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1223071 tn?1266982616
Meaning of my RF Level?
Dear Answering Doctor:

Ok, now, I know that my RF level alone does not indicate that I have RA but, I'm not sure of the other possible ailments it points to.  I went to the doctor for severe joint pain (all over my body) that I have suffered from since the age of 14.  Now, after avoiding the issue and suffering for ten years, at the age of 24 I have minor joint distortion in my hands.  The blood test results I got yesterday said I don't have Lupus (which is great!) but the doctor said my RF level was too much at 242.9. That meant nothing to me.

When I asked him what "normal" was, he said from 0-13.  That is a big difference from 242.9 so, I feel I'm understandably concerned.  What I don't know, is how severe that is.  Does your "average" sufferer of high RF levels fall in the 30-100 range or is 300-600 common?  How concerned should I be?  He is sending me in to get X-rays of my wrists, hips, and ankles this week to try and diagnose the issue.  After that, he said that I should probably have to see a rheumatologist.

I am currently in very little pain thanks to a daily dose of Meloxicam.  He doesn't want me on it for much longer, although, when I ran out for two days my pain was debilitating.  Any help will be greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance for your assistance.

Sincerely,
Bea
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1193998 tn?1265121197
Meloxicam by itself is only a band-aid. It's helps reduce the pain and some of the inflammation, but that's only treating the symptoms, not the underlying disease process.

Even if you think you're feeling fairly well, the continuing low-grade inflammation will continue to damage your joints. The newer biologics like Enbrel, Humira etc. with the addition of methotrexate works to halt or slow down the disease itself. I'm on Enbrel, mtx and meloxicam.

In the end, it really doesn't matter what the blood tests say. You definitely have a joint disease and it's causing visible damage. Many RA sufferers are RF negative - no one knows why this is. A good rheumie will take this in stride and go by what your body is saying, not the blood tests.

Good luck!
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