Friday, November 13, 2009 Mom in the Midwest, Community Member, asks

Q: What is a high RA factor?

I was diagnosed with RA in Feb 09. My RA factor is 31.3, symptoms progressing after taking Methotrexate for 4 months and now I just started Enbrel. I have heard of people with much higher RA factors does this mean my RA is not that severe? I already have joint damage, swelling, severe pain and fatigue. It continues to get worse on a daily basis. My next question is, does Enbrel typically have positive results?

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Answers (4)
Lene Andersen, Health Guide
11/17/09 1:26pm

I generally recommend that people don't get too hung up on the numbers in their blood work - The more important question in my book is how are you doing. If you are having a bad flare, significant pain that prevents you from living your life, then things are bad enough that you need to talk to your doctor about treatment. As well, it is essential to treat RA aggressively and early in order to minimize the kind of damage to joints that will affect your mobility in the future.

 

Enbrel has been a miracle drug for many.  Although the Biologics like Enbrel, Humira and Remicade do come with a number of side effects, some of them potentially severe, most people tolerate the medications very well - check out a post I wrote last yearfor tips on how to manage side effects. And more importantly, once it kicks in, you'll be able to go back to living your life - the question have to ask yourself is how much is that worth to you? In my experience, once the Enbrel suppresses your RA that you realize how crappy you felt most of the time.

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Tara, Community Member
11/13/09 2:15am

I just know that if your RH Factor is above 24 it is out of the normal range.  I just had mine tested and it was at 32.  My symptoms started almost 6 months ago.  I have pain and swelling but supposedly X-rays showed no joint damage yet.  I am not sure about the Enbrel.

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Lene Andersen, Health Guide
11/17/09 1:32pm

Oops... forgot one thing.  We have a terrific post about about blood tests and what they mean that will give you more information about that aspect of your medical care.

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Country Girl, Community Member
11/17/09 4:57pm

I was diagnosed in June 2008, my RA Factor was 252 at that time.  I don't think they've checked it since being diagnosed.

 

I'm currently taking Enbrel and Mobic, and wondering if it's time to add another DMARD because my joints burn all the time and both my hand and feet bother me continuously.

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Mom in the Midwest, Community Member
11/17/09 8:49pm

Oh my I am so sorry!! How long have you been taking Enbrel?  252 makes my 31 look like childs play!!  I wonder if RA factors go up and down with flares?  I hope you get better soonSmile

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Country Girl, Community Member
11/18/09 5:23pm

I started my seventh month this morning and I'm thinking my rheumatologist needs to add another DMARD, I need some relief.

 

I think my positive RA Factor, positive CCP, and symptoms of RA is what helped my rheumatologist with the RA diagnosis.  I don't really think that number alone is all that important to him and he seems to worry more about the sed rate (which is always normal for me - even though I hurt daily), go figure???

 

 

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By Mom in the Midwest, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/24/10, First Published: 11/13/09