30/09 9:54pm

I have had the same symptoms for the past 3-4 yrs, my symptoms only continued to worsen and my labs showed nothing real conclusive, I would show elevated levels here and there and then they would decrease and then my Dr would just dismiss it as nothing. I finally changed Docs and my new Dr put me on Prednisone (tappered doses) for two weeks to see of it would make a difference, then he set up an appointment for me with a Rhuematologist. I was diagnoised with RA this late Spring (labs are still inconclusive) and I am now on treatment (Prednisone, Methotrexate, Mobic & Folic Acid). I have been feeling better over, the sweeling, stiffness, joint pain & fatigue have decreased, I am able to get up and moving much better in the morning and I even sleep better because the pain is not keeping me up at night.


I would suggest that you see a Rhuematologist they can help find the answers you need. I am glad I didn't give up, I just knew that my quality of life could be better than what I had been living over the past 3-4 yrs.


Good Luck

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By cheryl, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/10/14, First Published: 12/19/08