I've had joint pain for about 2 years and tested positive for the RF factor (33) in Feb 09'. My RD tested again last week and now the RF is normal (7). I've been on plaquenil only and am curious if anyone else has seen something similar. I have no redness, swelling, tenderness any any joint...just joint pain. (which could have been attributed to very low vitamin D which was treated and is now within normal range...am feeling better).
It isn't unusual for those with RA to have a negative Rh factor test. Blood tests are only one tool and don't tell the whole story. Each person who has RA is different in terms of symptoms, and no one size fits all when it comes to treatment, either. If it wasn't such a puzzle, it might have been cured already! In fact, I think you're the first person I've ever met who has done well on placquenil alone (never did a thing for me).
Pain in the absence of other "classic" signs of RA could signal fibromyalgia, which falls into the same auto-immune category as RA. It's also common for people with RA to have fibro, as well.
I'm glad you are feeling better, and pleased to hear the placquenil seems to be working for you! Keep seeing your rheumatologist, though - feeling better doesn't mean you can skip appointments, tempting as it is. :)
Did they give you a reason for the plaquenil? What do they suspect? Do you have copies of your tests? I have had a positive ANA and RF factor but then they both went negative. My rheumatologist wasn't sure if it was Lupus or RA. He started me on plaquneil which is keeping my levels negative. My symptoms are pointing to Lupus due to the butterly rash, mouth sores, and since my joints don't swell but do hurt as well as my muscles.
Are you seeing a rheumatologist? Have you had your ANA tested?
The plaquenil was my choice due to some fatigue issues back in September. Right now, I'm diagnosed with Undifferentiated arthritis. I'm curious, did your doctor indicate that your RF levels were normal due to the plaqueniel? I'm not sure I have any Lupus symptoms but do have joint pain. I've never had a "flare" and am curious, when someone has UA, how long is it typically until there first flare?
Unfortunately there is no rhyme or reason as to when a flare occurs but it is often after a stressor (surgery, injury, high emotional stress or just overdoing it physically). My doctor just said my results and I assumed he meant the ANA and RF.
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