• AmyLillian AmyLillian
    January 14, 2014
    Muscle pain, stiffness and swelling combined with rheumatoid factor of 104 IU/mL. Why is it SO high?
    AmyLillian AmyLillian
    January 14, 2014

    I know an Rf of >14 is indicitive of possible RA but mine is SO high, so what might that mean? I don't have joint pain, just chronic stiffness and soreness of back, shoulders, neck, hands, shin and calf muscles. Sometimes my hands get so sore inbetween my thumb and index finger and actually significantly swollen after such stupid things, like using a stiff pair of tongs. Also my muscle stiffness is really more just intense knots and tightness that I have to see a physio once a week just to get some pain relief. I've also tried dry needling and it works temporarily, but always comes back no matter what I do. I'm seeing a rheumatologist soon. Help :( PS I had chronic fatigue syndrome for 7-8 years but have been in "remission" for 3-4 years. My aunt has lupus and my sister and mother have fibromyalgia.

    ALSO I'm only 21 years old, and this all started when I was about 17.

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FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • Lene  Andersen
    Health Guide
    January 15, 2014
    Lene  Andersen
    Health Guide
    January 15, 2014

    That's a lot to go through when you're this young. I'm sorry you're having a rough time, but really happy to hear that you have an appointment with a rheumatologist scheduled soon.

    The rheumatoid factor blood test is an antibody test that is positive in about 70 to 80% of people who have RA. However, it can also be positive up with other types of inflammatory arthritis and it can even be positive in a small number of people who don't have inflammatory arthritis! Rheumatologists tend to diagnose the disease such as are primarily on your medical history and a physical exam. Blood tests tend to be used either as confirming a diagnosis or indications of further testing being required.

    You already have chronic fatigue syndrome, albeit in remission. Chronic fatigue syndrome can be associated with a condition called fibromyalgia, which is often characterized by muscle pain and stiffness. You can read more about fibromyalgia over on our Chronic Pain site — I'd recommend that you check it out before your appointment to see if anything rings a bell.

    That said, I'd also recommend that you check out our basics of RA area for more details about this condition. When people who have RA first see a rheumatologist, they are sometimes referred for muscle pain. This is not to say that you have RA, just that it is a possibility.

    If you do get diagnosed with RA, please come back to the site and ask any questions you need. We have lots of great resources that can help you adjust to such a diagnosis. You should also know that now is that better time to have RA than in the past. There are many more treatments available these days and more in development, making it much more likely that people experience remission. As well, early diagnosis and treatment of will makes remission more likely.

    Hang in there. We'll help you get through this. Please let us know what happens at the rheumatologist's?


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